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Has anyone here ever used the yeast cake / trub to make their next batch? If so how is the process done. Thanks in advance for your replies.

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A couple of months ago I did the Bohemian Lager over the yeast bed from the Patriot Lager.  I used a lager yeast on the Patriot Lager.  I just poured the wort over the yeast bed.  Worked fine, great tasting beer.  Upon further reading discovered that many consider this to not be a good process.  There are tons of yeast washing and harvesting videos on youtube to describe and show how to reuse your yeast. You can also search washing yeast on this forum.  Screwy Brewer has at least one article on reusing yeast.  Good luck.  

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Many including myself have done it.  Do a search on "yeast cake."  You will want to go from light to dark or from mild to hoppy.  This is perhaps the easiest way especially since it saves a cleaning step if you just dump on the existing cake.  The trick is to plan your beer schedule to sequence the beers in the proper order to get the best results.

Also do a search on "yeast washing."  There were several fine tutorials on this board at one time (also depends if the search function is - errr - functioning).  This is probably the best way to minimize any potential off tasts from the trub especially for the hoppier biers.

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Thanks for the advice Da Yooper. Where in the UP are you? My family and I went to Copper Harbor last summer. Very nice area.

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Actually use ot live in Houghton but now back state.  But, once a Yooper, always a Yooper!

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Yeast washing looks fairly straight forward. What do you do after you have your jars of yeast?

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I have done this often with good results.  After bottling all the beer get a long handled sanitized spoon and stir the trub with the remaining liquid in the bottom of the LBK.  It should get loose enough to flow.  If not, I have sometimes use some sanitized water (pre-boiled and cooled) to loosen the trub a little.  Then get a sanitized measuring cup.  Simply open the tap and let the trub flow into the cup. 


I have gone through the calculations and about 1/2 cup of trub is the right amount to avoid over/under pitching for a 2.5 gal batch.  Get about 3/4 cup of trub because it is thick and a lot will stick to  the cup when you pour it out.  I usually cover the cup with tin foil while it is wailing to be used.  I usually bottle and brew at the same time, but I have refrigerated and used the trub the next day and it worked great.   I have read that the trub can still be used after 3 -4  days with no problems. Just let it return to room temp first.  I have never washed yeast.  Seems like too much work.  This method is very easy.  Hope this helps.

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I just harvested my first batch of yeast "Denny's Favorite" to see what it was like.  After bottling my batch, I put one liter of boiled then cooled water in the LBK. I shook for a while then put all the fluid in a 2 liter mason jar and stuck it in the fridge.  After about 36 hours the fluid had condensed into a watery beer layer on top (80% of the volume), a fine sediment layer of yeast (15% of the volume) and a thin layer of dark material on the bottom which I'm told is my hop remnants and dead yeasties (IDK). 

After I poured off the watery beer layer into the sink, the remaining yeast layer filled up a one quart mason jar.  This I stuck in a secluded part of the fridge.

 

I ate some of the remaining active yeast sludge.  OK now I know what something tasting yeasty means, and my wife started lecturing me about eating any old thing.  "This is Science my dear..." no it did not help to say that.

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I ate some of the remaining active yeast sludge.  OK now I know what something tasting yeasty means, and my wife started lecturing me about eating any old thing.  "This is Science my dear..." no it did not help to say that.

Prepare for possible gastric evacuation.

