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General Category => General Homebrew Discussion => Topic started by: brewsumore on November 25, 2012, 12:41:08 AM

Title: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: brewsumore on November 25, 2012, 12:41:08 AM
This might sound like an entry level question, but after years of doing it my way I still wonder if there are any good alternatives.  After racking from primary bucket into keg, bottling bucket or secondary, I wash out the remaining sediment in my bucket down the basement utility sink drain, and hose a lot of water, usually hot, down the drain after the yeast sediment to ensure it all gets down my pipes to the sewer without building up in my drain pipes.  Do you do the same, or do you have another solution?  The way I do it is time saving and easy, but it does require quite a bit of hot water.  Thanks!
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: a10t2 on November 25, 2012, 12:43:49 AM
Aside from drying it and (selling it to someone who will be) using it to make supplements/nutrients/feedstock, that's the only way I know of.
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: cheba420 on November 25, 2012, 01:05:09 AM
Mine gets washed down the driveway, along the curb and into the gutter. I'm pretty sure that at the levels we're using, the yeast doesnt pose any issues to the waste water treatment facilities.
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: piszkiewiczp on November 25, 2012, 04:53:50 AM
If you're sending the yeast down an indoor drain, it's no problem. The sewage treatment process is largely based on bacteria consuming organics. Any live yeast may actually help.
Sending the yeast down a curb drain may be a problem. Any newer city has separate storm and sanitary sewers. Street storm drains go to the nearest river, and a yeast slurry would be an un-natural organic load, reduce water quality, and cause areal stench if not flushed by a decent rainstorm. 
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: morticaixavier on November 25, 2012, 05:46:50 AM
it goes in the compost. or directly in the garden.
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: dbarber on November 25, 2012, 01:47:50 PM
it goes in the compost. or directly in the garden.

+1  Mine goes in the compost bin.
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: erockrph on November 25, 2012, 02:15:31 PM
I take my fermenters outside and just hose them off on the lawn. Or if it's cold out I'll just dump the first couple of rinses on the lawn behind the front porch.
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: euge on November 25, 2012, 03:02:43 PM
Vegimite! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegemite)

Or "Marmite"...

Though you'd probably make quite a bit from just a single batch's slurry.
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: rbclay on November 25, 2012, 03:50:14 PM
reuse at least once, then dispose! the best beers I make are done on a yeast cake. hey, that rhymes...
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: brewsumore on November 25, 2012, 05:33:51 PM
I don't have a garden and therefore no composter either, but I'll definitely try the lawn fertilizing option prior to snow season.  I'm already a lawn clippings mulcher rather than a bagger.  Thanks all!
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: denny on November 25, 2012, 06:05:42 PM
Down the drain into the septic tank here.
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: tonyp on November 25, 2012, 06:57:09 PM
If I don't give it to my wife for the composter, I usually just toss it into the garden.
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: gymrat on November 25, 2012, 08:37:11 PM
Mine goes down the drain with the garbage disposal running.
Title: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: redbeerman on November 25, 2012, 10:12:04 PM
Down the drain into the septic tank here.

+1
Title: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: majorvices on November 26, 2012, 12:00:36 AM
If you have a septic system it should actually be beneficial for it. RidX ready to go! ;)
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: Thirsty_Monk on November 26, 2012, 01:22:05 AM
My understanding is that yeast competes with beneficial bacteria for oxygen is septic systems. This is why municipalities do not want live yeast in their water treatment plants.

I give the yeast nice warm bath over 120F for 30 min and down the drain they go.
Composting is a fine option.
I already had house drain plugged with yeast.
Title: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: majorvices on November 26, 2012, 02:48:41 AM
My understanding is that yeast competes with beneficial bacteria for oxygen is septic systems. This is why municipalities do not want live yeast in their water treatment plants.


Now that you mention it I remember this as well. I think it is BS, but I remember hearing it. ;)

Most likely yeast in the septic system just dies or becomes dormant. I doubt there is much for it to consume since it has evolved to ferment maltose.
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: tschmidlin on November 26, 2012, 03:19:19 AM
I dump plenty of yeast into our septic tank, and I've never had the guy pumping it out say there seemed like there was anything wrong or odd with our tank given the time between pumpings.
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: denny on November 26, 2012, 04:42:28 PM
If you have a septic system it should actually be beneficial for it. RidX ready to go! ;)

Could be, but it certainly doesn't hurt!
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: tubercle on November 28, 2012, 03:39:02 AM
....Sending the yeast down a curb drain may be a problem. Any newer city has separate storm and sanitary sewers. Street storm drains go to the nearest river, and a yeast slurry would be an un-natural organic load, reduce water quality, and cause areal stench if not flushed by a decent rainstorm.

