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Old 09-26-2007, 09:55 PM   #1
BlendieOfIndie
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Default Skimming fermenting yeast?

My info:
- 2nd day of primary fermentation
- top fermenting, english ale yeast
- 5 gallon batch, brown ale
- vessel: 6gal, plastic bucket, sealed, air lock, etc
- my 1st batch ever


I've learned most of my information thus far from Dave Miller's book (can't remember the title, but I'm sure you guys know what I'm talkin about). The book gets into some pretty advanced stuff, and I have read it cover to cover - which might not be a good thing since I'm a first-timer (b/c I'm more likely to violate the K.I.S.S principle).

The question:
Dave Miller recommends skimming top fermenting yeast every day during primary fermentation. I believe the idea is to get rid of the crap before it falls back into the wart and makes cloudy beer.

Is this step necessary? I realize there are some trade-offs - I'm essentially asking how optional is this step.
What instrument can be used to skim the yeast?
Will removing the yeast slow down fermentation? If so would that be a bad thing?

Thanks everyone. I look forward to learning a lot of stuff here.

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Old 09-26-2007, 10:07 PM   #2
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Do not skim your yeast! Once primary fermentation has started just leave it alone for at least a week. The krausen will fall and settle to the bottom of the primary. This is then left behind when you rack to secondary.

I have one of Dave Miller's books and he makes no mention of this, but my book is quite old. I found that a lot of what he recommended is out of date relative to modern equipment and ingredients. Check out www.howtobrew.com for more up-to-date information (or better yet, buy the book).

So my advice is, do not skim yeast, leave your batch alone for another 5 days so that the yeast can do what yeast do best.

Congrats on the first batch btw! And welcome to HBT and the obsession!

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Old 09-26-2007, 10:19 PM   #3
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Yeah, i wouldn't skim it. be patient and let it settle. if you want to wash the yeast later (to reuse), do it after you rack your beer to secondary, bottle bucket, or keg.

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Old 09-26-2007, 10:27 PM   #4
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agreed. getting a good rolling boil to create hot break, and then rapid chilling to precipitate the cold break always gives me clear beers. I do use irish moss in the boil but have yet to have a cloudy enough beer in secondary to make me want to use gelatin or something to further clear it.

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Old 09-27-2007, 12:46 AM   #5
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Thanks for the help guys. I'm def. happy that I don't need to remove yeast from the fermentation - that really seemed counter intuitive. Glad I asked.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bradsul
I have one of Dave Miller's books and he makes no mention of this, but my book is quite old. I found that a lot of what he recommended is out of date relative to modern equipment and ingredients.
I will post the name of the book & a summary of the page when I get home from work. I have gotten the impression that some of his stuff is outdated/unnecessary - but its hard to argue with a published author when I haven't even brewed beer yet.
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Old 09-27-2007, 01:41 AM   #6
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I know. But there are more than a few ways to do things, and maybe it worked for them back then. But now we have better yeasts than ever before, better equipment, and more knowledge. I mean, my grandpa made wine in a bucket and a crock and lived to tell. Sometimes it was great, sometimes drinkable and sometimes vinegar. At least if we follow some basic "new" ideas, we can be consistent!

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Old 09-27-2007, 03:17 AM   #7
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is this the book? I have one of Dave Miller's books, I'm pretty sure it's the one in the link I posted. I was reading it the other day, and it is very dry reading. It's more like a programming manual compared to the filthy hippie writing style of Charlie Papazian. I saw some info in there that seemed rather antiquated, like only suggesting fly sparging as there was no good way to batch sparge, and DME being very VERY expensive, and other oddities. I looked at the copyright date of it.... 1995! That's like, a billion years in computer years, and about 12 in brewing years!

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Old 09-27-2007, 04:07 AM   #8
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This is the book I have. It's full of great info but some of it is definitely outdated. I think it's from 1988 or something. It's where I got my first info (found it at a garage sale) before I headed online to research more (and pretty much immediately found howtobrew.com).
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Old 09-27-2007, 06:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eviltwinofjoni
is this the book? I have one of Dave Miller's books, I'm pretty sure it's the one in the link I posted. I was reading it the other day, and it is very dry reading. It's more like a programming manual compared to the filthy hippie writing style of Charlie Papazian. I saw some info in there that seemed rather antiquated, like only suggesting fly sparging as there was no good way to batch sparge, and DME being very VERY expensive, and other oddities. I looked at the copyright date of it.... 1995! That's like, a billion years in computer years, and about 12 in brewing years!
That's the one - "HomeBrewing Guide". Haha, it is dry I guess. But it is funny that you say it's like a programming manual b/c I'm... err, was... a computer science major. I guess I've gotten used to it. I do kind of like scientific type stuff, but I'd like to get some more perspective. I'll prolly get "The Joy of Homebrewing" in the near future.
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Old 09-27-2007, 02:30 PM   #10
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No disrespect for Charlie, but I'd recommend getting "How to Brew" by Palmer instead. I've read both of Papizian's latest editions (joy and companion) and he tends to stick with what he knows; the homebrewing methods of 20 years ago.

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