Harvest yeast from conical fermenter

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chefgage
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Harvest yeast from conical fermenter

Post by chefgage » Tue Sep 11, 2018 9:41 am

Quick question about harvesting and washing yeast from a conical fermenter. I understand the method of washing yeast by adding boiled cooled water to a bucket type ferementer when the beer has been racked off and then swiling it around and then letting it settle out into different layers. But what about a conical fermenter.

I have dumped off the trub and now fermentation is complete. When i dump the yeast is there any need to add cooled boiled water, shake the jar and then let it settle out? Or if correctly done the dumped sample should be all yeast and that can go straight in the fridge?

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Kev888
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Re: Harvest yeast from conical fermenter

Post by Kev888 » Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:01 pm

One of the key benefits of a conical is the ability to be selective with the slurry collected; you should be able to get physically clean yeast without extra work. Basically you can dump and discard the debris that settle out after a day or so and later ditto for the yeast that die and settle prematurely. Then you can collect good quality stuff that settles out normally at/after the end of fermentation. Later you can dump and discard yeast that were slow to settle (and so could be poor flocculators) before racking/kegging etc.

If you have a mix of yeast and other stuff, separating the two by rinsing with water can help gauge yeast quantities better. But I've never felt the need to do this for slurry harvested from a conical. In general it isn't a process I like, and some people do it for reasons that I'm not convinced are valid. (it isn't to be confused with acid washing).
Kev

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Re: Harvest yeast from conical fermenter

Post by chefgage » Thu Sep 13, 2018 8:08 am

Kev888 wrote:
Wed Sep 12, 2018 10:01 pm
One of the key benefits of a conical is the ability to be selective with the slurry collected; you should be able to get physically clean yeast without extra work. Basically you can dump and discard the debris that settle out after a day or so and later ditto for the yeast that die and settle prematurely. Then you can collect good quality stuff that settles out normally at/after the end of fermentation. Later you can dump and discard yeast that were slow to settle (and so could be poor flocculators) before racking/kegging etc.

If you have a mix of yeast and other stuff, separating the two by rinsing with water can help gauge yeast quantities better. But I've never felt the need to do this for slurry harvested from a conical. In general it isn't a process I like, and some people do it for reasons that I'm not convinced are valid. (it isn't to be confused with acid washing).
Thanks for that. One of the main problems i have found is the dump port on the ss chronical. It is a 3/4" ball valve so when you slowly open it i tend to find the trub/yeast gets partially backed up behind the valve and then you get more beer than trub/yeast coming out the valve (squirting off to one side :) ). I need to order a 3/4" barb fitting for the valve which should help this problem (it certainly works on the 1/2" racking port ball valve).

After letting the dumped yeast settle it looked like mainly trub but with a small layer of creamy yeast on top followed by a layer of beer. I tried rinsing it a few times and now have what looks like a small amount of yeast in the bottom of the mason jar.
This is now in the fridge for a couple of weeks till i brew again when i will make a starter with it (there will be a packey of dried yeast on stand by :) ).

So hopefully next time i will be able to dump the trub successfully using the 3/4" barb and then harvest the yeast without having to rinse it.

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Re: Harvest yeast from conical fermenter

Post by Kev888 » Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:28 am

Yeah, I've got a short silicone tube on the dump valve, too. Though mine is nominally a 1" valve the bore is only about 20mm, so I used a 3/4" (~19mm) ID tube. IIRC this is squeezed over a slightly bigger hose-tail than normal for a 3/4" hose, to ensure the tail's inner diameter doesn't cause further restriction.

The tube certainly helps contain things, and with it being translucent you get a bit of visual warning as to whats going on. With the possible exception of the initial loose break and gunk, I find that the valve can usually be opened fully and the sediment will just gently ooze out (to begin with anyway, it needs to be shut off sharpish when it starts to get runny!). This may be somewhat dependent on the type of yeast being used though, and how long it has been allowed to settle.

Dumping can still be a little wasteful of wort/beer sometimes. Its not usually too bad for yeast and compacted sediment, I'm happy to trade that off. But these days I try to reduce the initial rubbish that gets into the FV as this can be quite a fluffy/soupy mix to dump, which takes a lot of wort out with it.
Kev

chefgage
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Re: Harvest yeast from conical fermenter

Post by chefgage » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:44 pm

Kev888 wrote:
Thu Sep 13, 2018 10:28 am
Yeah, I've got a short silicone tube on the dump valve, too. Though mine is nominally a 1" valve the bore is only about 20mm, so I used a 3/4" (~19mm) ID tube. IIRC this is squeezed over a slightly bigger hose-tail than normal for a 3/4" hose, to ensure the tail's inner diameter doesn't cause further restriction.

The tube certainly helps contain things, and with it being translucent you get a bit of visual warning as to whats going on. With the possible exception of the initial loose break and gunk, I find that the valve can usually be opened fully and the sediment will just gently ooze out (to begin with anyway, it needs to be shut off sharpish when it starts to get runny!). This may be somewhat dependent on the type of yeast being used though, and how long it has been allowed to settle.

Dumping can still be a little wasteful of wort/beer sometimes. Its not usually too bad for yeast and compacted sediment, I'm happy to trade that off. But these days I try to reduce the initial rubbish that gets into the FV as this can be quite a fluffy/soupy mix to dump, which takes a lot of wort out with it.
I think i will copy the silicone tube idea :)

Thanks

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