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Screwy Brewer

Rolling The Dice With WLP005 - Again

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In my never ending quest to save a few bucks on yeast I reused the WLP005 by emptying my Mr. Beer primary fermenters into my kegs then refilling the fermenters with fresh wort. I had fermented an ESB for 14 days and it finished at 1.011 when I kegged it today. Normally I clean the fermenter out and pitch new yeast but this time I cooled the new wort to 70F and poured it directly onto the existing yeast.

So far after 5 hours there is already a thick layer of krausen in both fermenters. Has anyone else tried this before, if so what was your outcome?

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Screwy Brewer wrote:

In my never ending quest to save a few bucks on yeast I reused the WLP005 by emptying my Mr. Beer primary fermenters into my kegs then refilling the fermenters with fresh wort. I had fermented an ESB for 14 days and it finished at 1.011 when I kegged it today. Normally I clean the fermenter out and pitch new yeast but this time I cooled the new wort to 70F and poured it directly onto the existing yeast.

So far after 5 hours there is already a thick layer of krausen in both fermenters. Has anyone else tried this before, if so what was your outcome?

I've done it a couple of times.

There's a slightly increased risk of infection since you're not sanitizing between brews, but it you keep the time short, the risk is small.

Everything I've read on doing this suggests going from lower to higher (lower IBU, SRM, OG to higher). There are a couple of reasons for that. One has something to do with the yeast viability (I don't remember the details), but you're also always including some of the old batch with the new one, so if you go from something stronger to weaker, it will affect the flavor more.

As you've already seen, it takes off in a hurry. It's also VERY prone to overflowing. If you can cool it off, keep it at the low end of the range for at least 3 days until the wildest part of fermentation is finished.

I think I read somewhere that the maximum times to do that safely is twice (three batches total, counting the original batch). It's easier and faster than harvesting yeast, but you should only do it when you can use it as soon as it's empty.

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bpgreen wrote:

As you've already seen, it takes off in a hurry. It's also VERY prone to overflowing. If you can cool it off, keep it at the low end of the range for at least 3 days until the wildest part of fermentation is finished.

I think I read somewhere that the maximum times to do that safely is twice (three batches total, counting the original batch). It's easier and faster than harvesting yeast, but you should only do it when you can use it as soon as it's empty.

bpgreen I left it in a 65F room overnight and the internal temperature of the fermenters was around 70F this morning when I checked. The krausen is up to the top of the fermenters already, I'm sure in a warmer room they would've definitely overflowed.

The WLP005 is a fast fermenting yeast strain. I'll check the final gravity and move the beer to clean secondaries once their ready. I bought 1 tube of WLP005 and pitched half of it in each of the 2 primaries I brewed 2 weeks ago. Now that I've been able to re-pitch it again with 2 more batches of wort the cost is down to 25% of what I'd been paying.

Thanks for sharing.

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Screwy Brewer wrote:

The WLP005 is a fast fermenting yeast strain. I'll check the final gravity and move the beer to clean secondaries once their ready. I bought 1 tube of WLP005 and pitched half of it in each of the 2 primaries I brewed 2 weeks ago. Now that I've been able to re-pitch it again with 2 more batches of wort the cost is down to 25% of what I'd been paying.

Thanks for sharing.


Just curious, what do you use for your secondaries? I moved an AG batch to another MB keg after primary, but have since seen a few threads that say the MB kegs aren't good for that purpose. Looking to get some more opinions on that. Thanks!

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I've done the same on about half a dozen batches. Never a problem. Almost zero lag time and fast, active fermentations. Don't be surprised if your wort is flat beer in a much shorter period of time.

And, as you've pointed out, it's a good way to get your money's worth out of the yeast.

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GWCR wrote:

Screwy Brewer wrote:

The WLP005 is a fast fermenting yeast strain. I'll check the final gravity and move the beer to clean secondaries once their ready. I bought 1 tube of WLP005 and pitched half of it in each of the 2 primaries I brewed 2 weeks ago. Now that I've been able to re-pitch it again with 2 more batches of wort the cost is down to 25% of what I'd been paying.

Thanks for sharing.


Just curious, what do you use for your secondaries? I moved an AG batch to another MB keg after primary, but have since seen a few threads that say the MB kegs aren't good for that purpose. Looking to get some more opinions on that. Thanks!
GWCR I don't always rack to secondaries, but when I do I use Mr. Beer kegs.


[img size=150]http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_D1BRubh0vhE/TTQ_PPAKk4I/AAAAAAAAAh4/UQiyAIKuw48/s1600/rack4.jpg
Racking Mr. Beer Keg Primary To Mr. Beer Keg Secondary

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Thanks Screwy. I've only done it once so far, and only because I had a LOT of trub/muck from the boil kettle make it into the keg. Good to know that others are using MB kegs as a secondary successfully.

Had to chuckle at your response though. I read that with a slight spanish accent and you sound like the most interesting man in the world. :lol:

the_most_interesting_man_in_the_world.jp

Stay thirsty my friends.

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You guys will be interested in the next MrB podcast (hopefully posted by Friday). I traded a few emails with them and asked them to address the issue of using MrB kegs as secondaries (whether they recommend it or not) as well as the age old question of "How long is too long on trub".

Hopefully, their answers will give more information on the topics that we often discuss and have formed opinions on already. I know where I stand on these, but will always take another POV, especially from the BrewMasters here.

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I'd like to see them start selling more refrigerator friendly, slimline like, fermenters at some point to use as secondaries. I use the kegs for cold crashing but only 3 will fit on a shelf, if they were flatter we could fit twice as many in the same space.

I'll be sure to tune in on Friday, thanks for sharing.

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I have done what you're doing several times with no ill effect that I've been able to discern...

However, just putting it on the old yeast can cause problems with overpitching. From the White Labs FAQ site:

If the beer is overpitched, yeast do not grow though a complete growth cycle. This results in few new yeast cells, which makes for unhealthy yeast and low viability by the end of fermentation.

So for the first time I actually pitched the correct amount of slurry per Mr. Malty - http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html . I had a 5 gallon batch of cream ale that was finishing up using US-05. And I had a double IPA that was just about to get started so I added 1/8 cup of slurry. It started fermenting within 12 hours over a week ago, and it's not quite done yet. I think I pitched just right...

I really don't see a problem going 5 batches or more using this method, but I have yet to test this theory.

Just to be clear though... it's far more risky underpitching than it is overpitching.

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I brewed my Extra Screwy Bitters all grain recipe again and pitched some more WLP005.

[video type=youtube]MZhvWvewvM4

This time the fermentation didn't really take off until about 24 hours after I pitched the yeast. Judging from the looks of things this is a very aggressive fermentation.

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