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Old 05-09-2009, 11:19 PM   #1
woollybugger2
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Default The more I learn the less I know....

Okay, I thought that I was getting a handle on this brewing stuff, all my batches have come out better than expected and generally liked by my friends. I recently brewed up my second batch of a Belgian Wit, the first time I brewed this in a small partial boil I racked it to a secondary and ended up with a very clear amber ale. Sure the swirl of the bottle added just a touch of cloudiness, but I was a little disappointed in its clarity.

Second time I decided not to use the secondary and to use a starter (1 liter Wyeast 3463) and used a bigger boil with late extract addition.

Fermentation took off very quickly and dropped off after 4 or 5 vigorous days. The OG was slightly higher than the recipes 1.048 and after 12 days I took an SG reading of 1.012, one point away from the estimated FG of 1.011. Five days later I took another reading and it was the same 1.012.
So I bottled with 5 oz of corn sugar. While racking to the bottling bucket I noticed that the beer was still real cloudy and I thought that there were a lot of yeast in suspension but the color was much lighter than my earlier attempt.

I bottled most of the beer in 22 ouncers and 3 Grolsch flit tops this past Sunday. I couldn’t resist and tried one of the Grolsch bottles on Wednesday. When I flipped the top of the warm 68* beer there was a pleasant pfffst and a cloud of co2 gas. It poured a decent head considering that it had only been in the bottle 3 days. I didn’t pour the entire bottle in the glass, perhaps 3 or 4 ounces shy. When I set the bottle back down on the counter I noticed that the yeast on the bottom started doing their little eruptions coming off the bottom and mixing with the remaining beer. I didn’t drink all of the dregs, I poured out the last ounce or two. I thought that the beer, while still young, wasn’t half bad!

Last night I tried the last of the Grolsch bottles and noticed the same yeast show, however this time I swirled and poured the entire bottle. It did add a lot of yeast flavor, but still had a good overall color, flavor and aroma of a Belgian Wit.

However all of that active yeast did a number on my digestive track and woke me up at 4 in the morning.

I was thinking that I should take a movie of the yeast dance in the bottom of the bottle but don’t know if it will be as visible in the remaining brown bottles.

I am somewhat concerned that somehow, even with stable FG readings, that the beer was bottled too soon. And I’m hesitant to share these beers with friends who may also consume ‘too much’ yeast and end up with similar distress. Will that problem diminish as the beer ages?

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Old 05-10-2009, 12:24 AM   #2
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You may find that as the beer ages and you chill it, that the yeast go dormant and the digestive issues will lessen, but no matter what yeast will always do their thing in your belly. Probably just end up with the awesome yeast farts

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Old 05-10-2009, 12:48 AM   #3
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IMO it's all a matter of carefully pouring the beer into a glass, most of the yeast can be avoided this way, my comment on your tread is probably completely dumb and out of scope thought.

I never achieved a totally transparent beer, always had a little cloudiness unless i let them age for about 2 months in the bottles, which the later rarely happens cause i am not a very patient brewer.

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Old 05-10-2009, 07:34 AM   #4
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There are many of us older brewers who do not fuss with our beer and we do not use a secondary fermenter or even test using a hydrometer because we have learned to be one with the yeast. We brew excellent beer. Tools like hydrometers are used when you want to know what sugar or alcohol content of your beer and if you use known recipes and controlled temperatures for fermentation then you get known results every time. Fermentation temperature directly affects beer taste and the yeast type dictates that temperature. Read all you can about any yeast before using and make sure to control the temperature of the fermentation which is exothermic. Always primary 2 weeks minimum in the primary.

Clear beer is easy to obtain by aging long enough and then transfer to a keg or bottling bucket leaving the trub behind. Just before transfer, do not move a fermenter or you disturb the sediment (trub) and Yeast.

I know I have rambled here (off topic) but it is to help you understand why we brewers do things the way we do.

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Old 05-10-2009, 12:10 PM   #5
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belgain wits are supposed to be cloudy

"These beers are traditionally bottle conditioned and served cloudy. An
unfiltered starch and yeast haze should be part of the appearance"

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Old 05-11-2009, 04:38 AM   #6
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I secondary all of my beers so I don't have a huge problem with big yeast cakes in my bottle. But I don't let anything go to waste, I mix it all together.
The first few times will get you like you said, but your body gets used to it after awhile, and that yeast is full of a lot of goodness. Amino Acids, B complex, Protien.. Its all good for ya.

Farting is a sign of a heathly digestive track.. Your wife will love you!

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Old 05-11-2009, 03:40 PM   #7
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Wit yeasts don't form tight cakes. Bottle-conditioned Wits have to be poured carefully to avoid getting too much yeast. You want some, though. One technique is to pour most of the bottle leaving an ounce or so. Then you evaluate the yeast level in the glass and if you want more yeast, swirl the bottle and add a bit.

But, if you hate to waste a drop of your homebrew, be prepared for the consequences. Your GI will adjust to the high yeast level, if you dose it regularly.

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