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Old 08-10-2012, 06:10 PM   #1
T-Dan
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Default yeast cake question

Hi all,

I plan to bottle a 5 gallon batch of Brown Ale on Saturday, and to avoid trying to do too much in one day, I am planning to brew a 3.5 gal batch of Barleywine one Sunday. I would like to try and use the yeast cake from the Brown Ale (Wyeast 1056) for the Barleywine.

Will it be OK to leave the yeast cake overnight in the fermentation bucket instead of pitching into it right away?

If so, is there an ideal temperature to store it at overnight?

I plan to add a little bit of distilled water to the cake while it sits overnight. Is that necessary?

I could also take some of the cake and store it in a mason jar overnight to be used the next day. This would allow me to better clean the fermentation bucket. Is this a better option?

I have used mrmalty's calculator and have a rough idea of the quantity of slurry i will need. I don't plan to use all of the cake/slurry in either case.

Thanks for any input.

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Old 08-10-2012, 07:12 PM   #2
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Just leave enough of the brown on the surface of the cake to keep it covered. 1/2" should do the trick. Make sure to put the airlock back on once you're done with the siphon and it should be fine for that amount of time. The yeast is basically dormant right now anyways, so that amount of time shouldn't hurt. I don't see the need for the water either - just store at normal fermentation temps or whatever it's been at until now (under 75 is fine) and hit it with that big ol' beer!

Edit: Just saw that your barleywine is only 3.5gal - this might be quite an overpitch. Can you make a full batch? It could end up with a more appropriate cell count. What is your OG of the barleywine? Also, what yeast?

Good Luck!

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Old 08-10-2012, 07:22 PM   #3
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I would highly recommend to pitch the correct amount of yeast slurry and use a new sanitized fermenter.

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Old 08-10-2012, 07:26 PM   #4
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The yeast is Wyeast 1056. I am doing a smaller batch for a few reasons.

- this is a partial mash, and I have a 5 gal cooler/mash tun. so i can only mash about 9 lbs of grains. I am adding 3.3 lbs of LME and 1 lb of DME to get the OG to about 1.108 on the 3.5 batch.

- once fermentation is underway and slowing down, I plan to add a 3 qt maple syrup, sugar, and water mixture to bring my OG up to whatever is necessary to get about 12% ABV. I will figure what needs to be added after i know the exact OG of the initial portion of the batch.

So the final batch size will be about 4.25 gallons or so. It saves a little on grains and extracts to make this a slightly smaller batch.

I will be reducing the yeast cake since i already know it would be an over-pitch to use it all.

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Old 08-10-2012, 07:35 PM   #5
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As long as you are very sure that your initial batch was uninfected, and you are very careful so as to not contaminate things, I don't see a problem in doing this. I would mash low and prob add some malts for body like Melanoidin malt or some Carapils for some mouthfeel. All that sugar may end up a bit dry or not as complex as you'd like.

Just my $0.02 - I have reused cakes with good results, but try to use fresh yeast from a fresh starter whenever possible.

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Old 08-10-2012, 07:43 PM   #6
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i woulndt use the whole cake even if it was a full batch. use mrmalty to figure out an appropriate amount (probably a cup). i usually just do my bottling/kegging while its boiling/mashing (helps slow the drunk mistakes ), but totally understand not wanting to do too much in one day. leaving 1/2'' like OCBrewin said will be fine for overnite

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Old 08-10-2012, 07:48 PM   #7
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use Mr. Malty and use part of the cake as recommended. I've used the whole cake before, though, after storing in fridge in mason jar for a month or three...never had an ill effects but it's wasteful and I suppose possible to invite problems.

If I did it right Mr. Malty says you only need 115ml of the cake. That seems low to me, but hey...

(if it were me I'd probably just use 1/3 of the cake...but I like to fly by the seat of my pants)

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