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Old 06-30-2011, 09:58 AM   #1
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Default skimming instead of washing?

so, the question is simple - why would I wash the yeast if I can skim it off from the beer while I have the krauzen on top?

I'd skim it with a sanitized spoon, toss it in a sanitized jar, and top it with sanitized water...

I suppose there is a catch with this, otherwise everybody would do it this way, so what's the catch?

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Old 06-30-2011, 11:00 AM   #2
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It's just one of the other ways of doing things. It's sort of fallen out of favor over the decades, but it's reasonable. But it's something that you cannot easily do in a carboy. But there are lots of true "top cropping" yeasts out there, like Burton ale, where this is still talked about.

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Old 06-30-2011, 11:23 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
It's just one of the other ways of doing things. It's sort of fallen out of favor over the decades, but it's reasonable. But it's something that you cannot easily do in a carboy. But there are lots of true "top cropping" yeasts out there, like Burton ale, where this is still talked about.
When I ferment in a bucket it's very easy to do this. This method is much easier than washing. First, because I have pure yeast on top (maybe some hop and protein particles), but it's not even close to what I get from yeast cake (tons of trash that looks like poo by the way)

Thanks for the answer!
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Old 06-30-2011, 11:28 AM   #4
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I've wondered about this. I just assumed you could get more by rinsing. How much yeast can one get from top cropping? In a bucket, how do you inow when the right moment is to top crop? I would think there is a chance of infection?

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Old 06-30-2011, 01:15 PM   #5
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top cropping is a very traditional way of gathering yeast but you need to be VERY clean. Wyeast recommends cropping once the gravity is below 50%
Link to their yeast harvesting page
http://www.wyeastlab.com/com-yeast-harvest.cfm

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Old 06-30-2011, 02:54 PM   #6
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I assume top cropping has fallen out of favor due to the slight possibility of it affecting the current fermentation (i.e. Slowing it, Stalling it, Halting it, Wild innoculation, etc) especially with smaller batches, it's hard to tell when fermentation is 50% or better (which is when you should top crop) and nobody wants to try and take a gravity reading at high kreusen.

That being said, I have done it without any problems as far as you know. Disclaimer portion of the program: We all know however that yeast seems to have a mind of it's own and there are numerous factors that affect fermentation, some of which are completely out of our control.

Also, one can top crop with a carboy simply by using a longer blowoff tube in the fermenting vessel, push it down into the kreusen (If not blowing off) then using a catch vessel with an inlet and outlet in the cap/bung (water in the vessel of course), place a second tube in the catch vessel outlet with the other end in a typical blowoff vessel, this way your yeast is sealed from outside air, have done this and simply placed the capped vessel in the fridge afterwards, no washing needed. I imagine you can even use wert in the catch vessel to grow more yeast as it's harvested, etc. This can be used with a bucket also, it's just harder to adjust the depth of the first "catch" tube.

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Old 06-30-2011, 03:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COLObrewer View Post
Also, one can top crop with a carboy simply by using a longer blowoff tube in the fermenting vessel, push it down into the kreusen (If not blowing off) then using a catch vessel with an inlet and outlet in the cap/bung (water in the vessel of course), place a second tube in the catch vessel outlet with the other end in a typical blowoff vessel, this way your yeast is sealed from outside air, have done this and simply placed the capped vessel in the fridge afterwards, no washing needed. I imagine you can even use wert in the catch vessel to grow more yeast as it's harvested, etc. This can be used with a bucket also, it's just harder to adjust the depth of the first "catch" tube.
Any pictures of this? It sounds great, especially for making a big starter for a big beer.

How do you predict pitching rates from top-cropped samples? Is it a constant I could plug into Mr. Malty?
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Old 06-30-2011, 03:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Any pictures of this? It sounds great, especially for making a big starter for a big beer.

How do you predict pitching rates from top-cropped samples? Is it a constant I could plug into Mr. Malty?
I was thinking while typing that I should take a picture next time.

I simply used Mrmalty as re-pitched from slurry, but probably don't have all the settings right, there is a thick yeast setting I believe but I don't understand all I know about Mrmalty yet.
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Old 06-30-2011, 06:33 PM   #9
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Top cropping has to be done on the yeasts' schedule. And, every yeast and beer has its own time line. Washing is done on the brewer's schedule.

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Old 06-30-2011, 08:07 PM   #10
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Burton Union.

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