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Old 05-04-2012, 05:05 PM   #1
jamorgan3777
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Default Q about pitching "yeast cake"

I guess its not really pitching the yeast and its already in the fermenter. Going to try this for the first time. Here is the plan.

It's US-05 that has been working on BierMuncher's Blond Ale for about a week. I am going to try an AIPA next and wanted to pitch it onto this yeast cake.

Fermentor is sanitary and sitting at ~655F, so my plan was to:
1. cold crash the Blond Ale then transfer to seconday (keg in this case)
2. Put the sanitized cap back on after racking the blond.
3. allow yeast cake to warm up to room temp while I mash/boil the AIPA
4. Cool the AIPA wort as normal and rack from BK to fermenter on top of the yeast.

Any problems with this? Should I cold crash the blond after racking (seems like I would have to rack again and I would like to avoid that if possible). Do I need to do anything different with the yeast cake?

Thanks, in advance, for the advice.

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Old 05-04-2012, 05:09 PM   #2
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Be prepared for some opinions on this. According to Mr. Malty, you will be overpitching. I did this once and the beer fermented fine, but some people commented that it tasted "yeasty". You could pour some of the cake off and pitch on the remaining. But you really don't know how much you are starting with.

You don't have to cold crash the blonde, but it would probably help clean it up.

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Old 05-04-2012, 05:23 PM   #3
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1 cup of the cake should be sufficient, I'd wash/save the rest for future use

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Old 05-04-2012, 07:42 PM   #4
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1 cup of the cake should be sufficient, I'd wash/save the rest for future use
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Old 05-04-2012, 07:47 PM   #5
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Get ready for a vigorous, practically explosive ferment. This is one gallon of cider on an old Graff yeast cake.

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Old 05-04-2012, 08:24 PM   #6
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I use entire cakes sometimes, harvested, cooled, then later re-warmed and pitched. Never had explosive fermentation including having nearly 6g in a 6.5g ale pail using witbier yeast in the 80's.

Not saying my results will be your results, but I wouldn't worry about it. Of course, you can make more than one use of the yeast, as said above. Slosh it around after racking the blonde and divide it up in 12-16oz. amounts.

If you're worried about blowoff, use a tube.

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Old 05-06-2012, 03:56 PM   #7
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I just harvested/washed a lager cake that had 3 different batches on it. The last 2 have been among the cleanest brews I have done. The fermentation was fast with no signs of stress or byproducts whatsoever. Of course, I believe it's difficult to 'over pitch' with lagers anyway... I have not racked onto an ale cake yet, since I really don't do that many ales anymore.

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Old 05-07-2012, 12:32 PM   #8
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Re-using cakes makes brew days much easier, IMO. No worries about oxygenation, or making starters or anything else. Just brew, pitch and be done with it.

Last week I did an experiment where I poured off the yeast cake into a sanitized 1 gallon milk container and stored it in the fridge. Then I used half of it and pitched into a fresh batch of wort in a clean and sanitized bucket. I get the benefits of reusing the cake along with a fresh and clean fermentor.

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Old 05-07-2012, 12:55 PM   #9
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Well, I went ahead and did it and here is what I can report.

Holy Fermentation Batman! That thing took off! Nothing explosive (yet) but I was bubbling heavy in about 3 hours and had 5" of kreusen after 24. I also could not believe how warm it got. I think a little too warm, but its an IPA so hopefully all that hops will mask any off flavors. The thing I was most liking was not having to clean a carboy. I just brewed, racked and put it in the basement. Was my easiest brew day yet.

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Old 05-07-2012, 12:55 PM   #10
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I recently brewed a Kolsch where I pitched straight on top of a previous fermentation using the Kolsch yeast WLP029. Fermentation was strong and quick; then racked and lagered to clean up. Beer came out fantastic!

RDWHAHB!

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