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Old 04-30-2009, 04:36 AM   #1
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Default Leaving beer behind with your yeast?

Here's why you should primary longer than your kit's directions or the guy at the LHBS say.
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This was what was left behind when I racked off my double chocolate oatmeal stout. Even with 9oz of cocoa powder, that's about a half inch at the bottom. I was able to get almost every little bit of beer off the top of it, leaving maybe 2 ounces behind.

How?
Almost a month in primary and using a flocculent yeast; in this case S-04.

Airlock stop bubbling already? Leave it alone!

Hydrometer says you're at your FG? Leave it alone!

Just leave it alone!

Not only will the yeast clean up after themselves and get rid of some of the possible off flavors, but you get a nice, compact yeast cake that you can suck the beer right off of. Don't waste a 6-pack in the primary because it's sitting with a cloud of yeast at the bottom!

This public service announcement was brought to you by a grant from The Leave It Alone Foundation and this station.


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Old 04-30-2009, 05:32 AM   #2
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Very nice. I love a nice tight yeast cake. Thanks for posting -- I was just thinking this same thing a few days ago when I racked (after 3-4 weeks on the primary).


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Old 04-30-2009, 09:24 AM   #3
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Hotbreak hotel...LOL...What a great name.
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Old 04-30-2009, 10:50 AM   #4
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Yup S-04 always looks that way to me. Great yeast, won't even get disturbed much when racking. Sometimes it turns into this jelly like cake.
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Old 04-30-2009, 11:45 AM   #5
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I just racked an Oatmeal Stout off of it's S-04 yeast cake not 10-minutes ago...mine sat for 3.5 weeks at 59 degrees......I could have taken an identical picture.

Man, S-04 makes a large cake though......even though I had close to 5.5 gallons in the fermentor, I got only 4.5 or so into the secondary......kind of bummed me out to see that, but oh well......
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:29 PM   #6
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S-05 gave me the same thing too. Always makes me sad when I hear about people leaving a gallon or more behind.

I also still secondary, even though I'll primary for a month. That way, even if I suck up a little bit off the bottom, I'll give it a week or two in secondary for that bit to settle back out.
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:39 PM   #7
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I had a very similar cake on my California Common (I used Saflager yeast). It was a kit with instructions to bottle it after 2 weeks I think. It had finished fermenting at day 7, but I let it sit in the primary for four weeks total before bottling it. Another 3 weeks in the bottles to carb and condition, at a minimum. At the end, it's probably going to be an 8 week old beer, minimum, before I have my first sip.
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:41 PM   #8
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Entirely correct. Most ferments, the cake compacts to 1/3 the volume if you wait an extra two weeks. That's 4-5 pints in my book.
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:46 PM   #9
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Great job 'cat.

That's something I tell those new brewers who complain about sediment/yest in their bottles...I get very little yeast sediment in my bottles, and they cab perfectly fine. My beer is very very clear.
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Old 04-30-2009, 02:58 PM   #10
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I use a 10 gallon primary with just a lid, no airlock...how long is it safe to leave my beer in there for? My first couple of batches I have racked to the primary at five days or so. Also, will leaving my beer in the primary longer have any effect on my plans to re-pitch (Wyeast 1084)?


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