Reusing Yeast

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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