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Old 08-19-2012, 12:07 AM   #1
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Default Rousing up sleepy yeast with a Portable Co2 Charger

I was looking for a way to rouse up my yeast in a conical fermenter. I thought of hooking up my C02 system, but I didn't want to unhook it from my system and thought it might be possible that wort might fall back into the line.

The solution for me was a Cornelius Keg Portable CO2 Charger. I had to find a 1/2" to 1/8", which wasn't easy. I hooked it all up and shazzam, it worked!

If you like the idea, but don't have a conical fermenter, I would suggest using a tube and create a connector to the Portable CO2 Charger. I haven't done this part, but if you have an idea, let's hear it.

A pic of my yeast rouser:


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Old 08-19-2012, 01:06 PM   #2
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Why CO2 and not air? When I have a lagged fermentation I just pump some air into my blow off assembly - venting the excess off.

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Old 08-19-2012, 07:36 PM   #3
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Would alcohol or co2 restrict the yeast? The window for oxygenation would be just the start of fermentation?

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Old 08-19-2012, 07:38 PM   #4
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CO2 could potentially suffocate the yeast. Not sure why you'd add alcohol?

I'm assuming this is early on in the fermentation.

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Old 08-19-2012, 08:35 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jcaudill
Why CO2 and not air? When I have a lagged fermentation I just pump some air into my blow off assembly - venting the excess off.
O2 will oxygenate the beer, that will ruin it and make it taste like cardboard and make it dull. C02 will push the yeast back up the beer and wake it up.
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:37 PM   #6
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Uhm - at what part of the process are we talking about here?

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Old 08-19-2012, 08:44 PM   #7
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CO2 could potentially suffocate the yeast. Not sure why you'd add alcohol?

I'm assuming this is early on in the fermentation.
The yeast creates alcohol and CO2, which slows process. Aeration of yeast/wort would be first part of fermentation. I'm wondering what kind of timing window there is before cardboard effect.
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:48 PM   #8
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Yes, but yeast crap CO2 not absorb it. That is why we have blow-off's. If it's early fermentation filtered air would be better as yeast will feed on the O2. If it's later in the process I'm not sure why you'd want to rouse anything.

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Old 08-20-2012, 10:30 AM   #9
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Would alcohol or co2 restrict the yeast? The window for oxygenation would be just the start of fermentation?
C02 is a by-product of alcohol production. It isn't going to suffocate the yeast, and it isn't going to restrict the yeast's job at converting sugars to alcohol either.
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Old 08-20-2012, 11:02 AM   #10
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Uhm - at what part of the process are we talking about here?
Good question; moving the yeast around is not part of the regular process. But it is handy to know about in certain situations.

Lager yeast is a bottom feeder and will drop out of the beer when it is cold, getting lazy or dying from a high alcohol environment. Yeast will work in solution and from the bottom, but as more layers are added, the bottom yeast no longer have contact with the beer and stop working. Thus, rousting up the beer brings the lower layers back into contact with the beer. The exception would be the yeast that are dead, rousting them wouldn't help.

When fermenting lagers or Boch type beers, which is also a lager, your temperature will often be around 50F. The yeast can handle this type of temperature, but require a larger amount of yeast to accommodate those yeast that slow down and sometimes drop out of solution.

Your most ideal situation is to have a large enough yeast slurry that is healthy enough to handle cold and higher alcohol environments. There are yeast calculators on the web that will help you determine the most beneficial amount of yeast to use. In addition, a good amount of oxygen at the beginning of the fermentation process will strengthen the yeasts outer layer making the yeast less permeable to alcohol and therefore lasting much longer in a high alcohol environment.

In conclusion, rousting the yeast is a good way to move yeast at the bottom back up into the beer solution to hopefully get it back in production.
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