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Old 08-09-2012, 04:45 AM   #1
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Default Pitching Beer on used yeast.

I am doing a Northern Brown ale with whitbread yeast. I am waiting to pitch BM's Octoberfast and I want to pitch onto the yeast from the Brown ale. My question is will it matter with the trube that is present and do I need to get all the beer off the yeast cake before I do this?

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Old 08-09-2012, 05:29 AM   #2
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The short answer is that, yes, it's ok to use that yeast again. The longer answer involves telling you that you don't want to put fresh, new wort onto a massive collection of trub, old yeast, dead yeast, good yeast, and mutated yeast. This can do some really wonky things to your flavor, particularly in a beer without really, really strong flavors. For, say, an Imperial Stout, you could get away with it (but I wouldn't do it anyway).

Use sanitary practices!

Leave a bit of beer remaining from the first batch on the top of the cake. Swirl it around until the cake breaks up. Pour the mixture into several see-through, sanitized containers that are tall and fairly narrow. Glass mason jars work.

To make this easier to see, boil up some water, cool it off to room temperature (be sure it's cooled to room temps), and pour it over the yeast in each jar. You want the bottom quarter of the jar to have the yeast mixture and the top three-quarters to be liquid (this can be beer or the sanitary water I just mentioned).

Cover the jars, give them a good shake, and let them sit for a while. You'll see the mixture begin to form sediment layers, the bottom of which is the trub, dead yeast, and older slow yeast. You don't want this stuff. The second, creamier layer is the good, healthy yeast. These guys you want! Eventually, you'll start seeing little particles float and settle atop this creamy layer. This is your protein materials and mutant yeasts. You don't want this stuff either, so just pour off all of the liquid on the top (including those particles I referred to), then pour the creamy good stuff into another sanitized container. Discard the remainder. To make this easier to see, boil up some water, cool it off to room temperature (be sure it's cooled to room temps), and pour it over the yeast in each jar.

Repeat that with each of the jars you filled and you'll be in good shape to ferment the next batch with only the healthiest, meanest, and leanest yeast in your colony. These guys will get the job done faster.

If there doesn't seem to be enough there of the good guys, you could make a starter with the ones you're able to collect.



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Old 08-09-2012, 05:45 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cordane View Post
The short answer is that, yes, it's ok to use that yeast again. The longer answer involves telling you that you don't want to put fresh, new wort onto a massive collection of trub, old yeast, dead yeast, good yeast, and mutated yeast. This can do some really wonky things to your flavor, particularly in a beer without really, really strong flavors. For, say, an Imperial Stout, you could get away with it (but I wouldn't do it anyway).

Use sanitary practices!

Leave a bit of beer remaining from the first batch on the top of the cake. Swirl it around until the cake breaks up. Pour the mixture into several see-through, sanitized containers that are tall and fairly narrow. Glass mason jars work.

To make this easier to see, boil up some water, cool it off to room temperature (be sure it's cooled to room temps), and pour it over the yeast in each jar. You want the bottom quarter of the jar to have the yeast mixture and the top three-quarters to be liquid (this can be beer or the sanitary water I just mentioned).

Cover the jars, give them a good shake, and let them sit for a while. You'll see the mixture begin to form sediment layers, the bottom of which is the trub, dead yeast, and older slow yeast. You don't want this stuff. The second, creamier layer is the good, healthy yeast. These guys you want! Eventually, you'll start seeing little particles float and settle atop this creamy layer. This is your protein materials and mutant yeasts. You don't want this stuff either, so just pour off all of the liquid on the top (including those particles I referred to), then pour the creamy good stuff into another sanitized container. Discard the remainder. To make this easier to see, boil up some water, cool it off to room temperature (be sure it's cooled to room temps), and pour it over the yeast in each jar.

Repeat that with each of the jars you filled and you'll be in good shape to ferment the next batch with only the healthiest, meanest, and leanest yeast in your colony. These guys will get the job done faster.

If there doesn't seem to be enough there of the good guys, you could make a starter with the ones you're able to collect.
This is all true, I would only add that if the yeast cake is from a batch of beer that was not good, was funny tasting, or even sour (unintentionally) don't risk it. That yeast could be infected.
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Old 08-09-2012, 05:52 AM   #4
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+1 to chessking. Make sure you're starting with good stuff before making more of it. Use all of your senses, including the common one.

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Old 08-09-2012, 01:20 PM   #5
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If it was me (and I do this quite frequently, so I'm speaking from my own experience), I'd just pull out about 8 ounces of slurry (all the sh*t that is sitting at the bottom of the fermenter, desireables and undesireables alike) and pitch it into a fresh batch of wort. No muss, no fuss. Of course, as chessking noted, if you detected anything off from the batch from which you're pulling the slurry, I wouldn't use it, but assuming it was a healthy fermentation with no signs of infection, then I'd go with it.

Now, with that said, Cordane's advice concerning common sense is worth adhering. Generally, you wouldn't want to pitch slurry from a dark beer into a lighter one without going through the basic washing process that he outlined. Also, if the slurry is from an IPA or something strongly hopped, I'd think twice about direct-pitching into wort for a not so hoppy brew as it may carry over some of the hop flavor that you probably do not want. Even with washing, this could be a potential problem (so I've been told - I'm not a hophead and don't brew hoppy beers, so I haven't experienced this myself).

But, for the brews you described in your post (brown ale ---> Octoberfest), I'd have no qualms whatsoever about direct pitching a glob of slurry. In fact, I'm brewing this weekend and will be direct pitching slurry from a brew that I'll be kegging at the same time.

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Old 08-09-2012, 02:01 PM   #6
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Consult a pitching rate calculator like the one found at www.mrmalty.com You will likely want to pitch half a cup (or less) of slurry.

There's nothing inherently wrong with repitching slurry--most breweries use generation after generation after generation of slurry. It's your best source of fresh, healthy yeast. Just be sure to (1) take care of your sanitation, and (2) pitch at proper rates.

One of the reasons I try to make sure I get very clean wort into my fermenter (i.e. very little break material, hops, etc) is so that my slurry is clean and easy to re-use.

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Old 08-09-2012, 02:16 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone for the information. I am going to try this on this batch and I will let yall known.



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