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Old 08-30-2012, 03:41 PM   #1
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Default Yeast cake exploded, overwhelmed temp controller

I recently pitched a Fin du Monde clone onto the yeast cake of a belgian trippel/IPA that I had fermented with Wyeast #3522 (Belgian Ardennes, 65-85F). While the yeast didn't technically explode in terms of a bomb, it did require me putting a blow off tube on our 15 gallon conical with a 10 gallon batch.

Long story short, the heat generated overwhelm our chilling system. I left it Tuesday at 9am and there was zero activity... returned to it Wednesday at 7pm and it was ~87F and vigorously fermenting so it obviously wasn't sitting at that temperature for long (< 36 hours). Should I be worried about any off flavors?

As soon as I saw the problem I immediately pulled it back into range where it reached 67F within a few hours.

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Old 08-30-2012, 04:36 PM   #2
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I would be concerned....that is a recipe for fruit salad/paint thinner beer. 87F is too hot for that yeast, especially during the early growth phase. I never take it above 75F, and that isn't untill the final few gravity points.

Yet another reason why not to pitch onto your yeast cake...

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Old 08-30-2012, 04:51 PM   #3
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Yet another reason why not to pitch onto your yeast cake...
What are the other ones?
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:06 PM   #4
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I am concerned but am trying to weigh in whether or not the temperature and the time cooperatively made a difference. Considering the reaction is accumulative and exponential in nature, being that it was only at 87F (when it's max is 85F) means that it must have just reached that. SO... obviously there may be an issue but is it that bad?

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Old 08-30-2012, 05:12 PM   #5
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What are the other ones?
Yeah, I'd like to know this too. why is pitching on a yeast cake bad?
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Old 08-30-2012, 05:18 PM   #6
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Overpitching so you don't get the proper ester profile as the yeast would provide in the budding stage.

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Old 08-30-2012, 05:53 PM   #7
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So it's dependent on the style and whether you'll get the appropriate flavor and aroma. And not so much like a "you shouldn't do it" thing.

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Old 08-30-2012, 05:57 PM   #8
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Pretty much. On an ale somewhat, and on a wheat beer and belgian beer styles, you want that flavor from the yeast to come through. If you overpitch them too much, they don't bud and will start fermentation right off the bat. I will generally use 1/3 of the cake and either saver or dump the rest of the yeast.
Now if you are doing lagers, I will use 1/2 of the cake since lagers are beers with minimal yeast derived flavors if done correctly.

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Old 08-30-2012, 06:08 PM   #9
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That's a good point. Especially for wheat/belgian styles. I usually try to under pitch those and then raise the temp after the first couple days of fermentation. I've had luck with clean american yeasts and moving an IPA onto the cake.

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Old 08-30-2012, 06:15 PM   #10
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Good information to know.

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