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Pitching on a yeast cake

I have an partial mash kit of midnight beatdown ready to go. I need to move a black IPA to a secondary for dry hopping. The BIPA sits on wyeast 1450. I have always wrangled and washed yeast previously, but I’ve recently heard of repitching right on top of a used cake.

Any practicers of such activity here? Any concern about butting fresh wort into a soiled carboy from a previous batch as long as sanitation has been good up to that point?

A little help please?

No problem doing that. I do it all the time and in fact I am going to do it today too. I have 22 gallons of Kolsch ready to transfer to kegs and am brewing 22 more gallons to dump on the cakes today. Some might argue that you are over pitching. It I have not found that to be detramental.


Success, but… In ignoring all principles of scientific method, I changed multiple variables instead of isolating just one. Not only did I pitch right on top of the full yeast cake, but I also am fermenting with a higher ambient temp. My fermentation room before maintained a temp of 58-62. The low end of the tolerance for this strain of yeast (1450). After pitching yesterday, I put the fermenter in a warmer section of the house; approx 70 degrees, the high end of the tolerance for this strain. Fermentation began within an hour and was violent at 12 hours. My past beers (extract and partial mash) usually bottom out around 1.020 and can’t/ don’t get much lower. I’m attempting to get the FG to a lower reading but am concerned about damage with this violent of fermentation so early.

What are your thoughts? What are possible results of overpitching AND a high fermentation temp?

Given that you pitched on so much yeast, you should have had no problem fermenting this batch at the lower end. It is easy with this much yeast to generate a lot of heat and with an ambient of 70F, overshoot ambient by several degrees. Do you monitor beer temp with a stick on thermometer? It would be nice to know what temp the beer fermented at.


I monitor with a stick on thermometer. I’ll check later today and give the report. My guess right now is that its a couple degrees above ambient given the activity level of the yeast.

@muellerbrau- fermometer reading says that the beer is at 74 degrees farenheit. 4 degrees above manufacturers recommended high tolerance. What are effects of this condition?

Esthers and fusel alcohols. Headache beer. You might get lucky. Don’t give up on it.

I have pitched on top of a yeast cake and it has always worked well. I think it was the
Palmer book which says there is no such thing as too much yeast.

As for temps too high. If you don’t have a cooler place to move your fermentor, sometimes a bowl of ice on top of a fermentation bucket can be enough to lower temps a few degrees and prevent temps over the max for a paticular yeast.

Thanks MB. Worry not about me giving up on it. I have moved it back to cooler ambient temps.

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