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Old 04-24-2010, 07:15 PM   #1
bootney
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Default Racked Yeast into Secondary

Greetings,

For the first time I transferred a IIPA to a secondary for clearing, aging, and dry hopping. Well during the process of trying to get as much beer out of the primary as possible I managed to pick up some of the yeast and it's now in the secondary. I was planning on letting this clear until late June.

My question is this: Will it be alright with with yeast at the base until June, and is the yeast at the bottom of secondary to be expected? I realize some may drop out of suspension but what was visible at the base was from what I accidentally racked.

Thanks
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:17 PM   #2
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you should be fine whatever you accidently racked into secondary will settle out immediatly and will be come part of your yeast cake RDWHAHB
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:35 PM   #3
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agreed. You'll be fine. There most likely was a little bit of yeast in the beer you racked before you picked up some of the yeast cake anyway.
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Old 04-24-2010, 09:49 PM   #4
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So here's a follow up. I've seen much debate over whether to secondary or not. Some say you can leave it in the primary for 3 weeks, and then some say up to 6 weeks. So now I am in the secondary with a decent amount, not significant, but decent amount of yeast at the bottom and plan to have it in there for 2 months.

What is it about the primary yeast cake that has people concerned? Is it the amount of yeast there that causes concern? Granted I've reduced the amount of yeast in the secondary but it's still at the base as well as suspended. I'm relaxed and have no worries, just would like to discuss
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Old 04-25-2010, 01:48 AM   #5
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I believe and someone can correct me if I am wrong but the worry of having your beer sit on a yeast cake for an extended amount of time is eventully the yeast will begin to break down which could effect flavor. If you are going to bottle after only 3 or so weeks this is not a huge concern. Im not sure if two months is enough for this to happen but you will always have yeast in solution that will fall out through out the process so my guess that it should be fine.
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Old 04-25-2010, 02:11 AM   #6
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Letís look at this issue with some logic and put it to rest.

When we bottle our brews to let them carb and condition, they contain yeast.
This yeast is NEVER removed.
I have NEVER heard anyone report that even after a year or more that their brews began to taste bad. In fact, the opposite has happened.

Before I get a lot of negative feed back; I understand that the amount of yeast in the bottom of a bottle is small, but not so small that it would not be an issue if it went bad. The off taste might be very slight, but it would be there. Especially in some of the milder pale ales left to condition for long periods.

The only time I rack to secondary is when there is a lot of non-yeast trub. I do this so the yeast have less cleanup to do. It speeds things up.
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Old 04-25-2010, 11:06 AM   #7
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Beer Guy,

This was the first time I transferred to secondary and the main reason for it was because there was a great deal of trub in the primary and I wanted to end up with a clearer batch. I also did it for dry hopping and aging.

I believe your point is spot on. I guess I'm failing to see the relevance of
what appears the be the main issue of extended primary because it would be on the initial yeast cake(setting aside other reasons to transfer such as clearing, aging, and dry hopping). Because in the secondary more yeast falls out of suspension and settles at the bottom mimicking a smaller version of the primary yeast cake.

I wonder if it's the greater amount of yeast cake in the primary that has individuals worried?
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Old 04-25-2010, 01:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
When we bottle our brews to let them carb and condition, they contain yeast.
This yeast is NEVER removed.
You wouldn't want to get rid of of all the LIVE yeast; or your bottles would not carbonate.

If there is a single yeast cell in suspension, the priming sugar would make that cell multiply until there was enough yeast to ferment out the sugar, they would then settle to the bottom of the bottle. So, just because yeast is evident in the bottle does not mean large amounts of yeast weren't left in the primary and secondary.

There is more than live and dead yeast in the bottom of a primary and secondary.

While people report long primary times with no flavor problems, these are not double blind studies. These people did not split batches and secondary one (or bottle sooner) and leave one on trub. We can't know if it would have tasted better or not.

Most award winning brews are secondaried. However, some are not. Many people who proudly proclaim their lack of secondary are kegging. Racking from a primary to a keg, is secondary bulk conditioning.
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Old 04-25-2010, 02:10 PM   #9
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OP - you're fine I use a primary only for 3-6 weeks all the time. Yeast are good to clean up the brew. The style IIPA or any IPA for that matter is very good fresh and needs less conditioning then many others.

Just so that you know it will loose its bitterness/freshness over time and you may want to bottle it sooner then late june. I recommend 3 weeks in primary then dry-hop 10-14 days then bottle condition 3 weeks. just my .02

unlike wine, leaving beer on sediment should not effect flavor (actually i feel it is good for it - clean up) as long as your air-locks are good. If you are aging over 6 weeks I would rack just because...

cheers
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