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Old 05-10-2005, 06:09 PM   #1
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Default Recycled Yeast

I cannot remember where I read about re-using the yeast cake at the bottom of the primary after racking off the brew, however we decided to give it a whirl. This was not only a good learning experience, but an apparently successful test.

Both beers were New Castle style English Ales, made with similar ingredients. I do not have the actual recipes here.

We brewed the second batch prior to racking the batch that was in the primary. This allowed it to cool so as not to scortch the yeast. We racked the 1st batch into another carboy to age a bit, leaving a half inch to cover the yeast cake. After racking we re-applied the water trap so as to stop other beasties from sneaking in. Apparently the yeast was doing well, as we were still getting bubbles pushing through!

After the wort cooled, which ended up taking a while, we poured it into the primary, shaking as we did in order to break up the yeast cake and get the beasties working. Then we put the mixture into the brewing bathroom in the basement to do it's thing.

The next morning there was activity, though not out of control. That evening, however, it was discovered that the yeast was sooo happy that it had a new batch of beer in which to play, that it had decided to exit the facility through the trap! It coated the water trap, stopper, and about 4 inches of the top of the carboy with a nice layer of gunk. Luckily, I think that it was mainly foam which made it's way through, as the level inside the carboy has not gone down much at all.

I guess the lesson learned is that if you recycle yeast, understand that it is very excitable and must be given lots of room with which to play. Perhaps next time I will also try siphoning off half of the yeast cake and store it in the fridge for future use. This will not only extend the usefullness of the yeast, but hopefully cut down on the violence of the reaction.

Cheers to the yeasties!

Ramp

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Old 05-10-2005, 06:55 PM   #2
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I've tried reusing yeast right away as you did, but I now take 22 oz bottles and fill it up first prior to reusing.

This way I get 2 -3 batches out of 1 primary.

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Old 05-10-2005, 08:21 PM   #3
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What you experienced wasn't unique. I had my 1st batch done this way blast the plastic cover off the primary like a shot-gun (boom, was there to here it). My 2nd & 3rd experience I rigged it up with a blow-off tube to release the pressure but neither one of these were vigorous enough to require it although still was a rabid ferment. I do know if the next time I don't do a blow-off Murphy will win.

BTW the beer on the 1st batch was outsanding even with the exposure...

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Old 05-10-2005, 10:26 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramp
understand that it is very excitable and must be given lots of room with which to play
What size fermenter did you use here?
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Old 05-11-2005, 08:05 PM   #5
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understand that it is very excitable and must be given lots of room with which to play

What size fermenter did you use here?
I used a 6 gallon class carboy as my primary, and secondary for that matter. I filled it up to a little over the top groove, which is where I normally set my mark for. Hehe, oops
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Old 05-11-2005, 08:10 PM   #6
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I was told by my HBS that I shouldn't use a 6g glass carboy for a primary. I was an idiot when I bought it (for another secondary) and asked if I could return it to exchange with a 6.5. Nope, I used it once (was honest). Either A) he was lying on using it for a primary and wanted me to buy a 6.5 or he speaks truth. More space means less chance of course...

In the meantime, I'm still using my plastic primary. How many others use a 6g primary?

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Old 05-12-2005, 04:01 PM   #7
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I do ~12 gallons in a ~15 gallon demijohn and rarely have blowoffs. If you give it enough space, it won't blow off.

Plastic, straight-sided fermenters are nice because they don't "focus" the foam in the neck the way carboys do. I wish someone would make a 15 gallon glass bucket! Easy cleaning and less chance of blowoff.

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Old 05-12-2005, 04:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janx
I do ~12 gallons in a ~15 gallon demijohn and rarely have blowoffs. If you give it enough space, it won't blow off.

Plastic, straight-sided fermenters are nice because they don't "focus" the foam in the neck the way carboys do. I wish someone would make a 15 gallon glass bucket! Easy cleaning and less chance of blowoff.
I agree. That's why I don't use glass for the primary...too much to clean up.

Welcome back. Where've you been Janx? I heard you might have been surfing in Hawaii?
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Old 05-12-2005, 05:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Welcome back. Where've you been Janx? I heard you might have been surfing in Hawaii?
Hey thanks! Y'all are so sweet. Hawaii is next week,, and I am extremely stoked!

Real life and work has been keeping me super busy. More 12 hour days than you can shake a stick at and travel taboot. But I'll be around for sure when I'm back from vaycay. Gotta have my homebrewtalk

Cheers!
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Old 05-12-2005, 05:51 PM   #10
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Don't forget the north coast and Waimea Bay.

Been there, done that. Nice place.

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