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pswams26

Harvesting Yeast for Same Day Repitching

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Hey all,

I am brewing up a Porter right now and I plan on using the yeast from my Red Ale. I am about to put the Red Ale in a secondary from my Mr. Beer fermenter. I will scoop up some of the yeast slurry / cake and jar it for use to repitch once done creating my wort.

What is the right measurement for the amount of slurry to hold on to for the repitching? I will again be making a Mr. B. batch (2.13 gal.). How much yeast slurry should I scoop up for it? I can't find any details or calculations for using part of the yeast cake / slurry.

(side note, after a lot of reading, I am deciding to do it this way rather than dump the whole wort on the cake to avoid over pitching).

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pswams26 wrote:

(side note, after a lot of reading, I am deciding to do it this way rather than dump the whole wort on the cake to avoid over pitching).

I actually did do this. I poured my coconut porter on top of my honey wheat trub and so far so good. Tasted my 1st bottle this week and was very good. I was concerned with having a violent start as some said could happen but had no issues.

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pswams26 wrote:

(side note, after a lot of reading, I am deciding to do it this way rather than dump the whole wort on the cake to avoid over pitching).

Just curious, what did you read about pitching directly onto the yeast cake? I a have an American IPA that I pitched directly onto the yeast cake of a Summer IPA. I just tasted the American today and thought it was great . No ill effects from directly repitching, from what I could tell.

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We've repitched five or six occasions and never had an issue. Make sure you pay attention to sanitation around the used yeast cake. We just dump the fresh wort in the previous bucket and put a fresh blow out tube on the stopper

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The easy way to do this is just to time it so you can pour the new batch on the existing trub. That will lead to vigorous fermentation (and possible overflow) so keep your temperatures low. Also only go from lower (color, bitterness, gravity) to higher in general.

You can also use just part of the trub (maybe 1/3). Boil some water and let it cool. Scoop out 1/3 of the trub and add it to the water. Let it sit for a minute and pour it into another sanitized container, leaving whatever settles behind.

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pswams26 wrote:

after reading a lot, a good amount of sites and forums redirected me to this thread. http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/why-not-pitch-your-yeast-cake-166221/

A lot of people have anecdotal evidence that it is OK to pitch on the cake, but it seems like a lot of "experts" say not to.


Wow, that's a hell of a thread you found. It may have been lost among all the other information, but it looks to me like he is saying to use a cup of the trub for a five gallon batch, so a half cup for a Mr. Beer batch. I bookmarked that one.

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So do you guys just get another batch going while bottling or moving to secondary? Seems like that's the way to do it in order to pour the wort right into the MB keg with the slurry. And you don't clean/sanitize the keg from the previous batch?
Also is slurry, trub and yeast cake the same thing?

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Very interesting.

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I just tried harvesting the brown krausen, didn't take a huge sample but i stepped it up twice in a 2L starter and it is now more than a the original vial. It may be a little more effort, it was a pretty clean sample, no real need to wash. If I took a larger sample so I only needed to step it up once, it would just be about perfect to pitch a starter into the new batch when racking to a secondary.

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gman585 wrote:

So do you guys just get another batch going while bottling or moving to secondary? Seems like that's the way to do it in order to pour the wort right into the MB keg with the slurry. And you don't clean/sanitize the keg from the previous batch?
Also is slurry, trub and yeast cake the same thing?

I bottled my honey wheat then set the keg aside while I brewed my porter. I did not sanitize the keg (it already is) since I never opened the lid. When my porter was ready, I just poured the water right on the trub then added my wort and topped off with more water. I didn't even stir vigorously as suggested by more senior brewers as I didnt want it to blow up like I see in another post today.

As for terminology, I think they're slight differences but essentially the same thing. but when I say trub I mean the sludge at the bottom of your keg.

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gman585 wrote:

So do you guys just get another batch going while bottling or moving to secondary? Seems like that's the way to do it in order to pour the wort right into the MB keg with the slurry. And you don't clean/sanitize the keg from the previous batch?
Also is slurry, trub and yeast cake the same thing?

Yea, I got another batch going while moving to a secondary. Before I started creating my wort for my Porter, I took a sanitized stainless steel laddle and scooped out slurry from the bottom. This was after I transferred the Red Ale into my Secondary Fermenter. So all that was on the bottom was the slurry w/ a little beer.

