Discarded live yeast

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brew starter

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Hi,

I was interested to know about the community's thoughts. I have recently made another batch of Hefeweissen (my favourite beer), but I am still finding that I am tweaking the processes every time I am making in order to make a better and better tasting beer. Here's the question...After about 2-3 weeks of fermentation, the beer is now rather clear and very little obvious fermentation is taking place. Most of the yeast and gunk have not settled to the bottom of the fermenter in what appears to be a half inch of white cake. In all cases I would very gently transfer this clear liquid to another vessel, add my glucose and then bottle it from there, leaving the yeast cake at the bottom. Here is the trouble I am having. I would like to think that not all the yeast at the bottom of the fermenter is dead. At least some percentage just dropped out due to insufficient sugars left and drop out of solution. Shouldn't I stir up some of this cake, then add the glucose and then bottle. Surely I would get a slightly higher alcohol% or better carbonization? Or possible better taste profile? If all the yeast is out of solution before bottling, how can I expect the final stage of carbonization to occur sufficiently?
 

RM-MN

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Three items:
1. Not all this white material is yeast, much of it is proteins (hot break, cold break).
2. Probably not much of the yeast is dead (probably very little of it).
3. Even with 9 weeks of my beer sitting in the fermenter there was plenty of yeast suspended to carbonate my beer. What you mostly will gain by stirring up the settled yeast is more trub in the bottles.

One thing you can do is to leave a little beer on top of the settled material when you transfer the beer to the bottling bucket. Then swirl the settled material up and pour it out into sanitized containers. Cover the containers (half pint glass jars work well) loosely so excess CO2 can escape and refrigerate them. Each will contain sufficient yeast for another batch of beer and can be stored for several weeks this way.
 

hotbeer

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Shouldn't I stir up some of this cake, then add the glucose and then bottle. Surely I would get a slightly higher alcohol% or better carbonization?
There is usually plenty of yeast left in the somewhat cleared up beer that you bottle to work on whatever you use for priming sugar when you bottle. You'll probably get a tad off the bottom sucked up when you rack your beer and that'll definitely be more than sufficient... AFAIK, IMO.

I don't think stirring up the bottom intentionally will add anything useful. A rare but to me more likely thing is that the ABV of the beer is already at the tolerance level for the yeast and perhaps to get a good carbonation you might need to add some yeast that are more alcohol tolerant at bottling time.

But I've not seen that particular concern addressed here by any recent posts.
 

mashpaddled

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Beer still houses yeast even when it looks clear. I've bottled beer more than a year old and still carbonated in the bottle. I usually add a little bottling yeast as a precaution on beers that old, but would not worry at all about a beer less than three months old.
 

Rish

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Echoing what's been said. I've bottled beer and cider that were in the fermenter much longer than 3 weeks which was perfectly clear and never had a carbonation issue. I think you'll be fine.
 
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