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Is the trub important for off flavors

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petemoss

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So, normally primary fermentation finishes pretty quickly. Then I will usually leave the beer in the primary for a total of about two weeks to clean up off flavors and all that jazz. I was wondering if once primary fermentation is complete, could you keg it at room temp with CO2 purge and still have the yeast in suspension clean things up. Or is it important for it to sit on the yeast cake? I guess it is kind of like using a secondary fermentation vessel, except it is a keg.

I am mainly trying to free up my fermenters for subsequent brews while not harming anything in the process. On the other hand, maybe I should just buy some more fermenters.

Thanks everyone.
 

Electrake

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Hey Petemoss!

To answer this complicated question, in a non complicated way, no the trub and yeast cake is not important to the further development of the beer beyond primary fermentation.

That being said, yes yeast will always be in suspension unless you were to filter. Like you speculated, the keg will act as a secondary vessel. What kind of beer is this? It is more likely than not reasonable for you to carbonate and enjoy the beer if it is beyond primary fermentation! Only reasons I can think of off hand to let it sit longer were for letting a big beer mellow out, or a diacetyl rest which should have occurred already if it were a lager.
 

SoCal-Doug

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It depends on the recipe/style. Diacetyl and most esters are generated early in the fermentation (first few days for ale's, first week or so for lagers). If you raise the temp above 64F for a day or three after fermentation is [mostly] complete, the yeast will clean up the diacetyl. Going beyond that, there isn't much else that sitting there will do. Higher fermentation temps generally create more esters while lower temps give a cleaner fermentation. When it comes to lagers, the biggest issue is sulfur. Sulfur is very volatile and exits mostly by surface contact. A little swish here and there during a diacetyl rest or while cold crashing can assist in sulfur removal.

So in short... for a typical ale, after a couple weeks in the fermenter, yes, you can go ahead and rack it off the cake into the keg, and clear and/or carb it. If you want to clear it faster... after it chills overnight and any chill haze forms, hit it with gelatin and a good stir, and give it 3 or 4 more days to settle out while its carbonating. Your first couple pours might look like beige vomit, but it will be all done and good after that.

The latest trends are revealing that doing a secondary fermentation is a waste of time and brewer's calories, and that it creates more risks than rewards, except for a few specific styles of beer.
 
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petemoss

petemoss

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Awesome responses guys. Thanks a lot.

Historically, I have not taken any gravity readings during fermentation. I would basically let my ales go two weeks, rack it and hope for the best. This was largely due to me not wanting to open my plastic bucket fermenters. I'm using a SSBrewTech Brew Bucket now and it makes taking samples so much easier with less fear of contamination. So, I am now taking the samples and seeing how the fermentation finishes out. I think the info that y'all provided will let me start getting brew into the kegs a little earlier...or at least at the right time.

Thanks.
 

Electrake

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Awesome responses guys. Thanks a lot.

Historically, I have not taken any gravity readings during fermentation. I would basically let my ales go two weeks, rack it and hope for the best. This was largely due to me not wanting to open my plastic bucket fermenters. I'm using a SSBrewTech Brew Bucket now and it makes taking samples so much easier with less fear of contamination. So, I am now taking the samples and seeing how the fermentation finishes out. I think the info that y'all provided will let me start getting brew into the kegs a little earlier...or at least at the right time.

Thanks.
Glad to help! honestly I have MOST of my homebrews in the keg in a week or less, style, recipe, and gravity dependent of course although i basically only check gravity before pitching yeast, and when i suspect fermentation is complete. However at the brewery, the big batches dont see cans or kegs for 10 days at the VERY least XD gravity dependent of course
 

cactusgarrett

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I know it's not an apples-to-apples comparison (since it's more about volume and not specifically time), but check out a few of the trub experiments the Brulosophy guys have done. The volume one comes to mind, specifically.
 
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