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My last batch was a strong ale/winter 1.090 wlp002 english ale yeast brewed on 11/20 (two weeks ago). it has been in the fridge crash cooling for about 72 hours. this will be my first attempt at fermenting on an old yeast cake. I'm assuming the yeast needs to be warmed up from fridge temp? I'm brewing today and could use a few pointers.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Rack the beer off the primary and let it sit for an hour or two to adjust to the temp of the beer you are going to pour over it. A 1.090 beer probably produces a gigantic cake, so you should probably pour some of it out, or you'll be massively over-pitching. Also, the typical advice is to brew weaker beers, and pitch progressively stronger ones onto the cake. I'd still use this cake for your new brew, but keep that in mind for the next time you are going to re-use yeast from primary.

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I was going to answer, but you covered everything I had to say. +1! –  JoeFish Dec 5 '11 at 15:35
    
What are the effects of over pitching? –  Ryan Shdo Dec 6 '11 at 6:46
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"Off flavors" is what you see described for over-pitching, but that can be a pretty big range. –  Graham Dec 6 '11 at 13:47
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Bad idea pitching on a cake from a a high gravity beer. Yeast is pretty much spent and stressed out for the most part. –  brewchez Dec 7 '11 at 2:33
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I would not directly reuse the yeast from a 1.090 batch. After fermenting an OG that high, the yeast is likely "tired out" and weak. The ROT (Rule of thumb) is not to reuse yeast from a fermentation over 1.060. I push that to 1.070, but higher than that is not a good idea. You could wash the yeast and use some to make a new starter, but just pitching on the yeast from a 1.090 batch is asking for problems.

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ROT? I have heard the O.G. step up advice before but if I did add my next batch (1.086) to the yeast cake and the fermentation is very active after 12 hours am I in the clear or is there something else I should worry about? –  Ryan Shdo Dec 6 '11 at 6:45
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The OG stepup "rule" is just a myth. You can certainly reuse yeast in a lower gravity beer...I've done it often. The problem is reusing yeast from a high gravity fermentation. The fact that you have activity after 12 hours is no indication that the yeast will give you a full, healthy fermentation. They might, but it's a chance I prefer not to take. That's why I recommend using part of the slurry to create a new starter. –  Denny Conn Dec 6 '11 at 15:43
    
Thanks Denny! I really appreciate you commenting on my comment you always have great advice. I don't know how sensitive people are about getting the check mark or not but I feel obligated to choose. I will be looking back to your post next time I ferment on a previous cake! and what is ROT? –  Ryan Shdo Dec 7 '11 at 5:03
    
ROT=Rule Of Thumb –  Denny Conn Dec 7 '11 at 16:48
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