Just finishing up a American Ale and was told by another homebrewer that I could use the yeast cake in the fermentor to brew a hard apple cider when I transfered the beer to bottles for conditioning. The yeast I used was a Wyeast activator pack 1272 american 2. Is this true and does anyone have any suggestions.
I frequently re-use yeast cakes. It obviates the need for a starter and allows fermentation to start much quicker. It may also reduce the need for thorough aeration of the wort since the yeast have already reproduced to large numbers.
However reusing a yeast cake from a beer for a batch of cider is likely to introduce different flavors to your cider. In particular I would be concerned about hops flavors/aftertaste. This may or may not be a negative thing to you, depending upon taste. It's safer to reuse yeast cakes for similar styles to avoid this.