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Old 01-22-2012, 12:29 AM   #1
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Default Yeast activity, but no yeast layer in carboy

I put about 1.5 gallons of pilsner in a 3 gallon carboy 2 weeks ago. I kept it at 46˚ for the first phase of fermentation, and I'm in the middle of the second day of d-rest at 66˚. The fermentation is still going nuts (trub and hop particles flying all over, healthy and rising kraeusen, airlock bubbling multiple times ~40/minute). While it's evident that the yeast are active, I'm a tad worried because in all my previous brews there's been a healthy layer of yeast at the bottom of the fermenter, and with this batch there's just about 3 inches of trub/yeast.

I guess my question is is this a RDWHAHB moment, or is there something funky happening with the yeast? Should I swirl the carboy to jostle everything and let the yeast resettle?

Also, I typically harvest yeast after a successful fermentation. I used Wyeast 2278 czech pils this time. Does anyone have experience harvesting yeast with no visible yeast layer? Will they separate themselves during the lagering period?

Thanks for any help you can provide!

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Old 01-22-2012, 12:40 AM   #2
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You usually get more than three inches of grub in a 3 gallon carboy? Good gravy, man, that's a lot of gunk. I'm not sure I'm following you here. You're expecting more than that?

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Old 01-22-2012, 12:59 AM   #3
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I used 1.75 ounces of hops for a miniature batch in a small carboy, so I think the amount of gunk is exaggerated by the small carboy. I was going for the mega-hoppy flavor of the pilsners I tried when I was in Prague. I wasn't expecting THAT much gunk but it makes sense.

I guess I'm just confused because there's clearly yeast activity but no yeast layer.

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Old 01-22-2012, 01:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trumpetbeard View Post
I used 1.75 ounces of hops for a miniature batch in a small carboy, so I think the amount of gunk is exaggerated by the small carboy. I was going for the mega-hoppy flavor of the pilsners I tried when I was in Prague. I wasn't expecting THAT much gunk but it makes sense.

I guess I'm just confused because there's clearly yeast activity but no yeast layer.
Do you have reason to believe that three inch layer of gunk isn't your yeast layer?
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Old 01-22-2012, 01:10 AM   #5
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My guess is that most of the yeast is still in suspension doing what they do. And the rest is mixed in with the trub.

It may stay mixed and need to be washed after fermentation has finished to make it layer with the yeast above the trub.

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Old 01-22-2012, 01:28 AM   #6
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Do you have reason to believe that three inch layer of gunk isn't your yeast layer?
I guess because the layer of trub was the hue and consistency of hop material I assumed that it wasn't the yeast. But I don't have reason to believe that the yeast aren't part of that mass. I hadn't thought of it that way! I guess I'm just used to seeing clear, differentiated layers.

Thanks!
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