Are you supposed to leave the yeast behind?

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So I'm on my fourth batch. I've always moved everything in my primary to my secondary, even the stuff on the bottom. Then when it was time to bottle I moved the beer to my bottling bucket and left all the stuff behind. Am I supposed to leave all the behind when I move to the secondary?
 

jflongo

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So I'm on my fourth batch. I've always moved everything in my primary to my secondary, even the stuff on the bottom. Then when it was time to bottle I moved the beer to my bottling bucket and left all the stuff behind. Am I supposed to leave all the behind when I move to the secondary?
If you are doing secondary, then yes you leave it behind, that will give you a clearer beer.

Also, many many many people now, don't even bother with secondary.
 
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I just use a secondary because I have one :) I also used Irish Moss for the first time with this brew. Thanks for the advice!
 

reverendj1

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Yeah, leaving it behind is the point of transferring to secondary. :) All you are doing is moving it from one vessel to another, increasing your risk of oxidation and infection and mixing up all that yeast and trub that has fallen out naturally into a nice compact cake.

I don't want to get in to the whole long primary vs. secondary debate (it's a preference thing and not necessary), but I don't secondary either. I'm pretty sure the number that do is dwindling.
 

krackin

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Seeing as you are transferring to a secondary you may want to clean up the primary yeast cake for the next batch.
 

BigFloyd

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I just use a secondary because I have one :) I also used Irish Moss for the first time with this brew. Thanks for the advice!
Irish moss is to help leave gunk behind in your kettle, not the fermenter.

Unless there's a specific special reason (like adding fruit), leave it in the primary until it hits a steady FG (confirmed by hydro readings) plus 3-4 days and then transfer to the bottling bucket. No secondary needed.
 

PRE66_6TART

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BigFloyd said:
Irish moss is to help leave gunk behind in your kettle, not the fermenter.
It works in the fermenter too, does it not? I mean you still use it in the boil obviously, but if you just dump the contents of your kettle into the fermenter?
 

BigFloyd

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It works in the fermenter too, does it not? I mean you still use it in the boil obviously, but if you just dump the contents of your kettle into the fermenter?
It helps bind the proteins together into bigger globs so that they settle out more. I guess that would happen in the bucket too.

I simply like the practice of consistently leaving as much unwanted gunk behind at each step of the process as is possible. In the end, it gives you some nice, clear beer.
 

BigRapidsBrewingCompany

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Definitely leave the crud in primary. If you move it to secondary with the beer, the yeast will start to auto-lyse (essentially explode their guts out) and give you off-flavors. Keep as much of it in primary as you can when moving it to another fermentor. Sometimes the active yeast floating in the beer after primary will start to ferment again in secondary, but it's safe because it's still alive. If you leave your beer in primary on top of yeast for more than 3 weeks, you risk producing off-flavors in the beer.

Cheers!
 

Paps

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auto-lyse (essentially explode their guts out) and give you off-flavors. If you leave your beer in primary on top of yeast for more than 3 weeks, you risk producing off-flavors in the beer.

Cheers!
Autolysis does not occur so quickly. It takes MONTHS for it to be a factor and i'm talking 5 plus of them. A month in primary is just fine & i personally let all my beers sit at least a month in primary.
 

DrWill

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BigRapidsBrewingCompany said:
Definitely leave the crud in primary. If you move it to secondary with the beer, the yeast will start to auto-lyse (essentially explode their guts out) and give you off-flavors. Keep as much of it in primary as you can when moving it to another fermentor. Sometimes the active yeast floating in the beer after primary will start to ferment again in secondary, but it's safe because it's still alive. If you leave your beer in primary on top of yeast for more than 3 weeks, you risk producing off-flavors in the beer.

Cheers!
Paps is absolutely right. Autolysis is not nearly the problem we thought when I started brewing. If you're getting off flavours after just a few weeks in primary, you might have a sanitation/wild yeast issue.

All that said, secondary will give you a cleaner beer in my experience, though I don't do it myself anymore. I leave it a few weeks in primary, rack to a keg, chill the bejeezus out of it, throw in some gelatine and I'm good to go.
 

PRE66_6TART

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BigRapidsBrewingCompany said:
Definitely leave the crud in primary. If you move it to secondary with the beer, the yeast will start to auto-lyse (essentially explode their guts out) and give you off-flavors. Keep as much of it in primary as you can when moving it to another fermentor. Sometimes the active yeast floating in the beer after primary will start to ferment again in secondary, but it's safe because it's still alive. If you leave your beer in primary on top of yeast for more than 3 weeks, you risk producing off-flavors in the beer.

Cheers!
Looks like this guy is a pro brewer. Autolysis is probably more of an issue on that scale.
 

Schol-R-LEA

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Looks like this guy is a pro brewer. Autolysis is probably more of an issue on that scale.
Yeast autolysis is a very serious problem on a pro scale, as the yeast cake is heavily compacted; the yeast at the bottom of the cake is literally squeezed to death by the weight of the yeast above it. OTOH, nearly all modern breweries use conical fermenters, which allow for easy extraction of the yeast and trub without disturbing the fermenting beer.

There are conicals for homebrewers, but they start at around US$180 for the plastic models by Spiedel or MiniBrew, and go up to $1200+ for the top-of-the-line Blichmann stainless steel models. Great if you have the money for it, but few do.
 

BigFloyd

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If you move it to secondary with the beer, the yeast will start to auto-lyse (essentially explode their guts out) and give you off-flavors.

If you leave your beer in primary on top of yeast for more than 3 weeks, you risk producing off-flavors in the beer.
Both of these statements are absolute nonsense in a home brewing context.
 

RM-MN

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Yeast autolysis is a very serious problem on a pro scale, as the yeast cake is heavily compacted; the yeast at the bottom of the cake is literally squeezed to death by the weight of the yeast above it. OTOH, nearly all modern breweries use conical fermenters, which allow for easy extraction of the yeast and trub without disturbing the fermenting beer.

There are conicals for homebrewers, but they start at around US$180 for the plastic models by Spiedel or MiniBrew, and go up to $1200+ for the top-of-the-line Blichmann stainless steel models. Great if you have the money for it, but few do.
Not really squeezed to death but by having such a mass of yeast compacted by the weight will still be giving off some heat and they cook themselves to death. As homebrewers, we can't get that big of a mass of yeast to cause them to get that warm.
 

Schol-R-LEA

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Not really squeezed to death but by having such a mass of yeast compacted by the weight will still be giving off some heat and they cook themselves to death. As homebrewers, we can't get that big of a mass of yeast to cause them to get that warm.
Ah, thanks for the correction.
 

unionrdr

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It's not so much the mass of yeast,but all that beer in those silo sized fermenters weighing down on them that creates the problem as I undwerstand it.
 

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