Homebrewing-Northern Brewer Extra Pale Ale 1040 Reusing Yeast
Posted on March 17, 2010 by mike
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.
Anyway, I have been planning this brew day for quite sometime. My 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.
- 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
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%