Yeast Harvesting Guide

Harvesting yeast is a cost-effective and efficient way to maintain yeast strains that work well for your brewing process. By reusing yeast, you can save money and improve the consistency of your beer. This guide will walk you through the steps of harvesting and storing yeast from your conical fermenter, ensuring you get the best results for your future brews.

Why Harvest Yeast?

  1. Cost Savings: Reusing yeast reduces the need to buy new yeast for each batch, saving you money.
  2. Consistency: Maintaining the same yeast strain helps produce consistent flavors and fermentation performance.
  3. Efficiency: Harvested yeast often becomes more vigorous, potentially shortening fermentation times.

Equipment Needed

To harvest yeast effectively, you will need the following equipment:

  • Conical Fermenter: Equipped with a bottom valve for easy yeast collection.
  • Sanitized Container: A jar or flask to store the harvested yeast.
  • Sanitizer: To ensure all equipment is free from contaminants.
  • Refrigerator: For storing the harvested yeast.

Steps for Harvesting Yeast

Step 1: Prepare Your Equipment

  • Sanitize everything: Ensure that all your equipment, including the container, lid, and any utensils, are thoroughly sanitized. This is crucial to prevent contamination.

Step 2: Fermentation Completion

  • Wait for fermentation to complete: Allow the fermentation process to fully complete before harvesting the yeast. This ensures that the yeast has settled at the bottom of the fermenter.

Step 3: Collect the Yeast

  • Open the bottom valve: Use the conical fermenter's bottom valve to release the yeast sediment into your sanitized container. Be gentle to avoid disturbing the beer too much.
  • Collect in stages: If necessary, collect the yeast in stages to ensure you get the healthiest yeast. The first collection may contain trub and dead cells; discard this and collect the subsequent, cleaner yeast sediment.

Step 4: Store the Yeast

  • Seal the container: Once you have collected the yeast, seal the container with a sanitized lid.
  • Refrigerate: Store the sealed container in the refrigerator. Yeast can be stored for several weeks, but for best results, use it within two weeks.

Step 5: Prepare for Reuse

  • Bring to room temperature: When ready to use the harvested yeast, bring it to room temperature slowly by taking it out of the refrigerator a few hours before pitching.
  • Create a starter: For optimal performance, consider creating a yeast starter a day or two before brewing. This ensures the yeast is active and healthy.

Tips for Successful Yeast Harvesting

  1. Cleanliness is Key: Always ensure that all equipment is thoroughly sanitized to prevent contamination.
  2. Healthy Yeast Only: Only harvest yeast from batches that fermented well and showed no signs of infection.
  3. Regular Monitoring: Keep an eye on the yeast during storage. If it develops any off smells or shows signs of contamination, discard it.
  4. Label and Date: Always label and date your harvested yeast containers. This helps you keep track of how long the yeast has been stored and which batch it came from.
  5. Multiple Generations: While you can reuse yeast multiple times, it's generally recommended to limit it to 5-10 generations to prevent mutations and maintain quality.


Harvesting yeast is a practical way to enhance your brewing efficiency and consistency. By following these steps and tips, you can ensure that your harvested yeast remains healthy and effective for future brews.

For high-quality conical fermenters and other brewing equipment that facilitate yeast harvesting, visit BrewTaurus. Our products are designed to support brewers at all levels, ensuring you have the best tools to produce exceptional beer.