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Reuse Yeast Cake

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BlackRat

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Hi everyone,

I have done some reading on this however i still have 1 or 2 questions that im sure are very simple to answer.

I currently have a LCPA clone sitting in my fermentor (18 deg for 2 weeks) and is coming up to botteling time. It has 2 packets of US-05 yeast inside it and i was entertaining the idea of reusing this yeast cake, or better yet, botteling some of it for future batches.

Questions:
1 - Would the fact that i have late hopped the LCPA mean these hop flavours lay in the yeast cake?
2 - To reuse, do i simply add new wort to the top of the cake? OR do i add it to a new fermentor and pour the cake on top?
3 - To reuse, does the new beer have to be a higher OG than the original beer? Or could you do another LCPA clone if i was unimaginative?
4 - Is it possible to bottle any of this goodness for later beers?

Have i missed anything?

Cheers,
BlackRat.
 

Nick JD

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While I appreciate the neatness of rinsing yeast, I've found I can't taste any of the "rinsings" when collecting 300ml of trub and just bunging it in the next batch.
 

Yob

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How much of that 300ml of TRUB is actual viable live yeast?

Note that trub usually refer to unwanted by product that It is composed mainly of heavy fats, proteins and inactive yeast. Wikki

While I admit that there are many people who 'make do' with just throwing a bunch of dead cells / hop matter into their brews with minimal impact I am not amoung them

Im a firm believer of taking a little care (as much as is practicable) with what I put into a fresh batch.

Anal? Probably... Happy? Certainly

Yob
 

Nick JD

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How much of that 300ml of TRUB is actual viable live yeast?
Just the right amount.

Considering there was a delicious beer sitting on top of it for a week unaffected by its "insidious flavours", worrying about popping it into the next brew seems idiotic to me. YMMV.
 

roverfj1200

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I do it all the time.. I scoop out half a schooner full of turb and use it in the next batch. I will keep it in the fridge for a week with glad wrap and a rubber band over it. Just warm it up before pitching.

It works for me never had a infection or that.

As with anything cleanliness is up most.

Cheers.

P.S. I find that yeast pitched this way finishes faster too.
 

mikec

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I rinsed some Coopers yeast using Wolfy's method, after making a small batch of CPA.
It's been under a layer of boiled water in a small jar in the fridge for a couple of months now, and has gone grey in colour. Grey indicates what, death?
 

Yob

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Im not saying it doesnt work Rover, merely trying to point out that 'correct' pitching rates are determined by OG and how many liters are being brewed and style. There is a formla for it... I think thats widely accepted.

The science behind a general scoop is not a pitching rate that can really (easily) be calculated because of the other crap in there... What would be the guess be on the ratio of healthy yeast to dead cells and other shite in there 50% - 50% or 70? - 30%? Hell it may work out just about right if the ratio was correct, if not it's either an under or overpitch..

Does it work, yeah sure maybe,

would the beer be significantly different with an accurate pitching rate? Jury is out.

would I do it? Nope.. well not yet anyway ;)

There is no right and wrong (within reason) with our homebrewing, it's as accurate or sloppy as we each want/need it to be.

:icon_drunk: Yob

edit: doesnt yeast go brown when they die off?... dunno about grey :unsure:
 

thylacine

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Re trub

:...Im a firm believer of taking a little care (as much as is practicable) with what I put into a fresh batch..."

Basic Brewing Radio experiment:

episode of February 23, 2012 - "Trub Experiment Results"
 

Yob

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Linky

ed: Damn that was painful... and also they discuss kettle trub (eventually) not FV trub and Yeast as wat is being discussed here init' ;)
 

Steve@PMF82

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Im not saying it doesnt work Rover, merely trying to point out that 'correct' pitching rates are determined by OG and how many liters are being brewed and style. There is a formla for it... I think thats widely accepted.

The science behind a general scoop is not a pitching rate that can really (easily) be calculated because of the other crap in there... What would be the guess be on the ratio of healthy yeast to dead cells and other shite in there 50% - 50% or 70? - 30%? Hell it may work out just about right if the ratio was correct, if not it's either an under or overpitch..

Does it work, yeah sure maybe,

would the beer be significantly different with an accurate pitching rate? Jury is out.

would I do it? Nope.. well not yet anyway ;)

There is no right and wrong (within reason) with our homebrewing, it's as accurate or sloppy as we each want/need it to be.

:icon_drunk: Yob

edit: doesnt yeast go brown when they die off?... dunno about grey :unsure:
I have had some older sample go greyish/brown colour after 9 - 12months - rinsed several times, stored under clear water. They fire up in 100ml of wort no worries. Of course always taste and smell in later steps - i have learnt the most about yeast health from smelling and tasting EVERYTHING.

Different people different amounts of time and dedication = strokes / methods

I agree with Yob and if you can be bothered, it really is quite easy to rinse your yeast cake just once and eliminate almost all of the unwanted trub = dead yeast, hops and proteins all of which whether you taste it or not will have some impact on the next beer you use it in, as is the case with all things that go into your beer recipe throughout the whole process.

Plus you can be more accurate in guessing how much yeast you should use makes it a bit easier to repeat a beer you really like or not if its shit.
 

roverfj1200

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Im not saying it doesnt work Rover, merely trying to point out that 'correct' pitching rates are determined by OG and how many liters are being brewed and style. There is a formla for it... I think thats widely accepted.
Sorry if I am taken wrong. Was only saying that this is what I do..

I am sure there is a better way.

