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Harvested yeast storage

I harvested the yeast from my Vienna lager by swirling a few cups of remaining beer and poured it into a half gallon jar. Once the yeast settled I decanted most of the beer but left about a cup on top. Are there any flavor issues or yeast health issues i should be concerned about leaving that beer on the top of the yeast for storage for a couple months? Would I be better off decanting it all and putting some boiled and cooled water on top?

Personally, I’d just leave it under the beer. It’s such a small amount. I just wouldn’t worry about it. Others will disagree and say use boiled water and others will argue for yeast rinsing. I like to keep it simple and have been reusing collect slurry for a while now, stored under beer, with good results.

I have been just keeping it on the beer and have had good luck. when I saved yeast the first time this was the way I did it and it worked well (keeping it on the beer) , but when I go to use it I take and decant the beer, then add some fresh wort from the new batch to proof it, while the rest of the wort cools down to pitching temps.
your question about yeast health and not using beer, but instead using water has got me thinking if there is a better way for a longer storage time. 3 weeks is what I shoot for before I dump mine.

I’ve been reading lately that beer is a better storage medium than water because of the acidity. Some wits have even suggested using Bud Lite instead of their craft brew. Minimizing headspace is always a plus. I go down to a pint jar for long term storage.
I have been adding one quart of boiled/cooled water to the fermentor with the remaining beer. I estimate about 8 ounces of my beer remained. Swirl this up and pour off one quart after laying the fermentor on its side for 15 to 20 minutes. I only take one quart off to get the cleanest yeast. I have more saved than I can possibly use. Each quart jar has about 400ml of yeast.
With my next brew I’m going to pour off 2 quarts. The one with the most break material will get decanted and refilled with Bud Lite to test storage longevity.
(Someone came here with a 6-pak of the Lite. Tasted one and left the rest here.)

Hey Flars, how long have you saved yeast for? I’ve never pushed it longer than 3 wks.

I have used harvested yeast that was 6 months old. Without looking at my notes I may have used 25% viability at 1 billion cells per ml.

Thanks Flars, I usually save a good quantity, just wasn’t sure of it’s viability compared to time.

What I do is fill the jar to the top and don’t decant at all. Then when I"m going to re-use it I pull it out of the fridge and what I seem to notice is as the jar warms up the yeast starts to feed on the beer preparing it for pitching. I think it’s a good thing to keep the beer on the top and it brings the yeast back to life. These is so little beer I doubt it changes the flavor at all.

I have lost some yeast before using the rinse with boiled water method and getting all the yeast into one pint jar from a two quart save.

Few months ago I started a new method. Add two cups of boiled water to the fermentor which still contains about eight to twelve ounces of beer. Swirl it up. Lay the carboy on its side with the bottom raised. This brings the carboy contents to the neck of the carboy. I pour off one quart as soon as I see a thin line of clearing liquid. I store in the quart jar I poured into to lessen risk of infection.

I only pour off one quart now because I ended up with to much yeast in the refrigerator. My wife wants me to buy a frig to keep in the brew room.

If I am going to store it longer than a couple of weeks or so, I’ll pour off most of the beer, and add a similar amount of sanitary wort and put it back in the refrig. It seems to do fine, and gives the yeast something to live on for a while instead of cannibalizing each other. Then, when I’m ready to reuse it, I’ll pour off the remaining beer, and then put it in a vessel and add more sanitary wort and put on the stirplate. I will try to drain 2-4 quarts out of the mash tun after I collect the runnings for my boil and can it in mason quart jars. I’ll pressure can them at 15 pounds for 15 minutes, then let it sit until it’s cooled off. I’ve never failed to have one seal. Then I use it to feed the yeast on the stirplate.

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