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Old 05-31-2012, 01:50 PM   #1
badbrew
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Default Have you ever fermented on a dead yeast cake?

I poured the wort on a yeast cake in a keg that was sealed for about 2 or 3 weeks. When I cracked the seal on the keg, the keg let out a ton of gas and the smell was pretty strong inside. I just assumed the smell was from the hop trub inside sitting for a while. I tasted the yeast and it tasted like yeast so I just went ahead. Anyway, after about a day there was nothing, so I pitched 2 packets of us 05 and it started up fine the following day. So I'm just wondering if this has happened to others and if the beer ended up o.k. after that.

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Old 05-31-2012, 02:20 PM   #2
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Why do you think the yeast cake was dead? 1 day for the yeast to "wake up" is not unusual if the yeast have been dormant for 2-3 weeks.

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Old 05-31-2012, 02:21 PM   #3
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Any time I ever pour onto a yest cake, it is immediately after I rack off of the cake. Probably should have refrigerated the yeast for those 2-3 weeks or maybe left some food for them to eat. Had you refrigerated it, you may have just put them to sleep instead of killing them at room temp with no food.

Did you have the Keg at room temp?

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Old 05-31-2012, 02:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theredben View Post
Why do you think the yeast cake was dead? 1 day for the yeast to "wake up" is not unusual if the yeast have been dormant for 2-3 weeks.

Yeah 1 day is not long enough to say the yeast was dead.

Normally pitching onto a yeast cake, you get very fast and active fermentation.
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Old 05-31-2012, 02:28 PM   #5
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My guess that after 2-3 weeks the yeast was not fully viable, but only waiting about 1 day didn't tell you whether they were dead or not.

in the future you should take the yeast cake and refrigerate it. I have used some that had been in my refrigerator for months with success.

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Old 05-31-2012, 02:32 PM   #6
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Why do you think the yeast cake was dead? 1 day for the yeast to "wake up" is not unusual if the yeast have been dormant for 2-3 weeks.
It's water under the bridge. It may have woken up but I was taking no chances.


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Any time I ever pour onto a yest cake, it is immediately after I rack off of the cake. Probably should have refrigerated the yeast for those 2-3 weeks or maybe left some food for them to eat. Had you refrigerated it, you may have just put them to sleep instead of killing them at room temp with no food.

Did you have the Keg at room temp?
Yeah room temp. There was no more room in the keezer. I just hope the beer isn't funky. The smell might have been sulfery. It was hard to tell. I let it air out for a few hours with the relief valve opened before pouring the wort.
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:23 PM   #7
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I seem to remember a thread on here where someone pitched on a yeast cake somethign like 20 times (brew a batch, rack off beer, dump more wort, over and over). At one point they didn't rack fresh wort back on and the yeast cake dried up....it picked right up again after fresh wort was put back on.

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Old 05-31-2012, 05:55 PM   #8
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all it takes is a fraction of a percent of the cells to survive and you can make beer with it. now- after 20 times of being reused and after being dried up, im sure the remaining, completely stressed out yeast didnt produce a great tasting beer (or at very least- not as tastey as it could have been).

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Old 05-31-2012, 07:54 PM   #9
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yeah i wouldn't pitch on the cake more than like 3 times without washing the yeast.

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