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#21 MtnBrewer

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 02:11 PM

I know we have had this discussion but I take it you haven't found pitch rates to significantly alter the flavor profiles?

No, it definitely does. That's why I no longer use the entire cake.

#22 MakeMeHoppy

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 02:28 PM

what works for me is to sanitize a 1 liter soda bottle. When I rack the carboy I leave some beer in the bottom and then swirl that to pick up yeast. I then take the tubing off my autosiphon and use it as a pump to fill the soda bottle with yeast beer. I try to fill to the top to eliminate head space and then put it in the fridge for the beer/yeast/trub to settle.  Then for the next beer (either brewed that day or within 2 weeks) I decant most of the beer off and again swirl to get the yeast in suspension and then pitch that. Works best if brewing the same or darker beer for the second batch.


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#23 denny

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 02:38 PM

Agreed.  I was doing that for awhile but saw no benefit to it.  Maybe I was doing it wrong but nothing was different... beer no better or worse with washing.

 

Plus it's another place you can infect your yeast.


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#24 denny

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 02:39 PM

Ok so if I don't wash (and I dont have your kind of timing with successive brews, Ken) then what should I do?

 

I use sanitized half gal. plastic containers with snap on lids.  I just pour half the slurry into each, put the lids on, label them, and put them in the fridge.


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#25 denny

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 02:42 PM

No, it definitely does. That's why I no longer use the entire cake.

 

See, this is exactly where I'm at.  I found that using the entire slurry was too much.  Half is just about right.  Do I know exactly how much I'm pitching?  Nope.  But I know from experience that it's generally gonna be about the right amount.  If it's a low gravity  beer, I'll even pitch a little less, but I just eyeball it.


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#26 ER Pemberton

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 02:55 PM

Also, I try very hard to get as little trub in my fermenters as possible.  I know there will be some break material and hop schputz but I work very hard to keep them out.  Then when I'm working with Jamil's calculator, I might set the "non-yeast content" slider over to 10% or whatever and then look at the milliliters of yeast required at that point.  I notice that 200ml of slurry is a common number for my 5% lagers so I might pitch from 200 to 250ml and call it good.  If you're the type of brewer that allows more trub into your primary, you have less yeast in your slurry than you think and you would want to account for that. 


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#27 neddles

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 03:24 PM

See, this is exactly where I'm at.  I found that using the entire slurry was too much.  Half is just about right.  Do I know exactly how much I'm pitching?  Nope.  But I know from experience that it's generally gonna be about the right amount.  If it's a low gravity  beer, I'll even pitch a little less, but I just eyeball it.

This is perfect. This is where I'll start.


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#28 neddles

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 03:45 PM

Also, I try very hard to get as little trub in my fermenters as possible.  I know there will be some break material and hop schputz but I work very hard to keep them out.  Then when I'm working with Jamil's calculator, I might set the "non-yeast content" slider over to 10% or whatever and then look at the milliliters of yeast required at that point.  I notice that 200ml of slurry is a common number for my 5% lagers so I might pitch from 200 to 250ml and call it good.  If you're the type of brewer that allows more trub into your primary, you have less yeast in your slurry than you think and you would want to account for that. 

Well I guess I don't know how much trub I leave. I've never seen someone else brew for comparison. Here's my process. My recipes are for 6 gallons end kettle volume and 5.5 gallons make it to the fermentor. Before transferring with an autosiphon I get a whirlpool going and let it spin and then rest for 15-30 minutes. Usually about half to 2/3 of the wort I transfer is crystal clear the other half has break material /not clear. I get very little if any hop material in the fermentor as it collects in a cone in the kettle. There is usually a half gallon or just over a half gallon of cake (yeast and trub) left on the bottom of the carboy. Is that a lot of trub?


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#29 JMcG

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 05:08 PM

Well I guess I don't know how much trub I leave. I've never seen someone else brew for comparison. Here's my process. My recipes are for 6 gallons end kettle volume and 5.5 gallons make it to the fermentor. Before transferring with an autosiphon I get a whirlpool going and let it spin and then rest for 15-30 minutes. Usually about half to 2/3 of the wort I transfer is crystal clear the other half has break material /not clear. I get very little if any hop material in the fermentor as it collects in a cone in the kettle. There is usually a half gallon or just over a half gallon of cake (yeast and trub) left on the bottom of the carboy. Is that a lot of trub?

In my experience, that's about right.

I usually try to gently swirl the carboy to rouse the light colored layer of yeast off of the darker trub layer and collect about a quart of slurry in a mason jar.

When this settles you can usually tell pretty easily how much yeast v. trub is in there.  What you can't tell for sure is viability, but if its not a high ABV beer it should be plenty for the next batch.

Usually like to pitch within 3-4 days of harvesting, otherwise I pour off the spent beer and cover with fresh wort, and that buys me about another week.

More time than that and I'd make a starter using about a 1/4 c of the harvested yeast into 2L.


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#30 Stout_fan

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 05:20 PM

Two thoughts:

1.  Proper brew scheduling should involve several types of beers from one style of yeast.  Going from low gravity to high gravity solves the overpitch problem.... I'm still working on this.

2.  Sterile water storage can preserve yeast for two years.  This does involve washing.  I'm still working on perfecting this as well.  :crazy:


Edited by Stout_fan, 20 August 2013 - 05:20 PM.

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#31 neddles

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 05:41 PM

Crap, here's one other detail I forgot about. (Too much going on today) This beer/cake was subjected to 2oz. dry hops which makes it own thin layer of the cake. Does this change anyones thinking? Would washing or pitching down the drain be a better option in this case?


Edited by ettels4, 20 August 2013 - 05:42 PM.

