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Old 12-20-2008, 12:07 AM   #1
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Default Noobie Question. Yeast Cake

What is pitching to a cake mean exactly. Is it beneficial? Can you post procedures. Thanks



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Old 12-20-2008, 12:25 AM   #2
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When you have a batch of beer that is done fermenting you rack (transfer) the beer to another vessel. The gunk left in the bottom of the fermentor is the "yeast cake". It contains many times the amount of yeast you originally pitched in the wort. Using the entire yeast cake for a normal strength beer may be a bit overkill but for some big ones (barley wines, belgians) it may be worth it. The advantage to using the cake is that there is a metric butt-ton of yeast to get to work on your wort. Your batch will start fermenting faster and will finish sooner.

Some good info here:
http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/yeast-starters-yeast-cakes-91073/



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Old 12-20-2008, 01:29 AM   #3
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So let me ask this.
I transfer the IPA into the secondary, brew up my Scotch ale that may have an OG of around 1.070. How long can the cake wait for the wort to arrive, what about wort temps, infection? Do I stir it up? Is there a thread or detailed instructions some where to do this?

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Old 12-20-2008, 02:00 AM   #4
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I'd love to get some specific details on this as well.

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Old 12-20-2008, 02:59 PM   #5
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me too!

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Old 12-20-2008, 05:33 PM   #6
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If the beer that was in the primary you just transferred to secondary or keg tasted good I would re use the cake in the primary right away. If you keep some beer over the yeast it will be good for a week if kept at fermentation temperature. Just add your next wort to this yeast still in the primary and aerate. It should take right off. Do not try to re-use yeast from a high gravity brew as the yeast are stressed and may not perform well. Be very sanitary and you will have no problem.

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Old 12-20-2008, 06:01 PM   #7
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Okay, let me preface this reply by saying I do not advocate or approve of this method. It's dirty (because it puts fresh wort into a dirty fermenter), it's improper pitching (because except in the most extreme of circumstances, it's waaaaay too much yeast, even for big beers); it just isn't good practice. That's an opinion backed by experience and an overwhelming amount of brewing science. But others' opinions differ.

The technique is to time the racking to coincide with a brew. Thus, while your wort is boiling or chilling - depending on your brewery's procedure - you rack fermented beer from the primary to another vessel. The idea is to allow as little time as possible to tick by between the end of the rack and knockout from the kettle. It's easy!

Give it a try if you must. I'd prefer to see anyone considering this method become a better brewer by harvesting and pitching the correct amount of slurry rather than succumb to laziness.

Bob

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Old 12-20-2008, 07:46 PM   #8
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I'm doing this myself today, but I don't like to pitch on the whole cake. I have a 1.070 stout that will go onto a Nottingham cake from a Pale Ale that's going into secondary about 2 hours prior, and I'll remove a lot of the cake and use only about 1/3 of it for the new brew.

I don't go out of my way to reuse yeast (I use mostly dry anyway) and usually only do it if the timing and the styles of the brews work out that way. Nevertheless it's a technique and it doesn't hurt to know how to do it properly.

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Old 12-20-2008, 08:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NQ3X View Post
Okay, let me preface this reply by saying I do not advocate or approve of this method. It's dirty (because it puts fresh wort into a dirty fermenter), it's improper pitching (because except in the most extreme of circumstances, it's waaaaay too much yeast, even for big beers); it just isn't good practice. That's an opinion backed by experience and an overwhelming amount of brewing science. But others' opinions differ.
While all of the above is true it can be done with good results. You are taking a chance but to each his own. I personally have always had good results but only use yeast cakes from liquid yeast to brew a second batch and do not experience problems because I use very good sanitary practices and ferment in a temperature controlled freezer which may contribute to the success I have when reusing a yeast cake. Although the fermenter looks messy with trub and hops it is quite sanitary inside (It has to be in order that the beer taste good). Your mileage may very.
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Last edited by WBC; 12-20-2008 at 08:16 PM.
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Old 12-20-2008, 09:05 PM   #10
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i have heard about this overpitching of yeast when recycling a yeast cake quite alot.

my question, comment how can you be overpitching? why is it too much yeast?

if you start with 10 billion yeast in your starter, and your finished cake has 200 billion viable yeast in which your pitching on, then one could summize the last batch actually required this 200 billion, and the next batch wont be underpitched like the first one was!
seems all that reproducing slows the process to my feeble mind.

numbers were just pulled out of my arse, i know 10b is too much as well
and, fwiw, i have never done this. i do not rack on brew day.



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