Re-pitching yeast

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beerme70

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I am an experienced brewer with over nearly 15 years under my belt. I have come upon a situation I haven't experienced before. Until recently, I have always done 5 gallon batches, and have since moved up to 10 gallons, and doing my primary fermentation in a conical inductor tank. My first two batches I did with my current setup, I had no issues. I recently brewed a Biere de Garde (OG 1.080). Pitched yeast 7 days ago, HIGHLY active fermentation for about 3 days, and no activity for 2 days. I went to take a hydrometer reading, but my racking tube on the conical was absolutely buried under a one gallon (yes, you read that correctly, ONE GALLON) yeast cake, and I couldn't get anything to run out. I had to sanitize a mason jar and drain half of it out. My reading right now is at 1.028 - 1.030, but I am expecting something near the 1.018 mark before I actually need to drain the cake. My question is this......keeping with my sanitation OCD, can I go ahead and just throw what I drained back in? And before anyone asks, it's ALL yeast. I use a hop spider AND I whirlpool during chilling, so virtually ALL the hop material and hot break remain in my BK.
 

Yooper

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If the yeast was at the bottom, it wasn't doing anything anyway (for whatever reason) so no reason to put it back in there.

Which yeast strain are you using? There are several that are noted to want to stall out before finishing up.
 
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beerme70

beerme70

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Wyeast Farmhouse Ale 3726. One thing to note, the yeast in the jar had noticeable activity, with the swirling action off the cake that you see if you're watching fermentation in a glass carboy. You know what I'm sayin'? So, that's why I'm wondering if there is still some life left in the little buggers.
 

TastyAdventure

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I'd crank the heat up on it a bit, rouse the yeast that's still in there a little bit, and give it at least 3 more days.
What temp is it at now?
 
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beerme70

beerme70

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Unfortunately, at the moment I am at the mercy of Mother Nature, as I have no way to control fermentation temps. My garage is sitting at about 65* or so, about 5 degrees below the recommended temperature. On the plus side, however, during the summer months, I hover around 70* on average, but I know that doesn't help me right now. I plan on letting it sit for another 2 or 3 weeks before I rack it into some carboys and lager it for another 6 weeks or so, then I'm going to bottle and age for another 2 months. For what it's worth, the flavor is MINDBLOWING!
 

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Unfortunately, at the moment I am at the mercy of Mother Nature, as I have no way to control fermentation temps. My garage is sitting at about 65* or so, about 5 degrees below the recommended temperature. On the plus side, however, during the summer months, I hover around 70* on average, but I know that doesn't help me right now.
Yes, that's probably the issue then. It really needs to be warmer for that yeast strain. That's probably why it stalled.
 

TastyAdventure

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I used 3726 in a Saison before I knew it was Biere De Garde and I loved it! Obviously didn't turned out as dry as I was shooting for that recipe but I will def used it again
 
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beerme70

beerme70

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There is still definite activity, thought. Watching the mason jars, the yeast was turning and shooting up little wiffs. So, I decided to throw it back in...I don't think it could hurt. I plan on letting it sit for about another 2 weeks or so, then (hopefully) I'll pull another hydro reading. If it's near my target, then I'll pull the yeast cake, secondary for about a month, the lager for another month or so, then bottle and age. I'm shooting for the end of August......there's a beer competition I want to enter it in.
 
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