One item on my list of 2013 brewing goals is to start a yeast bank. This week I got started on that. After finishing transferring all of my Belgian Gold into serving kegs I decided to harvest some of the yeast. There was a lot.
First rule of yeast washing is to produce some sterile water which contains zero oxygen. This eases the yeast into a nice sleep. This is done by boiling water (and the jars which will hold it) for awhile.
If you are impatient like me you will try to cool the water quickly by placing your very hot, sealed jars in cold water. And then this will happen:
Try again. Then patiently wait a couple hours as the boiled water slowly cools down. Add the cool sterile water to a fairly dense slurry of yeast you have harvested (under sterile conditions). Allow heavier non-yeast and dead-yeast clumps to drop out of solution for 20 minutes, then pour the remaining healthy yeast suspension into your sterile jars. Now you have yeast that is ready to be stored in the fridge/yeast bank for months or possibly years to come.
After 24 hours of cold storage the jars look something like this:
If anybody wants some WLP-570 (‘Strong Belgian Ale’ I believe) 0r would like to trade for some other strains let me know. I will not likely get around to using this strain 4 times within a year or 2… So I would be happy to hook a brutha or sista up.