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Old 01-27-2008, 04:37 PM   #1
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Default Reusing yeast

Can I pour the yeast cake out of my secondary (5 gal glass carboy) into my plastic fermenting bucket and then add my wort? or, is it possible to use a 5 gal carboy as a primary?

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Old 01-27-2008, 04:39 PM   #2
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Try a little searching.

You can use a carboy for any portion of the fermentation process.

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Old 01-27-2008, 04:47 PM   #3
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I wouldn't reuse the yeast cake out of the secondary, though, even though it's "cleaner" than the primary yeast cake. You've got the most stressed and least flocculant yeast in the secondary.

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Old 01-27-2008, 04:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage
You can use a carboy for any portion of the fermentation process.
You might have trouble using a 5 gallon carboy for your primary, though. The headspace for your krausen is pretty important, mostly to keep the airlock from clogging and blowing beer everywhere. As long as everything is sterile you're probably better off pouring the yeast cake into the primary first.

One problem though might be the amount of yeast you have left in secondary. I doubt it would provide enough to pitch an average batch onto unless your flocculation was really low and a lot of yeast was transferred into secondary.
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Old 01-27-2008, 04:50 PM   #5
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...and pitching on top of a yeast cake is also usually overpitching. If you overpitch, the yeast won't go through the initial phase of reproduction which makes for healthy yeast. No initial reproduction and you'll be fermenting with stressed yeast and not achieving the proper characteristics from the yeast.

I know a lot of people do this with fine results, but I am just of the opinion that pitching rate plays a very important factor in achieving the perfect beer.

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Old 01-27-2008, 04:54 PM   #6
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I have never used yeast from the secondary but I do regularly pour fresh brewed wort over the sediment remaining in the primary. Everytime I have gotten a good brew and also amazingly quick start up of hte fermentation. Usually around 3 hours.

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Old 01-27-2008, 05:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alabama Brewer
I have never used yeast from the secondary but I do regularly pour fresh brewed wort over the sediment remaining in the primary. Everytime I have gotten a good brew and also amazingly quick start up of hte fermentation. Usually around 3 hours.
A quick start means the yeast aren't going through a reproductive cycle. See my above post.
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Old 01-27-2008, 05:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PseudoChef
...and pitching on top of a yeast cake is also usually overpitching. If you overpitch, the yeast won't go through the initial phase of reproduction which makes for healthy yeast. No initial reproduction and you'll be fermenting with stressed yeast and not achieving the proper characteristics from the yeast.

I know a lot of people do this with fine results, but I am just of the opinion that pitching rate plays a very important factor in achieving the perfect beer.
That's a good point. The only re-pitched batch I've done was with an OG increase of about 10 points to account for the extra yeast, but still got immediate airlock activity. My beer came out with a slight peach flavor which I didn't detect in the original beer. Maybe that's the explanation.

I prefer washing the yeast anyway, when I have time.
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Old 01-27-2008, 05:10 PM   #9
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FWIW, I am reiterating information directly from the founders of White Labs, Chris and Mike White.

You can listen to a great discussion in this Brewing Network podcast.

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Old 05-11-2011, 04:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alabama Brewer View Post
I have never used yeast from the secondary but I do regularly pour fresh brewed wort over the sediment remaining in the primary. Everytime I have gotten a good brew and also amazingly quick start up of hte fermentation. Usually around 3 hours.

Same here. Bottled up a batch of wheat beer at sunrise this past Sunday and then brewed up another extract batch which I chilled down and poured onto the yeast cake about an hour later. Actually poured onto the cake and then poured back and forth between the two buckets several times to aerate and get the yeast distributed in the wort. Finished up about 8:30am.

Took my wife and mom out for Mother's Day lunch and peeked into fermenter when I got home. Nice krausen by 4pm.

Did a hydrometer pull this morning before leaving for work, less than 48 hours into fermentation and the reading had gone from the original 1.068 down to 1.020.
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