If my brewing schedule, equipment and setup allowed, top cropping, as you suggested, would be probably be the best way to harvest yeast. That way it will be clean, active and not subjected to the stresses (or possible contamination etc) of having to sit in the fermentor and ferment beer for a couple of weeks.jmc wrote:BTW: Do you only harvest yeast this way, i.e. do you bother to skim yeast when its most active?
About 36-48 hrs into brew for my WLP002
However, for me, washing the yeast-cake is usually easier. I don't have to worry about when I have to harvest it, don't have to ferment in a container to make it possible (the blue fermentor in the pictures just above is actually a plastic jerry-can) or put down successive brews within a few days of each other. So for me, it's mostly what fits well with my brewing schedule and equipment, when the yeast cake is washed there is room in the fermenting fridge for the next batch, I've had time to clean up, crush grain and get the next batch made, but if I top cropped the yeast would likely not be used for 2+ weeks.