I put a little of that beer in a jar and put the scooped slurry in with it. Closed it until I was ready to pitch it into my new Porter. While I was creating my wort, I cleaned the Mr. B fermenter with pbw (scrubbing it, then letting it soak) and then sanitized it. Once my wort was done I put it into my sanitized Mr. B fermenter as usual.

Then I shook up the jar with the slurry in it, and let it settle for 5 minutes. This allowed for the trub to settle on the bottom, the dead yeast to settle on top if it, and then the healthy yeast in the liquid above. I pitched that top layer into the porter, leaving behind the dead yeast and the trub.

When everything settles in the jar you'll see a dark brownish greenish layer on the bottom which is the trub. The trub is a mix of proteins, hop sediment, and other by products of fermentation. You will then see a white thin layer above the trub which is the dead / dying yeast that settles. Above that is the healthy yeast in the liquid / beer. To answer your question, the Slurry is just the mixture of all three which was originally scooped into the jar (it is a portion of the yeast cake). The yeast cake is the total amount of slurry that you see on the bottom of the fermenter.

Also, just to clarify, I did clean / sanitize the Mr. B fermenter before putting in my new batch (the Porter) and pitching the yeast from the slurry.

I hope this helps. This both saves money and is supposedly going to create a fine beer. I heard that yeast really hits its stride the 3rd time you repitch it. The second is better than the first, it is at its prime the 3rd, 4th, & 5th time, and then after that you should probably get new yeast. The problem with using the yeast over again, more than three times especially, is that you have to use it on similar types of beers w/ similar statistics.

On this Porter, the repitched yeast just blew up with activity in the first 24 hours and is still fermenting nicely.

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This helps tremedously. Can't wait to give it a shot. So how much slurry did you originally scoop? With my last batch that I tossed I probably had 4 or 5 cups of slurry.
thanks again.

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I only scooped about a half of cup of slurry and it was plenty. Like I said there was tons of activity within the first 24 hours and you may be able to use even less.

Also note that you can save the rest of the yeast by washing it and storing it. Here is a nice simple link that explains it. There are tons of videos on youtube and other links out there as well.

http://hbd.org/carboy/yeast_washing.htm

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pswams26 wrote:

gman585 wrote:

So do you guys just get another batch going while bottling or moving to secondary? Seems like that's the way to do it in order to pour the wort right into the MB keg with the slurry. And you don't clean/sanitize the keg from the previous batch?
Also is slurry, trub and yeast cake the same thing?

Yea, I got another batch going while moving to a secondary. Before I started creating my wort for my Porter, I took a sanitized stainless steel laddle and scooped out slurry from the bottom. This was after I transferred the Red Ale into my Secondary Fermenter. So all that was on the bottom was the slurry w/ a little beer.

I put a little of that beer in a jar and put the scooped slurry in with it. Closed it until I was ready to pitch it into my new Porter. While I was creating my wort, I cleaned the Mr. B fermenter with pbw (scrubbing it, then letting it soak) and then sanitized it. Once my wort was done I put it into my sanitized Mr. B fermenter as usual.

Then I shook up the jar with the slurry in it, and let it settle for 5 minutes. This allowed for the trub to settle on the bottom, the dead yeast to settle on top if it, and then the healthy yeast in the liquid above. I pitched that top layer into the porter, leaving behind the dead yeast and the trub.

When everything settles in the jar you'll see a dark brownish greenish layer on the bottom which is the trub. The trub is a mix of proteins, hop sediment, and other by products of fermentation. You will then see a white thin layer above the trub which is the dead / dying yeast that settles. Above that is the healthy yeast in the liquid / beer. To answer your question, the Slurry is just the mixture of all three which was originally scooped into the jar (it is a portion of the yeast cake). The yeast cake is the total amount of slurry that you see on the bottom of the fermenter.

Also, just to clarify, I did clean / sanitize the Mr. B fermenter before putting in my new batch (the Porter) and pitching the yeast from the slurry.

I hope this helps. This both saves money and is supposedly going to create a fine beer. I heard that yeast really hits its stride the 3rd time you repitch it. The second is better than the first, it is at its prime the 3rd, 4th, & 5th time, and then after that you should probably get new yeast. The problem with using the yeast over again, more than three times especially, is that you have to use it on similar types of beers w/ similar statistics.

On this Porter, the repitched yeast just blew up with activity in the first 24 hours and is still fermenting nicely.

I'm assuming you did, since you seem to be taking care with sanitation, but since you didn't mention it, I thought I'd point out that the jar needs to be sanitized before adding the slurry to it.

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