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Understanding Yeast Cake - and Notty

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tgrier

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Hello All.

I have a 10 gal batch (using 2 6.5 gal carboys) of BM's Centennial Blonde going.

I am considering doing it again to test this "yeast" cake idea.

So I am going to rack to a secondary the same day as I brew to make this easier.

So, I rack to the secondary, and then put the airlock back on and wait to I need to rack from brew pot to the primary - correct? There will be no issues with the "scum" line or whatever in the primary?

2nd question... what If the Blonde was in the primary and I was going to make Eds Pale Ale which uses notty as well. Would that mess up the flavor if I pitched on top of that ?

I mean .. notty is cheap - and I have some on hand to use.... so it is not a big deal.

I am always interesting in learning and exploring and so I was going to try this method this week. - I have been searching and reading through this forum looking for relevant threads to learn from as well... just wondering if I needed to brew the exact same beer or just one that used the same yeast type.

Thanks.
T
 

scottthorn

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tgrier said:
So, I rack to the secondary, and then put the airlock back on and wait to I need to rack from brew pot to the primary - correct? There will be no issues with the "scum" line or whatever in the primary?
Correct!

tgrier said:
2nd question... what If the Blonde was in the primary and I was going to make Eds Pale Ale which uses notty as well. Would that mess up the flavor if I pitched on top of that ?
No problem going from Blonde to Pale. I'd avoid moving from darker to lighter, or with anything involving a strong, possibly unorthodox flavor. You wouldn't want to go from a roasty Stout to a Pale, or from a Chocolate Cherry Horseradish Spruce IPA to a Pilsner for instance. :D


Just have to add a comment that you WILL need a blow-off tube! There is a ton of yeast in the cake so your fermentation will start very quickly and "explosively".
 

bigjohnmilford

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Just have to add a comment that you WILL need a blow-off tube! There is a ton of yeast in the cake so your fermentation will start very quickly and "explosively".[/QUOTE]


+1 to that
 

Donasay

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I have done the yeast cake thing before, but I always do it within the same day. How long do you think you could put the carboy cap on for and let the yeast sit before putting fresh wort in the carboy? What is the longest you have waited between taking the beer out and putting fresh wort in?
 

DAAB

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A whole yeast cake is generally considered over pitching. You want some yeast growth in there for flavour and the new yeast cells will finish the beer better. Using around 1/3 to 1/2 would be better. Is it really worth the risk of pitching onto the slurry from a dried yeast when it is so cheap to buy?
 

PseudoChef

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DAAB said:
A whole yeast cake is generally considered over pitching. You want some yeast growth in there for flavour and the new yeast cells will finish the beer better. Using around 1/3 to 1/2 would be better. Is it really worth the risk of pitching onto the slurry from a dried yeast when it is so cheap to buy?
Yeah, you really don't want to pitch onto a cake despite how easy and tempting it may be.
 

Bobby_M

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You can even collect a good quart of slurry for later use and still have enough left behind to pitch onto. It's not about saving $3 in yeast as much as it is practicing yeast reuse and starting with a higher pitch rate. There's nothing wrong with a faster fermentation as long as temperature is carefully controlled. To that end, do NOT pitch onto the cake if your ambient temp is anywhere near 70F. You'll easily be fermenting at 80+. Good for a belgian maybe but not much else.
 
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tgrier

tgrier

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ok .. just to review...

It sounds like this is an issue that different people have different opinions on.

I kinda of agree that for a 2$ packet of notty... that it might just be worth pitching new.

But then again.. not having to "clean" my primary .. and re pitching sounds nice too.

bobby.. what is your opinion on the Taste issue that people have talked about?
EdWort? Could you chime in too? I would love to hear your thoughts?
TexLaw?
zoebisch01?

I will probably just do it and see what happens... cause when I make some Hefe or Kolcsh It might be worth doing the yeast cake idea...

T
I am brewing this sunday so I have some more time.
 

DAAB

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Bobby_M said:
You can even collect a good quart of slurry for later use and still have enough left behind to pitch onto. It's not about saving $3 in yeast as much as it is practicing yeast reuse and starting with a higher pitch rate. There's nothing wrong with a faster fermentation as long as temperature is carefully controlled. To that end, do NOT pitch onto the cake if your ambient temp is anywhere near 70F. You'll easily be fermenting at 80+. Good for a belgian maybe but not much else.
There's nothing at all wrong with fast fermentation if kept with in temperature limits sa you suggest but yeast growth is important for flavour and also providing healthy new yeast for conditioning and storage. It's not good to mature a beer that's full of old yeast.
 

Got Trub?

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I'm with DAAB on this. Pitching the right amount of yeast is important to make great beer. It is easy enough to make a slurry from your yeast cake, pitch the appropriate amount and then put the rest in the fridge to use another day. In terms of saving time etc with cleaning you better be confident in your sanitation from the beginning as you will only magnify the problem by reusing you primary.

As mentioned you probably don't want to go from a dark, strongly flavoured beer to a light beer. You also don't want to repitch from higher gravity beers - anything higher then about 1.045 - as the levels of alcohol produced stress the yeast.

GT

See: http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html - to determine the correct amount of yeast or slurry to pitch.
 

Bobby_M

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In my opinion, the "taste" of yeast's reproduction byproducts is more of a concern with yeasts that are intended to impart character in the beer. Maybe Nottingham falls into this category but I think of it almost as the English equivelent of US56 or US-05, a clean neutral ale. I doubt this character would be missed in an overpitch situation.