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I've tried brewing straight onto the yeast cake in the same LBK and it works great with no apparent problems. I've tried extensively washing the yeast, seperating it from liquid and hop layers, and the making a starter a month or more later. That proved to be more work than this lazy old man cared for, not to mention the added expense of the starter. Now I just semi-wash my yeast. I add some boiled and cooled water to the LBK after bottling, swirl it until it's all dissolved, pour it into a quart jar, and then put it in fridge and just leave it there for 2 weeks. I have one light yeast jar and one dark yeast jar. I alternate recipes so every other batch is light then dark. I store the jar I harvest on bottling day and pull the previous jar out to brew with the same day, after cleaning and sanitizing the LBK. I just feel better about that. I pour off the liquid on top, spoon out the middle yeast layer to use, and dump the bottom hop layer. I cool off a little of the new wort before I start my hop boil, and use that as my starter. This has been going on for 8 months now, the yeast is clean and healthy, and I can see no end in sight. This is from one packet of Coopers 5 gm yeast and one packet of Fermentis S-33, both dry. Yeast is now basically free for life. Now for a way to get free hops. Will have to try growing them.

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Now for a way to get free hops. Will have to try growing them.

My dad's been growing hops in his backyard since the Carter administration.  He gave up home brewing after several failed attempt at lagers, but the hops have been chugging along.  This year I'll ask him to save me some.

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My dad's been growing hops in his backyard since the Carter administration.  He gave up home brewing after several failed attempt at lagers, but the hops have been chugging along.  This year I'll ask him to save me some.

What part of the country is your dad growing his hops in? I'm in Texas and worried the heat might be too much for them. Would be nice to hear of folks having success with them in hot climates.

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Ohio.  We used to cut the vines as kids and chase each other around with them.  If you managed to get hit by a hop vine, or even just barely touched by one, it would leave a crazy red mark.  Sort of like a non-painful non-itchy poison ivy reaction.

 

@Joe: Interesting article about the wild hops of the southwest...

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/search-great-american-beer-180951966/?no-ist

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Ohio.  We used to cut the vines as kids and chase each other around with them.  If you managed to get hit by a hop vine, or even just barely touched by one, it would leave a crazy red mark.  Sort of like a non-painful non-itchy poison ivy reaction.

 

@Joe: Interesting article about the wild hops of the southwest...

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/search-great-american-beer-180951966/?no-ist

Thanks. Will check it out. So far haven't heard much promising news on growing them here. Nothing's impossible, but sometimes maybe not worth the price. I would be thrilled to grow hops in my yard.

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I been told that Cascade grows well here, and we're not exactly a cool spot. You might have to rig some kind of sunbreak to protect them from the afternoon sun.

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I've tried brewing straight onto the yeast cake in the same LBK and it works great with no apparent problems. I've tried extensively washing the yeast, seperating it from liquid and hop layers, and the making a starter a month or more later. That proved to be more work than this lazy old man cared for, not to mention the added expense of the starter. Now I just semi-wash my yeast. I add some boiled and cooled water to the LBK after bottling, swirl it until it's all dissolved, pour it into a quart jar, and then put it in fridge and just leave it there for 2 weeks. I have one light yeast jar and one dark yeast jar. I alternate recipes so every other batch is light then dark. I store the jar I harvest on bottling day and pull the previous jar out to brew with the same day, after cleaning and sanitizing the LBK. I just feel better about that. I pour off the liquid on top, spoon out the middle yeast layer to use, and dump the bottom hop layer. I cool off a little of the new wort before I start my hop boil, and use that as my starter. This has been going on for 8 months now, the yeast is clean and healthy, and I can see no end in sight. This is from one packet of Coopers 5 gm yeast and one packet of Fermentis S-33, both dry. Yeast is now basically free for life. Now for a way to get free hops. Will have to try growing them.

I think the advantage of washing the harvested yeast is that you will remove some (much?) of the flavors that were in the batch you just made and if you are making a very different batch then you will be using a more "neutral" yeast cake. If you have added any aroma hops or grains or fruit or nuts and the like, particles will still be in the trub and while there won't be a very large amount of those substnaces, since you are making a relatively small batch of beer there may be some flavor and color impact on the new batch from the earlier batch...

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I think the advantage of washing the harvested yeast is that you will remove some (much?) of the flavors that were in the batch you just made and if you are making a very different batch then you will be using a more "neutral" yeast cake. If you have added any aroma hops or grains or fruit or nuts and the like, particles will still be in the trub and while there won't be a very large amount of those substnaces, since you are making a relatively small batch of beer there may be some flavor and color impact on the new batch from the earlier batch...

