Reusing the Yeast Cake

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by nflamedrash, May 11, 2017.

  1. nflamedrash

    nflamedrash Member

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    In the past I have washed and reused yeast, I understand that process very well. I have read many posts where a brewer states that they are reusing the yeast cake from a prior batch.

    In my minds eye this is how I envision that process going:
    • start the brew day for the new beer
    • prior to the end of the brew day transfer the previous beer in the fermenter into a keg
    • transfer the new cooled wort from today's brew day into the fermenter (seems to break the sanitary rules and maybe some unwanted flavor carryover)
    Is the above the actual process or are brewers lightly washing the yeast cake and transferring it to a new clean fermenter? My main concern is all the particles stuck to the fermenter from the prior batch.
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I do it, you first need to check the beer coming out if its got any odd tastes and I have a bucket type set up, the only thing I do is wipe the ring on the side with a sanitized sponge, spray the top and edges with sanitizer then pour it right on top, also after poring about a half gallon in I swirl with a sanitized spoon to loosen and break apart any yeast from trub, the last beer was a light and no odd taste at all
     
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  3. KC

    KC Active Member

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    I've done it this way for similar beers, like if I'm doing a series of Belgians or wheat ales over the course of 3-4 months. Do lighter first, darker last.

    If the stuff stuck to the fermenter didn't ruin the previous batch it won't ruin the next one, granted it hasn't sat there too long (I've actually gone a couple days before refilling). You can't do any amount of cleaning with a carboy but the small opening also makes it harder for spores to get in after you rack it.
     
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  4. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    It's my preferred MO. Too lazy to wash yeast. The best I'll do is dump the whole cake into a gallon jug and hold in the fridge for a later batch.
    I trust carboys more for doing this, but I've done it in buckets, too.
     
  5. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    yeah ive found if you let it go too long no matter how sealed it will sour and stink pretty bad, if you save it chill it
     
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  6. krackin

    krackin Member

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    A quart should do.
     
  7. Craft Solutions

    Craft Solutions New Member

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    I find that there is usually way more yeast slurry than I need, so after draining the fermenter, I scoop out the yeast with a sanitized spoon or cup and place it in sanitized Mason jars. I put excess yeast in the refrigerator. Then I clean and sanitize the fermenter and boil the drain valve before adding new wort and the saved slurry. I decant any beer that has risen to the top. I usually add 8-12 oz. slurry. There are slurry calculations in several yeast calculators. Don't dump hoppy slurry into a Helles.
    Dan
     
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  8. nflamedrash

    nflamedrash Member

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    Craft Solutions - your process sounds like a simplified version of my yeast washing. In June I have back-to-back wheat beers scheduled, I am going to try reusing the yeast cakes in the stainless steel fermenters.
     

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