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Saving yeast question

I have been kicking the idea of reusing my yeast. But don’t really know how much yeast you end up with to re-pitch.

I guess what I 'm asking is how do you figure out how much yeast you collected so you don’t under pitch or over pitch?

Assuming you are not planning on doing a starter and are just repitching as is:

Lazy man’s, low tech answer =
1/3 the cake for ales
1/2 the cake for lagers.

There are some other variables you can take into considderation (gravity of the beers for instance), but this is the general rule of thumb.

You can also be much more technical as well. But I’ll leave those explanations up to others with more know how than I have.

That sounds about right to me. You can also use Mr.Malty’s repitching from slurry calculator. Since I don’t rinse, I usually set the ‘non-yeast percentage’ to the max.

But yeah, the above statements are a rule of thumb I follow.

Yes just re-pitching and how long can it be kept.

[quote=“dobe12”]That sounds about right to me. You can also use Mr.Malty’s repitching from slurry calculator. Since I don’t rinse, I usually set the ‘non-yeast percentage’ to the max.

But yeah, the above statements are a rule of thumb I follow.[/quote]

All of the above.
I would also add that as far as ales are concerned, I use 1/3 of the slurry for standard strength ales, and up to 1/2 of the slurry for stronger ales or and more on both if the slurry has been stored for more than a few weeks. I don’t do lagers all that often, so I’ll refrain from commenting on that aspect.

I don’t rinse or wash the yeast either. It is pretty much an unnecessary exercise.

If you have well sealed bottles to contain your yeast slurry you can keep yeast in the fridge for a pretty long time. I recently re-used a second generation (3rd pitching) Cider yeast which had been in the Fridge for 5.5 months. This yeast was originally recovered from a bottle conditioned commercial cider.

My approach when re-using yeast is to always make up a starter using the slurry ensuring that the yeast is viable and that it SMELLS and TASTES ok. If the starter passes these simple tests then I feel its good to use.

p.s. I believe the correct term used in the US is Hard Cider

p.p.s. this approach works equally well for beer yeast. Some of my yeasts have been pitched 5 times and are still viable.

Instead of washing yeast I found that making a larger starter and saving a portion is much easier, and cleaner, as well as less time consuming. I also figure there’s a lesser chance for mutations or problems.

I sanitize a wide mouth quart jar, pour the slurry in to save about a quart full, place the lid on but do not tighten, and then stash in the fridge. I will keep up to a month.

I typically brew 10 gallons at the time and will pitch half in one 5 gal fermentor and half in the other 5 gal fermentor.

This works great and fermentation will take off quickly.

I typically only save slurries from brews that I do not dry hop, of average FG - like pale ales, ambers…

I like to use mason jars to keep yeast in. I look up the amount of slurry on the MrMalty Calculator and the jars have the milliliter markings on them.

thanks for all the answers. I am going to try it very soon.

Stored in a mason jar near freezing, with very dilute beer on top rather than water, I’ve successfully kept and pitched yeast well over a year later (after making a small batch of low-gravity pale ale as a “starter” to get it going again).

Using the calculator… my 10 gallon batch will need 1139 ml of slurry from the batch I saved WL001 from my New Years day brew day?!! :shock:

That’s more than my 1000 ml flask of just yeast cake?! :shock:

Is this right?

I’ve been pitching a few oz or slurry per carboy for years with my usual great beer. Am I understanding this that I was to pitch not ounces of thick, gooey yeast but a freaking litre?

Using the calculator… my 10 gallon batch will need 1139 ml of slurry from the batch I saved WL001 from my New Years day brew day?!! :shock:

That’s more than my 1000 ml flask of just yeast cake?! :shock:

Is this right?

I’ve been pitching a few oz or slurry per carboy for years with my usual great beer. Am I understanding this that I was to pitch not ounces of thick, gooey yeast but a freaking litre?[/quote]

Looks about right for repitching slurry straight to a 10 gal batch. Mr Malty says a little more. You could build up a starter to get more viable yeast produced. Probably what I’d do anyway since it’s a couple months old.

Shoot, I ferment in two 15 gallon fermenters. Afterwards I pour the cake into a one gallon ziplock bag and put them in the fridge. Then when I need it, I cut the corner off the bag and squirt half a bag into each of the two fermenters. Starts fermenting immediately and works great.

Now THAT is a visual that defies all previous teachings. What a kick I got with this. I always have a voice from many years ago in my head when I think to do the obvious thing like this. (who needs sanitizing everything like a surgery room and using only jars) The phase that stuck is “it’s clean! There can’t really be anything there that would hurt beer!” I think about that when I imagine an army of nastiness staging for an attack. Really?

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