Exactly!  I make some very hoppy house beers that are constantly in rotation so I save that yeast for rebrewing and tend to use either new yeast for other lighter beers.  For darks unless I did something off kilter like used wood chips or extract I tend not to worry as much as the malt will cover up a lot of the taste(s).

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I been told that Cascade grows well here, and we're not exactly a cool spot. You might have to rig some kind of sunbreak to protect them from the afternoon sun.

My brother-in-law grows his on hops and he's on the east coast of Florida south of Daytona.

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Budweiser grows in the same latitude so that all of their hops taste the same whether in the US or Europe.

 

But as far as I know, its all about not getting full sun for the whole day and not letting them freeze.

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What part of the country is your dad growing his hops in? I'm in Texas and worried the heat might be too much for them. Would be nice to hear of folks having success with them in hot climates.

I'm in AZ and many varieties grow out here just fine. I've seen the best results with Cascade, Magnum, Tettnang, and Chinook (this seems to be the hardiest and best producer in hot climates). In fact, there is even a hop species that is native to the Southwest (humulus lupulus var. mexicanus). The key is plenty of water and plenty of shade. Oh, and plenty of hoptimism. ;) 

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Dang things will be a pain in Texas. They supposedly grow like 16 feet tall and to keep the full sun off them around here I'll need to plant a forest to hide them in.

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You can grow hops on a low trellis. I use to grow them on my fence in WA and that was only 6 feet tall. You won't get the best yield compared to a 10-18 foot trellis, but it will grow just the same.

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You can grow hops on a low trellis. I use to grow them on my fence in WA and that was only 6 feet tall.

I'm glad to hear that. I was wondering if they might just do fine going up 6 feet on one side and back down 6 feet on the otger side instead of like 12 feet straight up. You wouldn't happen to know how well they can withstand months on end of relentless 100 degree super dry weather? In other words, would they grow in the desert?

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Yes, they'll grow just fine. Like I said, give them plenty of shade and plenty of water and you should have any issues.

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Because we're in the northern hemisphere, if you put face them to the north, they should be plenty of shade.

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all you got to do is put a half a*sed cover over it using something like this:

 

post-59190-0-13459000-1426559989.jpg

 

when I went to Ft. Ft Irwin (way before it became the national training center) and we were still changing over from WWII designed stuff like cammo nets. 

 

post-59190-0-76061700-1426560372_thumb.j

 

I was amazed how much difference there was between being under that, and being out in the open. Anything to break the sun.

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NTC... so many months wasted there...

 

Might be able to use regular window screen material, too.  That stuff is mega cheap on a roll.

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Yup the big thing is that hops will burn through water and nutrients so the hotter the climate the more you will need.

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So I successfully harvested some Denny's Favorite.  The mason jar I had stored the yeast in the fridge was brought out 6 hours before brewing. When it was time to pitch, the yeast had come out of dormancy and were almost fully suspended again.  The lid to the mason jar was bulging when it wasn't before so they were active.  Whithin 12 hours I had active yeastiness in the LBK and that wonderful aroma.

BUT I had also tried to harvest some Wyeast HG Belgian following the procedure I had used for the other.  I never got more than 1/4" of yeast in the jar. There was a floating mat on the surface of my mason jar and when I opened it, it smelled pretty bad.  So down the drain it went.  I guess it was infected but I'm still surprised that there wasn't more yeast in the yeast layer of the parfait.

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Why would you save your yeast when it's only a dollar more to by the refill vas the can?

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here's a good read on how to wash yeast.  http://www.thescrewybrewer.com/2013/03/money-for-nothing-and-your-yeast-for.html

 

 

Why would you save your yeast when it's only a dollar more to by the refill vas the can?

the same reason they climb mountians...it's there :lol:  No seriously, your right if you use dry like I do. So I learned the process, but only use it once a year to keep in practice. On the rare occasions that I order liquid yeast I da*n sure get my monies worth out of it.

