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Yeast cake, or no yeast cake?

I have a recipe for an IIPA that i want to brew in a few weeks and i have a yeast question. the OG for the IIPA is around 1.100 and i have 2 packs of Wyeast 1764 Pacman. how should i go about pitching it. The guy at my LHBS said make a beer about half that OG and dump the IIPA onto the cake from the lower OG brew. Should i just make a big starter with 1 pack and step it up? kinda torn between the two? starter size? what would you do??? thanks!!!

“Should i just make a big starter with 1 pack and step it up?”

You could make a 3 gallon starter with the two packs, and you would not need to step it up. According to the Pitching Rate Calculator, a 2.96 liter starter made with 2 packs of yeast gives you the correct quantity of yeast.

“what would you do???”

I would brew a 1.052 OG beer using the two packs of yeast and use the yeast cake to brew the IIPA. Because, for the additional time and ingrediants to brew a batch over making a 3 gallon starter I would have another batch of beer.

But, making the 3 gallon starter would probaly give you healthier yeast because they would have been in the low alcohol starter. Also the starter would be done quicker because there is less to ferment.

Note that you want the yeast to finish fermentation and settle to the bottom so you can pitch the yeast with just enough liquid to make it pourable.

I would make a lower gravity beer and reuse the cake.

+1. Why make a huge 3gal starter? Waste of time and money. You’re pretty much be making a small batch of beer at that point, so do just that. Make a low gravity 3 to 5gal batch of beer. It will ferment out quickly. Then use the yeast cake for your big beer. Then you’ll have a session beer and enough yeast for your big beer.

I routinely do this for all my big beers. You just need to think a head and plan accordingly.

ok cool. should i use both yeast packs for this or just make a starter for one of the smackpacks?

If you’re making a smaller beer as a stepping stone around 1.050ish or less even, you can just pitch the one smack pack. Assuming it’s not too old. You’ll have enough yeast in that yeast cake once it’s done to use for your bigger beer. No need to pitch both packs. And no need for a starter… again, assuming your yeast pack isn’t too old.

Two fresh packs would be standard pitching rate for 5ish gal of 1.050ish ale. So if you want to brew a full-size starter batch you can do that, then pitch the IIPA on about half of the yeast slurry. Or you could use the two packs in a 2 L shaken starter, or 1.3 L stirred starter, according to MrMalty.

well thats the thing. the pacman has been in my fridge since early february. they were hiding! i have a stir plate i just didnt know if i should just add both packs to a 1.050ish brew, then dump the IIPA on the cake. Ive just never dumped on a yeast cake. i think this is a good time to try it out. seems like its the way to go. Dump the 2 packs of pacman, let it ferment that brew, siphon into the keg, then dump the IIPA on the cake. Right? sorry if im confusing youguys i just dont wanna ruin this big beer!!! its got some precious simcoe goin into it! the boil and dry hop…thanks again!

Personally, I’d make a small starter with one of those packs and pitch it into your smaller beer (1.050ish). Collect and rinse the yeast from that beer and pitch all that you collect into the bigger beer. This is just my opinion of course. Yeast has gone up in price. Wyeast is up to or close to $10/pack now, so I would just use the one pack and save yourself $10. Save the other pack for another beer. This way instead of spending $20 on yeast for a single beer, you’re spending $10 on yeast for both beers. And I always rinse yeast. A lot of people pitch right on a yeast cake, but I don’t like the idea of all that trub being involved with my my new beer. To me it’s just lazy. Rinsing is easy and a great way to save on yeast by reusing it again and again.

just the answer i was looking for! thanks!!!

Wow, you guys are getting ripped off back east. $6.25 here.

Wow, you guys are getting ripped off back east. $6.25 here.[/quote]

It is what it is. Wyeast raised their prices. And everything is more expensive on the coasts than middle America. Want to compare property taxes? I may cry if we do. I can say our gas is still relatively cheap here in Jersey. Emphasizing the word “relatively”.

Wow, you guys are getting ripped off back east. $6.25 here.[/quote]

No kidding. Our host has flat rate shipping of $7.99 (I think). It wouldn’t take very many packs of yeast to cover the cost of shipping.

Didn’t want to start a new topic on this, but I am planning on doing the same thing, only with the Hella Bock yeast. I’m doing a step starter with one pack. This morning (approx 18 hours after pitching), my 1L starter is rocking: Plenty of yeast in the bottom of a one gallon jug. I’ve been walking by and swirling it, and it foams up really well. Tonight I will make a 3.5 l starter with 12 oz of Pils DME and put it on a stir plate.

I’m making a 1.055 lager using what I would think are all base malts (Vienna, Munich, Pils & Koelsch - all even amounts, 3 lbs each). I’m going to use the yeast cake and put it on a 1.078 Doppelbock.

Any tips on fermenting the Doppelbock with the cake? I have done this before, and I usually dump the whole cake into the fermenter, with decent results (I did a dark czech lager @1.049 with Bohem lager yeast and then dumped the cake onto a red imperial pils @1.078. It finished at 1.025, but I added 12 oz of honey to the bucket after 3 days of fermentation - seemed to take off again. Cellar was probably 44 degrees).

I really want the Doppelbock to finish below 1.020. Is this asking too much, and do you have any tips? Cellar is holding pretty steady at 48-50*F.

I’ve never understood the “I don’t want to start a new thread…” comments. Why clutter another thread. :roll: (Not directed at you personally. Many do the same)

But to your question.

I would mash low 148-149 and add 5-10% table sugar to help it dry out.

On your previous brew, the honey would act the same as table sugar by being 100% fermentable. Do you recall you mash temp?

Yeah…table sugar. No, I don’t want to do that. Whenever I’ve used sugar, it’s usually brown or demerara, and I always add it about 3 days into the fermentation to prevent the yeast from feasting on the sugar before the wort sugar (is that Maltodextrin?).

Mash temp on the Imperial Red Pils was around 150-152.

I was wondering moreso about other techniques, like oxygenating with an aquarium pump (that’s what I use) 24 hours into fermentation to give the yeast a boost, or if rousing the yeast with a spoon might be enough to make sure it hasn’t gone dormant.

I was just wondering if dumping the whole yeast cake would affect the flavor. I’ve had that Red Pils on tap for 5 days now, and yesterday I was getting a decent head on it (I’ve only been having like 5-sips worth, to test it) and I wasn’t getting any off flavors from the yeast. In fact, it’s kind of like an IPA but tastes very clean - like a lager should.

Every beer I make is like my first. I’m anxious about usually one item. I want a really good doppelbock, so I was even thinking about washing the yeast the day before, dividing it up into 4 jars, making a starter with one (for 24 hours) and then dumping one or two more of the jars of yeast into the beer instead of the cake with all the trub.

What about using a sanitized spoon to scrape the top of the yeast cake in the bottom of the bucket?

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