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Old 07-08-2013, 03:48 PM   #1
slackerlack
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Default Re-pitch onto yeast cake questions

I have not been able to find any answer on here or by listening to the brewing network. I want to brew an American Pale Ale, then an American Amber Ale, and then an American Brown Ale. All three will use Wyeast 1056 to ferment with.

The process I have imagined, would be to cold crash for a few days, transfer beer from carboy into keg leaving the yeast cake behind, let yeast cake warm up to pitching temp, transfer wort onto yeast cake at pitching temp. And repeat this for each batch, using the same carboy three times in a row.

Do you see a problem with this process?

Can I make one, and then pitch the next on top of the yeast cake, and then the third the same way?

Should I not use the same carboy, will it be dirty or unsanitary for the second and third batch?

If I dry hop, will that cause problems?

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Old 07-08-2013, 04:04 PM   #2
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I would think you would have better results by making a starter and splitting it three ways for a healthy pitch on each beer. That would eliminate many of your potential problems of off flavors from previous batch, and severely over-pitching your second two beers.

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Old 07-08-2013, 04:16 PM   #3
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I have pitched a new beer on the yeast cake a few times with good results. I don't normally advocate a secondary but for dry hopping in this case I would.

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Old 07-08-2013, 04:40 PM   #4
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Pitching on top of an entire yeast cake would be, as brokebucket said, a severe overpitch. This thread lays out some good reasons why not to: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/can-...-yeast-333338/

I wouldn't ever pitch on a whole yeast cake. You can definitely reuse yeast from the yeast cake though. The Mr. Malty calculator has an option that will tell you how much slurry to use. http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

EDIT: I found this thread in the similar threads list at the bottom of this one and it looks even more in depth: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/why...t-cake-166221/

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Old 07-08-2013, 04:44 PM   #5
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You could pitch onto the cake. I have as many others have and with success. I'm a big advocate for experimenting to see for myself what others have observed and reported so I say Try it. However I'm a bit of a clean /sanitary nut thanks to SWMBO so now I harvest, wash and make starters when possible. At a minimum I like to start with a clean fermenter. Best luck.

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Old 07-08-2013, 05:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slackerlack
I have not been able to find any answer on here or by listening to the brewing network. I want to brew an American Pale Ale, then an American Amber Ale, and then an American Brown Ale. All three will use Wyeast 1056 to ferment with.

The process I have imagined, would be to cold crash for a few days, transfer beer from carboy into keg leaving the yeast cake behind, let yeast cake warm up to pitching temp, transfer wort onto yeast cake at pitching temp. And repeat this for each batch, using the same carboy three times in a row.

Do you see a problem with this process?

Can I make one, and then pitch the next on top of the yeast cake, and then the third the same way?

Should I not use the same carboy, will it be dirty or unsanitary for the second and third batch?

If I dry hop, will that cause problems?
Problem? The only problem I see is the over pitching issue that has been mentioned. I asked this exact question probably about a year ago and I think the same threads were listed as reference why NOT to. I ended up doing it with good results, but it was a big (1.108 OG) stout.

Can you? Absolutely. See previous caveats regarding over pitching, but this is most certainly possible.

Same carboy? If it wasn't infected, there is no reason to think it is not sanitary enough. If you ARE going to switch carboys, I think it would be worth the effort to wash and pitch the correct amount.

Dry hopping? Shouldn't hurt, although you may get some flavor from it. I think someone already said it would be a better idea to dry hop in a secondary with your process.
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Old 07-08-2013, 05:20 PM   #7
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I've done exactly what you suggest: brew one and pitch two new beers successively on the entire yeastcakes into the exact same fermenter. I understand the reasoning behind NOT doing this but all three beers came out fantastic; although they didn't flocculate as well as I had hoped (I wonder why ). My beers went up in gravity for each pitch (Mild at 1.035, ESB at 1.061, IPA at 1.072). Be cautious of the krausen height though; have a blow-off tube/system ready (you'll know within a couple hours of pitching ).

Would I do it again? Absolutely, under certain circumstances. Better would be to simply reuse a portion of the cake and trash/save the rest. Even better would be to reuse a portion of the cake into a newly cleaned fermenter.

The circumstances where I would pitch on an entire cake again would be: low gravity first beer (>=1.040) with a high gravity, yeast-neutral follow-up beer (>=1.070) that I wanted fermented VERY fast (2-3 days), AND is okay to be a bit cloudy.

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