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Old 07-04-2012, 02:50 PM   #1
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Default Pouring onto a Yeast cake

I have read that a good way to make a barleywine is to pour your barleywine wort right onto a yeast cake from a just racked IPA. No real question here, I just want to know your opinions on this specifically and the concept in general. So have at it, what do ya'll think?

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Old 07-04-2012, 08:49 PM   #2
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It will certainly work, but whether or not its suggested depends on a few factors. First, realize that you'd be starting with a ton of yeast and probably way over-pitching, which is why a lot of people will wash their yeast first before pitching the barleywine. All it requires is rinsing the yeast out of the fermenter, letting the trub settle out, and then you can repitch the washed yeast. There are a bunch of calculators like Mr. Malty that will let you figure out how much of the yeast cake to use after washing.

Second, depending on how concerned you are with trub, you might wind up with a lot of protein and hop debris in the IPA yeast cake, another good reason to wash the yeast. Personally, I try to whirlpool but don't sweat getting some trub into my fermenter (I figure it all settles out anyways), so I'd definitely want to wash the yeast.

Finally, if you're looking at the idea because you've already got an IPA ready to bottle and want to use that yeast, you're kind of stuck. On the other hand, if you're planning ahead, you may want to make sure that whatever first batch you decide on is reasonably low on the alcohol side. A pale ale/IPA that's around 5-6% is probably fine, but you probably don't want to first brew a huge 8% IPA and then toss that yeast into a barleywine. It will probably work, I just prefer not to over-stress my yeast if I can help it.

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Old 07-04-2012, 09:35 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pitbull-brewer
I have read that a good way to make a barleywine is to pour your barleywine wort right onto a yeast cake from a just racked IPA. No real question here, I just want to know your opinions on this specifically and the concept in general. So have at it, what do ya'll think?
I did that with a Sierra Nevada Bigfoot clone on 1056. Fermented quickly and completely. No ill effects from going directly onto the cake. I've done several batches of different styles this way. If the original batch wasn't infected, had too much trub, or high alcohol, I'll go straight from the counterflow to the cake. Aerate and let 'er rip.
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by erikpete18 View Post
Finally, if you're looking at the idea because you've already got an IPA ready to bottle and want to use that yeast, you're kind of stuck. On the other hand, if you're planning ahead, you may want to make sure that whatever first batch you decide on is reasonably low on the alcohol side. A pale ale/IPA that's around 5-6% is probably fine, but you probably don't want to first brew a huge 8% IPA and then toss that yeast into a barleywine. It will probably work, I just prefer not to over-stress my yeast if I can help it.
This is good advice, I always brew something "small" then pitch onto that cake. I also remove some of the cake and try to get somewhere in the volume of slurry that the Mrmalty calculator suggest (mrmalty.com). If you over pitch you may not get much fermentation profile in the beer and you also run the risk of a hyper-active fermentation where you loose control of the temp and that causes issues in of itself.

One other thing, when I make a big beer I usually cap the mash and run a second beer off of the grain. If you do that and have a pound or two of DME on hand you can get a 5 gallon batch of beer for a couple bucks. If you do this just pitch part of the yeast cake in the second beer and you have action!.
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Old 07-04-2012, 11:24 PM   #5
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One other thing, when I make a big beer I usually cap the mash and run a second beer off of the grain. If you do that and have a pound or two of DME on hand you can get a 5 gallon batch of beer for a couple bucks. If you do this just pitch part of the yeast cake in the second beer and you have action!.
When you say "cap the mash," what does that refer to? Are you adding more grain to the second runnings?
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Old 07-05-2012, 05:43 PM   #6
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Yes, I will add some specialty grain to the mash, let it steep while I get the first beer going and I'll get a different beer out of it. If you make a IIPA you can add some roasted barley, chocolate malt, and some darker crystal malt and get a stout or a porter. Or you can just add a lb of British crystal and get a bitter. There is tons of things you can do with this method.

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