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Reusing Yeast

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Moray

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I'm currently trying liquid yeast for the first time.
and am not quite sure which method to use to harvest the yeast and reuse there by maxismising my return on investment.

Unfortunatley I only brew about once every 1.5 to 2 months, so I need to store the yeast for a while between uses.

I have been told by the guy in the HBS to bottle a stubbie just after high krausen then stick it in the fridge. when I want to reuse it, just warm up to room temp and the yeast will reactivate, then just pitch the stubbie.

After much reading I also have seen the water wash method with the trub on the wyeast site.
and also the acid wash method, also with the trub.

What methods do you guys use ?
and how many uses can I expect before I need to replace the yeast?
will acid washing prolong this, and should you acid wash every time, or only every second or third?
how long will the yeast last in the fridge?
 

PMyers

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Moray - Just last week I successfully cultured a White Labs East Coast ale yeast that had been in the fridge for quite a while. It's use by date was before Christmas 2001!!

Normally I culture in a 5 litre demijohn with 500g of dry malt up to 4 litres. This will generally give me several viable cultures which I refrigerate just how you described in your post. These cultures should last a good 6 months in the fridge, and even after that they may react favourably if you re-culture them as described above.

I don't really bother with the yeast washing methods. Seems like a lot of effort for no real gain if you follow proper culturing techniques, at least not on a homebrew level at any rate. I have in the past simply poured a new wort on top of the yeast cake from the previous batch and had vigorous fermentation in less than an hour that way. If you do this however, bear in mind that you will need to do so straight after you have bottled/kegged/racked the last batch in order to minimise the risk of infection. You can do this three or four times without changing yeast if you wish. I only really do this myself if I am making the same style of beer, or a stronger flavoured one (ie. a porter on the cake from an amber ale etc... )

Cheers,
Pete

:chug:
 

kook

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With liquid yeast I personally make a 1-1.5 litre starter of 1.040-1.045 OG wort (boiled light DME w/ water). I pitch the yeast into the starter, and once the starter is at high krausen, give it a good mix and pitch 500ml-1litre (depending on type of beer and size of starter) of the starter into my brewed wort. The 500ml or so that is usually left over I bottle into 4-5 stubbies.

I've changed that now though. I still pitch around 500ml-1L of the starter, but I let the rest thats left (500ml or so) ferment out completely. I then give it a gentle mix to stir all the sediment in, and bottle this in 4-5 stubbies.

Once I want to brew again, I make a starter, and pitch the contents of one of the stubbies into it.

All the stubbies are stored in my brewfridge. I use a 2L coke bottle for my starters, and an airlock/bung.

Make sure your santisation is very good when you're doing all this or you'll waste expensive yeast :)
 

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