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Old 10-29-2007, 09:37 PM   #1
pfranco81
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Default mid-fermentation agitation

This past friday I brewed a Northern Brewer ESB. The description of the yeast, Wyeast #1968 London ESB, says that "This strain is so flocculant that additional aeration and agitation is needed."

I was wondering if there is a particular way to go about doing this, as of right now I am picking up the ale pale and shaking the crap out of it. Is there a more dignified way to get the job done, or am I doing alright?

Also, I am plan on putting it in secondary, with this being a highly floculant yeast, should I worry about having enough in suspension for bottle conditioning?

Thanks

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Old 10-30-2007, 04:55 AM   #2
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It sounds like you are doing more than gently agitating the beer. Shaking the crap out of it is probably too much. It doesn't take much to get the yeast back into suspension, and it is best if you can leave the trub solids that have settled at the bottom of the fermenter as much as possible.

If you leave your beer in the secondary for a really long time (i.e., > 2 months) then you may have problems with carbonation. People here have mixed success, so YMMV, but generally speaking you don't need to add additional yeast at bottling if you spend 6 weeks or less in the secondary. If you are worried, you can always gently stir up a bit of yeast off the bottom of the fermenter when you rack to your bottling bucket.

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Old 10-30-2007, 05:05 AM   #3
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You want to stay away from aerating your beer while fermenting. As long as it is still fermenting and is not done (per hydro reading), it does not even need to be agitated. If it needs a kick start, sanitize a long spoon and gently stir (not aerate) it up until you have a swril. That'll do it.

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Old 10-30-2007, 02:35 PM   #4
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A swirl will do. This is also good practice with hefeweizen and witbier yeasts, FYI.

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Old 10-30-2007, 02:46 PM   #5
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All I do is swirl the bucket, without opening it, until the cake breaks up. Since the head space is full of CO2, no danger of aerating the beer. If you can actually shake the fermenter, great. Everything will settle out eventually.

I have in one or two cases, opened the bucket and stirred gently.

Another alternative would be to add a dry high attenuation yeast when the ESB yeast flocculates. Since most of the fermentation is done, a neutral yeast won't change the flavors and it will give you plenty of carbonation later.

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