Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

How much yeast are you able to harvest?

I’ve never had any luck harvesting yeast…I’m probably not doing it right.

This latest batch used London Ale III, and I have a pint size mason jar in the fridge that has maybe a 1/4 inch of yeast left in the bottom after two washing cycles.

Is that all there is to gather? Seems I’d get at least a 1/2 cup worth given all the activity and cell growth.

I rinse the yeast, and split into three pint jars.

And use one decanted pint jar to make a starter when the time comes.

And how much yeast do you actually get in one of those jars?

Don’t bother with the rinsing/washing- you’re tossing out a lot of the yeast. See WoodlandBrewings website for some interesting experiments.

When I wash yeast I get about a 1/4 of yeast at the bottom of my 1/2 pint jars. I usually collect 4 jars. The 1/4 of yeast will be plenty for another batch as long as you are making a starter.

I usually fill 2 qt mason jars. Could get more but I figure i wouldn’t use it all. I don’t wash or rinse it due to the above referenced research.

If I use it in the first 2 weeks I just use 1/3-1/2 jar depending on OG I’m pitching it to. 2 wks. to a couple months old I make a starter with a few tablespoons of it. Over 5 months I throw it out and harvest new.

So you guys don’t worry about trub or dead cells when you harvest?

I’ve seen commercial breweries dump 3 gallons from one conical into a pail and transfer it to another conical.

I don’t worry about much.

So all the crud that sinks down to the bottom of my fermenter is just fine to harvest as-is and re-use for a yeast starter or pitch directly?

The argument from Woodlandbrew is that by rinsing the yeast you’re throwing away more viable yeast than you’re saving.

A couple of times I’ve racked beer from the carboy to keg and then poured a new batch right in on the old cake. It worked out fine.

I usually end up with 4 mason jars with 1/4" of pure yeast at the bottom of each one. That is still probably more yeast than comes in a single Wyeast smack pack. I always make starters with harvested yeast.

Hmm…

So what I did the other day was to pour some boiled and cooled water into the bottom of the fermenter…maybe a couple cups worth…to swirl and losen the yeast cake.

Then I dumped all of that through a funnel into my Erlenmeyer flask. That went into the fridge for 24 hours to settle.

From there, I poured the liquid and very top portion of the slurry into 3 mason jars, and then I dumped the rest (which was about 1200mL of slurry) down the drain.

It would seem I dumped my good yeast and kept the stuff with the most bacteria in it, according to Woodlands article?

So when you guys re-pitch yeast, you don’t have a creamy colored, smooth textured yeast? You pitch the dirty white stuff that’s all gritty/grainy looking?

Check out Chop & Brew episode 4 on youtube.com

It is Chip Walton & Don O doing a pretty good instructional video on ONE way to rinse yeast. This is the method I use and it has always produced good amounts of viable yeast.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYEj-wlWmaE

I just top cropped for the first time the other day with wyeast 1272. I didn’t take much because I wasn’t sure how much was ok to take but I ended up with 50ml of beautiful pure white yeast. I feel like this is the ideal way to harvest yeast.

When I harvest from the bottom I transfer the cake into a gallon jug with enough water to almost fill it, shake it and allow only what is clearly not yeast to settle ( I leave almost all hops in kettle), then use a small auto siphon to siphon from the top into quart mason jars. I usually fill 2-3 and dump the rest. After they settle in the fig a few days there is always ~100ml of yeast in each jar.

Thanks…

It would seem that I did not use enough water and also let it sit too long and settle so the good stuff settled out.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com