I think a couple of minutes where you whip up a nice froth is enough. You want cavitation so there is air getting down in the liquid.
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I've found that many more brewers have problems caused by a secondary than have received benefits from one. One of the most frequent problems I encounter from newer brewers is beer transferred too soon and left with off flavors that the yeast most probably would have removed. In addition, contamination induced during the transfer or slight souring caused by oxygen introduction that allows acetobacter metabolism seems to be another frequent problem that might have been avoided without a secondary.
Let me ask this (to anyone who may know, and maybe I should submit it to "Ask the Experts"): I have pitched two yeasts to start fermentation in a beer -- one very flocculent yeast (S-04) and one that attenuates well (US-05). Will this beer ferment to the extent of the US-05, and then clump up and flocculate as well as S-04? Seems to...but I just might be biased on that opinion.
Multistrain fermentations are not new, in fact they used to be the norm until yeast strains were isolated. But to what extent can we regress and use two or more strains to acheive particular results?
This might be a good time to mention that Chris White and Jamil Zainisheff are this month's guests in "Ask the Experts". You guys might want to try directing some of these questions to them for their take on it.
I don't believe there is a pronounced difference among the strains, especially if you don't exceed their alcohol tolerance.
English ale yeast will produce a higher AA in a tripel wort than trappist yeast will in a mild wort.
... Because of this it is not the types of sugars that yeast can ferment that makes a difference but the way yeast behaves in fermentation. In particular flocculation, alcohol tolerance and how well it can metabolize maltotriose.