I love using nottingham and I pretty much have used it for most of my beers. So if I take some from a yeast cake and put it in a jar after a fermentation and put it in the fridge and use that to ferment my next batch, is it that simple? Do I need to do anything other than scoop out some of the yeast cake and put it in the fridge? Or do I have to do anything special? How long will it keep?
Above all, use good sanitation practices.
I tend to use slurry within a month of harvesting. After that long, I’ll make a starter and have reused yeast up to about six months old. Although I once revived year old Wyeast 1469, back when it was a seasonal release.
I saw a video on Youtube and have followed suit. Basically I take a mason jar and pour 4 jars worth of water into my pot to boil. Once boiled I let it cool down and pour over the yeast cake. I then swish around and transfer to my bottling bucket. I use the valve to pour the slurry into 4 mason jars that have been sanitized and sealed. I let this sit for 30min+ depending on the yeast strain to settle a bit. Finally I pour 2 jars into 1 leaving the trub behind and resulting in 2 jars of 1/2-3/4 inch slurry. Once I took the 2 jars and dropped it down to 1 but from some other videos I watched that might have been overkill on the cleaning (some people just take the slurry as is without the extra settling). So far I’ve reused my harvested yeast twice, and even was able to use some bottle yeast from Southern Tier’s Live which is bottle conditioned.
I’ve taken a sanitized mason jar, and just scooped cake in with a sanitized spoon. Then re- wipe the jar threads using a StarSan wet paper towel. I top off with boiled, cooled water for zero headspace, and cap the jar.
My last one of these was in the fridge for 44 days, which felt like pushing it, I decanted the top-off liquid, and dumped the rest in. That was a week ago, all looked normal, the krausen is about gone, So yea, about a month is just fine.
I too, have seen the yeast washing YouTube videos. Seems like overkill.
I don’t scoop I dump. Swirl it up and pour a 1/2 or so in a jar and date it. I fill about a third full in a mason jar. A day or two before brew day boil some saved wort or DME and start it up. Toss it in active. I’ve saved it for months
Yeast rinsing is a waste of time and has been shown to be detrimental to saving the healthiest yeast. Just sanitize a container and pour it in.
Having said that I do use hop bags in the boil and for DH so there’s little hop material in my yeast cake.
I use brewersfriend calculator to determine if I need a starter and/or how much slurry to use.
I use a gallon ziploc baggie for each 10 gallon fermenter. If I time it properly, I sometimes just dump the new batch right into the “just emptied” primary. This works great and saves a boat load of time.