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Old 09-14-2009, 03:20 AM   #1
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Default Pitching onto yeast cake

I've got a new beer I'm planning to brew as well as one ready to be bottled. I'd like to just pitch onto the yeast cake of the previous. I assume autolysis occurs when the yeast have run out of stuff to ferment and start eating at the trub, and won't occur when there are fermentables. Is this true? Also, if there's residual hops and cold break in the fermenter, is this bad for pitching a new beer?


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Old 09-14-2009, 03:28 AM   #2
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Autolysis is caused when some of yeast dies and puts out a toxin that kills off the remaining healthy yeast. It has nothing to do with trub. What is at the bottom of your primary when your beer is done is not dead yeast but sleeping yeast.

I pitch on the cake when the timing is right. It's fun having a violent fermentation and my beers have always turned out great.


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Old 09-14-2009, 04:20 PM   #3
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Don't worry too much about cold break unless it's taking up more than, like, two inches on the bottom. Pitching onto a cake is really awesome, I've recently started doing it, and it seems to work just great.
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:09 PM   #4
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Would pitching onto a yeast cake be better than pitching new yeast, since the old wort would have acted as a yeast starter, and there'd be much more yeast in the cake than what you would pitch from a new batch?
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:11 PM   #5
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+1
if you've got the cake - pitch on it! You may get very active fermentation within an hour or two!
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:20 PM   #6
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the yeast cake is an awesome starter. but i would be afraid of getting crap from the last brewing; dead/sick yeast, hops resin, fermentation byproducts. but that can be removed by cleaning the yeast. im sure there has to be a post or 20 on here about that.
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:37 PM   #7
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it's not really necessary to clean the yeast, just don't reuse past 4 generations and keep fermentation temperatures steady
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Old 09-14-2009, 09:06 PM   #8
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Would I need to add any other yeast? Or at least more of a stylized yeast, for example, I"m days away from bottling a wheat, and I have a pilsner and a williams brewing belgian quad on deck. Would either of these be suitable for pitching on a wheat cake, and if so, cake solely, or add the stylised yeast also?
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Old 09-15-2009, 12:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonetlumiere85 View Post
it's not really necessary to clean the yeast, just don't reuse past 4 generations and keep fermentation temperatures steady
Good point with fermentation temps, with a big yeast cake the temps in primary will get well above ambient temperature, you'll want to have some way to actively cool the fermenter.

I use a freezer with a temp controller on it that monitors the temp of the carboy and turns on accordingly. You don't need something that space consuming though, you can just put your carboy in any large tub you have and add a bottle or two of frozen water each day (trade out the bottles and refreeze) to keep the temperature where you want it.

Edit:

I don't think any of those brews can really share a yeast. You really want a belgian yeast for belgians, a wheat yeast for wheats and a mostly neutral yeast for a pils. I don't do belgians or wheats so... I don't stray far from nottingham, S-04 or S-05, so I'm able to reuse more.

You can always wash the yeast and store in your fridge to use for your next wheat.
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Old 09-15-2009, 01:17 AM   #10
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well since the pils is kind of a "ah, f*** it, this could be my last hopped extract", would it be really really bad if I just threw the kit in there on top of the wheat cake? I'm not worried about it being stylistically correct, I'd rather just have a brew that doesn't taste like something you'd find in a puddle under an elephant. The Belgian Quad is getting no such treatment. Thanks for any help you guys can give me.


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