I try and harvest my yeast at least once from the original source, giving me a few additional batches to work with.
I recently brewed with WLP002 and 007, both of which are very thick, clumpy types of yeast. It’s likened to cottage cheese.
Anyway, has anyone had experience trying to harvest this yeast? This is my SOP for typical yeast harvesting from a primary:
- Boil 1 gallon of water & let it cool back to room temp.
- After racking beer off yeast, I dump the 1 G of water in and swirl to make sure everything is mixed back into suspension
- After waiting 30-40 minutes, I pour the liquid from the top layer into a 1 Gallon clear jug, leaving trub behind
- After another 30 minutes, I gently pour into sanitized mason jars.
This practice typically nets me 4 nice mason jars of yeast to then make a starter from.
I did this the other day with the WLP002, and I found myself very concerned that it just was not staying in suspension. I poured off much sooner than I normally do, but I think I lost a lot.
I usually find that my mason jars clear out in about a week, with the distinct yeast layer at the bottom. After just one day, my mason jars are as clear as can be with very little (noticeably less than other yeasts) at the bottom.
I still have the 007 to try and harvest within the next week or so, and before I do that I was wondering if anyone has attempted this before with this yeast, and if so, what has worked.
With the caveat that I rarely harvest and save yeast, the few times that’s I’ve done it I’ve just left about a cup of beer in the fermenter and shook the crap out of it, (I use plastic fermenters…i dont suggest trying this with a glass carboy) then just poured it into a sanitized half gallon jar and put it in the fridge for a few days. Once it fully settled, I decant most of the beer off the top, then swish that around real good and split that into 4 smaller mason jars.
I’ve never bothered to “wash” the yeast. I just pitch the entire contents of the mason jar directly. If it was longer than a month since i harvested it, I would create a starter for it.
I do the same as Matt. The way 002 particularly flocs I found it very hard to ‘wash’ or get it seperated from any trub since it drops like a rock. I gave up and now do what Matt said, I’ve had no issues doing it that way.
I also do not rinse yeast with water. I use a fine mesh bag to strain the hop debris while pouring into the fermentor. The yeast at the bottom of the carboy, after fermentation, is very clean.
I swirl the yeast into the remaining beer, and then pour off into a single quart jar. After a week there will be 375 ml to 400 ml of yeast in the jar, under about 400 ml of beer.
This describes about the same method and offers some information on estimating how many yeast cells that have been harvested.
I am in the just throw it the sterilized mason jar camp. I recently used WL007 and it is definitely funky and chunky. It will be challenging to “wash”. My suspicion is that it will not wash well at all but remain chunky. To be honest, I haven’t harvested it yet because I had similar concerns and it was the last beer before winter/no brewing. Getting ready to start back up with WL007 IPA and if I remember will post back since I am a cheap SOB and want to reuse. While I think using plenty of fresh yeast is important for a good brew, I really am turned off by the “since I am a homebrewer, I need to be a yeast geneticist” type stuff in that link. No amount of yeast ranching is gonna fix a poorly brewed beer. :cheers:
+1 to the swirl it up and pour it in a mason jar, decant and reuse without rinsing camp! I also use mesh hop bags in the BK.
Thank you all for the feedback. I appreciate it.
I have 007 in a primary right now in a double IPA and I am holding off on dry hopping until I can get the yeast out. I don’t want dry hop and then dry and get the yeast…that wouldn’t be good. I don’t mind buying yeast, but with summer approaching, I do more brewing and I don’t have a LHB store close by, and ordering just yeast can be a pain.
For those of you that use a fine mesh bag when transferring …are you referring to a hop mesh bag that some use during a boil?