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Old 02-05-2011, 03:00 PM   #1
meadowstream
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Default Reducing bottle conditioning sediment?

After years of kegging, I am bottling again. Recently, I made a dubbel with WLP500 and it came out very nicely. After 2 weeks of fermentation, I racked the beer to corny kegs that had the appropriate amount of sugar solution waiting. Then, I filled 750ml bottles, corked and let sit. The carbonation was perfect, the flavor excellent...but too much sediment.

What is too much? Well more than a film of sediment. The bottles require a continuous pour until the sediment comes to the shoulder. If the whole bottle is not poured then the beer remaining in the bottle will cloud with yeast.

I want an unfiltered, bottle conditioned beer (instead of a forced-carbonated, counter-pressure filled beer.) Does anyone think that if fermentation were permitted to go another couple of weeks that more yeast would have already dropped out of the beer? Do you think that all the sediment was due to the carb sugar being consumed? What do you think I can do to reduce sediment?

Thanks!

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Old 02-05-2011, 03:23 PM   #2
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A longer time in the fermenter will help. I would try 3-4 weeks in the fermenter, then cold crash it for a week, maybe even try some gelatin during the cold crash once the beer is chilled. When i have done this the beer comes out of the fermenter crytal clear. The yeast sediment from bottle conditioning will likely only be a small dusting on the bottom of the bottle. Might take a little longer to build carbonation after dropping most of the yeast, but should still carb fine if you are patient. You could also try a more floculant yeast strain, S04 flocs pretty good IME.

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Old 02-05-2011, 03:30 PM   #3
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1 month primary.

a secondary would further reduce yeast, and force carbing would reduce it even further.

Not much yeast is produced buring bottle conditioning, but certainly some is.

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Old 02-05-2011, 03:36 PM   #4
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Then leave your beer in primary for a month....

This is my yeastcake for my Sri Lankin Stout that sat in primary for 5 weeks. Notice how tight the yeast cake is? None of that got racked over to my bottling bucket. And the beer is extremely clear.



That little bit of beer to the right is all of the 5 gallons that DIDN'T get vaccumed off the surface of the tight trub. When I put 5 gallons in my fermenter, I tend to get 5 gallons into bottles. The cake itself is like cement, it's about an inch thick and very, very dense, you can't just tilt your bucket and have it fall out. I had to use water pressure to get it to come out.



Ths is the last little bit of the same beer in the bottling bucket, this is the only sediment that made it though and that was done on purpose, when I rack I always make sure to rub the autosiphon across the bottom of the primary to make sure there's plenty of yeast in suspension to carb the beer, but my bottles are all crystal clear and have little sediment in them.

Half the time I forget to use moss, and you can't tell the difference in clarity.

Another thing is to leave your beer in the fridge for at least a week. The longer you chill the beer in the fridge, the tighter the yeast cake. I had a beer in the back of my fridge for 3 months, that I could completely upend and no yeast came out. Longer in the cold the tighter the yeast cake becomes. Even just chilling for a week (besides getting rid of chill haze) will go to great lengths to allow you to leave the yeast behind, but with only a minimum amount of beer.

The only filtering I've ever done has been through my kidneys.

I get the barest hint of sediment in my bottles....just enough for the yeast to have done the job of carbonating the beer.

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Old 02-05-2011, 03:49 PM   #5
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Thank you for good suggestions. Have you had any issues with yeast "waking up" after refrigeration? Will there be enough in solution to awaken and carbonate?

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Old 02-05-2011, 05:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by meadowstream View Post
Thank you for good suggestions. Have you had any issues with yeast "waking up" after refrigeration? Will there be enough in solution to awaken and carbonate?
Should be plenty left for bottle conditioning, even clear beer has a fair amount of yeast left in suspension.
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Old 02-05-2011, 06:06 PM   #7
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Primary for at least 3 weeks, use a flocculant yeast, cold crash before bottling, give the bottles some good fridge time after conditioning, and empty the bottle in one pour.

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Old 02-05-2011, 06:21 PM   #8
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Cold crashing with finings and using a bottling strain. Not only does it make for less sediment but the beer is ready much faster.

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Old 03-09-2011, 12:13 PM   #9
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These have been some great responses - thank you!

This is what I am taking away:

1. Cold crash after 3-4 week in fermenter

2. Beer will be clear but plenty of yeast will re-emerge when I add priming sugar and raise the temperature back up to 70 deg F.

Does anyone think that there will not be enough yeast in suspension to carbonate? Does anyone think that the cold crashed beer should be blended with a small amount of 2-3 week old beer from another primary to provide more yeast? Do professionals add yeast back in for bottle conditioning only because they have filtered or centrifuged active yeast out already?

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