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Re using yeast

I am starting to get very interested in session beers. Since I am already brewing the LG beers I would like to harvest yeast from these to use on other beers. I would like to remove as much trub and waste as possible. I have read about acid washing a little bit and am not sure if its something I feel comfortable doing right now. Is acid washing easier then I am thinking? Is there a nice introductory to cleaning yeast? I don’t want to just re pitch. The other thing I have thought about doing is top cropping. I recently switched back to plastic buckets for the majority of my beers and think this would also be a easy way to go. Just looking for some personal methods or advice.

Do a search for “yeast rinsing” instead.

Right on I have heard of that before but kind of brushed it off as halfa$$ing something. Looks good and I will definitely give it a try. I mainly want to do it to clean yeast up and reuse in a week. Anyone have any experience saving some for a extended period of time and then going to a starter? From small to large beers in a week I would most likely just pitch by weight correct?

Yep, just take into account for a 25% per month viability loss and build a starter from there.

I try to use all my rinsed yeast in about 2 months. One of the last batches I will run a low grav light color beer and reharvest. I do this out 3 times. I get about 6 pint jars (=yeast starter packs) per harvest (It is a pint jar mostly full of boiled water but with a nice layer of yeast at the bottom). If you calculate how far a purchase goes for me it is astounding. I do end up brewing a few strange beers though just because I have THIS yeast on hand not the one the recipe actually called for, but some of them are new great discoveries.


I harvest 3, equal part jars from each batch. 1 jar is enough for a 5gal batch up to 1.090 if you use it within 3 weeks. As long as my OG’s are under 1.060 and aren’t super hoppy, I’ll continue to harvest 3 jars from each batch up to the 5th generation. This gives you 121 batches with just 1 pack of yeast.
I have some yeast I harvested back in November I’m going to revive and use in a batch in about 2 weeks.


Pitch by volume. Mr.Malty has a pitching from slurry option. But a good rule of thumb is 1/3 of a yeast cake for a 5gal batch. This is with ales…lagers are a different story.

[quote=“mvsawyer”]But a good rule of thumb is 1/3 of a yeast cake for a 5gal batch. This is with ales…lagers are a different story.[/quote]For lagers use 1/2 of a cake.

Great info thanks guys. I don’t have a single friend that brews so I have no one to bounce ideas off of and some of the stuff is a leap to do without getting a couple different point of views. Excited to give this a try; get more hands on and save a little money while I’m at it.

[quote=“Mike Chapman”] get more hands on and save a little money while I’m at it.[/quote]Plus, the later generations of many yeasts perform better than the initial, especially when pitching a fresh cake of healthy, hungry yeast.

Well… I do split my cake into smaller (thus a larger # of) jars but then again I ALWAYS run a yeast starter too. That may in fact be one of my favorite parts just becasue of those wonderful smells.

I’ve done some re-pitching with success and also read about the top cropping. Does anyone do it this way? I’m curious with all the focus on pitching rate what the effect of harvesting a bunch of yeast at high kreusen would be? I’d be suprised if it had no effect…
With a bucket type fermenter you can wait til the end and skim the top 1/4 inch with a sanitized spatula and discard. Then try and skim as much clean looking yeast as you can for harvest leaving the bottom 1/4 inch behind. This probably wastes quite a bit, but I only harvest enough for the next batch which works for me. It’s still better than starting from scratch…

So I’m getting ready to re-use a washed pitch of yeast. It didn’t result in a white layer as clean as I would have hoped I think this is because its from a dark beer and I did’t leave the break material or hops behind in the kettle? So I took one jar out and I tasted it and everything was fine I even tried some of the slurry and it was for the most part flavorless and smooth textured. My other jar smelled the same so I let it warm up to room temp. I then decanted the liquid and added boiled cooled water back and shook it up and let it sit. Today it smells like extreme sulfur and the clear-ish liquid on top also taste like that as well. I reached FG on the beer. Is this somewhat normal with the yeast waking back up? I’m familiar with sulfur yeast stink; this is similar to if you have ever had a sour stomach. I think I will most likely use another jar and see how that smells. No sour taste in the liquid just like real bad sulfur water. The yeast is WLP007 that came from a smoked porter. The smoked porter as of now taste fantastic.

I threw it out. I shock it back up to see if the smell could be off gassed…it didn’t and when it settled back out it looked strange. The bottom was the same light brown and then a section of cloudy liquid. The top however was darker brown and creamy like a nitrogen head about 1/4 in thick that never went away.

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