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Old 06-11-2013, 01:53 PM   #1
Tiroux
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Default Repitch on cake - Saison

Hey guys!

I have a clean blonde Saison (og 1052) that is in primary for more than 3 weeks now. I will bottle it on saturday, and I will brew an Imperial black Saison (og 1080ish) that I will pitch on the cake.

My question: should I use the whole cake, or use half of it, 1/3, 2/3?

I know that usually a whole cake is wayyyy too much cells, but I listened to the beersmith interview with Nathan Smith about saisons, and he was saying that saison yeasts need an higher cell count and an higher oxygenation.

It is the WLP566 Saison II

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Old 06-11-2013, 06:06 PM   #2
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i would use a cup of yeast slurry.

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Old 06-11-2013, 06:12 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastoak View Post
i would use a cup of yeast slurry.
Sounds about right. When I rack off the cake, I leave a little bit more liquid than some and add about 4 oz. of boiled, cooled water to it to swirl up the yeast. I then wash the yeast and almost always save 4 (8 oz) jars of slurry. I'd use one for each batch.

If you are concerned about the count, you certainly could use 1/3 of the cake. I put half a cake of WLP500 from a BPA in an 11% Belgian Strong and the strong came out quite nice.
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by distributistdad View Post
Sounds about right. When I rack off the cake, I leave a little bit more liquid than some and add about 4 oz. of boiled, cooled water to it to swirl up the yeast. I then wash the yeast and almost always save 4 (8 oz) jars of slurry. I'd use one for each batch.

If you are concerned about the count, you certainly could use 1/3 of the cake. I put half a cake of WLP500 from a BPA in an 11% Belgian Strong and the strong came out quite nice.
I don't really wanna get into washing and reusing yeast. Most of the time I buy a new vial for each brew, because from my point of view the trouble and risks don't wort the price and the safety of a new vial. Anyway, here isn't the debate.

This time is just an exeption because I was brewing two saison in a row from the same yeast so...

So I guess I will rack of the Saison and then add maybe 0.5 or 1L of fresh wort to wakeup the yeast while I bottle the first one and brew the second one... then I use 1/3 of this slurry/now wort mixture
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:24 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiroux View Post
I don't really wanna get into washing and reusing yeast. Most of the time I buy a new vial for each brew, because from my point of view the trouble and risks don't wort the price and the safety of a new vial. Anyway, here isn't the debate.

This time is just an exeption because I was brewing two saison in a row from the same yeast so...

So I guess I will rack of the Saison and then add maybe 0.5 or 1L of fresh wort to wakeup the yeast while I bottle the first one and brew the second one... then I use 1/3 of this slurry/now wort mixture
If you don't want / need any of the other yeast, just add a little bit of water to the empty bucket/carboy so you can swirl up the cake. I'd pour that into a quart jar / big plastic cup something so you can let the trub settle out and after a few min pour out about 12 oz of yeast slurry into another container. I can't imagine that you'll need to wake up the yeast at all, since its coming right out of a fermentor. I'd then just direct pitch.
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Old 06-11-2013, 06:37 PM   #6
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Mr Malty has a pitching calculator for just this scenario: http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html Choose the "Repitching from Slurry" tab and hover over the slider arrows for the tooltip instructions. It's not an exact calculation since you don't know exactly how much yeast is in the trub, but it should give you a good idea. You can always pitch a bit more than the calculator tells you with negligible ill effect if you're worried about underpitching.

You also need VERY little liquid to swirl up the yeast at the bottom of the bucket/carboy. The past couple batches I have just finished siphoning the beer off and swirled what beer was left (and what was left was almost nothing) and was able to get it fluid enough to pour out or scoop out however much I needed. Just make sure whatever you pour into or scoop with is sanitized well.

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Old 06-11-2013, 06:54 PM   #7
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I've pitched on full yeast cakes many times and haven't noticed a negative effect to the beer. I have noticed an unproportionately large amount of sediment and what seems to be a slightly smaller batch size coming out after fermentation, but nothing in the way of flavors/aromas. Everytime has been a relatively neutral yeast in terms of flavor/aroma.

Saisons (belgian yeasts) have the ester/phenol factor that needs to be considered when pitching. Some folks say to slightly underpitch saisons (no more than 10%) to enhance these characteristics, while others simply recommend using temperature to enhance these characteristics. I do think that one thing is generally considered true and that is that overpitching will decrease these characteristics somewhat - not completely because that's the nature of the yeast but slightly subdued maybe.

If you are not concerned about maximizing the ester/phenol aspects of the yeast and would be fine with potentially having slightly subdued ester/phenols then I would say just pitch on the whole yeast cake. Don't add water or wort and swirl - you risk contamination. Just bottle your beer, keep the yeastcake bucket covered, brew your next beer and when it's cooled then pour it right on top of the yeastcake (no additional oxygen needed or aeration because the yeast will not be reproducing - they go straight to alcohol production mode -Edit: see my rationale 2 posts below). You may want to give a good little shake to break up and mix the yeast but that's all there is to it. You will want to cool your next saison to 65F - no higher - before putting on the cake. The combination of a ton of yeast plus a ton of sugar plus a high temperature will result in a volcano in a little time, but if you drop the wort temp down to 65F then you give yourself a little cushion and extra time. Plus it gives you time to see things when they're starting to happen so you can prep temperature control techniques.

Keep in mind that you will see MAJOR activity within 1-2 hours of pitching on a yeastcake and fermentation will likely be finished within a couple days, of course there's no substitute for gravity readings. The yeast don't need to be awakened at 3 weeks; they're starving the ready to go!!

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Old 06-11-2013, 07:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stpug View Post
"...then pour it right on top of the yeastcake (no additional oxygen needed or aeration because the yeast will not be reproducing - they go straight to alcohol production mode).
Humm.... I had not heard that.

So the yeast will not reproduce or they will eproduce at a lower rate...

I guess I need to go re-read the book on the yeast lifecycle...

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Old 06-11-2013, 07:47 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by DPBISME View Post
Humm.... I had not heard that.

So the yeast will not reproduce or they will eproduce at a lower rate...

I guess I need to go re-read the book on the yeast lifecycle...

DPB
I should qualify that by stating that I'm just an average person; no biology degree of any kind and certainly no specific qualifications in yeast lifecycles. I've just done a lot of various reading online and in non-yeast specific brewing book but have NOT read the book 'Yeast' by JZ and CW, although it's on my list of books to buy

What I posted above is based on my understanding of the yeast lifecycle and nutrient requirements for their phases. When the oxygen runs out (log phase when o2 is used) in the wort the yeast move to the growth phase where they reproduce and make alcohol. Given that they don't have the essentials for reproduction you are left with little reproduction and most of the "old guys" have to do the bulk of the work, thus stressing them even more then they might be from the first beer. The idea here being that we're not trying to further create healthy yeast, nor provide them the reserves for reproduction. We're just simply trying to use them to complete exhaustion without caring about their health (I know, sounds terrible ) - who cares if they get stressed because they're going in the compost next . I'm sure that my understanding of this aspect is not perfect but it's what I've gathered up to this point.
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Old 06-11-2013, 08:27 PM   #10
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Thanks for the great replies!

In fact, at first it was my idea to simply pitch the new wort on the whole cake... I don't remember who conviced me to not do it. Maybe my own freak perfectionnist side, ahah.

My plan is to cool the wort to 65 and place it in a 65 degrees room and let it ramp up to whatever, then bring it upstairs to maintain 75-80 degres. I will also do a transfert to secondary to get off that old.

Good points on both sides... I have to make a choice.

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