Cheers
 

michael_aussie

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i know it's not PC ..... but this is what I do:
1. First batch = Clean the fermenter .. new yeast packet.
2. Second batch = immediately after draining the fermenter ... pour the next batch onto the full yeast cake.
3. Third batch = immediately after draining the fermenter ... pour the next batch onto the full yeast cake.
4. Fourth batch = immediately after draining the fermenter ... pour the next batch onto the full yeast cake.
5. Dump all the yeast cake .. clean the fermenter .. start again.
The only time I vary from this is if I get some sort of stray growth on the surface of the beer (often white and icy-like) on the third batch. If I get this I dump the yeast cake... and clean the fermenter .. and start again. .. EDIT = Even if this happens the beer is fine.
I've done this for around a year .... I know that some would frown upon my slackness .. but it works for me.
 

Yob

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Phaark.. If i did that for 5 batches I wouldnt be able to drain it for all the hops in there..

How long does that mean the yeast from the first pitch is in there? A cycle for me is 3-4 weeks from pitch to re-pitch

Assuming you rack it off to secondary but still....

Wow
 

donburke

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repitching onto the whole yeastcake is particularly handy if building up a big colony for a big beer

i.e. starter into a mild, then throw an ipa onto it, then your barleywine

i bottled my barley wine today, it was pitched onto a whole yeast cake of the previous batch (a 1.064 beer) baryleywine finished in at 10.2% abv and had reached terminal gravity in 7 days and thats at 13.5 degrees for an ale

definitely wont be reusing this yeastcake, looked like a dogs breakfast
 

bignath

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i know it's not PC ..... but this is what I do:
1. First batch = Clean the fermenter .. new yeast packet.
2. Second batch = immediately after draining the fermenter ... pour the next batch onto the full yeast cake.
3. Third batch = immediately after draining the fermenter ... pour the next batch onto the full yeast cake.
4. Fourth batch = immediately after draining the fermenter ... pour the next batch onto the full yeast cake.
5. Dump all the yeast cake .. clean the fermenter .. start again.
The only time I vary from this is if I get some sort of stray growth on the surface of the beer (often white and icy-like) on the third batch. If I get this I dump the yeast cake... and clean the fermenter .. and start again. .. EDIT = Even if this happens the beer is fine.
I've done this for around a year .... I know that some would frown upon my slackness .. but it works for me.
Ive been thinking of trying something like this as i have a very set menu. I only really brew a couple (maybe three or four) different recipes. I have four fermenters so a process like this if it works might save some time and a bit of coin.
 

michael_aussie

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Ive been thinking of trying something like this as i have a very set menu. I only really brew a couple (maybe three or four) different recipes. I have four fermenters so a process like this if it works might save some time and a bit of coin.

ty Nath for posting .. From extensive reading here .. I know you are one person who calls a spade a spade. I was a little hesitant in confessing just how ******* lazy I am. Some of the puritans here can be pretty ruthless if they think theyve spotted a heathen.

I too run the same brews each time .. so have no concerns about dumping a fresh batch onto a non-compatible old one.

I started "cheating" like this to save using a new yeast for each batch.
I quickly realised the biggest bonus is the time saving.

I run three fermenters at a time.

If I clean these after each batch .. it takes me a little over an hour to clean, and sterilise the three fermenters.

So, I am very careful with the fermenter as I empty them. .. and as long as it shows no sign of infection ... I reuse without cleaning.
The only variation to this has been when one or two fermenters has a slight "ice-berg" infection. This never happens on the first run .. and sometimes on the second run there is a very slight hint of infection. On the third run ,,, if one or two fermenters have some floaties... I throw out the yeast from these fermenter(s) ... give these fermenter(s) a "dodgy" clean .. not a full elbow grease clean, I dont even remove the tap ... I scoop a cup of the yeast out of the uninfected fermenter to reseat the dodgy cleaned fermenter(s) .. and kick them all in the guts again.

THE BENEFITS
Three fresh yeast packets last for a four batches (12 brews). Therefore the cost per batch is 1/4 of the purchase price .. $1.50 per brew .. peanuts. It doesn't make it worthwhile to even try to harvest and store yeast to reuse.
Three runs have little or no cleaning time for the fermenters .. saving around 3-4 hours over the 4 runs.

THE TRADE OFF
The fermenters are a little harder to clean when I finally clean them. They need a good hard scrubbing after running continuously for 12 weeks (4 batches) .. but I can still clean all 3 in less than 90 minutes. .. this includes completely stripping the taps.

WILL THIS WORK FOR EVERYONE
Maybe not ... I ferment and keg in my shed, and refill the fermenter in the kitchen .. the shed is dusty ... certainly no hospital ward.... I have a dog and 3 kids running around .. but I am careful to not leave the fermenter open. I leave the glad wrap on the fermenter until they are returned to the kitchen.
I only brew stouts, dark ales browns, reds and amber ales. Maybe this wouldn't work for "lighter" beers.

When I started brewing I spent forever scrubbing everything every time ... dismantling my fermenter taps, pulling off their sealing rings, COMPLETELY stripping all my kegs after each run. I was infection paranoid. After reading what others here at AHB do .. I've relaxed the cleaning quite a bit. I keep my empty kegs refrigerated .. and now haven't stripped a keg for over a year. I have made up a spray system to flush/clean the insides of my kegs.

Maybe I've been lucky. I read with sympathy fellow brewers like Beerfingers who have had infections through their systems .. and dumped entire batches.

The closest I came to this was a set of three brews that sat at room temp (20 degrees) for 5 weeks over Christmas. When I went to keg these ... they was all infected .. and one ponged ... in fact one stank like SHIT. I thought .. here we go .. my first failure in over 80 batches. However, once again .. having read what you guys have done .. I thought .. I'll give it a try .. the worse that can happen is I clean a keg ... transfer to the keg.. carbonate .. and when I go to drink it tastes like shit. Surprise .. surprise .. it wasn't the very best brew I've made .. but it was still a very drinkable beer. Maybe Im the laziest brewer but .. hey .. I still make awesome beer.
 

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