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Old 03-06-2011, 03:16 AM   #1
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Default Yeast theory -- mediating on S-04 and T-58

S-04 flocculates like mad and the fermentation clears very quickly. When I bottle condition and then pour the beer when ready it is easy to pour the beer without the yeast going into the glass.

T-58 flocculates much more slowly. I bottle condition with it still cloudy and when I bottle conditioning the beer does clear and the yeast flocculate. But when I pour out the beer it seems that the yeast is lighter and follows the out flowing beer and into the glass much more readily. The beer tastes much cleaner without the yeast -- however if the yeast get into the bottle and they usually do because I don't want to waste beer, you get the Hoegaarten flavours -- which most of my tasters don't like. It seems like this yeast is a candidate for filtration and forced carbonation.

Anyways, on noticing that the yeast floats more readily, I began theorizing that T-58 yeast cells must be less dense. I don't think that the yeast are swimming around. I am guessing that T-58 when it grows it stores more lipids (fat) in its cell making it more bouyant. It seems to attenuate better than S-04 thus converting more of the sugars into stored fat. S-04 is a leaner fitter cousin of T-58

The ideal is to have high flocculation with high attenuation. So I am thinking that maybe to get this ideal you should use S-04 but more of it. Perhaps pitch S-04 in the wort an then make an S-04 starter and pitch it 8-12 hours later as S-04 is peaking in activity and where there is still a lot of nutrients to go around for as second yeast bloom while the yeast that got there first are dropping out.

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Old 03-06-2011, 03:56 AM   #2
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I have packs of both in the fridge, but I've never used either. So I'm not speaking from experience, but I thought T-58 was not a very high attenuator.

I use a few high attenuating yeasts, and have no problem with them clearing; Pacman (clean American yeast), WLP550 (spicy Belgian yeast), and WLP022 (fruity UK yeast - I do much better than it's spec).

If you want to keep a lot of the yeast out of the bottle, leave it a few more weeks before bottling.

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Old 03-06-2011, 06:49 AM   #3
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I'm not sure what you're getting at, exactly. If you like S-04, but want more attenuation from it, adjust your recipes for a more fermentable wort (i.e., mash lower), ramp up fermentation temp near the end, or rouse the yeast several times a day as they begin to floc. Or, you can do all 3. Each one will alter the beer in other ways, though, so experience using any given yeast would seem crucial to controlling the final product. I'd start with the mash, though. That way, you can get the attenuation and flocculation you want without too much hassle.

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Old 03-06-2011, 11:17 AM   #4
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I don't think high attenuation and flocculation is the ideal. It depends on the beer you're looking to make. T-58 is a Belgian style yeast, I understand, some Belgian yeasts are used precisely because they are not good flocculators.

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Old 03-06-2011, 11:52 AM   #5
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I love t58 and I use it a lot, I cold crash, then lightly dry hop, then keg and store in the fridge for 3 weeks and its beautifully crystal clear. I know most beers would be after that process but that's how I make my Belgian pale ale and it's a crowd pleaser.

So I don't know if this is bad advice or not but maybe secondary this beer then cold crash before bottling? Even if the yeast flocs out a lot I personally haven't had trouble with the beer carbing up.

Like the previous poster said maybe let it sit for a few more weeks I guess that's basically what I am saying too haha.
Good luck.

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Old 03-06-2011, 12:55 PM   #6
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I don't have enough of a scientific background to give you a thorough answer here, but your theory about density is not correct.

A yeast strain's ability to flocculate and settle out has to do with its genetics. For whatever reason, some strains have more attractive molecules on the outside of their cells. This makes them more likely to flocculate (which specifically refers to clumping together) and then to settle out. It's not a surprise that in general, the most attenuative strains have the worst flocculation.

I haven't done this experiment yet, but I've been thinking about it - I like 1968 in most of my ales, but it's a low attenuator and a great flocculator. But occasionally I make a beer where I need a lot of attenuation. Even with low mash temps, low adjuncts, and additional sugar added, I still don't get the attenuation I need. So I've been thinking about conducting most of the fermentation with 1968, and then when it's about 2/3 done pitching some 1056 in.

My hope is that the attractiveness of 1968 will help with the flocculation of 1056. It may take a little longer because the average flocculation of the wort has been reduced, but I'd like to think that 1968 will still help. Explained another way: let's say 1056 has a flocculation factor of 1 and 1968 has a factor of 10. Combine them and their average is 5.

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Old 03-06-2011, 01:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kanzimonson View Post
I don't have enough of a scientific background to give you a thorough answer here, but your theory about density is not correct.

A yeast strain's ability to flocculate and settle out has to do with its genetics. For whatever reason, some strains have more attractive molecules on the outside of their cells. This makes them more likely to flocculate (which specifically refers to clumping together) and then to settle out. It's not a surprise that in general, the most attenuative strains have the worst flocculation.
And to give a little more of explanation of why clumping together makes the yeast fall out faster, realize that the settling is a competition between two opposing forces: Gravity and drag.

Yeast is more dense than beer, so gravity is pulling it toward the bottom of the fermenter. There is, however, friction between the yeast and the beer that slows down the falling. And since the beer is pretty much always in motion there are often places in the fermenter where the fluid flow is causing the yeast to move upwards... (Obviously this is strongly evident during active fermentation)

So how does the clumping come in? Drag is a function of the exposed surface area... Gravity a function of mass. If you take 20 yeast cells and clump them together, they still have the same mass, but the ball of yeast cells has less surface area exposed to the fluid... so they fall faster.
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Old 03-06-2011, 03:54 PM   #8
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+1 to kanzimonson

You guys realize that yeast flocculation is not a mechanical process right? It is a biological survival mechanism and is strongly tied to the yeast's genetics. When the wort has been fully converted to beer, the yeast bascially try and hide under each other to survive until the beer has been removed.

OP - What you are talking about is very common in commercial breweries, they pitch 2 (or more) strains because they are looking for certain aspects of each one. After a few batches, you should be able to figure out if it makes a big enough difference for it to matter.

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Old 03-06-2011, 04:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theredben View Post
+1 to kanzimonson

You guys realize that yeast flocculation is not a mechanical process right? It is a biological survival mechanism and is strongly tied to the yeast's genetics. When the wort has been fully converted to beer, the yeast bascially try and hide under each other to survive until the beer has been removed.
I'd argue that it is a mechanical process... initiated by a biological process...

Unless you are getting near the alcohol tolerance levels of the particular yeast, wouldn't it be better described by saying the yeast are gathering together and trying to survive until more food shows up?
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Old 03-06-2011, 04:45 PM   #10
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I never thought of flocculation as a survival mechanism but it makes sense. You'd think that all yeast would be naturally selected for a high degree of flocculation if it were that beneficial.

Of course, I guess the less flocculant strains just get to eat more sugars and produce more offspring.

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