Fermenting with yeast in the secondary

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

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Fermenting with yeast in the secondary

Postby jayhawk » Sat Sep 14, 2002 9:09 am

I am enjoying the Wyeast British ale, and want to keep the cycle going. Are there any reasons why I shouldn't add new wort directly on to the yeast cake in my secondary? It seems like this would be the most effecient way to go...no washing, no starter etc...
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Go Right Ahead

Postby BillyBock » Sat Sep 14, 2002 10:46 am

Alot of folks do just that. Expect an explosive ferment, and you may consider using a blowoff tube. I've used British Ale II--liked it alot, formed a nice compact sediment.
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Just a quick question

Postby Liquid Blur » Sat Sep 14, 2002 11:04 am

When you say you're going to add it to the yeast cake in the secondary. Are you refering to the yeast that's settled out of the wort? Sorry. Ignorant newbie. Could you do this in the primary or would the excessive amounts of trub cause off flavors? Thanks
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Yeast Cakes

Postby BillyBock » Sat Sep 14, 2002 12:01 pm

Once you've racked to the secondary, you pretty much have a solid yeast cake free of particulates and gunk. I personally would avoid using the yeast cake in the primary due to the hop residue, trub, etc. I would also try and remove as much of the beer as possible from the secondary so there's not much affect on the color or flavor of your new beer. I imagine the trub in the primary would cause off flavors if you racked into the primary's yeast cake. Maybe someone out there knows for sure?
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Quick answer

Postby jayhawk » Sat Sep 14, 2002 12:08 pm

Yes, I am referring to the yeast that settled out (flocculated) after secondary fermentation. In regards to whether doing this with the primary is a good idea, it seems that adding to the primary would be more risky. But don't take it from me, read the discussion between Azorean and Mesa from August 21, starting w/ "cutting the cost of your liquid yeast by a third".
PS, don't feel bad about asking questions. I am new at this too but I have learned tons by asking for clarification when I didn't understand something. This site is single handedly responsible for taking from extract to all grain in under one year.
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Thanks

Postby Liquid Blur » Sat Sep 14, 2002 12:46 pm

Thanks guys sounds like that is a great way to save money. :) Can't wait for all grain :)
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Primary if Same Style

Postby l48shark » Sat Sep 14, 2002 6:15 pm

I have made and remade the same recipe one batch after the other and reused the yeast slurry in the primary with excellent results. I could not believe how fast the wort fermented. ;)
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repeatable

Postby Freon12 » Sun Sep 15, 2002 2:12 pm

How close are the beers you make in this way? Are thye very close or is there slight taste variations?

Just curious.
Steve.
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The Same

Postby l48shark » Sun Sep 15, 2002 6:56 pm

I do not notice any difference. Note that I use a secondary fermenter. The primary fermentation is so quick that I suppose whatever trub, etc. does not have a chance to contribute and detectable off-flavors before I rack to the secondary. I wish WYeast would sell big fat cakes of yeast! I have never tried a third time because by then I am ready to brew something else. ;)
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Pro method.

Postby Brewer2001 » Mon Sep 16, 2002 11:20 am

This is exactly how small breweries pitch most of their beers. However there is a slight difference in their equipment, Unitanks. They do a transfer known as 'cone to cone' pitching. This, if performed correctly collects the most viable yeast in prime condition if the following procedures are followed.

1. The tank and cone are cooled to crash temperature.
2. The transfer is completed shortly after the fermentation is completed.
3. The trub is drained from the cone (and discarded) before transfer.
4. The transfer is stopped before the top layer of yeast is drawn.

The yeast settle out in a cake which has three distince layers. Bottom dead yeast cells and trub, viable healthy yeast and non viable cells in suspension. We homebrewers have a hard time getting only the middle layer. I would try to pour off the top layer before pitching and stop just before the you reach the bottom layer. If you do pitch all of your yeast you should wash the every third or fourth pitching.

Good brewing,

Tom
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