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I am brewing an Irish Red Ale, followed by a Dry Irish Stout, both this week, and then I need to re-use that yeast within the following two to three weeks for an ESB (1.053 OG recipe was picked by a brewing buddy and calls for Wyeast 1084). All batches will be 2.5 gallons. The ESB recipe calls for pitching and fermentation at 70°F. For the red and the stout, I am hewing close to the BCS recipes (1.042 and 1.044 OGs) - except that I will sour 5% of the wort for the stout (and then boil and add to active fermentation.

I am considering using the same yeast strain for all three batches. I am also planning to just pitch a fresh vial or smack-pack of liquid yeast into the first batch (pitching rate is right on per Mr Malty's pitching rate calculator).

Questions:

  1. I am going for "dry-ness" on all three beers. Is there a significant difference in attenuation between WLP004 and Wyeast 1084? Brewer's Friend calculates I will get a couple more points of attenuation using Wyeast 1084.
  2. I don't have any fermentation temp control. My cellar is 62-63°F. I am thinking about putting the fermenter in a large tub of water and sticking it in a spare room where the temp fluctuates between 66°F and 70°F, hoping that internal beer temps will stay in the high 60s°F. Will this higher temp lead to production of esters inappropriate for these styles?
  3. I have heard that Irish Ale yeasts sometimes have trouble finishing. Have you experienced this? This may be subjective, but would you recommend another yeast for the stout to achieve adequate dryness? I have seen many recipes call for US-05.
  4. I am trying to figure out how to use the same yeast for all three recipes. My current thinking is to rack Batch 1 to another vessel, and then pitch Batch 2 onto the yeast cake. Do you have a better suggestion?
  5. For Batch 3, I could leave some beer on the yeast cake and move the vessel to 20°F-45°F (garage) or 62°F (cellar), store for 1-3 weeks, and then re-warm and pitch Batch 3 onto the yeast cake. Is
  6. Is there a more proper way to save the yeast for Batch 3 - either harvest some of the yeast cake from Batch 1 before pitching Batch 2, or wash the yeast cake
  7. Will using the yeast for three generations cause a problem as long as the first two fermentations are strong? I have heard that three generations from low- to moderate-OG beers if OK.

Sorry for so many questions. Thanks for the help!

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While its not entirely clear on your timing (at least to me) it seems like you might be rushing the beer through batch 1 into to. One week probably isn't enough. If you have to brew the Red and the Stout at the same time I'd plan on two pitches of yeast. And then collect one for the re-pitch in the ESB. Otherwise, you might get some incomplete fermentation character in the first beer, rushing to get the second one started. –  brewchez Jan 31 at 14:20
    
Yeah, I am definitely rushing it, and maybe this is pushing it too much. Another vial of yeast won't break the bank, and I think I may just buy some more. (The rush is because asked by someone to brew some beers for a St. Patrick's Day party, but they had no idea how long it takes to decent beer.) I thought pitching onto a yeast cake would speed the second beer, but apparently not by much, and at the expense of the first batch. As always, thanks for the insight. –  Chino Brews Feb 1 at 15:18
    
Pitching on yeast cake will certainly speed the next beer along. However pitching on cake also negates much of the need for the yeast to grow and fermentation starts right away. This fermentation without some growth phase tends to mute the flavor profiles of the yeast strain being used. Maybe not a big deal if done with the stout. –  brewchez Feb 3 at 18:03

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

In order:

  1. WLP004 and 1084 are actually the same yeast. Slightly different environments and /or methods of analysis probably account for the slightly different specs from each manufacturer. Yeast is a living thing after all. Your own brewing environment and methods will affect attenuation more than WhiteLabs vs WYeast will. If you're going for dry, read this article - some great info here: https://byo.com/stories/item/1604-what-mash-temperatures-create-a-sweet-or-dry-beer. Though if you're doing extract brewing, there's less you can do to affect dryness. I've heard that "Extra" Pale Malt Extract is slightly more fermentable than just pale. Not sure how true this is though. You could replace a small amount of the base Pale malt extract with sugar though (which is 100% fermentable) to get a slightly dryer beer.

  2. The beer usually gets slightly warmer than the surrounding room temp due to yeast activity. Wyeast says the yeast does well up to 72F, White Labs 68F. Average that out to 70F? Hard to say. I think you'll be ok though ... personally I'd shoot for 67-68F if possible. If the fermenters in a bath, you can always toss a little ice in and swish it around (to avoid cold spots) once a day.

  3. I haven't experienced this myself, and I've brewed with that yeast quite a few times over the years. Though that's still just a sample size of 20 or so. Nothing definitive.

  4. That's what I do. Works fine. I usually don't go past 3 batches that way, but have done 4 without issue. And a couple friends pretty much do the same.

  5. ...

  6. I always do a transfer/kegging on the day I brew so new wort goes right back onto the yeast. As harvesting yeast successfully can be tedious, if you really can't brew the day the fermenter is freed, I would probably leave a small layer of beer on the yeast and keep it in the cellar and then just use it asap.

  7. A lot of homebrewers (as I) routinely reuse yeast 3x. You should be fine ... apart from any storage issues in #6.

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