Author Topic: Repitching Lager Yeast  (Read 1840 times)

Offline coolman26

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Repitching Lager Yeast
« on: March 30, 2015, 02:21:36 PM »
I brewed 13 gallons of lager 2 weeks ago.  I split it between WY2000 and WLP802.  I plan on doing a double this weekend and using the yeasts for 2 different beers.  I've never re-pitched yeast.  I've always grown new yeast for every batch.  I was going to transfer to kegs after crashing.  Should I harvest after transfer and before dropping the yeast? I could put it in a jar until this weekend?  Can I harvest after dropping the yeast?  I planned on brewing, doing the transfer and using a portion of the cake on the same day.  I got thinking about what the cold 33 degrees might do to the yeast.  Not that it matters, but doing Bo Pils and Maibock this weekend.  Thanks 
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Repitching Lager Yeast
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2015, 02:36:59 PM »
I've pitched right on to the cake many times with no issues.  Or scoop up a cup of slurry and use a newly sanitized vessel. The former is much easier and same results.


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Offline Frankenbrew

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Re: Repitching Lager Yeast
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2015, 05:05:20 PM »
Dave, this suggestion comes up all the time, but the question it engenders is: is the whole yeast cake too much? Is it overpitching?

And it's one of those controversial topics. Some say it is overpitching, and some say it isn't. So regardless of how many of these threads I read, I never really know the answer.
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Repitching Lager Yeast
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2015, 07:14:27 PM »
I think running the same volumes in the vessel is overpitching the yeast, even with lagers.  It won't kill the beer, but it will have a chance at making the beer a bit one-dimensional, because of the limited reproduction encountered by the cells (at least that has been my experience and what I attribute it to in these situations.).  I have gone to half a cake or better yet harvesting into a graduated 2 liter Ehrlenmeyer flask and measuring out the pitch using Mr. Malty (and adjusting for thickness encountered).  I have really liked those results.
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Offline coolman26

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Re: Repitching Lager Yeast
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2015, 09:58:16 PM »
So using the cake after cold crashing is OK?
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Repitching Lager Yeast
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2015, 11:42:29 PM »
So using the cake after cold crashing is OK?

I've pitched on to the cake numerous times with absolutely zero noticeable issues.  In fact, some really great beer.  But it's up to you.  YMMV.

Using it in any capacity after cold crashing is just fine.

Dave
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Repitching Lager Yeast
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2015, 11:45:24 PM »
Dave, this suggestion comes up all the time, but the question it engenders is: is the whole yeast cake too much? Is it overpitching?

And it's one of those controversial topics. Some say it is overpitching, and some say it isn't. So regardless of how many of these threads I read, I never really know the answer.

I agree.  It's right up there with adding CaraPils to a Pale Ale for head retention.   ::)

I can only speak from experience.  I've probably pitched on the cake (with light lagers no less) over a dozen times with excellent results.  Never a problem.

Dave
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Offline coolman26

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Re: Repitching Lager Yeast
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2015, 12:13:40 AM »
So using the cake after cold crashing is OK?

I've pitched on to the cake numerous times with absolutely zero noticeable issues.  In fact, some really great beer.  But it's up to you.  YMMV.

Using it in any capacity after cold crashing is just fine.

Then I will crash the primaries, transfer to the kegs, and pitch on the cake.  Thanks

Dave
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Repitching Lager Yeast
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2015, 02:08:38 AM »
Please let us know how it turns out.
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Offline Philbrew

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Re: Repitching Lager Yeast
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2015, 02:44:31 AM »
Dave, this suggestion comes up all the time, but the question it engenders is: is the whole yeast cake too much? Is it overpitching?

And it's one of those controversial topics. Some say it is overpitching, and some say it isn't. So regardless of how many of these threads I read, I never really know the answer.

I agree.  It's right up there with adding CaraPils to a Pale Ale for head retention.   ::)

I can only speak from experience.  I've probably pitched on the cake (with light lagers no less) over a dozen times with excellent results.  Never a problem.

Dave
Just to make this clear for a noob, when you say "pitch on the cake", do you mean "dump a new batch into the old fermenter without cleaning it out"?
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Offline coolman26

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Re: Repitching Lager Yeast
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2015, 02:51:25 AM »
I will probably remove part of the cake, and pitch in a new fermenter.  You could pitch into the same fermenter yes.  The buckets these are in are not large enough for my next batches, or I would. 
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Repitching Lager Yeast
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2015, 12:41:16 PM »
Dave, this suggestion comes up all the time, but the question it engenders is: is the whole yeast cake too much? Is it overpitching?

And it's one of those controversial topics. Some say it is overpitching, and some say it isn't. So regardless of how many of these threads I read, I never really know the answer.

I agree.  It's right up there with adding CaraPils to a Pale Ale for head retention.   ::)

I can only speak from experience.  I've probably pitched on the cake (with light lagers no less) over a dozen times with excellent results.  Never a problem.

Dave
Just to make this clear for a noob, when you say "pitch on the cake", do you mean "dump a new batch into the old fermenter without cleaning it out"?

the thinking is that if the bucket is 'clean' enough that the batch just in it isn't contaminated than the next batch will be fine to. It seems to work out that way to. But the dried on gunk get's really hard to clean after the second batch.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: Repitching Lager Yeast
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2015, 01:48:33 PM »
I will probably remove part of the cake, and pitch in a new fermenter.  You could pitch into the same fermenter yes.  The buckets these are in are not large enough for my next batches, or I would.

This has more of a chance for contamination than just pitching on the cake.  Be very diligent with your sanitation.

Dave
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Offline chumley

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Re: Repitching Lager Yeast
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2015, 04:12:13 PM »
I have pitched on yeast cakes in the same fermentor up to 5 times with no adverse effects.

I agree with concerns about overpitching for ales, where you want some flavor contributions from the yeast, but I don't worry about it for squeaky clean lagers. For my taste, lagers always taste better after months of lagering.

As far as the crusted gunk at the top of the fermentor, that's what Oxyclean is for.  An overnight soak in hot Oxyclean solution takes care of that every time.

Offline coolman26

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Re: Repitching Lager Yeast
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2015, 09:35:21 PM »
I will probably remove part of the cake, and pitch in a new fermenter.  You could pitch into the same fermenter yes.  The buckets these are in are not large enough for my next batches, or I would.

This has more of a chance for contamination than just pitching on the cake.  Be very diligent with your sanitation.

Dave

I wish I could pitch on the cake.  I need my 15 gallon fermenters for the next batch. Their in 8 gallon buckets.   I'll wipe the rim of the bucket with alcohol and dump it in I guess.  Not sure if dipping carries less risk.  After tasting today before crashing, I wish I had made more.  The 802 batch is fantastic.  The 2000 doesn't have that nice German flavor.  The hops do come through more with the 2000 though.  I haven't used any slurry calculator.  It may take the majority or whole cake anyway.
Jeff B