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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2007 * Archive through November 14, 2007 * Leaving beer in the primary on 3rd generation yeast cake < Previous Next >

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Pete O
New Member
Username: Peteo

Post Number: 3
Registered: 10-2007
Posted From: 208.116.131.196
Posted on Thursday, November 01, 2007 - 04:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hi everybody.

I re-use my yeast by pitching new wort directly onto the yeast cake of a just-racked-to-secondary beer. Assuming the yeast cooperates, I shoot for at least 3 beers per yeast cake before moving on to fresh yeast. Normally, at the end of the primary for the 3rd beer, the yeast cake will have only been in the carboy for around 3 weeks.

Here's my question: Is it borrowing trouble to rack a 3rd beer onto the yeast cake and then leave that beer in the primary for about 3-4 weeks instead of racking it to a secondary (I'd have to leave it for scheduling reasons)? Is there a likely chance of off-flavors from the extended primary since it will be 3rd generation yeast? Or is it basically the same as leaving a 1st generation beer in the primary for 3-4 weeks?

Thanks all for your help. This board is an amazing collection of knowledge.
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 7954
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 142.55.248.51
Posted on Thursday, November 01, 2007 - 04:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I wouldn't worry about not racking to secondary. Many people don't bother to rack ales to secondary, instead racking directly from the primary fermenter to the bottling bucket and/or keg, and they report no problems with off-flavors or lack of clarity. If your concern is about yeast autolysis from spending too much time on the primary yeast, this generally takes months rather than weeks to occur.

As for using a third-generation yeast cake, you should be fine as long as you practice good sanitation.

(Message edited by BillPierce on November 01, 2007)
 

Pete O
New Member
Username: Peteo

Post Number: 4
Registered: 10-2007
Posted From: 208.116.131.196
Posted on Thursday, November 01, 2007 - 05:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks Bill. My worry was about autolysis rather than the need to secondary.

In general, does repitching on a yeast cake "reset" the clock on yeast autolysis to some extent? Or is it the same timeframe as if the original yeast cake had been sitting there the whole time?
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 7956
Registered: 01-2002
Posted From: 142.55.248.51
Posted on Thursday, November 01, 2007 - 05:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would agree that repitching "resets the clock," to use your analogy. There is evidence that dead yeast cells are used as nutrients during yeast reproduction.
 

Tom Meier
Advanced Member
Username: Brewdawg96

Post Number: 709
Registered: 03-2003
Posted From: 198.91.8.10
Posted on Thursday, November 01, 2007 - 06:04 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I can only speak from my own experience. Whether or not I can leave a beer in the primary for weeks and weeks depends..

the particular strain, how much trub you have in there, how healthy the yeast was when you pitched it, how much yeast you pitched. Probably the biggest factor is what temp. the primary is stored at - you want to store <70F to prevent autolysis, the cooler the better. A little nutrient at each re-pitching, and aerating good will help.

If you've treated your yeast right, then you should be fine. German wheat yeasts will go yeasty pretty quick, but I've found belgian yeasts stay good without autolysis for a long time. All the others I would say 4 weeks max if they are healthy.

If you are making a light colored beer, you can look at the yeast cake. A white cake is still healthy, as viability drops it turns from cream to peanut butter colored, to having brown spots. The darker it is the more dead it is.

If you counterflow and have cold break in each harvest cake, and each batch, then a little less time than that might make the beer better. I think it tastes kind of meaty or soapy - not as crisp.

Keep in mind autolysis is not black and white. It doesn't drop off a cliff on a certain day. Get too lazy with racking and the beer may still be good, but could have been great.. some people are more sensitive to this than others.
 

teetotaler
New Member
Username: Nephi

Post Number: 21
Registered: 12-2005
Posted From: 162.116.29.69
Posted on Friday, November 02, 2007 - 12:00 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

No one thinks 3 uses of the yeast cake is overpitching? I've done 3 or 4 repitches (can't remember) but I didn't like the last beer, so I suspected it suffered from overpitching. I've read where some remove the yeast cake and wash it; at least it gives them control over how much yeast to add back.
 

Graham Cox
Senior Member
Username: T2driver

Post Number: 1380
Registered: 11-2004
Posted From: 72.255.16.183
Posted on Friday, November 02, 2007 - 12:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"No one thinks 3 uses of the yeast cake is overpitching?"

I think ONE use of a full yeast cake in the manner described is overpitching. Maybe I'm not in the majority on this, but I know I'm not alone.