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Old 02-12-2010, 04:07 AM   #1
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Default What is yeast cake??

I know, I'm sure it's a simpleton question.

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Old 02-12-2010, 04:10 AM   #2
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It is just the yeast that settles to the bottom after fermentation.

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Old 02-12-2010, 03:45 PM   #3
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Yes - make your next batch and pour the wort directly on top of the yeast from the last batch - watch it take off in 2 hours....

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Old 02-12-2010, 04:19 PM   #4
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Is it supposed to be hard. If not how do you get all former batch out? Can it only be used for the same type of beer again? I just kegged the first batch I ever made. There was a layer of white goo at the bottom. Did I do something wrong?

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Old 02-12-2010, 04:27 PM   #5
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it depends on the type of yeast. some will pack in tighter than others. check the flocculation rating on your yeast. higher flocculating yeast will pack in tight low flocculating yeast will stir up if you sneeze to hard near them.

you siphon any batch of beer off the yeast cake, don't pour. your racking cane, hopefully an auto-siphon, will have a little cup on the end to keep it off the yeast.

the yeast at the bottom can be used again for any recipe that uses the same yeast. typically you don't want to use a yeast cake from a dark beer on a light beer because there may be some color and taste bleed over.

that white goo was yeast. if its in the keg then you either racked to soon or you poured your beer and disturbed the yeast.

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Old 02-12-2010, 04:32 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jackandstacey View Post
Is it supposed to be hard. If not how do you get all former batch out? Can it only be used for the same type of beer again? I just kegged the first batch I ever made. There was a layer of white goo at the bottom. Did I do something wrong?
That layer of white goo is "trub". It's spent yeast, coagulated proteins, hops debris, etc. Sometimes it's fairly compactly packed, sometimes not. Some yeast strains will form a very tight yeast cake, some will not. Generally, the longer it sits, the more firm the yeast cake will be. I like to move the fermenter to where I'm racking the night before, if possible. That way the trub can resettle to the bottom overnight.

When I rack, I just siphon from above that yeast cake. Sucking up a little of the yeast won't harm a thing, as it'll just settle to the bottom again in the bottle or keg.

If you're reusing the yeast cake, the general instruction is to go from a lower gravity beer to a higher gravity beer, and lighter color/flavor to darker. You could easily put a big stout with an OG of 1.080 on a 1.040 cream ale yeast cake, for example. But I wouldn't do the reverse- you'd have darker color and flavors, as well as some stressed yeast.

I like to wash my yeast and save it for reusing. I have many jars of yeast in my fridge, saved from prior yeast cakes. We have a thread on "yeast washing" that can really help if you'd like to try that.
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Old 02-12-2010, 05:09 PM   #7
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I've got some questions about the yeast cake:

1. Is it possible to remove the layer of trub from a fermenter with out disturbing the yeast layer? Does this depend on the flocculation of the yeast? How important is it to re-sanitize around the yeast cake before you drop the new wort on it?

2. I want to do this! I've ordered the making of an American Amber using Wyeast American Ale II yeast. After I brew that and let is sit in primary for three- four weeks, I was thinking of brewing a Stone Ruination Clone. The Ruination clone recipe calls for Wyeast London ESB strain, not American Ale II, although those strains are very similar in attenuation, flocculation, temp, etc. Would it be ok to throw the Ruination onto the pre-used yeast cake?

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Old 02-12-2010, 05:13 PM   #8
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no, the yeast is mixed up fairly evenly in the trub.

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Old 02-12-2010, 05:14 PM   #9
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no, the yeast is mixed up fairly evenly in the trub.
Will this affect the next wort then?
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Old 02-12-2010, 05:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post


If you're reusing the yeast cake, the general instruction is to go from a lower gravity beer to a higher gravity beer, and lighter color/flavor to darker. You could easily put a big stout with an OG of 1.080 on a 1.040 cream ale yeast cake, for example. But I wouldn't do the reverse- you'd have darker color and flavors, as well as some stressed yeast.
Is this just true if you're aiming for a lighter beer? I was thinking of putting a Belgian Blonde type recipe on top of a yeast cake from a Triple that I'm about to bottle next week. I was hoping this would make the Blonde "bigger" than normal. Or will it totally ruin it?

From what I've heard it's much harder to ruin a beer as opposed to just not get out what you intended to put in. I just want to make sure what I'm about to do doesn't make for something that's undrinkable. A surprise wouldn't be something I am opposed to however.
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