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Old 02-11-2013, 04:25 PM   #11
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Top cropping is used to harvest the yeast for subsequent batches of beer. If you want to harvest some highly viable and strongly adhesive yeast for your next batch of beer then go for it. But top cropping isn't going to benefit the beer that is fermenting. It will hinder it (as others have pointed out) if there is any impact at all.

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Old 02-16-2013, 06:03 AM   #12
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Well I just took my second gravity reading (readings are a week apart) and it seems that my brew has stopped fermenting, but the krausen has not fallen to the bottom. Is there an issue with this? Should I wait for it to fall? I attached s picture mainly because u think it looks cool. I sampled the beer after the reading its smooth at first with a strong bitter after taste. I'm brewing an imperial IPA.

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Old 02-18-2013, 01:36 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by jt43 View Post
Is there any reason to remove the krausen before it falls back into the beer?
I've seen it done for yeast starters....... and the beer was fermented in a semi/open container. I have not seen the need to mess with it myself. There was a episode of Brew TV dedicated to this subject (open fermentation that is). That is the only instance I have seen the krausen removed. But a day later there was a 2nd krausen formed. I found it rather interesting.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:18 PM   #14
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I've got a Coopers fermenting bucket and it has a krausen collar that you can easily remove the krausen. Seems to work ok
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:32 PM   #15
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I havnt had a krausen completely drop even after fermentation is done. From the pics it looks like yours has dropped down quite a bit and itll probably drop a bit more if you let it be for a bit longer. Theres really not a reason to rush it imo.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:34 PM   #16
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Skimming is one of those oldschool ideas that came from a time when brewers were scared of their yeast. They believed that prolonged yeast contact was a bad thing- it contributed to things like the big homebrew Bogeyman, autolysis.

Those ideas are 40 years out of date. Just like Papa Charlie's book......So many views have changed.

There's been a big shift in brewing consciousness in the last few years where many of us believe that yeast is a good thing, and besides just fermenting the beer, that they are fastidious creatures who go back and clean up any by products created by themselves during fermentation, which may lead to off flavors.

Rather than the yeast being the cause of off flavors, it is now looked at by many of us, that they will if left alone actually remove those off flavors, and make for clearer and cleaner tasting beers.

Leaving the yeast alone, and letting the krausen fall through will act like a filter as it sinks, pulling down any proteins and other off flavor causes.

That's why also many of us leave out beers on the yeast cake for 3-4 weeks, and skip secondaries. To let the yeast do their thing.

Like so much of brewing you will find people believing and practicing things they read in books, while others are brewing based on information that is more current. This is an ever evolving hobby, and information and ideas change. And now with places like this with a huuge amount of dedicated and serious brewers, as well as all the podcasts online, you will find the most state of the art brewing info.

Things have changed, we're not so afraid of so called "off flavors" by things that are part of the natural process of the beer production, touching the beer-yeast, trub, spent hops, break matter. Yeast are fastidious creatures, if left to their own devices they will go back and clean up any byproducts that cause off flavors. In fact you find a lot of things that used to freak people out just have proven to be less true. And some processes that were de-riguer back in the day, such as skimming off krausen aren't all that common any more.

It's not like the 60's and 70's (when most of those opinions espoused about autolysis originated from) when our hobby was still illegal, and there wasn't a lot of FRESH yeast available to us. The yeast used in hobby brewing was usually in cake form, which came from Germany and England in hot cargo ships and may have sat on a store shelf for a long time....or the brewer just used bread yeast.

From John Palmer, author of How to brew, on why he changed his opinion about autolysis...

So the whole health and vitality of yeast was different back then compared to now. Back then it made sense. You had weaker yeast that had finished fermentation that were more susceptible to autolysis and breaking down. Now that is not the case. The bar of homebrewing has risen to where we are able to make beer that has the same robustness as professional beer. We've gotten our techniques and understanding of what makes a good fermentation up to that level, so you don't need to transfer the beer off the yeast to avoid autolysis like we used to recommend.
Yeast in the 21st century is much healthier to begin with, and is less prone to have issues like their cells autolysing....just like our own health tends to be better these days.

Now the only ones who really do it are cropping the yeast for harvesting.

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