Originally Posted by antony
Just out of curiosity, how many times have you pitched on the same yeast cake? About to pull my maibock off the cake for secondary/lagering & I was going to give a steam beer a try with the cake. Got me to thinking about how many times I could do this without any repercussions. Is once enough? two conceivable?
Curious about experiences others may have had. Thanks for your time!
You opened it up to a serious argument between those who follow standard industry pitching rates, and those who use a more RDWHAHB approach.
Here's the deal-
Theoretically you can keep repitching over and over and make beer as long as your sanitation is good. But, eventually you will have too much bacterial load and too many dead or dying yeast cells that will cause off flavors and poor fermentation.
Realistically, if you are happy with the fermentation prior, you should be ok to throw some more wort on top of it. I would think if you were brewing every week or two, you could probably run it out 4-5 times without serious problems. As long as you are happy with those results, then I would say go for it.
Others will say that you are overpitching. This is true and it WILL change the flavor of the beer. Whether that change is still within the range of what is acceptable to you, that is for you to decide.
I tend to use standard pitching rates myself. There are times I will pitch onto a yeast cake though. When making a barleywine, I will brew a blonde ale or pale ale. Dopplebock onto a helles cake, etc...