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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Beer Discussion > Making use of an old yeast cake
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Old 09-04-2009, 05:14 AM   #1
Homebrewcrazy
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Default Making use of an old yeast cake

I just wanted to share my experience on re-using an old yeast cake.. Bottling day and brew day happen to land on the same day, so I figured I would try re-using the yeast cake from my Sierra nevada clone that I just bottled...

I decantered off all the old beer and poured the wort directly on the old yeast cake, and then proceded to oxyngenate. I had fermentation within 2 hours and it was "fast and furious"...

Starting gravity 1.062 final gravity 1.009 very, very ipressive and probably the best fermentation I have had to date..

I can't wait to see how te finished product tastes..

Happy Brewing,
Frank

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Old 09-04-2009, 03:16 PM   #2
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I haven't done this yet. Do you do this out of a primary fermenter? If so, are you concerned with all the trub, like settled out hops and grains, things that aren't yeast.

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Old 09-04-2009, 04:16 PM   #3
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I love throwing wort on a cake. It's fun to watch the furious fermentation and the beer has always turned out great.

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Old 09-04-2009, 06:00 PM   #4
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I recently did this and was shocked to see a very active fermentation
after only 30 minutes.. I could not believe my eyes. The batch came
out great too.

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Old 09-04-2009, 06:28 PM   #5
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I've done the same thing a couple times; it's great as long as your new beer uses the same style of yeast. The trub isn't much of a problem; it settles out right away anyway. I did notice that I lost a couple of bottles worth of beer due to the doubley-big trub at the bottom, but it's a small price to pay.

I think it's worth mentioning that it's probably not a great idea to go from big, heavy, complex beers to light ones with this technique. If you're using, say, a British Ale yeast and go from brewing an english IPA to a stout, great. However, I wouldn't drop wort for a pale ale or session ale onto a cake used for a big IPA or stout.

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Old 09-04-2009, 07:19 PM   #6
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So, how would this work? Lets say I bottled today and left the trub and yeast in the carboy with an airlock on it. Tomorrow I brewed the same or similiar beer. Is it ok to leave the yeast cake and trub in the carboy overnight with the air lock attached? How long do you think the yeast cake would be safe for adding a fresh brewed wort on top of it?

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Old 09-04-2009, 07:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Q2XL View Post
So, how would this work? Lets say I bottled today and left the trub and yeast in the carboy with an airlock on it. Tomorrow I brewed the same or similiar beer. Is it ok to leave the yeast cake and trub in the carboy overnight with the air lock attached? How long do you think the yeast cake would be safe for adding a fresh brewed wort on top of it?
I usually leave a half inch or so of beer on top of the cake.
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Old 09-04-2009, 07:27 PM   #8
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One or two days you should be OK. Any longer than that I'd just wash it and store it. It's easy enough to do.

You can keep a couple of big (a pint of slurry or so) batches out instead of a bunch of little one if you don't want to make starters. The Mr. Malty pitching rate calc has the option to use slurry.

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Old 09-04-2009, 10:55 PM   #9
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I have also been told not to use the yeast cake more then 3 times because the cells have been overworked by this point and not worth re-pitching..

I have only done this from a primary fermentor and not a secondary, I wonder if it would still work from the secondary??

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Old 09-05-2009, 08:27 PM   #10
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The cellarmaster at Bell's Brewery in Kalamazoo told us that they often use yeast for up to eight times. The only reason they stop is that it gets "slow", in other words what used to ferment in seven days now takes eight or nine.

Quality is the same on all the generations.

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