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Old 10-12-2010, 09:11 PM   #1
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Default Pitching on a yeast cake?

I'm planning on brewing a RIS in a few weeks and I'm going to bottle a batch of beer on the same day. So I'm planning on reusing a big chunk--if not all--of the yeast cake for the big beer. When people talk about "pitching on a yeast cake" do they literally just dump the wort on top of the old cake in the same fermenter, uncleaned, trub and all? This seems like a prime way to get an infection, but then again I could be wrong. Any tips on how much of the cake I should use and what method (the RIS will have an OG of around 1.090+)?

Thanks!

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Old 10-12-2010, 09:20 PM   #2
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If there is no infection in the dirty vessel, why would you think adding clean wort to it would cause an infection? Yes we just rack the beer right on top of it.

I do similar style beers and end up dumping half the cake out before adding the other batch. But since you are going small to big, just use the whole cake. It'll take off like a rocket so watch your ferm. temps the first couple of days. Hopefully you are doing this in glass so that you can enjoy the fireworks once it gets going.

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Old 10-12-2010, 09:24 PM   #3
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Like BendBrewer said, infection shouldn't be a worry.

However, I go the other direction from his method. I would put the wort in a clean carboy and then pitch an appropriate amount of the slurry so as to not over pitch. Mr. Malty has a good pitching rate calculator that you can set up for slurry to get an idea of how much you would want to pitch.

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Old 10-12-2010, 09:27 PM   #4
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But then you have to wash a carboy.......

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Old 10-12-2010, 09:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BendBrewer View Post
But then you have to wash a carboy.......
My fear of that scum up top and too much trub material creating off flavors over powers my laziness by the slightest little bit. My carboy collection keeps me going for a long time before having to clean a new one ...however, my garage starts to look like a bachelors sink after a few batches.
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:24 PM   #6
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I would think that all that dead yeast and trub in the cake would create off flavors.

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Old 10-12-2010, 11:17 PM   #7
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Why not rack the beer off the yeast. Then go back with the racking cane and suck up the top layers of yeast off the trub and put that into a beaker to settle. Then pour out the trub from the carboy, pour in your new wort and the yeast that you siphoned off the top of the trub?
Wouldnt that work to resue the yeast and get rid of most of the trub from the first beer?

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Old 10-13-2010, 12:28 AM   #8
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I have pitched on yeast cake twice. Same fermenter, just dumped from the brewpot after chilling. Both beers came out fantastic. Definitely gotta watch the fermentation tho....both times were violent ferms that required blowoffs.

I'm switching over to yeast washing so that I get max value for my money.

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Old 10-13-2010, 12:46 AM   #9
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Just this Saturday I pitched on the previous week's yeast cake. I just dumped my newly made wort into the dingy carboy. Today is tuesday and I just racked this beer to a clearing tank (carboy) for crash cooling. That's right. 72 hours later and my beer is ready for clearing/carbonation. I'm not sure if it was the yeast (wlp 028 Edinburg) but I didn't even need a blowoff. I tasted the beer today and it was fantastic. I think if your previous yeast cake is still fresh/young you should be ok as long as you get it off that yeast cake as soon as your newly made beer is ready.

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Old 10-13-2010, 03:36 PM   #10
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I'm doing lagers that way. I just pour off all but about a cup or two of the yeast/trub and add fresh wort. I've done it as many as three times in a row without a problem. I could probably do it more but I always get worried after the third time and start over, cleaning my BB's and making a new starter. It hasn't caused a bad beer yet.

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