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#32 djinkc

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 05:58 PM

Crap, here's one other detail I forgot about. (Too much going on today) This beer/cake was subjected to 2oz. dry hops which makes it own thin layer of the cake. Does this change anyones thinking? Would washing or pitching down the drain be a better option in this case?

 

I would pitch, but if you have enough you can harvest the nice white/tan layer for a starter after it settles.

 

Making my starters 500ml larger than I need is nice since I can harvest from the starter.  Just pitched 500ml of one month old 1272 into a starter (which was of course 500 ml more than needed so I can do it again).


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#33 ncbeerbrewer

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Posted 20 August 2013 - 06:04 PM

Crap, here's one other detail I forgot about. (Too much going on today) This beer/cake was subjected to 2oz. dry hops which makes it own thin layer of the cake. Does this change anyones thinking? Would washing or pitching down the drain be a better option in this case?

 

To me it depends on the beer style you are going to make next..If you are making a hoppy beer I would not worry much about it.  If you were going for a light flavored or less hoppy beer style then I would consider washing the yeast cake to remove the hop material and repitch the rest of the cake.

 

Going back to your original question...When I brew I rarely brew less than 3-5 beers with one yeast cake.  First beer I make a starter according to mrmalty.com.  Pitch that into first beer..when it is done then I transfer down to the cake and collect the entire cake and trub and all in a sanitized qt mason jar.  I will repitch the whole cake the the same day onto my new beer.  I will repeat this process with beers 2 and 3..As you brew more with the cake the volume increases to me so I will pitch half to 3/4 of a mason jar for one beer.  I have on occasion pitched almost an entire qt jar of yeast with no ill effects.  Done this for years and have never noticed any problems as long as keeping everything clean.


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#34 MtnBrewer

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 07:33 AM

Going from low gravity to high gravity solves the overpitch problem....

In some cases it will but not always. I overpitched a Belgian IPA pretty badly by using the accumulated yeast cake from 3 prior batches of relatively normal gravity beers. Acetaldehyde bomb...Budweiser ain't got nothin' on me.  

Crap, here's one other detail I forgot about. (Too much going on today) This beer/cake was subjected to 2oz. dry hops which makes it own thin layer of the cake. Does this change anyones thinking? Would washing or pitching down the drain be a better option in this case?

This is why I don't dry hop in the primary fermenter. I think you could still use it depending on what style you're making next but it's not ideal.

#35 SchwanzBrewer

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 07:48 AM

In some cases it will but not always. I overpitched a Belgian IPA pretty badly by using the accumulated yeast cake from 3 prior batches of relatively normal gravity beers. Acetaldehyde bomb...Budweiser ain't got nothin' on me.   

 

That was me for about 9 months up until 4 months ago. I couldn't figure out where the acetaldehyde was coming from. Overpitching. Since I figured it out my beers have been great again. 


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#36 al_bob

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 08:31 AM

1. After a month it's probably not worth reusing. If you had the tools you could wash it and check it for viability (I WISH!!!).

 

2. I'd get it out of the carboy and wash it.

 

Also, if you make starters, consider make it slightly larger and saving some of the starter to make another for your next brew. It's much easier to do and you don't have to wash the yeast. I decant the starter wort when possible and just add some boiled/chilled water to it for storage.

This is what I've been doing for a while now. I use YeastCalc.com to figure out my pitch rate for the beer I'm about to brew, then bump the numbers up to create a starter with 100 billion cells extra (size of the vial/smack pack) and leave that much behind in my starter vessel. I just eyeball that part. 

 

Pitch my starter and throw the remainder in the fridge. That way I'm starting with a fresh batch to step up for the next beer. I adjust for viability a little and recalculate for the new beer, + 100b cells. Rinse, repeat. 

 

I've repeated this at least 5 times before getting a new pack. I try and be very careful about sanitation. I wipe the top neck of the starter vessel inside and out with star san. No problems so far. It's the easiest way to do it I've found yet without adding in the trub from the last beer.


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#37 denny

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 08:55 AM

Well I guess I don't know how much trub I leave. I've never seen someone else brew for comparison. Here's my process. My recipes are for 6 gallons end kettle volume and 5.5 gallons make it to the fermentor. Before transferring with an autosiphon I get a whirlpool going and let it spin and then rest for 15-30 minutes. Usually about half to 2/3 of the wort I transfer is crystal clear the other half has break material /not clear. I get very little if any hop material in the fermentor as it collects in a cone in the kettle. There is usually a half gallon or just over a half gallon of cake (yeast and trub) left on the bottom of the carboy. Is that a lot of trub?

Don't worry about it. I just ritched a 3787 slurry that had a lot of hop pellet trub in it, since I just let pellets go frokettle to fermenter. It fermented and tatses fine.
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#38 ER Pemberton

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 09:10 AM

That was me for about 9 months up until 4 months ago. I couldn't figure out where the acetaldehyde was coming from. Overpitching. Since I figured it out my beers have been great again. 

So the next time you hear from that homebrewing cowboy (we all know a few) who says that it's impossible for homebrewers to overpitch, smack him in the head for me.  Err Merr Gerd!  :frantic:


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#39 miccullen

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 09:23 AM

So the next time you hear from that homebrewing cowboy (we all know a few) who says that it's impossible for homebrewers to overpitch, smack him in the head for me.  Err Merr Gerd!  :frantic:

basser?


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#40 ER Pemberton

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Posted 21 August 2013 - 11:23 AM

basser?

I dunno but unless all of the "famous" homebrew guys (Jamil, John Palmer, etc) are full of $h!†, it's possible -- or at least undesirable -- to overpitch.


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