When I've pitched on cakes, I always rack to secondary sooner than later. (immediately after the activity stops). You're right, the cake will contain a lot of tired old yeast and autolysis is real concern. You wouldn't want to "cake pitch" more than once either without going through a washing first. Also, if you're doing 10 gallon batches, you're saving TWO packs of yeast.
 

BierMuncher

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tgrier said:
...I kinda of agree that for a 2$ packet of notty... that it might just be worth pitching new.
...
I am brewing this sunday so I have some more time.
I harvest full notty yeast cakes and split them in half and it's plenty to get a full "boil" going within a few hours.

If it were my brewshop?

I'd sanitize an apple juice jar and pour in half the slurry from the fermenter for a near future brew.

I'd then leave the remaining yeast cake in the primary and follow your plan.

I don't do it to save the $2.00, but to get a good full fermentation more quickly. Plus...it simply goes against my nature to throw away a beautiful bounty of vibrant yeast.

There won't be any flavor issues with those two recipes. If anything, you're doing it in the right order. My Blonde is less hoppy than EdWorts Haus Ale.

This is what my 888-RIS looked like after just 6 hours pitching onto 1/2 an Irish Ale yeast cake.

RIS_992.jpg
 

Rick_R

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BierMuncher:
This is what my 888-RIS looked like after just 6 hours pitching onto 1/2 an Irish Ale yeast cake.
Having planned to do nearly the identical as the OP mentioned (a mild brown followed by a porter with Nottingham dry yeast), just curious as to what size that blowoff tube is in your photo, BierMuncher. I was planning to use a 5/8 line hooked to an airlock on a six-gallon better bottle, but now I'm worried it won't handle it.

I had planned to wash the yeast first, then pitch it in a clean primary but I was planning to pitch all of the washed yeast. Had assumed I would get a better kickoff which would help avoid potential nasties.

Rick
 

kenb

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overptiching can also lead to serious Acetaldehyde issues, leaving green apple flavor in your beer. I have experienced this recently overpitching with dry Nottingham and Munson's Fison Ale yeasts....
 

jds

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rickylr said:
... just curious as to what size that blowoff tube is in your photo, BierMuncher. I was planning to use a 5/8 line hooked to an airlock on a six-gallon better bottle, but now I'm worried it won't handle it.
I'm not BierMuncher, but I do the same thing. If you're using glass carboys, a 1-1/4" ID tube from the hardware store can be jammed directly in the neck of the carboy, leaving more room for hops and other junk that might clog a smaller blowoff tube. At $55 - $60 a batch for extract-based 888RIS, nobody wants to clean stout fountain off the ceiling.

I have no experience with better bottles, so I don't know if the same trick works with them.
 

BierMuncher

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rickylr said:
Having planned to do nearly the identical as the OP mentioned (a mild brown followed by a porter with Nottingham dry yeast), just curious as to what size that blowoff tube is in your photo, BierMuncher. I was planning to use a 5/8 line hooked to an airlock on a six-gallon better bottle, but now I'm worried it won't handle it.Rick
I think you'll be fine.

I used a 1 1/4 ID tube from Lowe's.

THe RIS was a 1.088 OG beer so it is going to go gang busters anyway.

A mild shouldn't be nearly so explosive.

The blow off was fast and furious, but never came close to "clogging" the tube.
 

Bobby_M

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I would be concerned with using the center tube of a 3-piece airlock though. That tube gets pretty small at the bottom. Go to HD and get a 1/2" hose to hose barb. One end will stick in your stopper and a 1/2" ID hose will fit over that. Of course, it's even better to find a large hose with an OD that will fit snug in the neck of your carboy but that's tough if you have a bucket or better bottle.
 

DAAB

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orfy said:
I've repitched on full cakes maybe 10 times and have never noticed any ill effects.
I don't doubt that but pitching the correct amount of yeast (there or there abouts) is a simple step to improve your beer.

Besides, a trainned pallet may beg to differ.
 

cheezydemon

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I do full cake re-pitches quite frequently. It would be advisable to collect a little for another brew, but I usually just pour off a little and collect the yeast when I am done with the subsequent brew.

And to address an earlier question: Yeast left in the primary is as safe as beer left in the secondary. I bet that at normal temps yeast in a carboy would last as long as yeast in a long conditioned brew. Maybe as long as a couple of months.

It would be good if you could get it in the fridge though.
 

Rick_R

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Got Trub? said:
See: http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html - to determine the correct amount of yeast or slurry to pitch.


Okay, I've ordered the electron microscope and I've no problem counting out 138 billion but where do I get tweezers that small?

Actual question: I left the non-yeast at default (15%) as well as the yeast concentration per ml (2.4), but how do you know what's correct? Using the calculator without that info is a shot in the dark, I'd think. I suppose I'll wash after the mild brown then guess at a portion to pitch in the porter. It'll end up beer, I reckon. :mug:

Rick
 

count barleywine

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Like Orfy, I've pitched all types of beer on all types of old yest cakes to no ill effects. Even dark to light and all that, the leftover beer is not enough to effect five gallons of new beer. I do agree that you should probably just buy more Notty, but I re-pitch on liquid yeasts all the time. Belgians improve with this method IMHO. I've pitched onto a cake with dry hops all over it as well, no problem, probably improved the next one though not detected.
 
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