When planning on brewing a 1.100 gravity Barley Wine, I thought I should either pitch onto a yeast cake or attempt to do a yeast harvest and wash process. I did not do the full washing process as described by Wyeast [they used to have it on their site but I can't find it now]. I did not want to just pitch into a dirty primary.
Click HERE to see a version of the Wyeast wash.
Here is a VIDEO I made on collecting the yeast this way.
Here was my carboy after primary fermentation, typically covered in krausen residue.
And here it is all shiny and clean. :) I wanted to start with a clean primary even though I know many people pour their new batch of beer right into a just-used primary, such as the one in the top picture.
I poured about 1/4 gallon of clean Cub Foods water into the carboy and swirled it up. I dumped the whole mess into a 1-gallon jar. Above you see what I ended up with right after I poured it.
After one hour, some separation began.
After 2 hours.
After 3 hours. you can begin to see 3 defined layers. It was the middle, more white layer that was the yeast and the one I wanted.
Here it was after about 5 hours, and right before I pitched it. I was able to dump off most of the beer/water, but it was hard to only get the yeast layer after that. I dumped probably about half of what I had in and left the rest.
Here is what I left behind, hopefully mostly just hop trub. I'm sure I left behind some yeast too. However, one hour after pitching, I had a bubble in the blow-off tube. A few hours later, more bubbles. And 12 hours later I had a 1" krausen already. So whatever I did, I know that it worked.
A barley wine is born. This was taken about 14 hours after pitching the yeast.
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