Harvesting yeast cake

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Harvesting yeast cake

Post by Gyro » 5 years ago

NEWBIE ALERT !!!

So, what does the above title actually mean in practical terms?

Once there's a yeast head in the fermenter, do I scoop some off? Normally, my brews seem to ferment pretty speedily for a couple of days, and then there's barely any activity, and after this time I don't think the head itself lasts very long.

And once I taken some cake, what do I do with it then....?

Apols if this is covered in another thread, but humour me.


Cheers,
G


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Post by joshua » 5 years ago

Good Day, I don't have a good answer, but look over http://www.biabrewer.info/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=1364
About top-cropping yeast!
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Post by Lylo » 5 years ago

The "yeast cake" usually refers to the sediment on the bottom of the fermentor after fermentation.Many people rack their next beer right on top of this,and some go through a washing or rinsing process and save it in the fridge.Search "washing yeast"and you wiil have a few days of research at hand.It works,and many feel that their beer gets better with progressive uses of the washed yeast.
AWOL

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Post by thughes » 5 years ago

Best tutorial going, unfortunately it's down for a few days for spam clean up:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index. ... hing_yeast

In the meantime, this is about the second best one I could find for you:

http://www.brewersfriend.com/2010/01/30 ... shing-101/

Please keeping asking questions, that's what we're here for!

---Todd
Last edited by thughes on 30 Apr 2012, 08:31, edited 3 times in total.
WWBBD?

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Post by BobBrews » 5 years ago

Gyro,
Washing yeast to save is covered on YouTube and many forums. You can find a lot on the web. Reusing the yeast cake without washing is what I normally do for house beers or strong flavored beers. If I am in a competition I do a clean repeatable recipe with a new yeast. Washing yeast is work so I don't normally do it. After a while yeast ALWAYS mutates. They are promiscuous little devils. The mutants may be better than their parents but most likely are worse. I am not qualified to tell the difference nor smart enough to profit from a new strain.

I just reuse the yeast cake two or three times and dump it in the garden. Yeast is a good fertilizer. I just use the first beer as a huge "yeast started" Most likely a British bitter or a American ale. The next use may be a IPA or something stronger. The last beer I brew with the yeast will be a stout or porter. I lost my taste buds in Vietnam so if a beer is a little off I would not know it? I love the fast fermentation with the huge starter.
tap 1 Raspberry wine
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Post by deebo » 5 years ago

I think I read someplace that overpitching can be bad in the fact you dont get the flavours/esters (I think that was the term) from the yeast multiplying? What kind of differences do you notice between beers that are put directly onto a yeast cake with a very high number of cells (and I guess some dead yeast?) as opposed to pitched with the original yeast?

I have never bothered trying to use the yeast cake but I have been thinking about giving it a try for a while.. (the washing etc looked like more effort than buying a new pack of yeast was worth to me)

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Post by BobBrews » 5 years ago

deebo wrote:I think I read someplace that overpitching can be bad in the fact you dont get the flavours/esters (I think that was the term) from the yeast multiplying? What kind of differences do you notice between beers that are put directly onto a yeast cake with a very high number of cells (and I guess some dead yeast?) as opposed to pitched with the original yeast?
The yeast still multiply until your sugar is gone. There are just more of them providing the "Yeast of choice" a chance to quickly prosper. Under pitching causes undesirable flavors with yeast straining to reproduce and give "unintended" yeast a chance and time to multiply and spoil your beer!

When I empty a keg I replace it with a different variety. To my knowledge I have never replace a beer with the same beer. I like variety. So I couldn't say if I noticed a difference in beers brewed on a cake?

Reading all the stuff the "experts" say is very misleading. They go way beyond what is needed for a simple BIAB. They study the subject to find something different to say because they are suppose to know it all. Much of what they say is supposition and "seemingly" common sense. Experts have their place but I am a rouge BIAB'er. I fly by the seat of my pants in uncharted territory.

I also have no taste buds whatsoever so that's a clue for you!
Last edited by BobBrews on 01 May 2012, 20:06, edited 3 times in total.
tap 1 Raspberry wine
tap 2 Bourbon Barrel Porter
tap 3 Czech Pilsner
tap 4 Triple IPA 11% ABV

Pipeline: Mulled Cider 10% ABV

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Post by deebo » 5 years ago

After reading a bit about Hot Side Aeration etc I dont beleive everything the experts say. But I was always a bit wary about pitching onto the yeast cake for some reason.
I think I will have to take the 'bag by the seams' and try a few pitches onto yeast cakes to find out for myself if I can detect a difference.

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Post by Squared » 5 years ago

I reuse the cake in the same sort of way BobBrews does.

First is a lower gravity ale maybe a mild/bitter/american wheat then a more robust ale and if I want a stout or porter that one is last.

Sure makes brew day nice too, I can keg a batch during the boil and have new beer on the cake in short oreder...

Also I've heard of brewers making a mild that is low alcohol and has a quick conditioning time. Then after a week in the primary they go straight to the keg and use the cake as a starter for a barley wine or imperial stout since the yeast weren't too stressed out, and whats left is a really nice starter! And, if they force carb, they have a beer thats basically ready to drink!

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Post by hashie » 5 years ago

I have re-used yeast cake many times. I have re-used the same yeast cake for as many as 5 different brews (before getting cold feet and washing it away). I have re-used yeast cake from a dark beer to make a light coloured beer and also re-used the yeast cake from a high gravity beer to make a low gravity beer.
They all worked, they all tasted like beer (as intended).

