Yeast washing -- how to get the yeast off the trub?

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Hogarth
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Yeast washing -- how to get the yeast off the trub?

Post by Hogarth » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:13 pm

Okay, I've just tried washing (EDIT: rinsing, I should have said) yeast for the first time. I collected the sediment from my five-litre fermenter, mixed it in a litre of sterile water and let it settle, and now have a neat layer of yeast and a neat layer of trub, both about a centimeter deep.

The question is, given these small quantities, how do I actually get the yeast without getting the trub too? I've a feeling that if I try pouring it, I'll stir up the trub too. Should I siphon the yeast or scoop it instead? Is there some clever trick? Cheers!
Last edited by Hogarth on Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Yeast washing -- how to get the yeast off the trub?

Post by Jambo » Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:07 pm

You pour it off, rinse and repeat several times and then the percentage of trub decreases.

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Re: Yeast washing -- how to get the yeast off the trub?

Post by McMullan » Thu Sep 07, 2017 3:08 pm

The trick is to carefully pour off the suspended live cells (including any wild yeast, bacteria, etc.) after letting things (trub and dead cells) collect (about 15-20 minutes) at the bottom of the jar. Then let the decanted live cells settle in the second jar. You'll want to feed these as soon as, because they don't like being in water that much.

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Re: Yeast washing -- how to get the yeast off the trub?

Post by scotsloon » Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:09 pm

I went through these hoops some years ago but have since stopped washing/rinsing yeast after having bought Jamil's yeast book. I'm not a commercial brewer so I now just collect the lot trub and yeast combined. This seems to have little or no ill effect on the yeast for the next batch.

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Re: Yeast washing -- how to get the yeast off the trub?

Post by Hogarth » Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:35 pm

Sorry, I should have said 'rinsing' rather than washing.

Thanks for these replies. Okay, next time I'll try letting the trub settle but not the yeast, that makes sense. This time round I'll have to wing it.
scotsloon wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:09 pm
I went through these hoops some years ago but have since stopped washing/rinsing yeast after having bought Jamil's yeast book. I'm not a commercial brewer so I now just collect the lot trub and yeast combined. This seems to have little or no ill effect on the yeast for the next batch.
But according to Jamil's book you do want to remove the trub -- ‘You must collect the yeast, look at the population, remove dead cells and non-yeast material by rinsing.’ :-k

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Hogarth
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Re: Yeast washing -- how to get the yeast off the trub?

Post by Hogarth » Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:35 pm

Stupid double post. Must be the rain.

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Re: Yeast washing -- how to get the yeast off the trub?

Post by scotsloon » Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:28 pm

Hogarth wrote:
Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:35 pm
Sorry, I should have said 'rinsing' rather than washing.

Thanks for these replies. Okay, next time I'll try letting the trub settle but not the yeast, that makes sense. This time round I'll have to wing it.
scotsloon wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:09 pm
I went through these hoops some years ago but have since stopped washing/rinsing yeast after having bought Jamil's yeast book. I'm not a commercial brewer so I now just collect the lot trub and yeast combined. This seems to have little or no ill effect on the yeast for the next batch.
But according to Jamil's book you do want to remove the trub -- ‘You must collect the yeast, look at the population, remove dead cells and non-yeast material by rinsing.’ :-k
I know thats what Jamil says I too have read the book - BUT you don't have to do that. If you are only making beer for your self and not trying to emulate a commercial organization - I accept that they would want to use pristine yeast all the time - however, its wasted effort in my view, just capturing the yeast and trub is sufficient effort to keep good healthy yeast in a fridge for a few weeks between brews. I'm talking about th homebrewing activity from a hobby perspective only.

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Re: Yeast washing -- how to get the yeast off the trub?

Post by Hogarth » Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:05 pm

scotsloon wrote:
Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:28 pm
Hogarth wrote:
Fri Sep 08, 2017 2:35 pm
Sorry, I should have said 'rinsing' rather than washing.

Thanks for these replies. Okay, next time I'll try letting the trub settle but not the yeast, that makes sense. This time round I'll have to wing it.
scotsloon wrote:
Thu Sep 07, 2017 8:09 pm
I went through these hoops some years ago but have since stopped washing/rinsing yeast after having bought Jamil's yeast book. I'm not a commercial brewer so I now just collect the lot trub and yeast combined. This seems to have little or no ill effect on the yeast for the next batch.
But according to Jamil's book you do want to remove the trub -- ‘You must collect the yeast, look at the population, remove dead cells and non-yeast material by rinsing.’ :-k
I know thats what Jamil says I too have read the book - BUT you don't have to do that. If you are only making beer for your self and not trying to emulate a commercial organization - I accept that they would want to use pristine yeast all the time - however, its wasted effort in my view, just capturing the yeast and trub is sufficient effort to keep good healthy yeast in a fridge for a few weeks between brews. I'm talking about th homebrewing activity from a hobby perspective only.
Ah, now I'm with you, and you might be right. I'm all for avoiding unneccessary effort too.

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Re: Yeast washing -- how to get the yeast off the trub?

Post by wessexwyvern » Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:57 pm

There's no need to rinse the slurry for strorage. It's happier there with plenty of nutrients to keep it alive, however...

If you just pitched the all slurry you have collected into your next batch you are over pitching and loose the benefit of all the flavours that your strain produces during the growth phase. You also risk fast fermentation and autolysis.

Using yeast from a previous batch in a starter means you can control the amount of yeast you pitch and pitch broadly the appropriate number of cells to your next batch however...

If you were to just take a bit of slurry to make a starter you have no idea how much is yeast/dead yeast/hop debris/trub.

If you rinse the yeast you can take a known quantity of clean relatively healthy yeast to experiment with how much is required to make a starter appropriate to the next brew.

If you don't rinse the slurry from a dark full flavoured beer you risk transfering those flavours into a lightly flavoured beer.

If you are planning to repitch from slurry, it's best to rinse but until you rinse it's best to store as is.

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