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here's a good read on how to wash yeast.  http://www.thescrewybrewer.com/2013/03/money-for-nothing-and-your-yeast-for.html

 

 

the same reason they climb mountians...it's there :lol:  No seriously, your right if you use dry like I do. So I learned the process, but only use it once a year to keep in practice. On the rare occasions that I order liquid yeast I da*n sure get my monies worth out of it.

 

OK, I understand the because it's there reason. But another newbie question. Why would you order liquid yeast, and is it that much more expensive that washing and re-using is worth the effort?

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Breadth of offerings - there are a huge amount of different liquid yeasts out there, each of which has it's own impact on the beer.  Less dry yeast choices.  

 

You can easily look up the price of liquid yeast at major providers.  At my local store, it's close to 2x the price.  And you need to make a starter for 5 gallon batches.  Too much work for me, never used it.

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Why would you save your yeast when it's only a dollar more to by the refill vas the can?

 

The yeast I failed to wash is $7 per pack and I was hoping to use it all summer rather than purchase it.  So I will keep practicing.

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Why would you save your yeast when it's only a dollar more to by the refill vas the can?

 

You're not understanding properly.  Every can of Mr. Beer HME - no matter how you buy it - comes with yeast.  You CAN buy Mr. Beer refills, for $1 less, but you don't get SANITIZER.  You still get yeast.

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You're not understanding properly.  Every can of Mr. Beer HME - no matter how you buy it - comes with yeast.  You CAN buy Mr. Beer refills, for $1 less, but you don't get SANITIZER.  You still get yeast.

 

Dang it that's why my beer isn't coming out right, I've been using the yeast as my sanitizer and sanitizer as yeast.  :o No seriously I knew that just didn't think before I typed, must of still been a bit lightheaded from beating you to a post earlier.

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The yeast I failed to wash is $7 per pack and I was hoping to use it all summer rather than purchase it.  So I will keep practicing.

Don't give up. It took me a little hit and miss before I got real comfortable with it, and even so, I hit a snag now and then. But I have one light beer yeast collection and one dark beer yeast collection in fridge. I just started my 17th batch today with yeast that originated from a 5 gram pkt of Coopers yeast from a Mr Beer refill.

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OK, I understand the because it's there reason. But another newbie question. Why would you order liquid yeast, and is it that much more expensive that washing and re-using is worth the effort?

Because there is a noob inside all of us, that wants to know. And yeah, it is worth trying to get 3-4 batches from it for free. Anything to cut down overhead.

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Well it seems my failure to harvest my Belgian HG strain is because I didn't read enough about it.  According to the Wyeast site it's a "true top cropping" yeast.  Which didn't mean anything to me until I read this...

http://hbd.org/uchima/yeastzone/topcrop.html

So this explains why following my other methodology for harvesting didn't yield much yeast at all with this strain.

I guess I'm going to have to rethink how to pillar the top.

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Well it seems my failure to harvest my Belgian HG strain is because I didn't read enough about it.  According to the Wyeast site it's a "true top cropping" yeast.  Which didn't mean anything to me until I read this...

http://hbd.org/uchima/yeastzone/topcrop.html

So this explains why following my other methodology for harvesting didn't yield much yeast at all with this strain.

I guess I'm going to have to rethink how to pillar the top.

Well, that's a new one on me. I never heard of top crop yeast before. Interesting.

