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Sorry for seeming clueless, but I am clueless. I've only brewed about 15 batches, or less, of extract beers. Thus far, I've always bought prepackaged recipe "kits" similar to a Betty Croker cake mix. Since finding this site, I am seeing a lot of questions regarding washing, rinsing and reusing yeast, but I havent seen (found) a reason why you wold? Is it just economical?

Cheers!

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Mostly economical, yes.

Another reason is potentially limited (or non-existent) commercial availability of specific strains. Either the yeast company's seasonal strain releases or something cultivated from yeast remaining in the bottle.

Another reason is to develop a "house" strain, or to modify the behavior of an existing strain. For instance, the good-ole Wyeast 1056/WLP001/US-05 is indicated as becoming extremely attenuative after a number of serial re-pitchings.

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OK that all makes sense. I have a long way to go when it comes to the science of brewing. Now I know why master brewers have huge beards, they spend so much time "learning" that they dont have time to shave! :) –  Ugly Dude Jan 29 at 17:55
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The beard thing is interesting. I was noticing that just today. –  zkent Jan 29 at 21:18
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Maybe they grow their yeasts in their beards? SCNR. –  Robert Jan 30 at 17:29
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Also for high gravity beers this can be helpfull. If you brew a big IPA and have a large yest cake at the bottom, you can put a barley wine or IRS on it and it will ferment much faster. Just make sure the fermentation went well first!

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