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Title says it all: Could I ferment a five gallon batch on top of the yeast cake from a finished one gallon batch?

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Sure. This amounts to a large starter, so you may be slightly overpitching, but I've used the yeast cake from a 5 gallon batch to ferment another 5 gallon batch and had no issues. Depending on the style you are brewing, this could change the flavor somewhat, so to get an optimal pitching rate you could use a yeast calculator and discard part of your yeast cake. However this probably won't make much of a difference, other factors such as temperature will play a much larger role.

Also, if you aren't washing the yeast, you generally you want to ferment a similar style or darker beer the second time around to avoid clashing flavors.

  • And make sure there are no off-flavours or aromas in your 1 gallon beer or in the yeast that you are pitching onto. – Atron Seige Jul 8 '15 at 12:56

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