One thing to remember when "experts" are giving advice is, science is not based on facts or truths. It is based on experiments and findings. If the early scientists were still to be believed, the Earth would still be flat.

Science, like brewing, is dynamic. We all need to try different methods and ideas and then report our findings so others can share the wisdom.
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Post by nu_brew » 5 years ago

This is all awesome news, doing my second BIAB this weekend, think i'll just pitch it on top of the previous yeast cake. Doing the same recipe so guess I can compare the beers and see what comes.

Also thinking next i'll do Lloydie P's Krispy Kolsch - maybe double batch and pitch the second cube on to the firsts dregs.

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Post by PistolPatch » 5 years ago

A lot of the beers I brew use US-56 (S-05) and I re-used this for a year once and it was still going strong. I used to just add a few litres of cooled boiled water to my fermentor dregs, wash it around and then collect about 375 ml of this extra wet slurry into a 750 ml bottle. (I'd usually do a couple of bottles). If I knew I wasn't going to use it for a while, I gave it some washes (not acid washes) with more cooled boiled water.

Like most brewers, I often never bothered labelling or dating the bottles thinking, "I'll remember that." :roll:

But, what I did do is smelled each bottle and then tasted the clear liquid on top before I pitched it. Occassionally I'd get a dodgy bottle which could have been sitting there for way too long so I'd just smell and taste the next one and use that. One day, I somehow got down to one bottle and that had gone but certainly not from mutation. It would have been from autolysis - poor yeast had nothing to eat and dropped dead :dunno:.

Mutation

It's been a while since I had this discussion with a bit of an expert on yeasts so I'm a bit hazy on it now. However, the gist of the conversation was that there are two types of yeasts. Some yeasts are single strains and others are a blend of strains. The single strains are very stable and should replicate reliably. You'll lose those through infection or autolysis before you'll lose them through mutation.

With the blends though, after a few repetitions, the stronger yeast in the blend overtakes the other ones and that is what is perceived as a 'mutation'.

I remember my first question was, "How do you find out if a yeast is a single strain or multi-strained?" He said, "You don't."

:smoke:.

I can give him a ring to refresh my memory but those phone calls end up being two hours. An enjoyable two hours but I don't have them available right now :).
Last edited by PistolPatch on 04 May 2012, 17:47, edited 3 times in total.
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Post by Kazan » 5 years ago

BobBrews wrote:Gyro,
Washing yeast to save is covered on YouTube and many forums. You can find a lot on the web. Reusing the yeast cake without washing is what I normally do for house beers or strong flavored beers. If I am in a competition I do a clean repeatable recipe with a new yeast. Washing yeast is work so I don't normally do it. After a while yeast ALWAYS mutates. They are promiscuous little devils. The mutants may be better than their parents but most likely are worse. I am not qualified to tell the difference nor smart enough to profit from a new strain.

I just reuse the yeast cake two or three times and dump it in the garden. Yeast is a good fertilizer. I just use the first beer as a huge "yeast started" Most likely a British bitter or a American ale. The next use may be a IPA or something stronger. The last beer I brew with the yeast will be a stout or porter. I lost my taste buds in Vietnam so if a beer is a little off I would not know it? I love the fast fermentation with the huge starter.
Hello BobBrews

Can I wash or use yeast cake the way you do , after three weeks of fermentation or should I rack to secondary after one week to 10 days ?

I fermented two IPA beer about 1 week.before I used Safale 04 and I don't have more that's why I want to re-use yeast cake


Thanks
Last edited by Kazan on 19 Sep 2012, 21:55, edited 3 times in total.


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Post by thylacine » 5 years ago

Hello BobBrews

Can I wash or use yeast cake the way you do , after three weeks of fermentation or should I rack to secondary after one week to 10 days ?

I fermented two IPA beer about 1 week.before I used Safale 04 and I don't have more that's why I want to re-use yeast cake


Thanks[/quote]


Howdy Kazan,

1) Link provided for pics of 'bottom' & 'top' harvested yeast.
http://www.aussiehomebrewer.com/forum/i ... ntry774775

2) Links with pics showing top-cropping.
http://www.aussiehomebrewer.com/forum/i ... opic=54164
http://karlisbeer.blogspot.com.au/2010/ ... arboy.html

3) Link with pics showing 'splitting' yeast pac before pitching.
http://www.aussiehomebrewer.com/forum/i ... ntry954437

4) Link w/pics showing yeast rinsing
http://www.aussiehomebrewer.com/forum/i ... opic=55409

:-)


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Post by joshua » 5 years ago

G'Day Thylacine, Great set Of links and Pics, Good On You!!!
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Post by BobBrews » 5 years ago

thylacine,

I moved my beer from the fermenter right into my keg. I then recovered the yeast cake (meaning put the lid back on) three days later I dumped fresh wort into that yeast cake in the bucket. No problems. No worries! I normally don't do it that way but I was in a pinch and it worked out OK!
tap 1 Raspberry wine
tap 2 Bourbon Barrel Porter
tap 3 Czech Pilsner
tap 4 Triple IPA 11% ABV

Pipeline: Mulled Cider 10% ABV

http://cheesestradamus.com/ Brewers challenge!


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Post by gregbyday » 2 years ago

Bump:

I do this now and find it the easiest way to re-use yeast over and over again.

http://brulosophy.com/methods/yeast-harvesting/

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