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Old 08-20-2007, 12:08 AM   #1
kappclark
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Default times to reuse yeast

I am AMAZED how quickly today's batch started bubbling ... I normally use dry yeast, and expect activity w/in 12 hours or so...

Today I re-pitched over a cake of Nottingham...bubbles in abt 3 hours... slow and steady...

So - how many times should I do this with the yeast -- I have heard 3 times max ..

If 3 is the number, does this mean I can do 2 more with this yeast ??

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Old 08-20-2007, 12:28 AM   #2
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You could probably do 2 more. But it all depends on the beers you're brewing. For example I made a kolsch, in a week I plan to make pumpkin ale and pitch the yeast cake from the kolsch. I will then retire the yeast because the pumpkin ale is going to be around 1.070. I wouldn't want to use the yeast again after a high gravity brew, unless I was brewing another pumpkin ale, in which case I would wash the yeast to insure it's healthy. If you make pale ale, then repitch into an IPA, you wouldn't want to use the yeast for something like a Scottish 60 or bitter. It’s also not the best idea to go from a stout to pale ale.

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Old 08-20-2007, 12:31 AM   #3
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You could probably do 2 more. But it all depends on the beers you're brewing. For example I made a kolsch, in a week I plan to make pumpkin ale and pitch the yeast cake from the kolsch. I will then retire the yeast because the pumpkin ale is going to be around 1.070. I wouldn't want to use the yeast again after a high gravity brew, unless I was brewing another pumpkin ale, in which case I would wash the yeast to ensure maximum health. If you make pale ale, then repitch into an IPA, you wouldn't want to use the yeast for something like a Scottish 60 or bitter. It’s also not the best idea to go from a stout to pale ale.

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Old 08-20-2007, 12:37 AM   #4
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I am doing 1040 ish ales ... no big beers

Currently a brown ale ... next is a EdWort's Haus Ale

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Old 08-20-2007, 12:40 AM   #5
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I think you'll be fine.
By the way, do you know how to delete posts? I accidentally posted twice.

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Old 08-20-2007, 12:58 AM   #6
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go ahead and use that yeast as many times as you want. It will let you know when it's out of gas. I've used yeast thru 8 batches, had so much yeast in fermenter I had to scoop some out with a ladle. The previous batch will not flavour the next unless there is alot of extras in there (like pumpkin). Drain off all the previous batch beer and toss in the next batch, watch out for explosive ferments

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Old 08-20-2007, 01:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bellybuster
go ahead and use that yeast as many times as you want. It will let you know when it's out of gas. I've used yeast thru 8 batches, had so much yeast in fermenter I had to scoop some out with a ladle. The previous batch will not flavour the next unless there is alot of extras in there (like pumpkin). Drain off all the previous batch beer and toss in the next batch, watch out for explosive ferments
I'd be careful about using it "as many times as you want". Yeast mutates over time. Certainly, 3 - 5 times would be fine. 8 might even be okay, but eventually the yeast will change its character. The consensus from what I've seen is about 6 times is okay, beyond that your taking your chances.
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Old 08-20-2007, 01:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IowaStateFan
I'd be careful about using it "as many times as you want". Yeast mutates over time. Certainly, 3 - 5 times would be fine. 8 might even be okay, but eventually the yeast will change its character. The consensus from what I've seen is about 6 times is okay, beyond that your taking your chances.
I think I wouldn't go much over 3. Everytime you re-pitch, the yeast reproduce. This is ok if your beers are getting bigger, you need more yeast. But, after a couple same or lower gravity beers, you may end up essentially over pitching. You hate to save $1 and end up with a beer that started fermentation quick but end up with off tastes.

If I were using Nottingham I might re-pitch one, then buy a new pack. If I were using a more specialized yeast, I would re-pitch one, then harvest clean and divide the yeast cake.
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Old 08-20-2007, 01:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IowaStateFan
I'd be careful about using it "as many times as you want". Yeast mutates over time. Certainly, 3 - 5 times would be fine. 8 might even be okay, but eventually the yeast will change its character. The consensus from what I've seen is about 6 times is okay, beyond that your taking your chances.
absolutely!!! that's why I stated "the yeast will let you know"...as soon as you sense a change, dump'er. After 8 batches or so, I still detected no changes in the yeast character.

Simply washing the yeast is doing nothing to extend its life, it is still the same yeast after washing.

As far as over pitching is concerned, some yeast definately has to be removed due to pure massive amounts. I left that one to common sense. Over pitching to the point of damaging is difficult to begin with.

Personally..I don't see the point in repitching much more than 2 or 3 times on dry yeast as it is cheap anyway
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Old 08-20-2007, 02:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iordz
I will then retire the yeast because the pumpkin ale is going to be around 1.070. I wouldn't want to use the yeast again after a high gravity brew
I'm not sure I agree with your logic. When you culture bacteria for producing cleaning enzymes, you feed them only the target "food". Those suitable for that live, the others die off. The net result is a specialized strain of bacteria. Fermenting beer is not that much different. Hence, brewing a big beer wouldn't yield a tired yeast, but rather a yeast crop more tolerant of high gravity wort.
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