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Old 12-06-2007, 09:56 PM   #1
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Default Preceding Recipe for Yeast Cake for RIS

Confusing title, eh? Basically, I know that when I brew my 08-08-08 RIS, I want to pitch it on a yeast cake, instead of worrying about a starter.

I think I'm gonna use WLP051 California Ale V Yeast for the RIS yeast. (I have it on hand) ... So, I need to brew something first, with this yeast, to MAKE the yeast cake.

My question is, what recipes would leave the character of the WLP051 most unchanged for its journey to RIS-hood? -OR- Which recipes would create a "impure" yeast cake that would be most suited to a big RIS?

My current thoughts are:

  • Something with some peated malt in it, so that the RIS picks up just a HINT of smoky bite - maybe a Peated Porter at about 1.060, which should make a good ol' yeast cake for a 1.088 RIS
  • Maybe just a plain Brown Porter like in Orfy's recipes
  • A rye beer, as I have plenty of Rye Malt on hand
  • A fairly plain Bitter, simple, mostly 2-row, perhaps some dextrine, and some Goldings hops.... other grain addition suggestions?
  • A weaker stout? Suggestions here?

Am I completely in left field, or am I heading in the right direction? WWYD if it were your beer?
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Old 12-06-2007, 10:07 PM   #2
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That's a good question. I am in no way qualified to answer it, but I can tell you what I plan to do. I was thinking of pitching to the yeast cake (WLP001) from a pale ale. I doubt that there would be any noticeable flavor issues, at least none that my underdeveloped palate could discern.

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Old 12-06-2007, 10:52 PM   #3
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I would hesitate to pitch onto a cake, which is more than likely overpitching. You can, however, save a portion of the cake, unwashed, and use that.

I would go for something 1.050 and below, a Pale or Bitter would be good. Anything higher and those are some mighty stressed yeast to chug through 1.088.

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Old 12-07-2007, 12:13 AM   #4
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I am lost - I did not know that overpitching was a concern. I've heard of people racking new batches on top of untouched, non-cleaned, non-sanitized yeast cakes numerous times. Is this really bad practice? Not callin' ya a liar by any means, I've just never heard this info before....

Would it be better to perhaps pseudo-wash the yeast (e.g. add sterile water, swirl, let settle 20 minutes, rack a large amount into a single container, but instead of divvying up between jars for storage, pitch the newly washed yeast back in)?

Or should I perhaps bite the bullet and use this as an opportunity to make a proper starter? (Still haven't built a stirplate, and dont have access to one. Want to build one, haven't had time or funds yet.)

EDIT: Read up a bit on overpitching, I think if I stick to a fairly plain beer, the cake should be OK, but I might go ahead and scoop about half out, and wash it gently before repitching. Either way, over-hoppy "starter" beer = bad. Stick to less hops.

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Old 12-07-2007, 12:33 AM   #5
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I am a little concerned about ferment temp. If you have a temperature controller for your primary guess you'll be OK. I pitched the White labs WLP001 in about a quart of starter and my fermenter wall hit probably 82-84dF for a little while.

It has settled down and been running 72-74°F for eleven days now. I do not have a temp controller. I suspect this ticking along slowly is a good thing. With a big enough pitch I wonder how high my temp would have gone...

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Old 12-07-2007, 12:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poindexter
I am a little concerned about ferment temp. If you have a temperature controller for your primary guess you'll be OK. I pitched the White labs WLP001 in about a quart of starter and my fermenter wall hit probably 82-84dF for a little while.
No temp control. However, my basement people move out on the 1st, and at that time, we're turning the thermostat down to about 63. My house stays pretty cold around now. Think that'd be enough "control"? It's in a basement against an outside wall.
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Old 12-07-2007, 12:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriso
No temp control. However, my basement people move out on the 1st, and at that time, we're turning the thermostat down to about 63. My house stays pretty cold around now. Think that'd be enough "control"? It's in a basement against an outside wall.
I am not the one to ask, but I have read enough threads to know that if you want knob slobbered in a swap you need temp control on your primary. My "place" is at 69° with the 72-74° fermeter.
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Old 12-07-2007, 11:40 AM   #8
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Now that I think about it, overpitching with a 1.088 probably isn't as big a concern as it would be with other, lower-grav beers. People pitch onto whole cakes all the time, but it's usually because they're just lazy.

However, unless you trust yourself immensely, there's still no need to actually "wash" anything. All the flavours from an RIS are going to drown out whatever was there previously. I still may decant some of the cake, though.

And yeah, I didn't think about temp control. You'll want that first brew to hold steady in the mid-60s or so to provide a clean flavour profile and to keep them unstressed.

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Old 12-07-2007, 12:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poindexter
I am not the one to ask, but I have read enough threads to know that if you want knob slobbered in a swap you need temp control on your primary.
Yeah!!! That's what I want!!!!
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Old 12-07-2007, 01:04 PM   #10
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Fwiw I brewed an ale with a boat load of peat smoked malt then used that cake for another, much lighter beer w/out any prep...none of the peat or other roast flavors from the prior beer came though on the second beer. YMMV.

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