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Nickfixit

Brewing on the trub

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This last brew I started one new batch on the trub of a just bottled one. I had seen others mention it can be done and it is fermenting well.

 

How many times can one do that reliably?

How much taste from prior brew gets into the new one if they are different recipes?  (e.g. different hops or grains)

If more than once, should one remove some trub?

 

Is it better to remove trub and save it then clean the LBK and re introduce some trub as the starter instead of brewing right on top? 

 

Compare - one is on the NW Pale Ale trub, one has whole pack of T-58.

 

Split brew Belgian Spiced 20150605 163325

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This is not a good idea.  While you most likely have a lot of living yeast there, you need them to consume all the dead yeast.  If they don't, you get a bunch of off flavors from autolysis.

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Nick, I've brewed directly on the trub, or yeast cake, as some call it, with fine results. Usually only half of the volume from the previously bottled batch is enough to get the job done. Worst that can happen with the full volume is an overflow from a too vigorous fermentation.

I prefer to mix some boiled and cooled water into the trub and pour it into a sanitized quart jar to settle out while I clean and sanitize the LBK for the next batch. I actually put that one in fridge and use one I saved from the batch before that has been in fridge already a few weeks. I pour off the liquid from the top, then let the jar sit and get to room temp while I brew my newest batch. Then I pour the middle yeast layer into the new batch and discard the bottom layer of hops.

I've produced 18 consecutive batches that way. I finally just discarded that jar of harvested yeast and started a new one. No telling how many more times it would have worked.

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Thanks Joechianti!

I figured that taking it out and sterilizing the LBK was probably the thing to do.

What you are doing is sort of a limited recovery and wash of the yeast. So I can understand that working pretty well.

Some say that you shouldn't use the yeast more than 6 or so times but you seem to have been successful  at 18!

 

I don't have a problem with lack of yeast,  as use of specialty yeasts have endowed me with extra Mr B yeasts but I was just feeling lazy this time.   

I did wash the spigot though.

 

But it might be a nice way to extend the expensive yeasts.

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I use Joechianti's method for expensive liquid yeasts that I don't feel like purchasing again.

 

Alternatively I have, on one prior occasion, brewed directly onto the yeast cake in a LBK that I had just bottled. Both beers were dark beers, the first a Baltic Porter, the second a VERY stout Irish Stout. The yeast cake was Safale S-04.

 

The Irish stout came out as a near perfect, but slightly more bitter, clone of Guinness Extra Stout.

 

I did remove a "scoopfull" (sorry I can't be more precise, maybe 1/4 cup?) of the trub before I poured the first gallon into the LBK.

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Interesting, I was wondering if I would get some of the orange flavor coming through from the trub with Mandarin Bavaria bits in it into the next brew.

I have saved some lager liquid yeast trub and might try using that. I have had it in the fridge for a bit though. 

I figured I could try it and if it does not take off re-pitch a dry yeast on it.

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This is not a good idea.  While you most likely have a lot of living yeast there, you need them to consume all the dead yeast.  If they don't, you get a bunch of off flavors from autolysis.

It's my understanding that autolysis comes from the yeast consuming their fallen comrades, and yet it is common practice to add dead yeast as a nutrient.

I pitched directly on my yeast cake for my last batch to see what would happen.  Personally I think it's much safer to harvest your yeast in a mason jar at the end of bottling and sanitize everything completely than do a direct Trub reboot.

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I've produced 18 consecutive batches that way. I finally just discarded that jar of harvested yeast and started a new one. No telling how many more times it would have worked.

Eventually your yeast would evolve to become a house strain.  You might lose some of the original properties of the yeast but it might be better adapted to your environment.

I think there might be a risk of slowly increasing the flocculation qualities of the yeast and not enough of the floating attenuation if one keeps harvesting from the bottom.  It is because of this problem that some harvest during high krausen, skimming off the top layer of the yeast.

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Interesting, since it is a  "top fermenting" yeast, that would make sense - if one can do it without impacting current brew.. 

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