Saved Yeast Cake

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wrestler63

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Well, I tried alot of new things this weekend. 1st off, I used a saved yeast cake from an IIPA I racked to secondary a week ago. When I racked I just put the free floating yeast cake in a 2 qt container with an airliock and put it in the coldest corner of the basement. Yesterday I drained off the beer on top and filled jar with a real wort starter from my 1st no chill batch I did. 6 hrs later this thing is going nuts so I pitch it into my no chill batch......another 5 hrs later and holy hell, what a fermentation. I hope this turns out. As of this morning, we have quite a blow off happening.:cross:
 
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wrestler63

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This bad boy has been going hard for 48 hrs. Krausen now falling back into beer and fermentation starting to slow. The first 24 hrs were insane. Never saw such large yeast pieces swimming around like that. Fementation will be done in another 24 hrs I suspect.:D
 

cappy

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I'm hoping to pitch onto a cake for the first time this week. I hope mine is as exciting as yours!
 
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wrestler63

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Now that yeast is starting to settle I am noticing the viable yeast on top looks like pellets or small globs. Is that just the growth of the yeast here?
Should I pour off the healthy yeast again and split into 4 or 5 smaller sanitized jars?
 
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wrestler63

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Now that yeast is starting to settle I am noticing the viable yeast on top looks like pellets or small globs. Is that just the growth of the yeast here?
Should I pour off the healthy yeast again and split into 4 or 5 smaller sanitized jars?
well, no answers on this so, I am gonna try it and see what I get. Changed out the water in the blow off twice during the first 3 days and yesterday it calmed down to the point were I replaced the blow off with an airlock. Still popping pretty good.
Cheers
 

BigJay13

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I would say that you could do that if the yeast was used to a "milder" beer like a pale or brown ale. Jamil mentions in his IIPA show that you shouldn't reuse yeast from a IIPA batch because the hop polyphenols and oils adhere to the cell wall of the yeast coating them. This reduces the amount of nutrients and sugars the yeasts can pass through the wall and the membrane into the cell. However, it looks as though yours are healthy so why not reuse it? What kind of yeast was it?
 

kennymae

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I was feeling a little lazy last fall and decided to directly re-use a week old yeast cake left over from a secondary. There was about 1/4" of beer covering the cake and it had been sitting at about 60F in my basement, with an airlock, kept sanitary since siphoning & bottling the previous batch. I had planned on washing & harvesting, but laziness won the day.

The following week I dumped the cooled wort from the next batch directly onto the cake and fermentation took off within hours. Since it was a secondary cake, there was apparently no trub on the bottom and it looked like 1" of pure yeast.

The cake was a Wyeast 1214 Belgian Abbey Ale. The 2nd batch was great and worked so well that I tried it again with a Pacman secondary cake, but that batch is still conditioning so I don't have any feedback yet.

Happy culturing,

Kenny
 

FreeM80s

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The "rule of thumb" is don't reuse a yeast cake if OG is higher than 1.60...
How strict is this rule? I have a pale ale that im racking off tomorrow because i wanted to use the cake for a barley wine. But, the OG was 1.062. Could i get away with this?
 

schweaty

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High levels of alpha acids and alcohol can greatly affect the viability of yeast. I'm not saying it can't be done because nobody can tell you that when it comes to brewing. But why take a chance when you have so much time and money invested into a batch of beer? Get yourself a new pitch of yeast and build a starter.
 

kennymae

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High levels of alpha acids and alcohol can greatly affect the viability of yeast. I'm not saying it can't be done because nobody can tell you that when it comes to brewing. But why take a chance when you have so much time and money invested into a batch of beer? Get yourself a new pitch of yeast and build a starter.
How would one measure AA content or trub present in a yeast cake?

I had always assumed that racking directly to an existing yeast cake was shunned because of natural selection: the yeast left in the cake had a tendency to settle out faster, and the rule of thumb in this regard is 6 generations.

In the batch I mentioned above, I racked a Tripel with OG 1.086 directly onto the cake left over from a secondary (there was no visible trub). I noted vigorous fermentation within 12 hours. I did not conduct a formal taste test, but the second batch seemed like the first.
 

schweaty

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How would one measure AA content or trub present in a yeast cake?

I had always assumed that racking directly to an existing yeast cake was shunned because of natural selection: the yeast left in the cake had a tendency to settle out faster, and the rule of thumb in this regard is 6 generations.

In the batch I mentioned above, I racked a Tripel with OG 1.086 directly onto the cake left over from a secondary (there was no visible trub). I noted vigorous fermentation within 12 hours. I did not conduct a formal taste test, but the second batch seemed like the first.
It's not about the AA in the cake but the AA that were in the wort when you pitched the yeast. If you did a beer with a very high IBU then it would not be a good idea to reuse the yeast. Not to mention that the trub has lots of break material and dead yeast cells. If you are going to reuse your yeast you should probably rinse or wash it first. Remove as much of the hop residue, break material and dead yeast cells. This way you can get the next generation of healthy viable yeast cells. I'm not saying it's impossible to make a beer using the entire yeast cake, but why chance it? Rinse your yeast and either use that slurry or make a new starter with it.
 

thunder

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How would one measure AA content or trub present in a yeast cake?

I had always assumed that racking directly to an existing yeast cake was shunned because of natural selection: the yeast left in the cake had a tendency to settle out faster, and the rule of thumb in this regard is 6 generations.

In the batch I mentioned above, I racked a Tripel with OG 1.086 directly onto the cake left over from a secondary (there was no visible trub). I noted vigorous fermentation within 12 hours. I did not conduct a formal taste test, but the second batch seemed like the first.
You should be fine many hbrewers have reused the cake in the manner you have.I personally would look into yeast washing,then creating a starter with some of the washed yeast.this what i do and have many different yeast saved in my frig for future use.:mug:
 

kennymae

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Yeah I really should invest in a stir plate. Having my own private yeast library would be pretty cool!
 

thunder

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Yeah I really should invest in a stir plate. Having my own private yeast library would be pretty cool!
yeah 7-10 bucks a pop for yeast to hell with that!
you can make your stirplate cheap.however you do not need one to make a
starter.
 
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