Monday, February 28, 2011

Yeast farming

Forgot to mention that yesterday, I performed a successful washing of the Wyeast 1764 (aka Rogue's signature Pacman yeast) that I used in the stout. Honestly, it is such a good strain of yeast for anything requiring a neutral fermentation that I heartily look forward to using it again. For those of you that either chose not to follow the link to the yeast washing page or are still confused about what I did yesterday, here goes:

1. I racked my stout into the bottling bucket for bottling. Once I racked it, there was a yeast cake left in the bottom of the fermenter.
2. I put sanitized water into the fermenter and gave it a swirl.
3. I decanted the yeast in the fermenter off of the coagulated protein gunk (trub) at the bottom and put it in a large container.
4. I decanted the yeast in that large container off of the remaining trub and into four small jars.
5. Basically, I was able to harvest the yeast from this batch so that I can use it again. Pretty exciting since Wyeast 1764 is a seasonal strain that's not always available, liquid yeast in general is pretty expensive ($6-7), and the yeast I harvested should stay viable for close to a year!

Pretty cool. After sitting in my fridge overnight, the jars have fully separated into beer/compact yeast cake. When I'm ready to use one, I need only decant MOST of the beer off the yeast cake, give the jar a swirl, then pitch the yeast into a yeast starter (probs with a little yeast nutrient). I will probably do this pretty soon, as I'd like to use the same strain for the BowThai Ale!

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