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Autolysis Concerns

Okay so I’ve got an Imperial stout coming up that has an SG of around 1.122. I’ve got a cream ale that I was going to add fruit to in secondary. I’m concerned because by the time I get around to brewing the stout the yeast cake will be five weeks old.

Should I be concerned with autolysis?
The yeast cake has been at about 64 degrees or so for the duration of it’s time in the fermenter.

I’m thinking if you guys think it will be an issue I’ll transfer the cream ale off the yeast and chill the yeast cake(sadly nothing in the keezer so I have room to chill the fermenter).

If anyone can think of a better option I’d love to hear cause I don’t want to F up first RIS and really don’t want to cry myself to sleep at night from messing it up.

Personally I would rinse the yeast, collect as much as possible and make a new starter. I don’t pour new beers on top of old yeast cakes. Too much other stuff in there, IMO. I don’t think you have to worry about autolysis in the time period your talking about, but I’m not certain on that. But if you rinse and collect the yeast and make a starter you should be fine.

I’ve done exactly what your asking with excellent results. That RIS is going to need all the yeast it can get! Rack the Cream Ale off the yeast just before brewing the RIS. Keep the yeast cold by putting the covered fermenter in the fridge. Then add the RIS wort right to the cold yeast cake. Use a mix-stir or something to aerate the wort and break up the yeast cake. As long as your sanitation is up to snuff you shouldn’t have any worries. Cheers, and Happy Brewing!!!

what yeast?

Either what hamiltont and dobe12 suggest will work. I like a fresh, clean fermenting environment so I’d transfer the cream ale, rinse the yeast once or twice to remove trub, and clean/sanitize the carboy. You could fit an entire cake in a 1gal jug if you have one. Throw that in the fridge and pitch it in 5 weeks. After a month, some of the yeast will be dead but with a whole cake you should be fine without a starter.

Rinse with boiled cooled water?

That is the recommended sanitation procedure, but I just use straight tap water. I’m not advocating this procedure. :blah:

If you bag your hops and keep most of the trub out of the fermenter than I probably would not bother to rinse the yeast. Here is what I would do (My opinion).

  1. Transfer cream ale off yeast and add 1-2 liters starter wort. Let it ferment out for 2 days then store at 34F for 2 weeks.
  2. Decant beer and do it all over again. Let it ferment out and then store at 34F until brew day.

If you really want to be extra nice to your yeast decant the beer and replace with boiled cooled water and store at 34F. :cheers:

After five weeks - especially five weeks at room temperature - I’d make a starter, starting from about 100 mL of slurry. The viability at that point will be in the <50% range, so you’ll still need a big starter (2 L stirred, 3 L shaken). Starting from that small a volume, I wouldn’t bother to rinse.

I’d be concerned about adding fruit in secondary without pitching additional yeast. You might want to build up a small starter for that too.

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