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Old 01-18-2012, 01:33 AM   #1
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Default 2 questions on Yeast Cakes and Secondaries

1. Is it unusual to have yeast cake in your secondary?

I'm pretty careful to make sure that the yeast cake remains in the primary. However, I've had some yeast cake develop in the secondary. Is this odd?

2. Is it ok to harvest that yeast cake in the secondary?

I decided, what the hell, might as well wash that bad boy and harvest it. Any thoughts on this?


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Old 01-18-2012, 01:56 AM   #2
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Unless you filter or centrifuge your beer, there will be yeast suspended in it - this is why bottle conditioning works.

When you have 5+ gallons of it a large container, a yeast cake will occur. This perfectly normal.

As to harvesting it, I've read differing opinions - some say it's fine, some say it should be avoided. I would say it depends on how long you plan on using the yeast - the normal guidance is no more than 7ish generations, so the secondary is adding one to that number. In some cases, such as if you have a ton of trub, it may be good to harvest from the secondary.
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Old 01-18-2012, 02:23 AM   #3
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Just be aware that if you harvest from the secondary, you'll be selecting the least flocculant individuals in your yeast population. Doing it once shouldn't cause any huge problem, but if you do it repeatedly you might notice a change in flocculation and/or attenuation.
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