Author Topic: First Time Pitching on Yeast Cake  (Read 4766 times)

Offline davidgzach

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First Time Pitching on Yeast Cake
« on: May 07, 2012, 05:55:56 AM »
I've never done this before so I thought I would give it a shot.  I kegged my BoPils as the next one was mashing.  Racked most all of the beer off the yeast and put it back in my chest freezer at 50F.  Cooled the new wort down to 50F and racked it on top.  Man, I had activity in about an hour and the Krausen this morning is unlike anything I've seen before, even with a 1G starter.  Very cool and thought I would share. 

I know with ales you want to pitch a higher gravity beer on top to make sure the yeasties are not lazy.  Does the same go for lagers?  They don't seem lazy to me but just wondering. 

Dave
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Offline hokerer

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Re: First Time Pitching on Yeast Cake
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2012, 06:34:38 AM »
I know with ales you want to pitch a higher gravity beer on top to make sure the yeasties are not lazy.  Does the same go for lagers?  They don't seem lazy to me but just wondering. 

Pitching a higher gravity on top doesn't really have anything to do with laziness.  It's more about the fact that you don't want pitch onto overly stressed yeast.  Pitching a higher gravity onto a lower gravity yeast cake avoids that.  Doing the higher gravity first and then pitching a lower gravity onto the cake would be using overstressed yeast.

That said, there's nothing wrong with pitching a second brew of similar gravity as the first onto a cake.  The only thing you might want to do is to look at some of the yeast pitching rate calculators out there and make sure you're not overpitching (although overpitching is much less of a concern that underpitching).
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Offline bluesman

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Re: First Time Pitching on Yeast Cake
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2012, 06:49:41 AM »
Do you know how much yeast was in the cake? Did you estimate the yeast requirements for the wort added to the yeast cake?  I like to calculate the yeast requirements and pitch accordingly.  I assume that the worst case is you overpitched. Overpitching can lead to a very clean beer due to less cell growth therefore less ester formation.
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Offline nateo

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Re: First Time Pitching on Yeast Cake
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2012, 07:37:22 AM »
Overpitching can lead to a very clean beer due to less cell growth therefore less ester formation.

Since he's making a lager, wouldn't that be a good thing?
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Offline bluesman

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Re: First Time Pitching on Yeast Cake
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2012, 09:25:03 AM »
Overpitching can lead to a very clean beer due to less cell growth therefore less ester formation.

Since he's making a lager, wouldn't that be a good thing?

Sure is.  :)
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: First Time Pitching on Yeast Cake
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2012, 09:48:35 AM »
Reduced cell growth affects other things too, not just ester formation.  I believe it will reduce glycerol formation (which we were talking about in another thread) so the beer may be thinner.  I have not done any tests of this at all, so I don't know if it would be a noticeable effect at normal pitching rates +/- a bit.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: First Time Pitching on Yeast Cake
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2012, 10:19:17 AM »
I'll try to remember to report back on this when the beer is lagered and on tap.

This is an interesting topic.  I may need some help from the BJCP Judges on what to look for.  Or I could mail out a few bottles.  Ron, you're down in Delaware.  Maybe I'll run you down a bottle from Valley Forge!   :D

Dave
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Offline bluesman

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Re: First Time Pitching on Yeast Cake
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2012, 11:35:53 AM »
I'll try to remember to report back on this when the beer is lagered and on tap.

This is an interesting topic.  I may need some help from the BJCP Judges on what to look for.  Or I could mail out a few bottles.  Ron, you're down in Delaware.  Maybe I'll run you down a bottle from Valley Forge!   :D

Dave

Sure...maybe we could meet at the Iron Hill in West Chester or something like that.
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Offline Pi

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Re: First Time Pitching on Yeast Cake
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2012, 05:23:34 AM »
...even with a 1G starter...
Seems like alot (assuming a 5gallon batch). When I make a (3-4 liter starter) I let it settle out and only pitch the cake. Figuring the 80% liquid was finished/green beer and wouldnt contribute anything but off flavors and somewhat diminish the flavor/hop characteristics of the new beer. but what do I know
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Offline beersk

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Re: First Time Pitching on Yeast Cake
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2012, 10:47:56 AM »
Seems like alot (assuming a 5gallon batch). When I make a (3-4 liter starter) I let it settle out and only pitch the cake. Figuring the 80% liquid was finished/green beer and wouldnt contribute anything but off flavors and somewhat diminish the flavor/hop characteristics of the new beer. but what do I know
You know enough not to do it.  There's no reason to dump the whole starter in there.
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Offline euge

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Re: First Time Pitching on Yeast Cake
« Reply #10 on: May 08, 2012, 11:06:36 AM »
Sunday I pitched on a whole yeast-cake. Hadn't done that in years. I had just racked to bottles and since the beer was 1.048 it seemed like a no brainer at the time. Normally if repitching I'd scoop a cup or so out and pitch that into a freshly sanitized fermenter. This time I just ran the wort into the old fermenter. Bang, it was fermenting vigorously (high krausen) when I checked it in the morning.

I need a fast turn-around for this beer and shaving a couple days off will help greatly.

It's not a practice or tactic that I recommend doing as a regular routine but only as an approach available to brewer's out there. The main thing to be aware of is that any bacteria present in the first batch it will be growing alongside the yeast in the second and third etc. Also the yeast get worn out, especially after producing lots of alcohol in a strong gravity beer. So re-pitching from a strong beer's cake increases the chance that problems i.e off and weird flavors will occur.

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Offline davidgzach

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Re: First Time Pitching on Yeast Cake
« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2012, 11:18:07 AM »
...even with a 1G starter...
Seems like alot (assuming a 5gallon batch). When I make a (3-4 liter starter) I let it settle out and only pitch the cake. Figuring the 80% liquid was finished/green beer and wouldnt contribute anything but off flavors and somewhat diminish the flavor/hop characteristics of the new beer. but what do I know

Sorry, should have clarified.  I pitch the yeast made from a 1G starter in to my lagers.  If you are making a 4 liter starter we are doing the same thing. 
Dave Zach

Offline davidgzach

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Re: First Time Pitching on Yeast Cake
« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2012, 11:21:49 AM »
Bang, it was fermenting vigorously (high krausen) when I checked it in the morning.


Euge, it is pretty amazing how fast it takes off and starts Krausening isn't it!  Even for a lager, like you said, BANG!

I prefer to wash and reuse my yeast but had to give this a shot.

Dave
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Offline skyler

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Re: First Time Pitching on Yeast Cake
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2012, 12:30:45 AM »
I regularly pitch the full cake from a 1.050-or-smaller 5 gal batch into a 1.070-or-bigger 10 gal batch. It's just a lot easier than building a starter that size.

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Re: First Time Pitching on Yeast Cake
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2012, 04:22:14 AM »
IMO it is better to take out a portion of the slurry - heck, it only takes a minute to dump in clean, sani mason jar, and measure out the appropriate amount. Also, the bruno hefe - the old yeast and protein hop resin on the sides if the fermenter - you dnt really want that to dissolve back into your beer. I think you make better beer by measuring out the slurry and pitching into a clean fermenter.
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