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Old 07-14-2009, 12:53 PM   #1
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Default Pitching a Brown on an IPA cake?

I'm planning on brewing a strong american brown ale this upcoming weekend, and I was planning on using Nottingham yeast. I got to thinking last night... I have an IPA that I was going to rack to secondary to dry hop tonight that used Nottingham as well. If I held off and racked that this weekend, just before brewing the brown, could I simply pitch the brown on top of the cake/trub from the IPA?

I know its theoretically possible, and I know its reccomended to go from a lighter beer to a heavier one. That is what I would be doing, from an IPA at about 50 IBU and an OG of 1.055 to a brown with an expected final IBU of about 45 and an expected OG of nearly 1.08. I figured the extra yeast in the cake couldnt hurt with such a high gravity beer as well, so hopefully overpitching wouldnt be an issue.

However... I've never pitched on a cake before, and have a bit of trepidation. The brown is due to be my thanksgiving beer, big and slightly sweet to pair with turkyday fixings, and will be served to a bunch of my family members, so its a fairly important batch.

Is it worth it to try this new (for me) technique? What problems might result?


Thanks for your thoughts!

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Old 07-14-2009, 01:08 PM   #2
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Notty is so cheap. Just wondering why you'd want to re-use a cake.

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Old 07-14-2009, 01:17 PM   #3
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Pitching a brown.. such a strong euphemism..

Personally, I'd just pitch another fresh packet if the batch was critical for success. Less chance of anything going goofy.

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Old 07-14-2009, 01:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petep1980 View Post
Notty is so cheap. Just wondering why you'd want to re-use a cake.
Because at this stage it's going to take off like a rocket, and make for awesome attenuation. And plenty of people, including one of the mods have been known to harvest and reuse dry (but now liquid) yeasts.

Me, I think pitching a brown (yeah chumprock I get it, LOL) on top on top of an IPA would be an excellent idea.

In fact I would do something like Dogfish Head's Indian Brown Ale or HeBrew's Messiah Bold Brown Ale. (if you haven't tried either of them check em out, and google them for info.)

A Hoppy and assertive brown, rather than a balanced one.




I wouldn't even wash the yeastcake, just pitch right on top of the yeast, and hops and all.
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Old 07-14-2009, 01:39 PM   #5
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I think it would be ok. I would probably not want to do this for more than 1 generation of yeast. Yes, the IPA might have less total viable and healthy yeast than, say a 1.040 batch, but the very large mass would more than make up for it.

Plus, I doubt you'd get enough left-over hops matter to impact the flavor of a brown too much.

Although, for the small amount of extra effort, I'd seriously consider washing the yeast once to separate as much trub from the yeast as I could.

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Old 07-14-2009, 02:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Because at this stage it's going to take off like a rocket, and make for awesome attenuation. And plenty of people, including one of the mods have been known to harvest and reuse dry (but now liquid) yeasts.

Me, I think pitching a brown (yeah chumprock I get it, LOL) on top on top of an IPA would be an excellent idea.

In fact I would do something like Dogfish Head's Indian Brown Ale or HeBrew's Messiah Bold Brown Ale. (if you haven't tried either of them check em out, and google them for info.)

A Hoppy and assertive brown, rather than a balanced one.




I wouldn't even wash the yeastcake, just pitch right on top of the yeast, and hops and all.
Heh, actually the DFH Indian Brown is very much in the vein of what I'm trying to produce. I love that beer.

I wasn't really worried about the cost, I was thinking that pitching on the previous cake might produce a better beer than pitching a fresh packet, since the cell count would be higher. I know the cake is healthy because the IPA fermented very well, at the right temperature, etc.

I've only very briefly read about yeast washing. How would I go about quickly washing the cake to remove the unwanted trub? Just put some boiled water in the fermenter and swirl? How would you seperate the good from the bad at that point? This is probably a seperate issue I should go research. heh. *runs off to search yeast washing*
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Old 07-14-2009, 04:46 PM   #7
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I don't see any problem and for a 1.080 beer, pitching on a cake is the way to go. You could just run the trub through a fine strainer if you were worried about left-overs from the IPA, but since this is a holiday ale I doubt much of the residual hop aroma will still be there.

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Old 07-14-2009, 06:07 PM   #8
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Simple yeast washing I boil a bit of water and sanitize a large container, like a large jar. Mix boiled water into fermenter and slosh around to loosen the trub. Pour into jar and let sit for a bit. Heavy stuff sinks quickly. Pour the rest off.

Then you can put the rest in the fridge to separate the water from the yeast. But if you didn't use much water, you might not worry about it and just pitch on top of that slurry.

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Old 07-14-2009, 10:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
What problems might result?
The most common problem is an explosive ferment. I always set the fermenter in a sink and cool the wort to the low end of the yeast's temperature range.
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Old 07-14-2009, 10:24 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mindcrime View Post
Is it worth it to try this new (for me) technique? What problems might result?
Everything in brewing is worth trying. Though, others are right that notty is cheap.

Jamil Zainasheff swears that his beers taste better when he repitches his yeast, as opposed to new yeast. I think he claims the 3rd or 4th batch is best. If true, that only is the reason to do it -> better beer.

The biggest problem is that it could taste wierd. So I agree with Revvy, make a brown that's hoppy like you say you're doing anyway. That should be no problem.

I wouldn't, personally, do this for a Malty English Brown. Same as I wouldn't pitch a Dopplebock cake onto a Munich Helles. That is silly, in my opinion.
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