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Old 01-05-2010, 03:04 AM   #1
jmo88
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Default Top cropping techniques

How do you do it?

I tried it today on a WLP037 Yorkshire Square fermenting. I'm not sure I did it right. I skimmed about half the krausen off the top but am not sure it's enough. I got about a full 12oz or so of foam that settled out in about 1/4 cup of sanitzed water in a canning jar. Now that the foam has dissipated and the thicker material has dropped, the slurry looks more like trub than healthy yeast.

Was I supposed to go deeper under the krausen to get a better top crop?



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Old 01-05-2010, 04:09 AM   #2
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make a starter with it and see how it turns out. I have never harvested yeast this way so this is the only good suggestion I have.



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Old 01-05-2010, 03:37 PM   #3
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So I researched this a little more and found this on the Wyeast website:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wyeast Website
Harvesting yeast from the top of open fermenters (top cropping) is still a widely used practice in the modern brewing industry. Specific yeast strains which rise to form a dense head must be used, making top cropping nearly exclusive to ale and wheat strains. As with other methods of harvesting yeast, harvesting a consistent population which avoids the extremes is important.

Yeast should be harvested once fermentables have been reduced by 50% or more. The timing of the skim should be consistent from batch to batch to help maintain fermentation profile. A head will rise approximately 24-36 hours into fermentation. The first “dirt” skim containing trub should be discarded as should the final skim. The middle skim should be harvested and used.
This morning I skimmed the Krausen a second time and the foam bubbles were much finer and slurry like. Because of the first skim, the trub was gone. I went right down to the the level of beer. I feel good about it this time.

I'm going to make a starter with this on Thursday or Friday and brew up another batch on Sunday.

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Last edited by jmo88; 01-05-2010 at 03:45 PM. Reason: resized pic
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Old 01-08-2010, 06:44 PM   #4
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Well I made a starter and with the top cropped yeast above and it looked like this in two hours.



This was much more intense than the vial. In fact the vial didn't even krausen. Apparently top cropped yeast is 100% viable. These puppies were ready to eat.

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Old 01-08-2010, 06:51 PM   #5
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I top cropped last night and dropped the krausen straight into a starter... my starter was going crazy in about 20 minutes. It pretty much looked like the one above after a couple of hours.

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Old 01-08-2010, 06:55 PM   #6
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Top cropping strains are a breeze to work with. Yeast washing from the trub is a PITA. I plan on working with this same strain for a while because it's so easy

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Old 01-08-2010, 07:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmo88 View Post
This was much more intense than the vial. In fact the vial didn't even krausen. Apparently top cropped yeast is 100% viable. These puppies were ready to eat.
The viability can vary.
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Old 01-09-2010, 02:18 AM   #8
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I have always had great results top cropping from my open fermenter. The yeast I "top crop," out performs the vial yeast every time. Its all about when you harvest, or skim. I have read that it is best to harvest when your apparent attenuation goes past 50%, but I just kind of feel it out. You want to leave enough yeast behind to finish the task at hand!



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