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How to use lees

wayneb

Lifetime Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
Can i use my lees to make my next batch of mead?:rolleyes:
Although pitching onto a trub layer in beer making is often employed with success, in mead musts the lees layer is more likely to have genetically modified (aka, mutant) yeast cells in it, since the added stress of life in a higher concentration of ethanol and yeast toxins than what is usually found in beer tends to mess with your yeast's DNA. Although there are exceptions, in most cases new meads made with yeast from a finished mead's lees layer will not be the same as the original mead, and oftentimes tastes worse.
 

Bugleman

NewBee
Registered Member
Aug 23, 2011
69
1
0
Aloha, Oregon
How about racking during the early phase of the ferment to harvest some of the yeast while there is still a significant amount of yeast in suspension.
 

wayneb

Lifetime Patron
Lifetime GotMead Patron
How about racking during the early phase of the ferment to harvest some of the yeast while there is still a significant amount of yeast in suspension.
That can work, although I generally find it easier just to pitch more commercial yeast. However if you have found a particular local or wild strain of yeast that you want to re-use, pulling some of it out before the batch gets much above 6 or 7% ABV may keep it true to the original strain.
 

JimSar

NewBee
Registered Member
Nov 11, 2009
144
1
0
Vallejo, CA
I've been dumping my mead and beer lees into the compost pile for years. Even worms need to party sometimes. :eek:ccasion14:
 

huesmann

NewBee
Registered Member
Aug 22, 2011
184
2
0
I'd rather spend a dollar on another packet of yeast than bother culling the lees to re-use spent yeast.
 

Boogaloo

NewBee
Registered Member
How about using a magic stirring stick? ;D

I saw this ghetto video on youtube showing how to make Tej. He used a wooden stick to stir with everyday and claims the Ethiopians would not wash and reuse the same stick for every batch of Tej. This stick was what carried the yeast from one batch to the next.

I'll personally continue to purchase one dollar packets of yeast but do understand the cost savings. I think I've spent 20$ the past two months on yeast.
 

Boogaloo

NewBee
Registered Member
Just wanted to say I successfully used this yeast washing method a couple of weeks ago. I saved the yeast from a 1lb Cyser and then a few days later pitched it into a korean rice wine (makkoli). I saved the yeast in a bunch of large baby food jars. I used Lalvin Bourgorouge RC212 yeast in the Cyser.