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Old 07-19-2010, 01:54 PM   #1
spriolo
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Default Recycled Yeast Cake.

Last night I re-used a yeast cake in my primary for the first time ever. I racked a batch from my primary bucket to a secondary carboy and figured I'd see if I could save $5 (SafAle S-05). I pitch a freshly boiled batch right on top of the yeast cake.

After racking to the secondary I placed the primary bucket lid and air lock back on the bucket. I figured it was clean and bacteria free since the taste and smell of the beer was fresh and hoppy. It only sat for 5 hours or so while I messed around with the new all grain batch.

I made sure the new batch was chilled down to 75*-ish (I normally ferment at basement temps of 72). Just for good measure and for extra drama (SWMBO was watching) I aerated the wort by lifting the boil buck way in the air while pouring... It made a big woosh and splashed around inside the primary like it was being blended. She loved it.

The morning after? The air lock is about to pop off the top. Those yeasties are going like starved mad men!!!

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Old 07-19-2010, 05:03 PM   #2
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Massive overpitch! Fun, though, isn't it?

Next time I'd only use part of the yeast cake (mrmalty includes pitching rates for repitching from a yeast cake; e.g. for a reasonably big 1.075 brew you only want about 125ml of slurry).

You can save the rest, either as-is for relatively soon reuse, washed for use in the next couple of months--see the sticky for yeast washing illustrated.

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Old 07-19-2010, 05:36 PM   #3
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Thanks for the mrmalty tip.

The previous batch's OG was about 1.050, this one is 1.060... Can I assume because this is a second generation AND it's working on a 1.060 these yeasts are going to be tired out?

(if there is such a thing?)

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Old 07-19-2010, 06:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spriolo View Post
Thanks for the mrmalty tip.

The previous batch's OG was about 1.050, this one is 1.060... Can I assume because this is a second generation AND it's working on a 1.060 these yeasts are going to be tired out?

(if there is such a thing?)
1.060 is big but not huge. I'd be okay reusing it, but I'd prefer to use a smaller beer's cake if possible.
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On deck: Little Bo Pils, Bretta Off Dead (Brett pale)
Secondary: Oude Bruin, Red Sky at Morning (Sour brown ale)
On tap: Saison Duphunk (sour), Amarillo Slim (IPA), Earl White (ginger/bergamot wit)
Bottled: Number 8 (Belgian Strong Dark Ale), Eternale (Barleywine), Ancho Villa (Ancho/pasilla/chocolate/cinnamon RIS), Oak smoked porter (1/2 maple bourbon oaked, 1/2 apple brandy oaked)

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Old 07-19-2010, 06:29 PM   #5
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That's good news. This seems to work well. I might rack to secondary, wash some of the yeast and leave ~1/2 cup (125mL) for the next batch then. 3rd Generation Slurry I guess.

Seems like you could reduce your costs this way (if you are happy with the yeast you have)

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Old 07-19-2010, 07:29 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by spriolo View Post
That's good news. This seems to work well. I might rack to secondary, wash some of the yeast and leave ~1/2 cup (125mL) for the next batch then. 3rd Generation Slurry I guess.

Seems like you could reduce your costs this way (if you are happy with the yeast you have)
Yeah, I have a couple of jars of 3 of my favorite yeasts tucked in the fridge. For a yeast I brew a lot with, I'll get 10+ brews out of one smack pack. For stuff I use less often, I'll usually plan on 2 brews with it in close-ish proximity (within a couple of months)to at least split the cost, unless it's something really unusual when I'll just eat the cost.

I've also got some Orval dregs cultured up for a forthcoming brew; $6 for a really good beer plus a brett culture seems better than $8 for a brett smack-pack.
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On deck: Little Bo Pils, Bretta Off Dead (Brett pale)
Secondary: Oude Bruin, Red Sky at Morning (Sour brown ale)
On tap: Saison Duphunk (sour), Amarillo Slim (IPA), Earl White (ginger/bergamot wit)
Bottled: Number 8 (Belgian Strong Dark Ale), Eternale (Barleywine), Ancho Villa (Ancho/pasilla/chocolate/cinnamon RIS), Oak smoked porter (1/2 maple bourbon oaked, 1/2 apple brandy oaked)

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Old 07-27-2010, 04:11 PM   #7
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Update: I just racked this batch into the secondary (it's been a week or so) and the attenuation of the yeast is only 67%! I was expecting 80% like the last batch I used this yeast on.

OG 1.060
Secondary Ferment Rack SG: 1.020

Any thoughts?

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Old 07-27-2010, 05:57 PM   #8
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Recipe?

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Old 07-27-2010, 09:44 PM   #9
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Thanks for asking.
Grains
Weyermann Light Munich (2 row) 10 pounds
Muntons Crystal (2 row) L55 1 pound

Water
Mash 3.4 GAL
Sparge 4.8 GAL
Grain Absorb 2.3 GAL
Total wort before boil 5.9 GAL

Water Procedure
Mash at 155*F
Fly Sparge at 170*F

Hops
Cascade 2 OZ 60 Minutes
Cascade 1 OZ 30 Minutes
Cascade 0.5 Dry

Yeast
Pitched cooled wort over entire yeast cake of SafeAle S-05

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Old 07-28-2010, 01:31 PM   #10
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Check it out.

I was reviewing my copious notes (yes I'm a beer numbers geek) and saw that my last batch with the same yeast (as the title says this is a recycled yeast cake) had an SG when I racked to secondary of 1.022. I was disappointing in the performance but assumed it was because I mashed at 165-ish. I was experimenting with higher mash temps (lower sugar).

This time my mash temp was lower yet the yeast performed the same way (after only 7 or 8 days in the primary). In the past I've used S-05 right out of the packet and it has consistently had an 80%+ attenuation. Could it be that this packet of yeast is just lazy?

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