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It does explain why I got a floating mat on the surface of my mason jar when I stuck it in the fridge.  It doesn't explain the smell though :(

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I've tried brewing straight onto the yeast cake in the same LBK and it works great with no apparent problems. I've tried extensively washing the yeast, seperating it from liquid and hop layers, and the making a starter a month or more later. That proved to be more work than this lazy old man cared for, not to mention the added expense of the starter. Now I just semi-wash my yeast. I add some boiled and cooled water to the LBK after bottling, swirl it until it's all dissolved, pour it into a quart jar, and then put it in fridge and just leave it there for 2 weeks. I have one light yeast jar and one dark yeast jar. I alternate recipes so every other batch is light then dark. I store the jar I harvest on bottling day and pull the previous jar out to brew with the same day, after cleaning and sanitizing the LBK. I just feel better about that. I pour off the liquid on top, spoon out the middle yeast layer to use, and dump the bottom hop layer. I cool off a little of the new wort before I start my hop boil, and use that as my starter. This has been going on for 8 months now, the yeast is clean and healthy, and I can see no end in sight. This is from one packet of Coopers 5 gm yeast and one packet of Fermentis S-33, both dry. Yeast is now basically free for life. Now for a way to get free hops. Will have to try growing them.

 

Joe,

Your quart jar, do you get the lid and ring and tighten it down?  Or just leave it loose.  I assume at fridge temps the yeast shouldn't be active so no worry about pressure from CO2?

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Tighten like you would any jar you're putting in your fridge.  You don't have to kill it with brute strength or anything.

 

Just did my 5th batch from the same Wyeast strain.  I did 2 rounds of layered separation, 1 batch direct pitch and 2 rounds of just dumping the trub in a sterilized jar and repitching the next day.  I have't tasted any difference and everything seems to ferment properly.  I'm now adding some yeast nutrients to the boil (last 10 mins) and it seems to have reduced my lag times.  I will go back to layered separation now for a couple batches to get more of the dead yeasties out.

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+1 to Squeegee. Just gentle hand tighten is plenty fine. I also usually add in a pinch of yeast nutrient to kick start and shorten lag time. On my most recent batch, I forgot the nutrient, and it still tarted kickin' butt in 4 or 5 hours. And that's about the 17th time around from one single 5 gram packet of Coopers/Mr Beer yeast.

I only brew every other weekend, so I only have 2 jars of yeast in fridge, one for light colored beers and one for dark. I just alralternate every other batch, so yeast never sits in fridge longer than 2 weeks, and 1/2 of the clean middle of a jar is enough each time.

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Before I read this I saved about 2oz trub from my last lager to use again.

Do I need to activate it to increase the live cell count?

or just stir it in after loosening it up with a bit of water/sugar?

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Do nothing that might contaminate it, that is a given.  The more advanced brewers make a starter.  I have just been letting it warm up to room temp, swooshing it around a bit inside my jar and pitching it directly.  So you don't have to do anything really.

 

http://brulosophy.com/2014/07/07/fresh-vs-harvested-yeast-exbeeriment-results/

http://brulosophy.com/2015/04/20/yeast-pitch-rate-single-vial-vs-yeast-starter-exbeeriment-results/

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Today after bottling I poured the trub into a sanitized mason jar.  No washing or anything.  I made my next batch with a little yeast nutrients and pitched my mason jar harvested hours earlier.  Within 6 hours I was at high krausen.  That's the fasted I've had.

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Today after bottling I poured the trub into a sanitized mason jar.  No washing or anything.  I made my next batch with a little yeast nutrients and pitched my mason jar harvested hours earlier.  Within 6 hours I was at high krausen.  That's the fasted I've had.

Use T-58...

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the hops I planted recently recommended planting no later than the first of may with the ending of spring rain season,,,,,wellllllll, we've had more rain so far in may than I think the whole year! and no sign of hop sprouting up! so I guess i'll write this year off as a loss.

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the hops I planted recently recommended planting no later than the first of may with the ending of spring rain season,,,,,wellllllll, we've had more rain so far in may than I think the whole year! and no sign of hop sprouting up! so I guess i'll write this year off as a loss.

 

 

What... what does that have to do with washing yeast?

 

  :wacko:

 

I think HoppySmile is drunk again...

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