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Pitching on the yeast cake

I have the NB IIPA recipe kit along with wyeast american ale yeast smack pack. Right now in the primary I have another pale ale going, about ready to secondary. It was fermented with the same yeast.

So I want to put the IIPA on yeast cake of the pale ale (I’ve read all the posts on everyone’s opinion on cleaning the yeast and re-pitching versus just putting the wort right on the cake, and I’m going with the latter).

My questions are:

  1. Should I rinse the yeast cake with any sort of clean water and drain the carboy as best as possible before racking the wort over?
  2. Should I use oxygen once the wort is in?
  3. Do I still need to starter for the yeast or will the cake and the smack pack suffice to get it rolling quickly and thoroughly fermented ?


You don’t need the smack pack or a starter at all if you’re pitching onto a yeast cake. Save the smack pack for a few brews down the line (since if you’re careful, you can keep pitching onto subsequent cakes to a point).

And you don’t need to rinse the yeast (I’ve done it both ways and rinsing it made no difference whatsoever, so I don’t bother anymore).
You also don’t even need to use the whole yeast cake. 1/3 to 1/2 of it will be more than enough. Sterilize a jar or a flask and save the part of the yeast cake you’re bot using for the new ferment; you can use it later for another brew or you can do what I do…dump the remaining yeast not needed for the fermentation into the boil (that’s what some of the British brewers do…it supposedly acts as yeast food for the fermentation).

Great, thanks! Sounds great. Once I transfer the wort into the carboy, do I need to use oxygen or do I not need to worry about that?

Oxygenate as you normally would.

I rock and swirl the carboys on the ground to aerate.

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