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Old 11-21-2012, 01:23 AM   #1
lhommedieu
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Default Yeasty beer

My beer spent 4 weeks in the primary, and then I kegged it and started to carbonate it in a 35 degree fridge. A day later I was a little curious about how much carbonation I'd achieved, so I drew off about 8 oz. to taste. The beer was only slightly carbonated - but I'd expected that. It tasted good but there was a slight smell of yeast and a slight taste as well. Not exactly off-putting, but not what I wanted, either.

From what I've read on the forum I think that putting the keg in the fridge had the same effect as cold-crashing the yeast, and that I'm picking up the yeast on the bottom.

Is it reasonable to expect that the next pint or so of beer will taste a little yeasty, but that the rest will condition nicely over the next 3-4 weeks?

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Steve

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Old 11-21-2012, 01:25 AM   #2
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Is it reasonable to expect that the next pint or so of beer will taste a little yeasty, but that the rest will condition nicely over the next 3-4 weeks?

Best,

Steve
Yes, that's reasonable.

But it's also reasonable to assume that leaving the beer on the yeast for 4 weeks in primary will impart some yeast character (ie "yeasty" flavors). Some people like that, and will purposefully leave their beer on the yeast cake for 4 weeks. I do not, and will never leave a beer in the fermenter for that long.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:29 AM   #3
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Your beer is also kinda "young", and needs to condition in the keg. Give it a little time.

Gary

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Old 11-21-2012, 01:44 AM   #4
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If that 8oz was the very first pull off of the keg, you got mostly yeast. I dump the first 12oz on every keg. When you rack to the keg then cool the beer, the yeast settles to the bottom. The dip tube is at the bottom of the keg. First pull of the handle gives you yeast.

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Old 11-21-2012, 01:47 AM   #5
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If that 8oz was the very first pull off of the keg, you got mostly yeast. I dump the first 12oz on every keg. When you rack to the keg then cool the beer, the yeast settles to the bottom. The dip tube is at the bottom of the keg. First pull of the handle gives you yeast.
+1 to this. Pull a few more pints from that keg, and see if the yeasty character is still there. I suspect it will diminish quite a bit after the first 2 or 3 pints are poured.
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:48 AM   #6
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I dump, I don't know, maybe 3 ounces, from the first half glass of beer. After that it's all clear beer. If you're having yeast in the first 12 ounces, there is an issue!

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Old 11-21-2012, 02:04 AM   #7
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I dump, I don't know, maybe 3 ounces, from the first half glass of beer. After that it's all clear beer. If you're having yeast in the first 12 ounces, there is an issue!
Didn't say I have yeast for the first 12. That's about what I pull off for the heck of it. I could have been more clear in my first post. Honestly, I've never actually really measured how much I pull off on the first draw. I fill up a plastic cup full, smell it and dump it. Then I grab a nice big glass and pour for real.lol
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Old 11-21-2012, 02:44 AM   #8
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Yes, that's reasonable.

But it's also reasonable to assume that leaving the beer on the yeast for 4 weeks in primary will impart some yeast character (ie "yeasty" flavors). Some people like that, and will purposefully leave their beer on the yeast cake for 4 weeks. I do not, and will never leave a beer in the fermenter for that long.
I'm just a little curious: there's lots of posts on the forum advocating leaving the beer in the primary for longer periods of time - even longer than a month - on the grounds that it lets the yeast clean up better and allows you not to use a secondary. But you seem to be arguing for a different approach. Are there pros and cons to either approach?

If I had had my druthers, I would have racked to a secondary after primary fermentation was over - and then let it condition for a few weeks before cold-crashing it and kegging it. But there was a lot of talk about leaving it in the primary and not doing a secondary - so I went with that instead.

It's just my first beer, and I'll be the first to admit being one of those guys trying to explain the elephant - but I'm curious about why you said "I do not, and will not leave a beer in the fermenter for that long."

Best,

Steve
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:24 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by lhommedieu View Post
I'm just a little curious: there's lots of posts on the forum advocating leaving the beer in the primary for longer periods of time - even longer than a month - on the grounds that it lets the yeast clean up better and allows you not to use a secondary. But you seem to be arguing for a different approach. Are there pros and cons to either approach?

If I had had my druthers, I would have racked to a secondary after primary fermentation was over - and then let it condition for a few weeks before cold-crashing it and kegging it. But there was a lot of talk about leaving it in the primary and not doing a secondary - so I went with that instead.

It's just my first beer, and I'll be the first to admit being one of those guys trying to explain the elephant - but I'm curious about why you said "I do not, and will not leave a beer in the fermenter for that long."

Best,

Steve
Well there are disadvantages to going to secondary. Besides the obvious cleaning, there's the risk of infection/oxidation, not to mention time and loss. For me, the biggest advantage to all grain brewing is batch size. Most extract kits yield 5 gallons period. For me, I brew a 6 gallon AG batch, leave 1/2 gallon behind and then end up with 5.5 gallons in the fermenter.

After fermentation, I rack off 5 gallons and use the rest for gravity readings and for taste testing (keg setup required). The beer is crystal clear, bottles nicely and unless I tell people, they swear it's commercial.

As an extract brewer, I can see your desire to move to secondary and IMO, seems justified for clarity. Just take extra precautions to ensure you end up with consistent, quality beer. Remember, oxygen is your enemy. Even if you don't keg, it would be worthwhile to buy a 5 pound CO2 tank to purge your secondary and bottles to ensure pristine results. Good luck!
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Old 11-21-2012, 10:55 AM   #10
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Yooper, you've stated before that you usually leave your brews in the primary for atleast 3 weeks and don't use a secondary to get clear beer an allow the yeast to clean up. A little confused now. So do you rack to secondary or bottle as soon as fermentation has ceased?

Btw, it might have been someone else who stated it, not necessarily you yooper. Not calling you out or anything!

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