Question on IPA's yeast scavenging.

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Paddington
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Question on IPA's yeast scavenging.

Post by Paddington » Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:42 pm

Following advice from (metaphorically) older heads than mine, I had a look at IPA's yeast scavenging method. I was reluctant (paranoid) to open my fermenter, however, as I feared I had a stuck fermentation, I decide to check the gravity and at the same time scavenge some yeast.

NOW... my concern was that, after four days, I had no krausen and no sign of bubbling, but on inspection, my gravity has already gone from 1.062 to 1.015. So all is well with the brew (a Jaipur clone which I accidentally went over on OG). However, I'm now concerned that the yeast will be spent/floculated. So, in short, will my scavenged wort be any good?

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Re: Question on IPA's yeast scavenging.

Post by IPA » Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:10 pm

Paddington wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:42 pm
Following advice from (metaphorically) older heads than mine, I had a look at IPA's yeast scavenging method. I was reluctant (paranoid) to open my fermenter, however, as I feared I had a stuck fermentation, I decide to check the gravity and at the same time scavenge some yeast.

NOW... my concern was that, after four days, I had no krausen and no sign of bubbling, but on inspection, my gravity has already gone from 1.062 to 1.015. So all is well with the brew (a Jaipur clone which I accidentally went over OG). However, I'm now concerned that the yeast will be spent/floculated. So, in short, will my scavenged wort be any good?
First of all why were you reluctant to open your fermenter? Once the krausen has formed I usually loosen the the lid and just leave it sitting in place until the ferment slows down and then I replace it. I haven't used an airlock for years.
My fermenters are the Brewferm ones with a 35 mm cap in the centre of the lid and in it I place a foam bung which are quite popular in the states. They also allow you to transfer via a tap without removing them.
Now back to your question. In my post I said for me the optimum time to remove the wort is 36 hours after the krausen has formed which gives you a yeast rich sample. What is happening in the bottle of wort you removed? Is there a good yeast sediment and is it still fermenting. The whole idea behind saving yeast this way is that you are making a bottle of beer with a thick sediment of yeast to be re-used at sometime in the future. In front of me is a sample of Eldridge Pope yeast that I saved nearly two years ago, using this method, in an Erlenmeyer flask on the stirrer which will be pitched into a Royal Oak clone in a couple of days time. Any more questions just ask.
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Re: Question on IPA's yeast scavenging.

Post by Paddington » Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:36 pm

Thanks for that, IPA. I'm always reluctant to open the fermenter because I am still quite a novice so I'm taking the most risk averse path I can until I get more confident. The whole sanitation thing is drummed into you until the air feels thick with beer destroying bugs. I've taken the plunge now so maybe I will be less worried next time...

I thought I was roughly within your timeframe for taking the wort, but my concern was that the brew seemed to have all but finished fermentation, from 1.062 to 1.015, with a final target of 1.01 so I thought maybe that would make a difference to how much yeast was still in suspension and it's viability. For what it's worth the yeast is WLP007. The sample has a small amount of yeast after about 3 hours.

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Re: Question on IPA's yeast scavenging.

Post by MTW » Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:06 pm

007 is a great yeast. Nice choice.

Generally, I think novices (as you call yourself) can be too scared of lifting the lid. My early cautiousness in AG fermentations probably came from frequent disappointment with earlier kits. It turned out to be the kits that were the problem rather than my regime. It's as much about doing the right things and intervening where needed, than just avoiding the bad. Be bold!
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Re: Question on IPA's yeast scavenging.

Post by IPA » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:18 pm

Paddington wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:36 pm
Thanks for that, IPA. I'm always reluctant to open the fermenter because I am still quite a novice so I'm taking the most risk averse path I can until I get more confident. The whole sanitation thing is drummed into you until the air feels thick with beer destroying bugs. I've taken the plunge now so maybe I will be less worried next time...

I thought I was roughly within your timeframe for taking the wort, but my concern was that the brew seemed to have all but finished fermentation, from 1.062 to 1.015, with a final target of 1.01 so I thought maybe that would make a difference to how much yeast was still in suspension and it's viability. For what it's worth the yeast is WLP007. The sample has a small amount of yeast after about 3 hours.
The yeast will be viable it just means that when you get round to reviving it you might have to step it up twice. Remember to tighten the cap on the bottle when the yeast has slowed almost to a stop. When the bottle is hard to squeeze loosen the cap and re-tighten You will have to do this a couple of times before you leave it to condition. If not you will have a "gusher" when you come to re-use the yeast. After a couple of times you will know instinctively when it is time to finally tighten the cap for good. Another tip which a lot of brewers don't do is always taste your starter before pitching it into the wort. Believe me you will know if it has become contaminated. Should this happen don't worry just have some dried yeast standing by for emergency use. Any yeast is better than none in this situation. It has only happened to me once in many years and that was quite recently and I did not have any dried yeast in stock. Lesson learned. Good luck
Ian
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Re: Question on IPA's yeast scavenging.

Post by Paddington » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:02 pm

Thanks, Ian and MTW. I believe Mango Jacks do a very similar dried yeast so I will get some of that and taste the starter. The sample is now absolutely crystal clear, which is encouraging (being a Jaipur, it looks like a different kind of sample!), albeit there doesn't seem to be much yeast yet. I tasted the portion I used to check the gravity and it tastes pretty good.

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Re: Question on IPA's yeast scavenging.

