General Category > Yeast and Fermentation

Can you over pitch a lager?

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I've got a 5 gal amber lager with WLP833 sitting out for a D-rest right now. 
I'm going to do another lager right away, probably a 1.060ish bock of some sort.  Should I just re-pitch the entire yeast cake?  Mr. Malty says I should pitch about 230 ml of yeast from a re-pitch but I have no idea how to factor in how "clean" my re-pitch is.  I wasn't planning on trying to wash it or anything.  I would expect that there are maybe 2 cups of slurry in the bottom of the bucket, depending on how much liquid I have to use to get it re-suspended to pour.

So, long way to get to my question.  Is there any downside to just re-pitching the entire yeast cake?  I was going to chill to about 45 or so and then pitch.

klickitat jim:
Autolysis? Maybe... I'll tune in for the pro responses

"Freedom is temporary unless you are also Brave!" - Patriot

If you are increasing the OG that is preferable, however I've pitched on top with an identical OG with no ill effects at all.  And it was a Pils so it would have been detected.  I'd say go for it and RDWHAHB.


After racking off the cake, just swirl it to mix and measure out your needed volume. You can adjust the Yeast Concentration to the low end (try 2) on the calculator.

You'll find you have much more yeast than you need. I've heard JZ mention several times that over-pitching is detrimental to beer flavor.

Also - if you plan on continue using the yeast in future pitches, over-pitching greatly increases the average cell age of the slurry. More yeast = less growth = fewer new cells in subsequent pitches.

yes, you can.  i've done it 2 times in the past, both resulting in acetylaldehyde, even after a 4 week primary with 1 week at diacetyl rest temps. 

both because I observed the viability factor on Mr. Malty and pitched almost 1500mL of loose slurry in 10gal.

I was able to rescue the beers by letting them sit at room temp (acetylaldehyde has a low boiling point - like 60s or 70s) and bubbling Co2 periodically from the bottom to degas the kegs, thanks to some advice from posters here.

As for your situation - 230mL is a little more than a cup - I would pitch a cup and a half and you will be in the ballpark and be fine.


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