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Old 08-14-2008, 10:31 PM   #1
brandona33
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Default Repitching on yeast cake

This has probably been covered before, but I am still unsure I guess. I have a batch ready to be racked to secondary, and am brewing a recipe that calls for the same yeast the same day. After the primary is empty, except for the yeast cake, what are the next steps to get my cooled wort onto the cake?

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Old 08-14-2008, 10:51 PM   #2
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Just dump it straight in, sit back, and hold on!

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Old 08-14-2008, 10:55 PM   #3
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Thanks! I knew it was easier than I was making it out to be in my head.

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Old 08-14-2008, 11:19 PM   #4
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Out of curiosity, what are you brewing?

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Old 08-14-2008, 11:24 PM   #5
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That yeast cake is going to hyper start your fermentation. Make sure you can control the fermentation temps to keep it on the cool side of the yeast, so the temps don't get out of hand.

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Old 08-15-2008, 12:37 PM   #6
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Rack some out and save it in a sterilized mason jar or two and put it in the fridge, then you'll have some for future brews and reduce the chance of over-pitching.

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Old 08-15-2008, 12:48 PM   #7
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While the topic is up and the thread title isn't too specific, I'd like to ask a followup:

What's the longest amount of time that I could let a yeast cake sit before racking a new batch onto it, assuming that I put the lid back on the fermenter immediately after racking the previous batch off?

Ideally, this would happen the same day and the cake would not be exposed for more than an hour, but would it be alright to let the cake sit in the fermenter for a couple days? What if you left just enough beer in there to cover the cake?

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Old 08-15-2008, 12:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Rack some out and save it in a sterilized mason jar or two and put it in the fridge, then you'll have some for future brews and reduce the chance of over-pitching
actually, I've had some really bad luck doing this and think I now understand why. When you remove yeast from the cake, you're bringing with it more than just yeast, maltose, and water - you're bringing starches and I guess, other things, that bacteria like. Everytime I've tried to 'harvest' yeast I've ended up with some off-flavor nasty yeast the next time around. So, on the advice of Asheville homebrewing supply in NC, i've started making large starters on just LME, pitching part of it, and saving the other part. Then I use this starter continuously, simply building it up and pitching a part, in consecutive brews. That way the original starter never sees anything but maltose, water, and yeast and the exposure time is minimum.

I have also had really good luck pitching right on top of the cake and I think the difference between doing this and harvesting/reusing is exposure to air/bacteria. Seems like it wouldn't be much but you should've smelled/tasted all the harvest yeast I just poured out. Thankfully I only used it twice and only had to get 10 gallons of off-flavor yeast beer down my gullet.


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Old 08-15-2008, 12:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrFebtober View Post
What's the longest amount of time that I could let a yeast cake sit before racking a new batch onto it, assuming that I put the lid back on the fermenter immediately after racking the previous batch off?

Ideally, this would happen the same day and the cake would not be exposed for more than an hour, but would it be alright to let the cake sit in the fermenter for a couple days? What if you left just enough beer in there to cover the cake?
The most I've left one is a couple of hours, but as long as there's an inch or so of beer on top of it and you reseal the fermenter I think it would last for a few days with no issues.
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Old 08-15-2008, 12:55 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by MrFebtober View Post
What's the longest amount of time that I could let a yeast cake sit before racking a new batch onto it, assuming that I put the lid back on the fermenter immediately after racking the previous batch off?
I've gone anywhere from a couple hours to a couple of days. I ferment in buckets, so the beer is cold crashed to begin with when I rack my beer to kegs. When I'm done, I leave a small layer of beer over the yeast and put my airlock back on and leave the buckets in the kitchen if I am brewing that day. If not, they go back to the freezer where they sit refrigerated till I have a batch ready.

When the batch is ready, I carefully pull airlock and drop it in the sanitizer bucket, then I pull the lid, add the wort, then give the inside of the lid a spray of Starsan for good measure and put it back on loosely till I get the other bucket filled.

I then take them inside where I will inject O2 for about 30 seconds in each bucket, snap on the lid and plug in the airlocks.

It helps to go from lighter to darker beers as well as bigger beers.
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