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Old 08-06-2008, 08:40 PM   #1
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Default Saving yeast cake

Okay, I was planning on brewing an imperial stout today, but the weather is horrible, making brewing look like a no-go. I have a porter in primary, and I was planning on racking the stout on top of the yeast cake after I moved the porter out.

Theoretically, would it be possible to rack the porter to secondary and then save the yeast cake by leaving it in the primary carboy? Like, could I leave the whole thing in my fridge and chill it down to 40ºF to save it, or is it going to just die?

I'm wondering because the porter has been in primary for three weeks, and
I really don't want to leave it in there anymore, but I don't wanna lose the yeast. I could just start over with another vial of yeast, but I'd rather not if I have the option.

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Old 08-06-2008, 08:47 PM   #2
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Why don't you want to leave you porter in the primary for a few more days til you can rack and brew? I leave the majority of my beers in primary for a month, and skip secondary...

And yeast won't die in the fridge, it will just go dormant. A lot of us have mason jars full of yeast in our fridges...The only danger is in freezing the yeasts without glycerine solution...then their cells could possibly rupture...But in a fridge is fine...

I personally would just leave the porter in the primary until brew day for your stout, then rack and put the stout on it...That way the yeastcake will be sterile from the beer until brewday...

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Old 08-06-2008, 08:51 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Torchiest View Post
Okay, I was planning on brewing an imperial stout today, but the weather is horrible, making brewing look like a no-go. I have a porter in primary, and I was planning on racking the stout on top of the yeast cake after I moved the porter out.

Theoretically, would it be possible to rack the porter to secondary and then save the yeast cake by leaving it in the primary carboy? Like, could I leave the whole thing in my fridge and chill it down to 40ºF to save it, or is it going to just die?

I'm wondering because the porter has been in primary for three weeks, and
I really don't want to leave it in there anymore, but I don't wanna lose the yeast. I could just start over with another vial of yeast, but I'd rather not if I have the option.
I have left yeast cakes chilled in the fermenter chamber for a few days after racking off the beer to a keg. I crash cool to 39 degrees anyway, so the yeast packs down nice & tight for racking. I leave a layer of beer on top, and put the airlocks back in the bucket lids and put them back in the chest freezer to remain chilled till my next batch is ready. I've gone a few days without any problems. I just dump my chilled wort right on top (get rid of the beer on top from the previous batch first).
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Old 08-06-2008, 09:25 PM   #4
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Thanks for the quick responses, guys. I suppose I'll just wait until this weekend. I can't wait to brew the Imperial Stout though, having recently tried a few really good commercial versions.

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Old 08-06-2008, 09:35 PM   #5
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I'd say just leave a tiny bit more beer after racking than you usually would. If it's only going to be a couple of days I'd bet you'd be fine without refrigerating at all. The yeast don't care how much beer is on top of them and they've been fine at your ferm temp for this long.

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Old 08-06-2008, 09:43 PM   #6
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Search for Yeast Washing, it's really easy and you can save your yeast for months.

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Old 08-06-2008, 10:08 PM   #7
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i'd say just wait. it's not going to hurt your beer.

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Old 08-06-2008, 11:10 PM   #8
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I'd say just leave a tiny bit more beer after racking than you usually would. If it's only going to be a couple of days I'd bet you'd be fine without refrigerating at all. The yeast don't care how much beer is on top of them and they've been fine at your ferm temp for this long.
I have done this for a day or two in a sealed fermenter as well....
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