A quart of yeast slurry in a river will cause "an un-natural organic load, reduce water quality"?

Really?

Kind of like spitting in the ocean.
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: corkybstewart on November 28, 2012, 05:14:11 PM
Sometimes mine goes onto the compost heap, sometimes onto the "lawn", sometimes into the septic tank depending on which fermentor I'm using.  If it's buckets it goes in the septic tank, carboys onto the lawn and the conical gets drained into buckets for the compost pile
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: morticaixavier on November 28, 2012, 07:04:37 PM
....Sending the yeast down a curb drain may be a problem. Any newer city has separate storm and sanitary sewers. Street storm drains go to the nearest river, and a yeast slurry would be an un-natural organic load, reduce water quality, and cause areal stench if not flushed by a decent rainstorm.

A quart of yeast slurry in a river will cause "an un-natural organic load, reduce water quality"?

Really?

Kind of like spitting in the ocean.

gotta say this argument doesn't hold water. it's not just 1 qt of yeast. it's 1 quart of yeast * 500K homebrewers in america (okay not all of them are dumping yeast in the storm drain, and not all of them that do live in the same place, but you get the idea)

the spitting in the ocean argument is exactly the same that leads to dumping radioactive waste in the ocean because hey what's a few thousand barrells of toxic gunk in the whole ocean?

Not saying there is an issue with disposing of the yeast cake in the storm drain but...
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: tschmidlin on November 29, 2012, 04:35:51 AM
gotta say this argument doesn't hold water.
I get what you're saying, but there is a huge difference between dumping something that is food and will degrade quickly, and something that is toxic and has a half-life of 24,000 years.  Huge difference.  And I know you know that.

Yes, the "spitting in the ocean" argument is a bad one in a lot of instances.  I don't think it is in this one, considering the volume of yeast on a homebrew scale, number of homebrewers who dump yeast outside, how frequently they dump yeast, geographic distances between them, and the fact that it will readily be healthy food for other organisms.  Crank up any of those factors and it might be bad.
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: morticaixavier on November 29, 2012, 06:34:19 AM
gotta say this argument doesn't hold water.
I get what you're saying, but there is a huge difference between dumping something that is food and will degrade quickly, and something that is toxic and has a half-life of 24,000 years.  Huge difference.  And I know you know that.

Yes, the "spitting in the ocean" argument is a bad one in a lot of instances.  I don't think it is in this one, considering the volume of yeast on a homebrew scale, number of homebrewers who dump yeast outside, how frequently they dump yeast, geographic distances between them, and the fact that it will readily be healthy food for other organisms.  Crank up any of those factors and it might be bad.

If I have told myself once, I have told myself a million times. 'Don't be hyperbolic'

point taken and fully conceded. I dump my yeast in the compost or on the lawn and it I am sure washed into local water ways and/or sewers. but mostly eaten by other life forms
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: tschmidlin on November 29, 2012, 08:58:44 AM
If I have told myself once, I have told myself a million times. 'Don't be hyperbolic'
And I've told you a billion times, stop exaggerating. ;D
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: tubercle on November 30, 2012, 01:14:53 PM
We keep fogetting that besides coming in neat little packages, yeast exist in nature. There is probably more yeast washed down a storm drain naturally in a day during a rain storm than all of us could dump in a year.
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: Dane8it on February 03, 2021, 03:31:01 PM
Following is a quote from  https://brewerywastewater.com/brewery-wastewater-101/brewery-wastewater-101-septic/

(keeping in mind this is written for breweries, but i suppose some homebrewers rival nano breweries)

"Some of the issues of a brewery on septic are:

First there is the pleasant mental image of the septic tank turning into a fermenter. It will create foam, fill with spent yeast, and pH will drop.  There is potential for back pressure issues due to CO2 generation, and due to the low pH and lack of oxygen the proper bacteria will not grow well so there will very little actual treatment going on in that tank. The tank will have to pumped quite often to remove the spent yeast, and this gets expensive.

