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Old 10-23-2009, 07:13 PM   #1
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Default Re pitch onto to cake or wash the yeast

I'm curious how many people wash their yeast vs just pitching onto the old cake. I'm sure washing yeast is better since you get rid of trub, dead yeast, etc. Plus you can pitch the correct amount of yeast. But washing yeast takes time and it seems that people have great results just pitching onto an old cake.

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Old 10-23-2009, 08:23 PM   #2
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You'll do fine either way. When I re-pitch onto a yeast cake, I normally make sure I'm going from light to dark. I may use an American Ale yeast (as usual) and go from a Pale Ale to a Brown/Amber ale to a Stout. I'll pitch on top of that yeast up to 3 times, then it's time for new yeast. But, if I'm not making beers in that order (light to dark), I'll wash and save the yeast for later.
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Old 10-23-2009, 08:56 PM   #3
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I never advocate just dumping fresh wort into a filthy container and such humongous overpitching.

But, practically speaking, It Depends. If you're brewing a beer that should lack esters, you can get away with overpitching, so you can go ahead an knock out onto the old yeast. If you're brewing an English or Belgian beer, or any ale that's supposed to have an ester profile, harvest and pitch the right amount.

If you're going to pitch fresh wort the day of racking or within seven days or so of harvesting, you don't really need to wash the yeast. Just harvest the slurry into clean, sanitary Mason jars and keep 'em in the fridge. Then consult the Mr Malty calculator to see how much slurry you need to pitch.


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