I know many of you pitch to a cake and I have as well. I usually clean the fermenter after the second beer. Don’t see why just can’t keep it going for multiple beers. I love how the fermentation kicks off almost immediately. The yeast never sleep which is probably a good thing. Any thoughts?
I’ve done it both ways(cake vs 2 jars of slurry). Certainly saves time and steps, and therefore less risk or introducing infection…The only concern seems to be the “overpitch potential”, not sure if that ones been debunked yet(or not).
Just in the back of my mind… sanitation… It’ll never rest too! Sneezles61
I’d think the sanitation risk is lower with pitching direct on a yeast cake as compared to transferring to jars. I just wipe the rim of the bucket with some star-san and spray down the lid, both the bottom and around the sides. Biggest downside is probably the trub build-up over time, but no harm in dumping half the cake before adding the fresh batch on top. I’ve been going up in gravity with this method, which should reduce the amount of the overpitch.
We’ve pitched on the cake a couple of times and similar to @porkchop ,spray the bejesus out of the lid, neck, and rim of the fermenter with Star San. I feel super-confident in doing so and also love the way the action takes off.
The old saying used to be with pitching on a yeast cake “it’s not if you will get an infection, it’s when”. I’m not sure I believe that. I have done it a few times but only one batch then dump the fermenter out. I try to package the last batch same day as the new. That can make for a long day though. If you have a conical, the trub could be dumped before pitching and solve the build up problem.
Like reusing yeast from jars I think there is a limit. Every time you handle yeast there is one more chance to contaminate it. I just did a starter for the third generation of Kveik yesterday. I’ll probably reuse it for the winter. Normally I go about five rounds but don’t have a problem buying new yeast any time if I get nervous about it.
I’ve done it but usually don’t brew beers with similar yeast back to back. Variety after all is the spice of life.
One thing I would caution is the krausen ring as it can contain very bitter compounds. I personally would avoid pitching something lite with a low IBU on say an IPA. Just me.
I’ve got a fermenter we used for an ESB that we emptied on 12/20 that’s been sitting in the fermentation closet. I smelled it and it smells good so I plan to drop a Caribou Slobber in it today. Hopefully there’s not an “is this infected?” or “Weird Off Flavors” post later. Lol
I’ve done this many times and am doing it again today. I racked off the yeast cake 5 days ago, stored it cool with half inch or so of beer on top, then today poured off half to a second sanitized bucket to ferment 10 gals.
So I’ll re-use one fermenter without having cleaned/sanitized it. I’m pretty comfortable with this…casual really. It’s been a closed chamber so as long as nothing bad is introduced today it should be fine.
I spary the bucket rim before pouring out the slurry, then clean and sanitize it again after and spray the lid.
My limit so far has been usnig a bucket for 3 fermentations before cleaning it. I’ve done this a handful of times and have had no infections that can be blamed directly on this process. YMMV
Apparently I harvested some of the 1028 yeast slurry out already with a spatula as I just found a jar in the fridge. In any case, we just pulled out the stopper and drained it in via hose. Smells great. Ain’t skeered…
I like to arrange it so I transfer beer #1 to secondary, or keg on the same day I brew beer #2.
I then use a big spoon to transfer a third to half the cake from the old bucket to the new bucket.
Well thanks for the info. I’m not worried about infection. I transfer the beer off and immediately put another beer on it. I swirl it up and wipe out the kraussen ring. Pour off a jar or 2. I’m not concerned about the year resting they are happier when their busy, don’t want them getting lazy. An slight over pitch is no problem except maybe in a Belgian so probably wouldn’t do it for one. The trub build up could be a problem so probably wouldn’t do it more than once or twice. The stars have to be all aligned if I wasn’t ready to pitch I’d probably just pour it in jars. Not that there is a problem with leaving it the fermenter just a big jar