I found a step-by-step instructional on how to wash yeast a while back. Bernie Brewer's thread on HBT.com illustrates how easy it is. The process allows you to re-use yeast from previous batches. It's obvious how cost effective washing yeast can be considering liquid packages can be $6 per 5 gallon batch. Washing yeast can yield multiple batches because you're actually harvesting living organisms. These yeast cells can multiply with the right conditions. The key here, like most brewing techniques, is...you guessed it...SANITATION!! I'm confident with my sanitation practices and decided to give it a shot:
The layer of trub and yeast in suspension.
Awaiting my layers of beer, yeast and trub to settle.
I've estimated enough yeast for about three more five gallon batches. The same amount of liquid Wyeast from the store would have cost about $20. Prost to saving money! I can't explain how easy this process was. Follow the instructions from Bernie's instructions and take your time. Almost any questions have has probably already been covered if you search.
To ensure the yeast would be viable and ready to ferment, I made a starter on Friday. This is another first for me. The hope here is to allow the yeast time to reproduce and build up their numbers. If successful fermentation should take off like a rocket. I made a 1 liter starter with 1 cup DME. Using Mr. Malty I calculated about 90mL of yeast slurry to use:
Yeast to be pitched. I decanted most of the extra beer. The jar on the left has already been shook to awake the yeast.
MONDAY MORNING UPDATE: The IPA has been brewed and the starter has been pitched. So far there hasn't been any noticeable activity. I'm not panicing, but definitely starting to get a little concerned. Here's hoping things are rocking when I get home.