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Good video on yeast washing

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http://billybrew.com/yeast-washing

Yeast washing is a great way to save money in homebrewing, and it's especially helpful if you get a good strain of yeast that really made a batch of beer exceptional, and you want to use it again.

While all the posts explaining yeast washing have been helpful, and I'm grateful for all the Borg members who have posted on the topic, I've come to understand that I'm a visual learner. I may read about something ten different times, and have it explained to me two dozen different ways, but once I actually see it being done (along with running commentary), it seems to click better for me.

That's the case with this video. It really helped clarify the yeast washing process for me.

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"Jim Johnson" post=373107 said:

thanks! i was never sure i was gettin' this stuff right 'till now.

That's the way I felt. I was "sorta, kinda, pretty sure" about what I was doing, but seeing this done, and having him talk his way through it really helped me see exactly what the process should be. I referred to it this weekend when I racked my IPA to a secondary. I really wanted to save the yeast, because it was outrageously good, and I didn't want to mess it up. I'm going to be using it for the Pale Ale I make next weekend!

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Billy did a good many brewers a huge favor by putting a video together and explaining the process too. I do completely agree with using StarSan to sanitize the bottles and lids instead of boiling water, but I don't recommend pouring boiling water into the one gallon pickle jar because it's potentially dangerous if the jar breaks from the heat.

I use a much smaller 6-12 quart pot to boil the water and an ice bath to cool it down so I don't have to wait overnight for the water to be cool enough to wash the yeast. The best time to wash the yeast is a couple of hours after racking the beer to the bottling bucket, that's when it's the healthiest. I also use a fining agent and fine mesh hop sacks in the kettle to remove as much cold break and hop debris before filling the fermentor.


Using an Ale Pail instead of a carboy I can pour the cooled water into the fermentor, stir the yeast into solution and then immediately fill the sanitized gallon jar from the spigot on the Ale Pail. Once the jar is full I sanitize the lid and cover the mouth with sanitized plastic wrap held on with elastic bands and put it in the refrigerator to cold crash. A week later I use a sanitized turkey baster to fill my jars or vials with highly concentrated volumes of yeast cells.

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I pretty much do what Screwy does except after I pour in the cold water and swirl it around, I let it sit for 20 minutes. Then into a gallon jar for 20 minutes then into 2 jars. Finally, into tubes though I still sometimes use jars.
So far 17 different beers brewed with washed yeast have come out fine. I've used a starter on all but 2. I'm sold and will continue this process.

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"Beer-lord" post=373148 said:

I pour in the cold water and swirl it around, I let it sit for 20 minutes. Then into a gallon jar for 20 minutes then into 2 jars. Finally, into tubes though I still sometimes use jars. I'm sold and will continue this process.

^^This^^
I'll pour from the one gallon jug into 2-4 pint jars depending on how much I want to harvest. Then use the amount collected in a pint jar to make a starter.

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A good video to watch, confirms ya'll taught me well.... One thing I do to make things easier for me to get most crap out on first wash is I pour my trub into what I think you guys call a slimline. Square liquid dispensor. I position it so one corner is pointed down. This puts all the hops and crap at the point and I can use the spigot to pour off with minimal swirling. It works for me.....

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i never have to add water there is just enough beer i couldn't get, to do the job. i swirl it up pour it out in a gallon pickle jar covered it with a piece of sterilized alum. foil and put in the fridge over night. next day i sterilize 4 MrB .5 l bottles and my turkey baster . i put the tip of the baster well in the creamy layer and suck up 30ml and place in a container. i got 90 ml in 2 bottles and 120 ml in 2 other bottles to this i added 60 ml of sterilized water to each bottle.

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"Bluejaye" post=373465 said:

Screwy, where did you get those vials?


Fortunately for me I've been saving all the White Labs yeast vials I bought over the years before I began washing my own. There are some sites out there that sell them too, they're actually blanks used to make 2 liter soda bottles when heated in an injection mold machine.

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Figure I might as well revisit this thread instead of creating another, since I found the video in the OP to be very useful.

"Screwy Brewer" post=373147 said:

Once the jar is full I sanitize the lid and cover the mouth with sanitized plastic wrap held on with elastic bands and put it in the refrigerator to cold crash.

What is the purpose of the plastic wrap, and not just the lid from the jar?

My adventure to Costco to find a gallon glass pickle jar came up empty (they only had plastic), sadly. But turns out my packrat parent's have one that I'm going to make the drive next week to pick up.

I almost ordered those vials from Amazon, then realized my packrat self still has a box of empty glass babyfood jars in a box in the basement. Is there any reason I couldn't use them to store yeast, and if I do would I need to cover them in plastic wrap? Guess that will depend on the answer to my first question about Screwy's method.

While I save my pennies and watch for sales on a stir plate, what are some other techniques for getting a starter going? Can you just stir it every couple of hours by hand with a sanitized spoon? What about using an air-pump, with or without an airstone? Is an Erlenmeyer flask required, or can I just use a quart canning jar? Just curious.

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I've never understood that process, and I'm glad you posted this ... thanks ... will watch it tonight.


You the man, Dave.

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Baby food jars will work fine. The key is to move the good yeast to smaller jars leaving behind as much junk as possible and thereby helping with storage. I use a sanitized dish cover thats just a thicker syran wrap basically and has an elastic band. My pickle jar still has a faint pickle smell if I just use the metal lid. Figure Id try and keep that out but I do love pickles so what the hell.

As for the starter, I use a 1L flask and just put a sanitized piece of foil over the lid and fold it down. Not tight or anything. Serves as a lid I suppose and still lets the CO2 to escape. Im in the process of making a stirplate but if u have no stir plate. Just swirl it up a bit everytime u walk by it. The yeast like to clump and stick to the bottom and this will help keep it in suspension.

This is my understanding of the process and its served me well.

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