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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Pitching onto yeast cake?
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Old 07-24-2009, 05:20 PM   #1
WenValley
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Default Pitching onto yeast cake?

OK, I've been reading about yeast ranching, washing, pitching, etc. etc. etc.

Here's where I need help.

I have a 5 gallon batch of Simcoe IPA that's been in a 5 gallon carboy since July 12th (12 days). I used Whitelabs Burton Ale Yeast (vial) and the SG was 1.084 and this morning it is 1.028. My plan is to let this go another week or so, and watch the hydrometer, I'd like it to come down a little more.

Also, I have a 6 gallon carboy of Honey Ale that was started on July 11th (13 days). It started at 1.060, and yesterday it was at 1.008, and today it's at 1.006, I'm planning on letting this one sit in primary for another week too, and watch the readings. I used Wyeast 1056 American yeast for this.

I have an extract kit of Coopers European Lager that I'd like to brew next. I have a dry yeast pack of Danstar Nottingham.

Can I just add the Coopers European Lager to either the IPA above, or the Honey Ale? Or should I just use the Nottingham?

I'm planning on saving the above two yeasts for future batches. I'd like to reuse the IPA yeast for more IPA batches. What could I brewusing the Honey Ale yeast? I'm going to order an IPA recipe today via UPS. Could I just make up the IPA wort and pour it onto the current IPA yeast cake?

I live in an area with no local HB shops, so being able to reuse yeast would greatly help with the brew hobby.... Thanks for all input.

I gotta tell ya, this "simple" hobby is quickly becoming a graduate class in bio-chemistry. But the results have been amazing... so BREW ON BABY!

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Old 07-24-2009, 05:43 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by WenValley View Post
Can I just add the Coopers European Lager to either the IPA above, or the Honey Ale? Or should I just use the Nottingham? If it is a true lager, then you need a lager yeast and ferment at colder temps. Out of the 2 choices you presented, I would use the cake from the Honey Ale.

I'm planning on saving the above two yeasts for future batches. I'd like to reuse the IPA yeast for more IPA batches. What could I brewusing the Honey Ale yeast? I'm going to order an IPA recipe today via UPS. Could I just make up the IPA wort and pour it onto the current IPA yeast cake? Tossing another IPA onto the IPA cake is the best idea. If you try to do a lighter/different beer without washing the yeast, you may have a lot of hopiness carried over in the cake.
I am expecting to receive a chemistry degree myself as much as I have learned since I started brewing.
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Old 07-24-2009, 06:11 PM   #3
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I wouldn't rack the Coopers onto the the IPA, you'll pick up hop flavors from the trub- I don't know this kit, but I'd assume it's a more subtle brew. Racking a lower gravity onto a yeast cake is a little overkill, IMO. I'll only rack a strong beer (1.090 or above) directly onto a cake. You could just use a sanitized spoon and scoop out a good chunk of the slurry and pitch that.

As far as storing yeast, It's fairly easy to do. I swirl up the slurry and pour into a sanitized erlenmeyer flask, fit with an airlock and put it in the fridge. If you are using it in 3-4 weeks, you just need to warm it up, decant the beer and pitch the slurry. I do this for 4-5 generations (all for the same beer - my 'house kölsch'). I've kept it in storage up to six weeks, but if I let it go that long, i'll make a 2000ml starter for the slurry a day or 2 in advance to wake it up (I do 12 gal batches).

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