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Old 07-10-2007, 06:22 PM   #1
CivEngPE
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Default Reuse Trub?

Hello all,
I am relatively new to this and am about to brew my 6th batch and had a question. I ordered an ale kit from AHB about 4 months ago and just never got around to brewing it. I did brew another one this past Sunday and am planning to brew the older kit this coming weekend. Since the White Labs yeast is a little out of date, I want to rack last weeks brew to secondary and then pour my newly brewed wert right on top of the left over trub from the old batch. In addition to this I was going to toss in the out of date yeast for good measure.

Are there any potential problems with doing this?

Thanks for your advice.

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Old 07-10-2007, 06:40 PM   #2
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I wouldnt toss in the other one. There is no point in that. You will be fine pitching on top of the trub...in fact, it will probably take off in a couple of hours.

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Old 07-10-2007, 06:40 PM   #3
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No problems at all, but you shouldn't even bother pitching another yeast in it. You'll have so much yeast in the yeast cake that it'll take off like gangbusters. You'd be wasting your vial by adding it too.

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Old 07-10-2007, 06:41 PM   #4
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No problems at all pitching a fresh brew on a yeast cake, I do it quite frequently. You will want to make sure you have a blow-off tube setup though. It will be a pretty vigorous fermentation for the first few days.

Regarding the old kit, if it has any pre-crushed grains in it you may want to consider purchasing fresh replacements. Pre-crushed grains don't have much of a shelf life and you don't want your beer to taste stale.

If the yeast is out of date it isn't necessarily bad, you could make a starter out of it to see if it is still good. If it smells like beer after it ferments and it tastes ok the yeast are fine to use.

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Old 07-11-2007, 04:41 PM   #5
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I would just add acouple things. Put the old vial in the fridge and make a starter with it the next time you brew. A starter will tell you if the yeast is good or not.
Also, are you sure that you know what to do with a blow off? Just making sure. If I can save you from a huge mess by asking again, why not ask? Good luck. Blow offs and starters have been discussed to death if you need to search for either of those in a previous thread.

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Old 07-11-2007, 05:35 PM   #6
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I agree about the blow off for sure. I have done it before and definitely plan to do one for this one! My main concern was the possibility of imparting off flavors to the next batch, because there are alot of other things in the trub other than yeast.

Thanks for all of the advice and I will let you know how it goes / tastes!

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Old 07-12-2007, 01:13 AM   #7
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First off, pitch on top of the old yeast cake, add a blow off and watch the show. Save the old yeast for another batch. If you dont want to make a seperate starter wort, I would save 2 qt's from your new batch for starter wort. Then with that wort make a starter with it and when the starter is finished brew another batch.

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Old 07-25-2007, 01:51 PM   #8
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I repitched on top of my old yeast cake and major fermentation began within 2 hours! Holy Cow! I have never seen anything like it. It has been 4 days and this thing is still going like gang busters!!!! I had my fridge set at 65 degrees and the beer still got up to 75 deg before I found out. It is fermenting so rapidly that I am going to brew another batch and reuse the yeast cake again tonight!

Thanks for the advice. If I hadn't used a blow off tube, I know it would have ended up everywhere.

One question though. Why not use a blow off every time? I seem to like it much better than the 3 piece air locks.

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Old 07-25-2007, 01:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CivEngPE
One question though. Why not use a blow off every time? I seem to like it much better than the 3 piece air locks.
I always use a blow-off tube for the first 3 or 4 days of fermentation. Since I went to all-grain brewing almost every batch has needed it and I don't want to take the chance of it not being there. When pitching on a yeast cake it's a requirement not an option as you found out.

You could definitely stick with just the blow-off tube if you want, all that really matters is that you keep the nasties out of the fermenter. Personally I swap out the blow-off for an airlock as soon as the fermentation subsides, though I couldn't tell you why I do, I just do.
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Old 07-25-2007, 02:03 PM   #10
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so what would everyone guestimate the shelf life of crushed grains to be? I have had some crushed grains in the fridge for about 3-4 weeks, has perhaps a slight amount of oxidation occurred? On the yeast note, old or past date liquid yeast is not usually a problem if it has been stored properly. Or at least that has been my limited experience. Before my LHBS got their latest shipment, I had been (unknowingly) using some older yeast. One vial had been past its "use within" dates for at least 3 or 4 months. Of course as everyone has thus far said, a starter was used.

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