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Old 10-18-2008, 09:28 PM   #1
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Default How long can a yeast cake sit?

Title pretty much says it -- how long after racking beer can you let a yeast cake sit before pitching on it again?

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Old 10-18-2008, 10:08 PM   #2
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It depends. Is there a layer of beer over it keeping oxygen out? Is it refrigerated?

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Old 10-18-2008, 10:31 PM   #3
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I've never gone more than overnight with leaving a cake in the fermenter...and that's with leaving a layer of beer on it, keeping it sealed, as cool as possible AND washing it. But it's dicey to do it..Personally you should do your racking off the yeastcake while your wort is chilling in the brewpot, so there's no gap, and risk for something to infect the yeast.

If you are not going to be able to pitch on the cake right away, then I think it's best to wash and jar up the yeast...or at least pour it into sanitized mason jars (beer trub yeast and all) and then wash it later.

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Old 10-18-2008, 10:39 PM   #4
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I was going to rack an IPA and was hoping that 3-5 days with the normal amount of beer left after racking would be enough to "protect" the cake, just put the lid back on the bucket and put the airlock back on...then, when my APA is done, pour off the last of the beer and pour the fresh batch on.

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Old 10-18-2008, 10:40 PM   #5
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Thanks Revvy, that was my other option was just to go ahead and wash it...maybe not the 2-3 steps that I normally do to get just yeast, but at least in sanitized mason jars.

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Old 10-18-2008, 10:52 PM   #6
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I've left a cake for 2 weeks with no issues. As long as you seal the fermenter right back up it's not a big deal really. I do leave just enough beer to keep it covered. Keep it in a suitable fermentation temperature range and it'll be fine.

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Old 10-19-2008, 05:01 AM   #7
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I've left a cake for 2 weeks with no issues. As long as you seal the fermenter right back up it's not a big deal really. I do leave just enough beer to keep it covered. Keep it in a suitable fermentation temperature range and it'll be fine.

Really? WoW Brad....I never knew you could streatch it as long without ending up with autolysis smelling....It turened out ok?

THat's good to know. I don't know that I'd risk it myself...but I trust you enough to know that if it worked for you, then it's something I'd fall back on if I had to...

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Old 10-19-2008, 05:23 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
Really? WoW Brad....I never knew you could streatch it as long without ending up with autolysis smelling....It turened out ok?

THat's good to know. I don't know that I'd risk it myself...but I trust you enough to know that if it worked for you, then it's something I'd fall back on if I had to...
This was after 3 weeks in primary. I don't know if I'd push it much beyond that, but 2 weeks seems OK. I figure once it's flocculated it's like leaving it in primary a few extra weeks, the yeast:beer contact ratio isn't going to change so no worries. In normal practice though if I'm going to be more than a week I'll wash the yeast and store to be safe.

Oh and PUI in case that didn't make any sense.
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