Suspended solids (yeast, grain, hops) and dissolved solids (sugar) will pass through the septic tank and will plug the drain field over time. The solution here is usually to dig up the drain field and start over, probably on a new patch of ground. It takes time for this to happen, probably years, but it has happened over and over again and it’s expensive.  Several projects have had to replace their drain field in under 2 years!"
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: ynotbrusum on February 03, 2021, 04:22:09 PM
I live on a septic and I suggest one word:

Compost. 

Both the yeast and the spent grains.  The bacteria have no problem eating up all of it in my experience.  And a couple times a year, I have a big burn pile on top of my compost pile to get rid of shrub and branch trimmings and re-start the process.

It is interesting to see the old names in the thread, though.  Last I heard, Tom Schmidling got his PhD and is running a brewery....Cheers.
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: BrewBama on February 03, 2021, 05:25:08 PM
I am careful about what I put down the drain. I never considered yeast would be a problem source for my septic but I can now see how it could. I feed the spent grain to the wildlife in the corner of the yard next to the tree line. I may end up dumping yeast outside as well now.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: denny on February 03, 2021, 05:53:58 PM
I've been putting yeast in the septic for years.  Considering how little I put in and the size of the septic systemll I can't see what it would be an issue.  Im not dumping huge amounts daily as a brewery would.
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: Fire Rooster on February 03, 2021, 07:33:28 PM
Our septic system consists of one 500 gal holding tank, and then spills over into a 500 gallon dosing tank.
Both tanks are pumped every fall, and then https://www.amazon.com/Instant-Power-1868-Septic-Shock/dp/B08818GHMW/ref=sr_1_7?dchild=1&keywords=septic+shock&qid=1612379920&sr=8-7 is added to each tank.
This gives the leach fields a break, septic system is 24 years old, no issues.

I was a little concerned at first with the yeast being washed down the drain, but I think I'm ok.
Grain is thrown out with the trash.  Live on edge of a national forest and have enough critters.
"Been a hoot-owl howling by my window now", 4 am this morning.

Regarding the yeast, it depends on size of tank, load on tank (people), and how often it's pumped.
A poorly maintained and/or highly stressed septic system is looking for a reason to fail.
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: EnkAMania on February 03, 2021, 08:20:13 PM
In the yard, but not on the Japanese Maple.  Got in trouble doing that. 
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: majorvices on February 03, 2021, 08:44:59 PM
Compost
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: reverseapachemaster on February 04, 2021, 06:06:28 AM
Also compost. Depending upon where you live, there are probably neighbors who would be happy to add it to their gardens or compost.
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: scrap iron on February 04, 2021, 02:46:11 PM
I dump yeast in the compost or the yard. I used to dump old yeast in jars down the septic until I had a problem. We have an old house that has been added on to several times and has two septic system tanks. One for the main bath that is vented and one for the kitchen, laundry and 1/2 bath that was added on later. The second tank is not vented.
One night after doing this for awhile I got up to use the second bath in the middle of the night. I didn't turn on the lights so as not to wake my Wife. I set down on the seat and was shocked to feel water on it. The yeast produced co2 enough to vent up through the toilet and wet the seat, gross.
I had the tank pumped and now the yeast  goes to the compost. I don't know if it was a problem to the vented tank but I had it pumped too.
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: majorvices on February 04, 2021, 03:49:48 PM
I guess most people who don't garden also don't compost. I compost every thing from egg shells to apple cores to veggies that go bad before they are eaten. Definitely any brewers waste goes into compost. The big issue with grain is it can definitely pile up quickly depending how much you brew and create a pretty terrible aroma. It's best i recon to either have acreage or to hate your neighbors.
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: denny on February 04, 2021, 03:51:25 PM
I guess most people who don't garden also don't compost. I compost every thing from egg shells to apple cores to veggies that go bad before they are eaten. Definitely any brewers waste goes into compost. The big issue with grain is it can definitely pile up quickly depending how much you brew and create a pretty terrible aroma. It's best i recon to either have acreage or to hate your neighbors.

We have 5 composers and compost pretty much everything.  There's no need to compost the yeast when it's  much easier to just toss it.
Title: Re: disposing of yeast cake
Post by: majorvices on February 04, 2021, 04:16:18 PM
Convenience for me. It all gets tossed into a bin and walked down to the garden. So why not? Easier than flushing it down the drain since i do all that work outdoors.