Author Topic: Yeast cake at bottom of primary  (Read 3596 times)

Offline denny

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2016, 03:24:55 PM »
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.

THIS^^^^^
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Offline SPAMR

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2016, 03:31:11 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!
[/quote]

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!
[/quote]

Love it - thanks denny.

Sounds like I need to relax and stop worrying about the micro details. I'm just so new that I am afraid of dumping a batch due to negligence!  :o

Offline denny

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2016, 03:57:12 PM »
Love it - thanks denny.

Sounds like I need to relax and stop worrying about the micro details. I'm just so new that I am afraid of dumping a batch due to negligence!  :o

Oh, I totally remember that feeling.  Let me give you a piece of advice...never forget that it's only beer.  It's not cancer research!  You will sometimes make a bad batch...we've all done it  Sometimes it's an obvious flaw, sometimes it's a beer you just don't like.  Whatever...dump it, move on and brew again.  It's only beer and you can always make more.  Concentrate on learning and those times will happen less and less frequently.  But it's a hobby, man, and it HAS to be fun.  Don't stress.  It's only beer.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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"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

Offline dilluh98

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2016, 04:16:26 PM »
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.

THIS^^^^^

Yup. Mark has spread a lot of great (and detailed) information regarding ale yeast. The most important takeaway for many of us (myself included) is that if your yeast is rocking away (high krausen from starter or from a relatively fresh yeast cake), pitching even significantly fewer cells is not a big deal at all for normal or even moderately high gravity ales.

If you search back for some of his posts regarding how much time it takes for cells to multiply, you'll quickly realize that even being off by half (or more) is only going to delay fermentation by a few hours - assuming your cells are healthy when pitched.

Offline SPAMR

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2016, 04:22:09 PM »
Oh, I totally remember that feeling.  Let me give you a piece of advice...never forget that it's only beer.  It's not cancer research!  You will sometimes make a bad batch...we've all done it  Sometimes it's an obvious flaw, sometimes it's a beer you just don't like.  Whatever...dump it, move on and brew again.  It's only beer and you can always make more.  Concentrate on learning and those times will happen less and less frequently.  But it's a hobby, man, and it HAS to be fun.  Don't stress.  It's only beer.

Touche - this is comforting!

Offline HoosierBrew

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2016, 04:32:30 PM »
Oh, I totally remember that feeling.  Let me give you a piece of advice...never forget that it's only beer.  It's not cancer research!  You will sometimes make a bad batch...we've all done it  Sometimes it's an obvious flaw, sometimes it's a beer you just don't like.  Whatever...dump it, move on and brew again.  It's only beer and you can always make more.  Concentrate on learning and those times will happen less and less frequently.  But it's a hobby, man, and it HAS to be fun.  Don't stress.  It's only beer.

Touche - this is comforting!


Denny's totally right - keep it fun and exciting. If you sanitize properly and keep your fermentation temps down you'll make beer that's at least drinkable, if not better. Learn from some of the excellent brewers here and you'll do better than that. Good luck!
Jon H.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2016, 01:57:12 AM »
One more thing - be sure to write what the yeast strain is and when it was harvested.  As you brew more often, you might have a few samples stored and the easy reference will be appreciated!
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"

Offline SPAMR

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #22 on: April 15, 2016, 06:16:13 PM »
I harvested my yeast successfully this morning into 2, 1 qt. mason jars.

It looks like I have over 400 ml. of slurry in each jar. This is way too much for a 5 gallon batch right?  :o

Pic below for reference!


Offline denny

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #23 on: April 15, 2016, 06:21:52 PM »
Yeah, probably more than enough for a batch in each jar, but IMO not a big deal.  Make sure not to screw those lids down too tight.  Even in the fridge it will keep slowly fermenting and you don't want pressure to build up and the jars to explode.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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"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

Offline SPAMR

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2016, 06:28:16 PM »
Yeah, probably more than enough for a batch in each jar, but IMO not a big deal.  Make sure not to screw those lids down too tight.  Even in the fridge it will keep slowly fermenting and you don't want pressure to build up and the jars to explode.

Thanks for the tip. Just put them in the fridge and loosened the caps up a bit. I had initially tightened them very tight!

Offline blair.streit

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2016, 06:30:03 PM »
Yeah, probably more than enough for a batch in each jar, but IMO not a big deal.  Make sure not to screw those lids down too tight.  Even in the fridge it will keep slowly fermenting and you don't want pressure to build up and the jars to explode.
+1 to that. You can always just cover with foil if you don't want to worry about how tight the lids are.

Also, once it completely settles, you'll have a nice dense bunch at the bottom of each jar. Just guessing by a glance at your pic those will probably be closer to 250ml each. You can do the yeast calculator route if you want to figure it out exactly, but as Denny said each one of those is probably plenty of yeast for a 5G batch. Think about it this way -- even if half of the stuff you're seeing is not yeast (trub, hop matter, etc), that's still a lot more "stuff" than what comes in a single White Labs vial.

Offline Stevie

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2016, 06:30:38 PM »
The yeast will compact as it cools. I normally get 200-300 ml of thick slurry from a 1.040-1.050 batch.

Offline SPAMR

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2016, 06:46:19 PM »
The yeast will compact as it cools. I normally get 200-300 ml of thick slurry from a 1.040-1.050 batch.

Perfect, i'm hoping for close to 200 ml. :)

Offline SPAMR

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2016, 07:15:53 PM »
The yeast will compact as it cools. I normally get 200-300 ml of thick slurry from a 1.040-1.050 batch.

Already see it compacting.

When it's time to pitch is there anything I need to know? Do I just pour in the entire jar, or only the thickest slurry?

Thanks!

Offline denny

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Re: Yeast cake at bottom of primary
« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2016, 08:10:15 PM »
The yeast will compact as it cools. I normally get 200-300 ml of thick slurry from a 1.040-1.050 batch.

Already see it compacting.

When it's time to pitch is there anything I need to know? Do I just pour in the entire jar, or only the thickest slurry?

Thanks!

Pour off the leftover beer on top, leaving just enough to swirl the slurry up so you can pour it.
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