Post by MashTim » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:39 pm

@IPA how do you decant your wort from the fermentor into the bottle? This sounds like the easiest yeast ranching method in the brewing world :D Do you sanitise or sterilise the bottle?

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Re: Question on IPA's yeast scavenging.

Post by IPA » Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:54 am

MashTim wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:39 pm
@IPA how do you decant your wort from the fermentor into the bottle? This sounds like the easiest yeast ranching method in the brewing world :D Do you sanitise or sterilise the bottle?
I use a green 500 ml ex fizzy water bottle. You can use a dark brown PET beer bottle but it is a bit harder to observe whats going on inside plus the fizzy water bottle is much cheaper. I sanitise the bottle as you would any other bottle for storing beer. I remove the fermenting wort with a sanitised S/S soup ladle and funnel. I did try it with a large syringe but they become difficult to operate after a few uses. If I could find one that continued to function for a long time this would be my preferred method. I now regularly use yeast that has been stored for over two years using this method.
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Question on IPA's yeast scavenging.

Post by MashTim » Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:31 pm

My next question is assuming that the fermentation has reached its most vigorous stage at around 36 hours and one has a fermentor with a bottom tap, would drawing off wort via the tap capture as much yeast as drawing from just below the krausen?

I ask this because I’ve currently got a wheat beer on with a massively creamy thick krausen that I wouldn’t really want to punch through.

My guess is that there wouldn’t be that much difference because the turbulence in the wort at that stage should be sufficient to have yeast everywhere.

Will have to experiment, cheers

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Re: Question on IPA's yeast scavenging.

Post by oz11 » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:08 pm

IPA wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:54 am
MashTim wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:39 pm
@IPA how do you decant your wort from the fermentor into the bottle? This sounds like the easiest yeast ranching method in the brewing world :D Do you sanitise or sterilise the bottle?
I use a green 500 ml ex fizzy water bottle. You can use a dark brown PET beer bottle but it is a bit harder to observe whats going on inside plus the fizzy water bottle is much cheaper. I sanitise the bottle as you would any other bottle for storing beer. I remove the fermenting wort with a sanitised S/S soup ladle and funnel. I did try it with a large syringe but they become difficult to operate after a few uses. If I could find one that continued to function for a long time this would be my preferred method. I now regularly use yeast that has been stored for over two years using this method.
Ian...
re the syringes, I've found I can prolong their life by removing the black rubber bit from the plunger between uses. I believe in its relaxed state it contracts enough to stop it sticking when I want to use it. It could be BS of course but it seems to work for me. I use a 150ml syringe, btw.

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Re: Question on IPA's yeast scavenging.

Post by MTW » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:19 pm

Going to try this the next brew. I've done loads of starters and have cultured bottles, but never actually harvested!

A question from me too: your post says you draw 500ml to use in a 50L batch via a 1200ml starter. I would usually use a similar size starter with a WLP/WY vial for 20L or so. Have you (or anyone watching) ever tried this method with any other size harvest or batch size? I could make a guesstimate on the numbers, but it would be useful to know of any actual experience on a 20-23L batch. Cheers

I will be using my trusty turkey baster to harvest through the kraeusen!
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Re: Question on IPA's yeast scavenging.

Post by oz11 » Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:59 pm

I take about 450ml as per Ian's method and then make a 1L shaken starter 24 hours before pitching for 19-22L and pitch the entire starter. Works well for me.

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Re: Question on IPA's yeast scavenging.

Post by IPA » Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:27 pm

oz11 wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:08 pm
IPA wrote:
Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:54 am
MashTim wrote:
Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:39 pm
@IPA how do you decant your wort from the fermentor into the bottle? This sounds like the easiest yeast ranching method in the brewing world :D Do you sanitise or sterilise the bottle?
I use a green 500 ml ex fizzy water bottle. You can use a dark brown PET beer bottle but it is a bit harder to observe whats going on inside plus the fizzy water bottle is much cheaper. I sanitise the bottle as you would any other bottle for storing beer. I remove the fermenting wort with a sanitised S/S soup ladle and funnel. I did try it with a large syringe but they become difficult to operate after a few uses. If I could find one that continued to function for a long time this would be my preferred method. I now regularly use yeast that has been stored for over two years using this method.
Ian...
re the syringes, I've found I can prolong their life by removing the black rubber bit from the plunger between uses. I believe in its relaxed state it contracts enough to stop it sticking when I want to use it. It could be BS of course but it seems to work for me. I use a 150ml syringe, btw.

Thanks for that tip I will give it a go.

Ian
"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." Dean Martin

1. Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, thoroughly used, totally worn out and loudly proclaiming... "f*ck, what a trip!"

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Re: Question on IPA's yeast scavenging.

Post by thepatchworkdoll » Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:05 pm

Hi Ian
Why not try a meat baster. Fairly cheap and it takes 4 - 5 suctions to retrieve approx. 500 mls.
Regards
Patch

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Re: Question on IPA's yeast scavenging.

Post by Meatymc » Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:33 pm

Re' MTW's query, I've captured in a 500ml clear PET bottle and then used 1 bottle to build a 700ml starter. Only done this twice using IPA's method on an S04 and an S05, both to 21L. Worked absolutely fine.

Currently have 2 x 500ml bottles of saved/captured yeast from a Proper Job 'scavenge' (2 bottles of dregs) so will interesting to see how that goes when used as a starter in it's own right.

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