Trying To Harvest Yeast From Slurry

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Truman42

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Thought Id try harvesting yeast from my last batch I bottled yesterday.

I poured around 700 mls of water into the trub, swirled it around and poured this into a sterilised 2 litre container. Put this in the fridge for an hour to let it settle so I could pour off the yeast in suspension. But I ended up with a trub layer about 4 inches thick. a 1mm layer of yeast and about 5 mms of clearer liquid with some yeast still in suspension.

It was hard to try and pour off just this 5mm layer into another container without taking some trub, and I expected more. So what am I doing wrong? Should I have used more than 700mls of water to begin with or is this about the amount your expected to get when the trub drops?

Should I now just pour this into a starter and let it ferment out before spliting into vials and stroing for next time?
 

Truman42

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Yeh mate I have but Im not getting anywhere near as much yeast as he did in his pics. I probably should have used more water in the fermenter and let it settle a bit before I poured it into my first container.
I will keep seperating it and rinsing the yeast and see how much I end up with.
 

Yob

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A tall thin container is best for the job, put about a Quater or a third in the jar and top up to near full, the trub will settle without need to put in the fridge, after 10 15 mins pour off the top layer leaving anything that settles, I then chuck the second jar in the fridge to settle so I can tell how much I've collected. I usually collect 2 of these jars to get about 100ml of rinsed yeast which I then combine onfo 1 jar to make calcs easier.

If you put it in the fridge before you seperate it becomes more difficult as the yeast will settle out, its best to do the seperating at bient temps then let settle out in the fridge,
 

argon

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There's a bit of a knack to it. You'll probably have to adjust the ratio of water to slurry to get the right separation when rinsing yeast. Sometimes you need more, sometimes you need less. Often depends on how much trub you picked up and the strain of yeast. Sounds like in your experience you needed more water. After a few times of doing it you'll be able to eyeball the proportions to get good separation.
 

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If you put it in the fridge before you seperate it becomes more difficult as the yeast will settle out, its best to do the seperating at ambient temps then let settle out in the fridge,
THIS is crucial for it to work well, just keep your yeast at ferment temps.

Swirl it around, the heavy trub and crap will drop first - 10 to 15 min, the rest will be yeast in suspension
 

Truman42

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Thanks for the advice. That's my problem. I put it straight in the fridge. Will add more water next time and keep it at ambient. Cheers
 

Muscovy_333

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Thanks for the advice. That's my problem. I put it straight in the fridge. Will add more water next time and keep it at ambient. Cheers

Truman, if it settles out just re-swirl and try again.
I leave a few sterilsed jars and some cooled boiled water in the kitchen when im harvesting from slurry.

Every time i walk past i give them a swirl, if i happen to walk past at the right time when i have a layer of trub and a milky suspension, i decant. If it has settled out i swirl and repeat the exercise.

I begin the "Wolfy" process by focusing on seperating 2 layers (keeping the layer in suspension). After a few washes you can let the yeast settle out and pour of the brackish stuff, repeating until crystal clear.

Works a treat every time. Normally happens over the course of a day or two. Once in the fridge it packs down nice, firm and milky in colour.

I collected about an inch in the bottom of a Corona bottle last batch.

I have since split it for two batches that fired up within a couple of hours when pitched into the starter....Magic!
 

beerandgarden

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Just reading this thread and the Wolfy thread and I see that I'm doing yeast harvesting all wrong. I also put my containers of slurry straight in the fridge to settle out. I'm able to decant off the beery liquid from top but not get much separation between trub and yeast so I'm just keeping the trub with the yeast. Then when I'm brewing a batch I add it to a starter the day prior to brew day and pitch the entire starter into my fermenter on brew day. What are the consequences of not properly removing the trub from my saved yeast?
 

QldKev

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A few hundred ml of trub never hurt anyone, just re-pitch the lot and forget separating it, unless you are repitching a dark beer trub into a lighter style beer.
 

beerandgarden

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A few hundred ml of trub never hurt anyone, just re-pitch the lot and forget separating it, unless you are repitching a dark beer trub into a lighter style beer.
Thanks for the reassurance. So why do people go to the trouble of trying to seperate it (assuming it's not coming from a dark beer)? Does it make a difference for long term storage? My logic tells me that the extra trub will just settle out in the new brew anyway and have no impact.
 

