Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

2nd Fermenter Yeast

Hi

I currently have a black IPA in my secondary fermentor. (9 Days in the primary) and i would like to salvage my California Ale yeast to use in my Extra Pale Ale. I have never harvested yeast before and i am just curious if you can still harvest on the secondary successfully. Also if anyone has any tips for harvesting from a Glass carboy that would be very helpful.

                      Thank you very much
                              Brew on!!

For most yeasts, you want to harvest from the primary so you’re getting the cells that did their jobs and floc’ed out in a reasonable amount of time, but you can certainly harvest from the secondary. Just rack the beer and add a little cold, sterile water to the carboy and swirl to loosed the cake. A general ROT is to use 1/3 of the cake for 5-gallons up to an OG of ~1.060. You can then store the rest of the yeast in two one-qt Ball jars for later use (top off with a little more water if needed).

K i figured out of the secondary would still work. Was also wondering if i need to bolster the amount of cells but i would just have to let the yeast starter go for a bit longer (Will also be a first for me)
I dont have a stir plate but i would assume i will just need to gentle rotate the beaker every once in awhile to help it along.

You’ll have enough cells from the secondary to ferment a full batch without a starter.

[quote=“Cfhbones”]I dont have a stir plate but i would assume i will just need to gentle rotate the beaker every once in awhile to help it along.[/quote]I overlooked the greatly reduced amount of yeast in the secondary when I suggested using just a third of the cake - as mvsawyer posted, you probably have enough in the secondary for one 5-gal batch, but making a starter with a third of the yeast would work too. No need to “gently rotate” the starter - you’re not making beer, so give it a good swirl every time you pass by because you’re trying to keep the yeast in suspension and maybe get a little more aeration, too.

[quote=“Cfhbones”]K i figured out of the secondary would still work. Was also wondering if i need to bolster the amount of cells but i would just have to let the yeast starter go for a bit longer (Will also be a first for me)
I dont have a stir plate but i would assume i will just need to gentle rotate the beaker every once in awhile to help it along.[/quote]

http://www.beer-brewing.com/beer-brewin ... _cycle.htm

Length of time the starter sits has no bearing on yeast growth. They wake up, multiply, eat the sugar/produce alcohol, and go dormant.

http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

[quote=“Nighthawk”]http://www.beer-brewing.com/beer-brewing/brewers_yeast/yeast_life_cycle.htm

Length of time the starter sits has no bearing on yeast growth. They wake up, multiply, eat the sugar/produce alcohol, and go dormant.

http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html[/quote]

Not that I’m doubting you :slight_smile: , but I didn’t find any info in your links that directly support the idea that the dormancy period is irrelevant. Did I just miss it, or does this info come from somewhere else?

The reason I ask is that I’m going to be racking a Pils off a cake of 34/70 today and I’d like to reuse it in an Octoberfest I’m going to make in a week or two.

My initial thought was that perhaps the best way to store this cake is simply to leave it in the primary after racking. Seems to me that transferring to another vessel would only tend to compromise it more…

Any opinions on this? Does it matter if the cake is expose to oxygen while waiting for the next pitch? Is there a practical limit for how long I can leave it in the bottom of the primary before I pitch in the upcoming Oktoberfest?

Any advice would be appreciated!

[quote=“rustyhoover”]Any opinions on this? Does it matter if the cake is expose to oxygen while waiting for the next pitch? Is there a practical limit for how long I can leave it in the bottom of the primary before I pitch in the upcoming Oktoberfest?[/quote]I would rather move the yeast cake to a fresh, sanitary vessel immediately after racking than to leave it in a carboy and then transfer to the fresh wort. Just seems cleaner.

I agree that it does “seem” cleaner at first glance, but I’m really struggling to come up with a scenario where it’s exposed to something it hasn’t already been exposed to by leaving it in the same vessel.

Really just an academic question…

:cheers:

[quote=“rustyhoover”]I agree that it does “seem” cleaner at first glance, but I’m really struggling to come up with a scenario where it’s exposed to something it hasn’t already been exposed to by leaving it in the same vessel.[/quote]Assuming you’re not going to pitch directly on the cake in the old fermenter, you’re going to have to pour the yeast out of the fermenter, over the dried remains of the old krausen that have been sitting exposed to air for a couple of weeks - that’s the part that bothers me.

I transfer my yeast to a zip lock bag for storage right after racking. With 2 weeks layoff between the racking and the pitching, I would suggest about one-third to one-half of the slurry for a lager. If longer between the two events, I would be giving it even more of the slurry. Keep it refrigerated, of course. I have a small food-safe pail that I keep my zip locks with yeast in and I pour off the wort that forms after storage.

No problems yet, but after about a month, I tend to toss the yeast, rather than risk any problems with health or infection…YMMV.

:cheers:

Definitely. I’ve done that few times and it works fine, with no issues.
My pref is still to save the primary cake and use portion of that, but using all of the yeast from a secondary seems to work just as well, and in my experience has not introduced any problems whatsoever. You just need to be confident about your sanitation.

[/quote]Assuming you’re not going to pitch directly on the cake in the old fermenter, you’re going to have to pour the yeast out of the fermenter, over the dried remains of the old krausen that have been sitting exposed to air for a couple of weeks - that’s the part that bothers me.[/quote]

Rack the remaining stuff in the carboy to a clean carboy just as you finnish racking the main part of the batch to the bottling bucket?

[quote=“Rookie L A”][/quote]Rack the remaining stuff in the carboy to a clean carboy just as you finnish racking the main part of the batch to the bottling bucket?[/quote]You could certainly do it that way, but a qt glass jar in the fridge takes up less space and keeps the yeast nice and cold.

Actually I was thinking a fresh wort would then go on top of it. If I was going to hold it a few days the qt. jar would be a better idea.

Thanks to all for your comments and suggestions.

In the end, though, I pretty much went with my original plan just for simplicity’s sake (OK, laziness :oops: ). I think some of the downsides mentioned above may be mitigated by the particulars of my process. Here’s what I did, and what I will do with the cake if I decide to reuse…

-I push my beer from the primary to the keg using CO2, which makes it very easy to start the siphon and also has the benefit of filling the primary headspace with CO2 as it’s emptied of beer. In case anyone’s interested, the technique, which I have adjusted slightly for my own equipment, is detailed here: http://www.thebeerjournals.com/Racking.html . Thanks to Dean Palmer for this “closed-system” technique–I really like the reduced risk of oxidation and infection that it seems to afford me.

So, the cake that has been sitting for roughly a week at ~35-40F has been in contact with a mix that is largely CO2 as opposed to air, which I hope might mitigate some problems. Also, I’ believe there is at least a small layer of thin slurry/beer that sits overtop of the thick slurry that I intend to use.

-Next, when I pitch, my intent is to scoop out the yeast I need for my Oktoberfest with a sanitized pyrex, as opposed to pouring it over the dried-up Krausen. Contact with the previous batches leftover Krausen and at least some trub is also one of the main reasons I don’'t like to dump a new batch onto the cake in the same fermentor. I agree with Shade that any contact with that stuff is something to avoid if possible.

In order to get as much as the thick, relatively unexposed slurry, I plan to tilt the primary so the more compromised beer/slurry layer on top runs to the side, and scoop around it.

OR, I could just forget the whole thing, buy 2 new packs of Fermentis 34/70 and pitch that in the O-fest. If my thinking is wrong and repitching the slurry that’s will have been sitting in the primary is risky, I’d gladly spring for the fresh yeast.

Any thoughts or advice (I promise not to ignore it this time :slight_smile: ) would be appreciated!

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com