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Old 04-25-2013, 11:47 AM   #1
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Default Long Lag Time on Yeast Cake

After doing plenty of research, it turns out I probably screwed up by brewing a Belgian Dubbel (1.071 OG) and pitching it onto a Belgian Dark Strong (1.086 OG) WLP530 yeast cake. Screwed up as in pitching a smaller beer onto a bigger beer's cake AND using a cake from a big beer to begin with. The Belgian Strong had been in the fermenter for about 3.5 weeks when I transferred it to secondary and then racked the Dubbel onto it. Well, 18 hours later and still no physical signs of fermentation, which I wasn't expecting because of pitching onto a cake. I guess the yeast are stressed out?

SO...I'm assuming it should eventually take off? The wort is at 64 degrees right now (per the recipe's fermentation directions). Should I warm it up to try and get the yeast going?

I'm worried that it isn't going to take off and I have no way of getting my hands on more WLP530 for days.

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Old 04-25-2013, 02:39 PM   #2
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Did you pitch on a whole cake? If so, as a precaution, you might want to rig up a blow off tube. It can lag a while and then take off pretty quickly and vigorously.
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Old 04-25-2013, 02:50 PM   #3
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Those yeast are pretty banged up. If you have a stir plate, next time you might just reserve part of the cake and pitch to a small starter and put it on the stir plate to build back up to pitching volume.

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Old 04-25-2013, 03:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Did you pitch on a whole cake? If so, as a precaution, you might want to rig up a blow off tube. It can lag a while and then take off pretty quickly and vigorously.
Yep - I just pitched on the whole cake. I've been all ready to go with the blowoff tube because I figured it was going to go nuts! Now, just waiting!!
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Old 04-25-2013, 03:20 PM   #5
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Those yeast are pretty banged up. If you have a stir plate, next time you might just reserve part of the cake and pitch to a small starter and put it on the stir plate to build back up to pitching volume.
I do indeed have a stir plate and would obviously do that instead next time! So, with the yeast being pretty banged up...think it'll still take off?
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:03 PM   #6
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When is a reasonable amount of time to wait before needing to pitch fresh yeast?

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Old 04-26-2013, 01:00 AM   #7
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It might be too cool. The optimum temp for that yeast is 66 to 72 per Wyeast.

Up the temp a few degrees and rig up a blow-off.

While it is not recommended using yeast from a high gravity beer, it will still work. What happens is that you accelerate mutations, changing the yeast characteristics.

Generally pitching on a whole cake is not optimum. It will work, but next time, just take out about a quarter of the cake and use that. You can wash it (preferred) or not (not absolutely necessary).

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Old 04-26-2013, 03:44 AM   #8
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When is a reasonable amount of time to wait before needing to pitch fresh yeast?
72 hours. Give it some time at 68* before tossing more yeast.

Hopefully, you're not basing your concerns on lack of airlock activity. Who knows? You may have a small leak. Definitely take a gravity reading before adding more yeast.
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Old 04-26-2013, 11:10 AM   #9
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I had moved the temp up to 68 and I have some airlock activity this morning and a krausen is starting to form - It was 36 hours...I think I'm good to go. Thanks all for your feedback

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Old 04-26-2013, 11:45 AM   #10
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Sorry to jack your thread, just have a question that I've been wondering about for a little while. When you say you pitched right onto the yeast cake, do you mean you literally poured your wort on top of the cake leftover at the bottom of your fermenting vessel after racking? Or do you scoop out that cake, clean+sanitize your bucket, add your wort, and then pour the yeast cake collected on top like how you would usually pitch yeast?

Sorry, still new here. Thanks!

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