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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Yeast Cake...How Long?
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Old 12-22-2007, 12:09 AM   #1
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Default Yeast Cake...How Long?

How long have folks waited to pitch over a cake? I have one that has been sitting in the primary for two weeks now. I've got a clean airlock on it and it's been sitting at 55F the whole time in my sanitized chest freezer.

Any reason I shouldn't pitch over it?
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Old 12-22-2007, 02:36 AM   #2
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You can transfer the beer out and transfer wort in and it will take right off. No waiting required. Be sure to be sanitary with everything you touch so as not to infect it. Lots of brewers do this all the time.
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Old 12-22-2007, 03:31 AM   #3
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I think he's saying the beer was transfered two weeks ago and the cake is still there. As long as it hasn't dried out, I don't see why you couldn't put some fresh wort on top of it.
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Old 12-22-2007, 10:53 AM   #4
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I concur that, if the cake isn't too dry, you'll be all right.

In future, know that yeast is best stored under beer. If there's still a centimeter or two of beer covering the yeast cake, I shouldn't worry - nor should I muck about in it until I'm ready cast onto it! The only thing you need to consider at that point is autolysis from the length of time it spends sitting around. I don't like to keep it sitting around for more than 10 days.

I would do two things: stir that couple cm of beer into the cake to make a slurry, and let the yeast warm up to pitching temperature. Giving the yeast too much of a temperature shock is a bad thing.

Of course, if the yeast is from stout and you're brewing a kolsch...But you've probably figured that out already.

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Old 12-22-2007, 11:43 AM   #5
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I've waited 2 weeks.
I made sure I left a layer of wort over the yeast cake to "Protect" it.
All was fine.
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Old 12-22-2007, 08:53 PM   #6
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OK--Do you guys mean to literally pour the 'new wort' onto the cake/slurry that has been sitting in a 'used' fermentor?

I guess my question is:
How/ do I clean the "gunk" (off the sides of the primary without contaminating the cake/slurry that is in the bottom of the bucket?
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Old 12-23-2007, 01:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbrewoob
OK--Do you guys mean to literally pour the 'new wort' onto the cake/slurry that has been sitting in a 'used' fermentor?

I guess my question is:
How/ do I clean the "gunk" (off the sides of the primary without contaminating the cake/slurry that is in the bottom of the bucket?
You don't. You wait till after the batch that is being poured onto it is done then clean it as you usually do. You don't want to risk contaminating anything! that gunk isn't harmful to beer.
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Old 12-23-2007, 06:43 PM   #8
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OK That makes sense now...thanks!
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Old 12-23-2007, 08:21 PM   #9
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Get ready for a fast ferment! I transfered a batch of Edwort's Haus Pale Ale to secondary and pitched a fresh batch onto that yeast cake and it started rattling the airlock in ten minutes. I quickly rigged a blow off hose for that one.
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Old 12-24-2007, 04:14 PM   #10
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I agree with the above posts that your yeast is likely fine. I would recommend you calculate an appropriate pitch though. Much of the flavour imparted by yeast is done during the growth phase - you won't get that with an overpitch of yeast as they go right into fermentation. Check out:

http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

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