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I've made pouring down on the yeast cake of a prior batch my standard way of making big beers. Now I'm moving into lagers and I want to know if there's any difference. Lagers have a much higher recommended pitching rate, so I'd assume that pouring down is a good idea as long as trub doesn't become an issue.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The pitch rate for lagers is generally twice that of an ale. However, pitching onto a used yeast cake generally results in overpitching by a factor of around 100. Overpitching by this amount is never recommended.

In any case, it does make beer, and works for both ales and lagers with the same effects.

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I was going to say: "No there is no difference. Both cases are bad ideas." – brewchez Dec 1 '10 at 23:22

Some people make a 2 gallon batch of lager and ferment it warm, then just pour the beer off the yeast/trub directly down the sink and pitch the "real" lager wort on that cake. I'd say if the original batch was 5 gallons, then split the cake into thirds. Pitch on one and store the other two (after washing) in the fridge for your next lager starter.

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