Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Pitching on the cake
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:29 PM   #11
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I've racked onto a full 5 gallon yeast cake, but more often onto 2-2.5 gallon small beer yeast cakes. I've used them as a starter for 4-5 gallon big beers with success.
An 1.042 Irish red is only a little above starter wort gravity, so the yeast shouldn't be too stressed. A 5 gallon cake will be overpitching, so it would be better to save slurry instead. Storing a yeast cake in a fermentor for 1 month is a long time too, and I doubt that it would be healthy for the yeast.
Overpitching is tough on a homebrew scale, but a 5 gallon cake from a small beer used for a barleywine would certainly still be overpitching. Be prepared for a vigorous, fast ferment with lots of blowoff, and fewer esters and phenols (fruity/spicy flavors) if you do decide to do it.
IMO the biggest issue is a month old yeast cake, rather than the overpitching aspect of it. Several new packs of yeast, and/or a starter aren't going to cost much, but a ruined batch of barleywine (and the time invested) will.


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Old 01-20-2013, 10:03 PM   #12
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I usually let my beers ferment in the primary for month then rack to a keg. So in this case it would be a month since i initially pitched on the donor beer before I rack then pitch the barleywine wort on the cake. Would that still be too long of a wait?

I can always brew earlier

I guess I could scoop some cake out for my next brew.


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Old 01-20-2013, 11:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
I usually let my beers ferment in the primary for month then rack to a keg. So in this case it would be a month since i initially pitched on the donor beer before I rack then pitch the barleywine wort on the cake. Would that still be too long of a wait?
Above refrigeration/storage temps, viability drops pretty quickly after fermentation is finished.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlosCarlies

Above refrigeration/storage temps, viability drops pretty quickly after fermentation is finished.
Ok I get it now. It's been 2 weeks since original pitch so ill take my final FG tomorrow, rack to keg and save the slurry in the fridge till next weekend
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:42 PM   #15
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Should be fine. Putting a few cups of the slurry into a sanitized sealed jar with distilled water over it (no nutrients) in the fridge will keep it dormant and ready to re-pitch up to about ten days out or so.
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Old 01-20-2013, 11:53 PM   #16
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I think the main question here is not cell count or overpitching, but age of yeast cake. Any issues with sticking an airlock back on the carboy after racking and using the yeast again in 2 weeks to a month?
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:17 AM   #17
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Well the age of the cake affects cell count...especially after 2-4 weeks of at non-refrigerated temperatures.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:05 AM   #18
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I've been considering just pitching directly over a yeast cake too...

But my LHBS owner keeps discouraging it
I'm thinking that's more about selling me more yeast than anything else though...
Everyone once in a while their advice is a little self-serving...

Gonna give it a try with next batch from a pale ale to IPA this weekend
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:42 AM   #19
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the one thing i would be worried about is autolysis of the yeast if it is a month old. I have pitched on plenty of yeast cakes and have had great results. especially smaller beers to bigger beers. i personally would not use a yeast cake that is a month old, if i pitch on yeast cake it is typically on two weeks old. you can always wash the yeast with sterile water and do a mini fermentation and taste the sample. I would use some fresh yeast to avoid any problems
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:48 AM   #20
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Quote:
I've been considering just pitching directly over a yeast cake too...

But my LHBS owner keeps discouraging it
I'm thinking that's more about selling me more yeast than anything else though...
Everyone once in a while their advice is a little self-serving...
Assuming your sanitation is good, you can definitely re-pitch the slurry, but at least try and measure the cell count versus just pitching on the entire cake.


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