Nick JD

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Thanks for the reassurance. So why do people go to the trouble of trying to seperate it (assuming it's not coming from a dark beer)? Does it make a difference for long term storage? My logic tells me that the extra trub will just settle out in the new brew anyway and have no impact.
People are anal. They go to huge expense to make their beer 2.5% better.

I pitch the trub ... if it tastes any different - you've a HUGE tongue and should be employed as a Lesbian Pornstar.
 

Bada Bing Brewery

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People are anal. They go to huge expense to make their beer 2.5% better.

I pitch the trub ... if it tastes any different - you've a HUGE tongue and should be employed as a Lesbian Pornstar.
+1
life is too short. I throw in the lot.
Cheers
BBB
 

Yob

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I seperate mainly to confirm my pitching amount, at first it's hard to know how much you have until you work out your system, I now know that in the small mason jars I will get 50ml compacted yeast slurry, in the larger one I will get 100ml or there abouts. as I usually harvest on a sat and pitch on a sunday, and know my viability date is roughly 1-2 weeks prior to that I can calculate how much is required. Graded marks on the jars also help.

1.JPG

I dont mind being a little anal ;)
 

beerandgarden

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People are anal. They go to huge expense to make their beer 2.5% better.

I pitch the trub ... if it tastes any different - you've a HUGE tongue and should be employed as a Lesbian Pornstar.
Good to know. When I read this thread first it had me wondering should I dump my 3 jars of harvested yeast/trub but sounds like it's no worries. What about washing? How important is that. I never get the liquid on top to be clear, I just exchange the beery liquid with boiled cooled water about 3 times, it's still beer coloured but lighter and I leave it at that.
 

Yob

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Its more important to understand how much viable yeast you have collected, if you have a jar with trub in, how do you know? Sure, ballpark will probably get you there but rinsing effectivly and knowing how much 'clean' yeast you have is better.

You don't have to worry too much if the liquid doesn't go completly clear as you will probably pour most of it off prior to pitching.
 

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I seperate mainly to confirm my pitching amount, at first it's hard to know how much you have until you work out your system, I now know that in the small mason jars I will get 50ml compacted yeast slurry, in the larger one I will get 100ml or there abouts. as I usually harvest on a sat and pitch on a sunday, and know my viability date is roughly 1-2 weeks prior to that I can calculate how much is required. Graded marks on the jars also help.

View attachment 51981

I dont mind being a little anal ;)
Good post yob.

I don't know about being anal, its more about consistency,storage and trying to make the best beer i can.
I pretty much never use the same yeast in successive brews, i like to store small samples (50ml) for extended periods to start up again later. A nice clean white yeast sample is best practice.

If you want to experiment and record different pitching rates brew to brew, its best to have a compact clean sample of yeast that can be measured , then estimate the cell count using pitching calculator. Other than counting yeast cells under a microscope its as close as i can get to consistent with pitching rates.

Sure non washed slurry will work, but you really have a lot less an idea about how much viable healthy yeast your pitching into your wort. Personally i don't want dying, dead and rotting organic matter pitched into my fresh wort.

But each to their own
 

Brewer_010

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I scoop out around 250mL of yeast and trub from the racked fermenter and keep in the fridge for up to a month or so, never cleaned the yeast. I generally brew 3 or maybe 4 beers with the same yeast over a few months, just recycling the yeast for the next one. Sometimes I've had slight yeast firing issues but a teaspoon of yeast nutrient generally sorts that out. (I don't mind my beer being 2.5% lesser quality, if I save a bit of time :) .
cheers
 

Yob

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I scoop out around 250mL of yeast and trub from the racked fermenter and keep in the fridge for up to a month or so, (I don't mind my beer being 2.5% lesser quality, if I save a bit of time :) .
cheers
you cant find time within a month or so to rinse? :blink: It really doesnt take that long...

over a month or so the viability can drop quite alot... without knowing the quantity of actual yeast you have, an underpitch is more likely as is Autolysis developing... not saying it's a given but it's more likely as you will have in there with your good yeast, a bunch of, as said above, dead and dying yeast... aged dead yeast aint ideal.

Not sure if you have played around with MR Malty but a quick look says that left a month will be approx 50% viable... also not ideal. Sure you can pitch twice as much, but you will also be pitching twice as much trub / dead / dying cells..

once again, I dont mind being a little bit anal to know that im pitching heathy yeast at an appropriate rate.

Mr Malty Linky

Yob
 

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