Author Topic: Yeast cake at bottom of primary  (Read 1786 times)

Offline war2112

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Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« on: April 11, 2016, 08:49:09 PM »
Hello all,

I'm a new brewer. I bottled my first batch of pale ale 4 days ago after fermentation had ceased in the primary (12 days). So now just letting it carbonate and age in the bottles.

Anyway, that big old yeast cake at the bottom of the primary. That's what it looked like anyway, a big cake. Anything you can do with that? I have seen something about starters so that's why I am asking. Of course, I dumped this already but wondering about in the future.

Thanks,

Offline euge

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2016, 09:03:24 PM »
I almost always dump it.

The cake can be a source of yeast however. There's just better methods of extending yeast than reusing a tired old cake. Good ways and not so great ways to do it as well.
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Offline denny

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2016, 09:05:27 PM »
I pretty much always save and reuse the slurry in the bottom of my fermenters.  I pour it into 2-3 sanitized containers and keep them in the fridge.  If I reuse within maybe 2-3 weeks, I just pour one of the containers in.  If it's much longer than that, I'll use a portion to make a new starter.
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Offline Phil_M

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2016, 09:06:45 PM »
Actually a yeast cake from a mid-gravity pale ale would be a great candidate to repitch. Just leave a little beer at the bottom of the fermentor, and use it to swirl up the yeast. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, then pour 1/3 to 1/2 the volume into the next batch of wort. That's exactly what I've been doing with my current culture of Wyeast 1450, which is now on it's 4th batch.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2016, 10:20:35 PM »
Another vote for reusing, following Denny's approach.

You can also use the whole cake and ferment the next batch on it, but unless you're moving to a much bigger beer that's going to be a big over-pitch.  But the first few times I reused yeast that's how I did it.

To save it for later, I like to use Rubbermaid beverage containers.  If they build too much pressure, the top pops open.
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Offline SPAMR

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2016, 12:53:07 AM »
I pretty much always save and reuse the slurry in the bottom of my fermenters.  I pour it into 2-3 sanitized containers and keep them in the fridge.  If I reuse within maybe 2-3 weeks, I just pour one of the containers in.  If it's much longer than that, I'll use a portion to make a new starter.

I've been considering this. Any link or pictures so I can see this in more detail?

How do you know the cell count when you pitch into your next brew? That's what has me scared/nervous.

Thank you as always!

RPIScotty

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2016, 01:12:26 AM »
I pretty much always save and reuse the slurry in the bottom of my fermenters.  I pour it into 2-3 sanitized containers and keep them in the fridge.  If I reuse within maybe 2-3 weeks, I just pour one of the containers in.  If it's much longer than that, I'll use a portion to make a new starter.

I've been considering this. Any link or pictures so I can see this in more detail?

How do you know the cell count when you pitch into your next brew? That's what has me scared/nervous.

Thank you as always!

You can use 1.2 x 10e9 p/mL as a guide for repitching slurry

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2016, 01:16:26 AM »
FWIW, I've taken S. Cerivisiaa's "Yeast are like Nuclear Weapons" statement to heart. So far, pitching healthy, active yeast in any reasonable quantity has yet to produce bad results. I've yet to ever actually worry about cell counts or use a pitching calculator.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline majorvices

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2016, 12:22:37 PM »
Yes, as you get more experienced and brew more regularly you are definitely going to want to reuse that yeast. I usually start with a low gravity 5 gallon "starter beer" and then I will continue to use that yeast in from batch for up to 7-10 generation or until I hit a gravity that is high enough to be unhealthy for the yeast.

Offline SPAMR

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2016, 02:33:09 PM »
You can use 1.2 x 10e9 p/mL as a guide for repitching slurry

Great - so 20/ML would be 240 billion cells? (if I understand correctly)

RPIScotty

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2016, 02:36:40 PM »
No. 24B.

200 mL would be 240B.


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Offline SPAMR

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2016, 02:38:35 PM »
Yes, as you get more experienced and brew more regularly you are definitely going to want to reuse that yeast. I usually start with a low gravity 5 gallon "starter beer" and then I will continue to use that yeast in from batch for up to 7-10 generation or until I hit a gravity that is high enough to be unhealthy for the yeast.

The current batch in my fermentation bucket is 1.060. Do you recommend using this for my next batch?

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2016, 03:08:54 PM »
My first use of the 1450 culture I mentioned above was for a 6.2%ish beer. Seemed to work just fine.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2016, 03:10:00 PM »
+1.  You can re-use yeast from a 1.060 beer with no worries.
Jon H.

Offline denny

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #14 on: April 12, 2016, 03:24:25 PM »
I pretty much always save and reuse the slurry in the bottom of my fermenters.  I pour it into 2-3 sanitized containers and keep them in the fridge.  If I reuse within maybe 2-3 weeks, I just pour one of the containers in.  If it's much longer than that, I'll use a portion to make a new starter.

I've been considering this. Any link or pictures so I can see this in more detail?

How do you know the cell count when you pitch into your next brew? That's what has me scared/nervous.

Thank you as always!

How do I know the cell count? I don't and I don't worry about it!  I simply know that there's enough fresh yeast that it will work.  A lot of that is due to the experience of almost 500 batches.  More comes from the experience if knowing that homebrewers worry too much about stuff that doesn't matter all that much!

The process of saving slurry is so simple that I've never bothered to document it.  I use 1/2 gal. plastic tubs with snap on lids.  That way, if the yeast continues fermenting, it simply lifts the lid and doesn't blow up a glass container!  Sanitize the containers and lids.  When you rack your beer for packaging, leave a little beer behind so you can use it to swirl up the slurry.  Sanitize the lip of your fermenter and pour approximately equal amounts into each container.  Snap on the lids, put in the fridge, and you're done!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell