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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: awfenske on March 04, 2013, 07:35:37 PM

Title: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: awfenske on March 04, 2013, 07:35:37 PM
I have an Imperial Nut Brown in primary fermentation - today is the 11th day in the primary. After two weeks, assuming I have hit the appropriate FG, I'd like to rack it and add Biofine, then bottle it once the Biofine has done its work (maybe 24-36hrs, based on visual).

I used Biofine recently in a batch of mead I made, and it had an amazing effect even within the first few hours. Over a month after bottling there is almost zero visible sediment in the bottles. So I figured it would be great to use this stuff in beer, but I want to make sure it will not drop out all or too much of the yeast since I will be bottle conditioning.

Just to clarify (no pun intended!), I'm looking for opinions or experience on using Biofine after fermentation is complete, not to stir up (again, no pun intended) epic battles about how long to wait before racking to secondary or whether secondary fermentation is necessary or beneficial. I'm only planning on racking it in order to get the Biofine mixed in without kicking up the yeast cake, so if the consensus is that the Biofine will drop out too much yeast then I'll just bottle straight out of the primary after the two-week mark, again assuming the correct FG has been reached. I would love to be able to drink a home brew straight from the bottle rather than decanting and leaving that precious bit behind, but maybe I'm just crazy.
Title: Re: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: morticaixavier on March 04, 2013, 08:18:08 PM
I have an Imperial Nut Brown in primary fermentation - today is the 11th day in the primary. After two weeks, assuming I have hit the appropriate FG, I'd like to rack it and add Biofine, then bottle it once the Biofine has done its work (maybe 24-36hrs, based on visual).

I used Biofine recently in a batch of mead I made, and it had an amazing effect even within the first few hours. Over a month after bottling there is almost zero visible sediment in the bottles. So I figured it would be great to use this stuff in beer, but I want to make sure it will not drop out all or too much of the yeast since I will be bottle conditioning.

Just to clarify (no pun intended!), I'm looking for opinions or experience on using Biofine after fermentation is complete, not to stir up (again, no pun intended) epic battles about how long to wait before racking to secondary or whether secondary fermentation is necessary or beneficial. I'm only planning on racking it in order to get the Biofine mixed in without kicking up the yeast cake, so if the consensus is that the Biofine will drop out too much yeast then I'll just bottle straight out of the primary after the two-week mark, again assuming the correct FG has been reached. I would love to be able to drink a home brew straight from the bottle rather than decanting and leaving that precious bit behind, but maybe I'm just crazy.

There will be a little yeast left behind in the bottle. I don't see how you would avoid that AND bottle condition. The yeast that produce the co2 will drop out when the food supply is exhausted.

If you want perfectly clear beer that you can drink straight from the bottle (does it matter if it's perfectly clear at that point? can you see it?) try kegging and bottling from the keg.

I regularly see a little sediment in a bottle of Sierra Nevada because they are bottle conditioned.
Title: Re: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: awfenske on March 04, 2013, 08:48:51 PM
My primary concern is the batch in progress right now, so switching to kegging is not an option in the next 3 days. I am just looking for some info as to whether Biofine will drop out too much of the yeast thereby preventing regular carbonation in the bottle.
Title: Re: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: morticaixavier on March 04, 2013, 09:06:18 PM
My primary concern is the batch in progress right now, so switching to kegging is not an option in the next 3 days. I am just looking for some info as to whether Biofine will drop out too much of the yeast thereby preventing regular carbonation in the bottle.

I'm sorry  I really didn't mean to sound snarky. And I do not know the answer to your question but I would be hesitant to remove that much yeast and still attempt it. I would go ahead and add a little yeast at bottling time. maybe .5 packets of us-05 per 5 gallons.

I was simply saying that you WILL end up with sediment if you do this so the idea of drinking straight out of the bottle is out unless you want to drink some yeast which is not that big of a deal either.
Title: Re: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: a10t2 on March 04, 2013, 09:07:32 PM
The amount of yeast needed is so small that I would say you *could* leave enough in suspension to carbonate. I would instead do what Sierra Nevada does, substituting fining for filtration. Dose with the BioFine as usual, then rack the bright beer into the bottling bucket and add the bottling yeast (1 million/mL, which is 1 g rehydrated dry yeast for 5 gal) along with the priming sugar.
Title: Re: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: duboman on March 04, 2013, 10:21:41 PM
I see you are in IL, me as well! With the cold weather why don't you just cold crash it in the garage for a day or two. You will, IMO, achieve the same clarity you are looking for without adding something else to the beer.

As already mentioned, there will always be a small amount of sediment in bottle conditioned beer, no way around it!

In addition, if you are sure to keep the beer refrigerated after carbing  up but prior to drinking, for at least 1 week, the sediment will compact nicely and with a gentle pour it will not wind up in the glass.
Title: Re: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: Joe Sr. on March 05, 2013, 01:41:08 AM
I just cold crashed a Belgian blonde and have to say I'm very pleased with the clarity.

I was hoping to avoid using gelatin, as I want to reuse the yeast.

Dropping the beer to 50 did wonders.
Title: Re: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: awfenske on March 05, 2013, 04:55:03 AM
I like the idea of using Mother Nature's curse to help me with this. I'm concerned though, since my outdoor thermometer has been reading right around 32 degrees (currently 32.9) and I don't have a garage that would be a few degrees warmer than outside, just a carport. Maybe it'll warm up a little in a few days. If not, it sounds like pulling a Sierra Nevada will do the trick.
Title: Re: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: Joe Sr. on March 05, 2013, 02:53:51 PM
That might pose some problems, though I doubt it will freeze at 32.

You could put it inside a cardboard box.  Cardboard is a great insulator.  Over time, though, you'll drop to ambient temp.

I don't know how long you'll need.  I put my Belgian in the cold room on Saturday night.  It was looking very clear by Sunday night.

If you're snowed in for the next day or so, put it outside and check on it every 8 hours or so.
Title: Re: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: awfenske on March 05, 2013, 03:06:05 PM
If I cold crash it, do I still need to add more yeast at bottling time? I appreciate everyone's input and suggestions - thanks!
Title: Re: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: Joe Sr. on March 05, 2013, 03:17:24 PM
I don't bottle much these days, but when I did bottle everything I never once added additional yeast.

I think you should be fine, as cold crashing will not drop out all of the yeast.

If you're concerned, you should go ahead and add yeast.  There are a number of strains that people seem to prefer for bottling as they settle out and form a dense layer in the bottle that is not so easily disturbed.  One that springs to mind is T-58.  There is also a new strain specifically marketed as a bottling yeast.  CBC-1 or something like that.
Title: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: duboman on March 05, 2013, 03:55:54 PM
If I cold crash it, do I still need to add more yeast at bottling time? I appreciate everyone's input and suggestions - thanks!

I have found that 1-3 days of cold crash at 35-45F has worked really well and I have not had to ever add yeast.

I have found that carbonation and conditioning has taken 3-5 days longer as the beer needs to warm back up properly for the yeast to go about their business again
Title: Re: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: a10t2 on March 05, 2013, 04:23:07 PM
There's a world of difference between cold-crashing and BioFine. Cold will definitely help, but BioFine is something else. You have to see it to believe it.
Title: Re: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: Joe Sr. on March 05, 2013, 04:27:45 PM
How does it compare with gelatin?  That's what I typically use for fining.
Title: Re: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: a10t2 on March 05, 2013, 04:33:27 PM
I've never used gelatin, so I can't say. BioFine gives results roughly on par with coarse (7-10 micron) filtration, IME. Maybe even a little better with dusty strains.
Title: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: duboman on March 05, 2013, 08:20:15 PM
It's my understanding bio fine will drop all yeast so then would one need to add yeast to bottle condition? I only bottle so am curious for an alternative to cold crashing
Title: Re: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: a10t2 on March 05, 2013, 08:45:04 PM
It's my understanding bio fine will drop all yeast so then would one need to add yeast to bottle condition? I only bottle so am curious for an alternative to cold crashing

Not in my experience. I bottle a six-pack off of every batch out of the keg and they carb up within a couple days. On the other hand, pulling from the bottom of the keg means I'm getting the maximum amount of yeast in there. I just want to make sure the BioFine ends up in the bottles as well.
Title: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: duboman on March 05, 2013, 08:47:14 PM
It's my understanding bio fine will drop all yeast so then would one need to add yeast to bottle condition? I only bottle so am curious for an alternative to cold crashing

Not in my experience. I bottle a six-pack off of every batch out of the keg and they carb up within a couple days. On the other hand, pulling from the bottom of the keg means I'm getting the maximum amount of yeast in there. I just want to make sure the BioFine ends up in the bottles as well.

So if I grab a little yeast when I rack to bottle I should be fine?

If so, cool, might have to give it a try one day:)
Title: Re: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: Joe Sr. on March 05, 2013, 11:14:50 PM
It's my understanding bio fine will drop all yeast so then would one need to add yeast to bottle condition? I only bottle so am curious for an alternative to cold crashing

Not in my experience. I bottle a six-pack off of every batch out of the keg and they carb up within a couple days. On the other hand, pulling from the bottom of the keg means I'm getting the maximum amount of yeast in there. I just want to make sure the BioFine ends up in the bottles as well.

Are you priming the keg?  Or do you prime the bottles separately?
Title: Re: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: a10t2 on March 05, 2013, 11:27:12 PM
Are you priming the keg?  Or do you prime the bottles separately?

I prime the bottles individually with dry sugar. This is immediately after racking to the keg, before it starts to carbonate.
Title: Re: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: Joe Sr. on March 06, 2013, 02:51:16 PM
Are you priming the keg?  Or do you prime the bottles separately?

I prime the bottles individually with dry sugar. This is immediately after racking to the keg, before it starts to carbonate.

Perhaps a final question, since we're off topic...

Are you weighing out corn or table sugar?  Or do you use one of the various carb tabs?

If you weigh out sugar, how much per bottle?

I'm not a big fan of the carb tabs, other than they're super convenient.
Title: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: duboman on March 06, 2013, 02:59:07 PM
Are you priming the keg?  Or do you prime the bottles separately?

I prime the bottles individually with dry sugar. This is immediately after racking to the keg, before it starts to carbonate.

Perhaps a final question, since we're off topic...

Are you weighing out corn or table sugar?  Or do you use one of the various carb tabs?

If you weigh out sugar, how much per bottle?

I'm not a big fan of the carb tabs, other than they're super convenient.

In reality you are much better off bulk priming at a rate of .75-1oz per finished gallon of beer.

Add priming sugar to 1 cup boiling water to dissolve, add syrup to bottling bucket and rack beer onto it. The swirl will mix the syrup in and then bottle.

This method will give you the most consistent carbonation throughout the batch.

Priming by individual bottle can cause mixed results of over/under carbonation. The weight I provided will get about 2.3-2.5 vols of CO2
Title: Re: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: Joe Sr. on March 06, 2013, 03:06:17 PM
Right, but I'm kegging and typically only bottle a six pack or so.  So convenience is important, or I'll just skip bottling.  Or force carb and bottle from the keg, which can also be a PITA.
Title: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: duboman on March 06, 2013, 03:24:31 PM
Right, but I'm kegging and typically only bottle a six pack or so.  So convenience is important, or I'll just skip bottling.  Or force carb and bottle from the keg, which can also be a PITA.

Ah, got it!
Then I would shoot for approx 2 grams per bottle.

This is based on assumptions of .75oz per gallon and 50 bottles for a 5 gallon batch divided out per bottle.

Honestly it may take a little trial and error
Title: Re: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: a10t2 on March 06, 2013, 03:48:19 PM
Are you weighing out corn or table sugar?  Or do you use one of the various carb tabs?

Table sugar, 2.5 g/bottle for ~2.4 vol CO2. If they're intended for competition or tasting (multiple small glasses), I'll use 3.0 g/bottle for ~2.7 vol.
Title: Re: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: morticaixavier on March 06, 2013, 03:51:10 PM
Are you weighing out corn or table sugar?  Or do you use one of the various carb tabs?

Table sugar, 2.5 g/bottle for ~2.4 vol CO2. If they're intended for competition or tasting (multiple small glasses), I'll use 3.0 g/bottle for ~2.7 vol.

This is interesting. I have had consistant issues getting the right carbonation on the 6er or two I bottle for comps etc. I will try this next time.
Title: Re: Using clarifier at the end of fermentation
Post by: awfenske on March 29, 2013, 02:20:46 AM
I ended up dosing with BioFine when I racked it, then on bottling day added 1g of rehydrated yeast to the bottling bucket with the priming sugar. Adding yeast with the priming sugar made for a bit of a bubbly bottling session and I had to go back and top off some of the bottles that foamed up during filling, but overall not a big deal. The good news is the beer tastes great, is carbonated perfectly, nice and clear, and has a thin and fairly solid yeast cake at the bottom of each bottle that does not disturb when I pour. By far my best results yet. Thanks to all for your input.