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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. Never could get the same as the first batch I ever made but I am still trying.

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 as best I can. 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?
 

micraftbeer

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It's unlikely (I'd say impossible but I have no data to refer to) that 100% of your yeast is dropped out and sitting in that cake at the bottom. So you'll still have sufficient yeast to convert the bottling sugar you mix in without stirring up the cake.

If you do stir it up, you'll have more "stuff" (live yeast, dead yeast, break material from kettle) floating in each of your bottles that will settle out in your bottles after priming sugar has been converted. I'd be concerned about undesired flavors coming from that.

Then again, it's a hefe, which is full of flavors. You could always try it as an experiment and see what you think of the results. Just be prepared that it might not turn out to your liking. Some brewing practices (like racking off the yeast cake) are an evolution of learnings on what makes a beer better, some are outdated practices based on ingredient or equipment limitations that no longer exist. It'll be one or the other...
 

z-bob

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Even if all the yeast is dropped out of suspension (unlikely) you are going to accidentally stir it up a little when you carry the fermenter upstairs and put it on the kitchen counter for bottling, and your racking cane is going to suck up a little of the yeast whether you want it to or not if you are drawing from the bottom.
 

VikeMan

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Never could get the same as the first batch I ever made but I am still trying.

It's likely you are chasing that first feeling of "Wow, I made beer!" rather than an objectively "awesome" first batch.

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?

Most of the yeast at the bottom of your fermenter are not dead. But there's almost never a need to get them back into suspension before bottling. Unless you filter the beer, there are plenty of yeast already (still) in suspension to carbonate. Getting more yeast into suspension wouldn't result in higher ABV. That's a function of the amount of priming sugar, not the yeast count. It would, however, result in more sludge at the bottom of your bottles, which is not usually desirable.
 

micraftbeer

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It's likely you are chasing that first feeling of "Wow, I made beer!" rather than an objectively "awesome" first batch.

Too true. I've had things that I've modified in my brew process over time that were legit "improvements", but I struggled to recreate an Alt that I had great success with, despite following same recipe.

I then found when I went back to no yeast starter, recreated the exact brewing salt additions (even though they didn't meet the desired target profile), and skipped the acid adjustments for pH-. Bam. Original great taste was recreated.

So look to see if any process improvements you've made could be changing things, even if they are "bad practice".
 

SFC Rudy

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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. Never could get the same as the first batch I ever made but I am still trying.

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 as best I can. 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?
What yeast are you using?
 
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