Can I pitch on to yeast cake? (whatever that means)

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BearsWickedBrew

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I have a pale ale in my primary that will be racked to a secondary this weekend. I also want to make a pumpkin ale soon. Should I do this when I rack...and just pitch my new brew on the yeast cake? Am I way off or do all i have to do is just dump my new brew in the primary where my previous brew was...no cleaning...no sanitizing?

For the brew currently sitting in my primary, I did not strain my hops..and I used Muntons Dry Yeast. I was planning on using Safale US56 for the pumpkin...but I will just f* that idea if it means not having to clean & sanitize my primary.
 

Yooper

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Yes, you can do that. As long as you were sanitary when you racked from the primary, the primary is still sanitary.

I wouldn't do it in your case, though. Munton's probably is not a good choice at all for the pumpkin ale, and you might not be happy with the attenuation of it. I'd go ahead and use the s-05.

Usually, if I pitch on the yeast cake, it's because I'm using (expensive) liquid yeast. Like today, I'll pitch onto a WLP001 cake. Usually, you put a bigger (higher SG) on a yeast cake. This is kind of like making a starter. In my case, I'm making a 1.074 IPA today, and kegging an "ocktoberFAST" ale. The last beer was 1.050-ish, and will make a nice yeast cake for my bigger, hoppier, IPA.

For dry yeast, there isn't much of an advantage to pitching on the yeast cake. You have a high enough yeast cell count in a package of dry yeast so that it's not really going to benefit your beer, and in fact may be overpitching. Also, in your case, you'll have a TON of new trub since it's a pumpkin beer. You will have all the old trub, too, so you're going to have several inches (or more) of trub when you're done there.
 

zoebisch01

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It's fine to do so. Most recommend washing or never racking something lighter (either in color or gravity) onto a cake from a Stout, etc (I don't worry about it though as long as you drain off all the beer). And you only need to rack, no shaking, etc is necessary. There is a full colony read to go to work on the new wort. Be ready though, you can have violent fermentation so you may look into a blowoff tube.

[edit]I have never used Munton's so in this specific case, you may choose to use Lorena's suggestion, but in general you are fine as long as the yeast fits what you are trying to accomplish[/edit]
 

Brewing Clamper

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You can certainly do that. No cleaning or sanitizing. There are some that'll say the hops & break material could give you off flavors, but I guess it really depends on how "big" your next beer is. BTW, use a blow off tube because the fermentation will be big! Behold:

 
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BearsWickedBrew

BearsWickedBrew

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Thanks for the input.

Yooper- the additional trub did cross my mind. I heard people can lose a full gallon or more making a pumpkin ale...so I would only be worsening this by including my trub from the 1st batch. I guess I will just rack early enough so that I have time to clean & sanitize my primary.
 

malkore

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I too find Munton's yeast pretty unspectacular. I wouldn't pitch on to a cake of that...but I wouldn't use it in the first place to have a cake to pitch onto.

I've replaced the muntons' in a few extract kits with S-05 or Nottingham.
 

gheist

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gol dang it I wish I had seen this before. I checked several posts of repitching and didn't see anything about Munton's so I repitched my pumpkin ale on it. Also my extract kit came with a Munton's so I wasn't too worried about that, but now I am. It fermented good for a few days with constant bubbles in the blow off bucket.
 

Tweaker

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Munton's has done me wrong over and over. Couldn't get FG below 1.020 frequently. There may be other factors, and I did not make a starter, but I did follow the directions.

Using Safale and Munton's Gold I have gotten better results.
 
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BearsWickedBrew

BearsWickedBrew

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^^Well today I racked to my secondary and cleaned out my primary. I can't let that thing set empty too long. My beer tasted a little bit watery...but I'm sure it will turn out fine. This is only my 2nd batch...the residue from the Krausen was not as high as my 1st brew (also used Munton's yeast)...I was not thrilled about that. I think I am done w/ Munton's dry yeast. For now on if I go dry, I will probably substitute w/ Safale also.
 

Hoosier

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I know I am asking the same question twice here, but I want to know that I understand correctly. It is ok to rack fresh wort directly onto the trub from the previous batch?
I ask because next weekend I am brewing Lake walk Pale Ale (I found the proper hops :rockin:) and I am using the wyeast 1272 AM ALE II smack pack. Following that I planned on brewing the Thunderstruck Pumpkin Ale. The recipe calls for the White Labs WLP002 English Ale yeast. Is the American Ale yeast an acceptable substitution or should I just go ahead and pick up the White Labs yeast. Thanks in advance.
 

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I know I am asking the same question twice here, but I want to know that I understand correctly. It is ok to rack fresh wort directly onto the trub from the previous batch?
I ask because next weekend I am brewing Lake walk Pale Ale (I found the proper hops :rockin:) and I am using the wyeast 1272 AM ALE II smack pack. Following that I planned on brewing the Thunderstruck Pumpkin Ale. The recipe calls for the White Labs WLP002 English Ale yeast. Is the American Ale yeast an acceptable substitution or should I just go ahead and pick up the White Labs yeast. Thanks in advance.
Yes, you can rack directly onto the yeast cake (trub) as long as the previous beer wasn't overly hoppy or very alcoholic.
Well, the Lake Walk Pale Ale is HOPPY! I would wash the yeast if I was going to be reusing it, and wouldn't use it in the pumpkin ale without washing it.

It's fine to just pitch right on the yeast cake, but I'd recommend going lighter to darker, less hoppy to hoppier, and lower SG to higher SG.

Like in my example, I used WLP001 (a neutral American ale yeast) for an OcktoberberFAST beer. It's a medium bodied, medium hopped, medium SG (1.048-ish, if I remember correctly) ale. I fermented it in the 64 degree range. I then pitched an IPA on it, with an SG of 1.070-ish. I wouldn't have done it in reverse.
 

Kauai_Kahuna

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https://www.homebrewtalk.com/f13/yeast-washing-illustrated-41768/
Lots of nice pictures. I reuse cleaned out 20oz PET soda bottles to store the yeast, they take pressure very well. I just take it out of the fridge while I'm brewing, let it warm up and get active again. When I wash the yeast, I usually use some boil then cooled wort during the final wash, that makes the storage unit also a mini starter if taken out around 6 hours prior to pitching.
 

telemarc

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Do I understand this correctly: I can rack cooled wort directly onto the yeast left in my carboy from the previous brew? No aeration needed?
 

jay4e

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there are three reasons that many do not rack onto the cake.
1. dry yeast is cheap. (liquid yeast you want to reuse a few times if possible)
2. it can make for very violent and fast fermentations thus can get mess and much more importantly:
3. it can lead to off flavors or incorrect flavors. some styles rely on the yeast development stage to impart certain characteristics. pitching on the cake means no development stage. also because some of the yeast is likely spent and you have sediment from the previous batch you run the risk of adding off flavors.

pitching on the cake is fine for most darker styles (brown, porter, stout, ect) as these generally do not want a lot of yeast character. lighter styles or more specialized styles i wouldnt bother. washing the yeast is generally a better option if you can keep it sanitary.
 
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