Homebrewing-Northern Brewer Extra Pale Ale 1040 Reusing Yeast

Posted on March 17, 2010 by

Another homebrew day was upon us this past Sunday! I felt this day was going to be a bit different than the previous homebrewing days in our little space in Fargo. Today I was going to attempt 3 things for the first time. The first thing I was going to do was to actually bottle and brew the same day. There is that hour after your boil starts that you just sit around. So I decided to bottle. I also decided to bottle today because I was going to reuse the yeast. Finally, I was excited because my wife really likes EPA’s and I really wanted to dial a recipe in for her.

Brew Day

Anyway, I have been planning this brew day for quite sometime. Northern Brewer Extra Pale Ale KitMy  wife and I brewed an EPA about 3 weeks ago. Northern Brewer Extra Pale Ale 1040 was what we brewed and recently I’ve been reading a lot about reusing yeast, so I wanted to try that. Either by rinsing, scooping or plain ole’ pitching on top of the old yeast cake and just letting the cards ride.

I decided on the easiest of the 3 for my first time reusing yeast. I decided that I would reuse the yeast if it didn’t smell bad or my beer sample tasted good. It was a very busy day because I planned my brew day to intertwine with my bottling day so I could reuse my yeast. My plan was to get everything to happen at once so while my wort was boiling, I would be putting beer in bottles. I must say, I timed it perfectly. I had 5 minutes left in the boil when the bottles were done.

I didn’t want to change the recipe to much because I really want to see what beer tastes like coming off of a yeast cake from a previous recipe. So all factors are the same in this experiment except for two. The first being the reusing of the yeast. Second, I did a late addition of malt extract at 20 minutes left in the boil. I’ve heard it can affect the color and I wanted to give it a try on this brew.

Pitching Wort On An Old Yeast Cake

I’m going to spare you the details of brew day and just give you an idea of what I did to reuse the yeast.

  • I racked all my beer out of the fermenter into the bottling bucket.
  • I made sure to leave a little bit of beer in the bottom of the bucket to protect the yeast from any kind of exposure I could. Looking at it though is kind of nasty. Reusing Yeast Cake
  • From what I’ve read the layers of the slurry will be white on top and then getting more dirty as it goes down. The white is what you want.
  • In looking at it, I’ve got this peanut butter looking mess, which would probably be what I would have rinsed out had I done that option. However, I see some white, so we are going for it.
  • I dumped my cooled down wort on top the yeast cake, added some water and shook the bucket up real good. I have to admit, I’m a little nervous, it could taste nasty, but from what I’ve read and been told, it should be just fine.

Within 3 hours, I had healthy fermentation going.

All in all, everything went very well. I was pleased with my taste sample of the bottled brew and everything went pretty smoothly on brew day/bottle day. In a few weeks we will have a good idea of how this yeast affected the outcome of the beer. Once I’ve tried the process and can assure you that it worked, I’ll make a formal “repitching yeast” article. Gotta test it out first though!

Brew Day Journal Stats

Specialty Grain

1 lbs Dingeman’s Caramel Pils


6 lbs Gold LME


2 oz Cascade (60 min)
1 oz Cascade (1 min)


Used Yeast Cake (WYeast 1056 American Ale)


O.G. 1.042 | F.G.: 1.012 | ABV: 4.0%

Brewed: 3/14/10
Bottled: 4/11/10

Review of Northern Brewer Extra Pale Ale 1040 Extract Kit

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  • http://mikesbrewreview.com/recipe-review-northern-brewer-extra-pale-ale-extract-kit/ Northern Brewer Extra Pale Ale 1040 Extract Kit | mikesbrewreview.com

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