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Pitching on yeast cake question

I have Jamils Evil Twin (1.064) in the fermenter now. I plan on brewing the plinian legacy (1.070) and using the cake for this. My question is how much of the cake I should use?

1056? 1/2 to 2/3.

Yup 1056. I was thinking about using 1/3. Good thing I asked. Thank you

1/3 might be enough but I’d much rather overpitch than underpitch and I don’t know anything about your processes.

How much trub you may have in your fermenter, whether you made a starter for the first batch, how many generations you’ve used this yeast or if you treated it properly. Yeast abuse runs rampant in our hobby…shameful I know but admitting it is the first step to recovery.

If you want to be precise use a pitch calculator. I figure my clean yeast cakes have 3-4B cells/ml but I usually base my calculations on 2-3 just depending on my mood or the beer style. If you just pitched the smack pack you would have underpitched and possibly stressed the yeast so I wouldn’t figure more than 1B cells/ml and if you have lots of trub in the fementer…

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This is the first batch with the 1056. I use a starter for everything when not pitching onto a cake. I usually don’t end up with much true since I use a strainer when I pour the wort into the fermenter. I wasn’t sure if over pitching would give me a lot of off flavors

Overpitching isn’t really a concern at the homebrew level. You’d be much better off using the whole cake than underpitching. You could probably estimate 2-3B cells/ml if you made a properly sized starter.

I use the yeast calculator at brewer’s friend because it’s conservative.

For the beer you brewed with a one month old smack pack you should have made a 3 L starter if you shake it. On a stir plate you could have gotten away with 2L. Pitching that kind of starter would result in good healthy yeast in the 3-4B cells/ml range.

I may have been under pitching then since I only use 1L starters with no stir plate. Been thinking of buying one. I guess it may be time.

I use the shaking/swirling method. Takes a little longer than a stir plate and a little more effort but works better in my situation. Some of my starters are 1 gallon. I make them in a 2 gal jug.Swirl it as often as possible. I work from home a lot and can give it more attention.

Yea you underpitched pretty significantly…depending on whether you agitated the starter at all. Probably stressed your yeast a bit but if you had a decent fermentation and acceptable FG, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. Some will disagree but I say if you’re going to put the effort into making starters make them a healthy overpitch. Otherwise just use dry yeast, rehydrate and pitch.

Having said all that…I’d use the whole cake. The new beer will thank you.

Both beers should turn out fine. Don’t sweat it. Just adjust your process for your next batch. Healthy yeast is the key to really good beer IMHO. Remember yeast make the beer. We just hold the spoon.

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Thanks a lot for the info. Trying to get this whole cell count thing nailed down to a more precise process. I have a big enough glass jar to do 2L starters with I just always figured 1L would be enough for the beer. Never messed with the pitch calculators before. We live and we learn.

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If you have questions about the calculator, starters, etc don’t hesitate to ask. Lots of knowledgable guys here that I learned from.


Definitely appreciate it. Just trying to make my beer the best it can be. Thanks for all the help.

Just FYI here’s what you have according to Brewer’s Friend.

From a 1 L starter and a smack pack let’s say 1 month old you started with 76B cells. Your 1L starter with no agitation ended with 130B cells, about 60B cells short, so about 2/3 the required yeast cells for your beer. Could be worse…you could’ve just pitched the smack pack.
Now after a 5 gal(appr 20L) “starter” you have 690B cells or 2.68B cells/ml according to BF. Does the yeast calculator consider stress on the yeast from the 1L to the 20L batch?

BF also says you need 266B cells for your new 1.070 beer. So I’d pitch at least half the cake.

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Great info. I’ll scoop out about 1/3, make a 2L starter with it and pitch that into another batch.

Good plan. If you use it in the next few weeks you may not even need a starter. I just pitched 400ml of month old slurry to a 5 gal batch of 1.064 IPA. I’ll use the cake for a 10 gal batch when it’s done.

I’ve been brewing at least once a week lately so any yeast I collect is used within a few days. Trying to take advantage of the good ambient Temps in my basement and stocking up for the summer when I work 55+ hours a week and can’t really brew. Just took a sample of my 1.064. Ended up at 1.008. Tastes pretty good too after 16 days in primary. I’ll probably bottle it Sunday or Monday.

when you say your starters are sometimes 1 G in size…is that the amount you pitch into your fermentation vessel or do you let them settle, decant, and then pitch?

I cold crash, decant and pitch the cake from a one gallon batch.

If i cold crash my carboy and then transfer to keg to prime w/ sugar (already have hefe on tap) will there be enough yeast in suspension for carbonation? Also, I heard that if naturally priming in keg I should use less sugar?

You will have yeast in suspension for quite some, the cold will drop yeast AND slow it down, the longer it is in the cold, the lower the yeast count. That translate into longer time to carb yer brew, at room temp. Sneezles61

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