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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: Joe_Beer on October 11, 2020, 11:33:07 AM

Title: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: Joe_Beer on October 11, 2020, 11:33:07 AM
I recently brewed a batch using Omega Lutra (kveik) and have been thinking about harvesting the yeast to save for future brews. I've been watching a handful of videos on it (seems to be a few different ways to do it). I have a lot of questions and wondering if anyone can answer. I know this is a lot for one post. The search software here gives results which are kind of all over the place so thanks in advance.

1) why boil the storage jars in water instead of just rinsing in Starsan?
2) after the slurry is poured into a jar from the fermenter, and left to separate, which portion do you want to reclaim? The slurry on top of the trub, or the trub on the bottom of the jar?
3) how many times should the #2 separation step be done?
4) I read something the other day that dry yeast (Safale, etc) can't be harvested effectively. Can someone explain why this is?
5) when brewing another batch using harvested yeast, do you re-harvest the stuff you've re-used ?
6) anyone ever dry their harvested yeast? Seems like a handy way to store it. There's a nice podcast on this site about doing it just wondering what some pitfalls are with it besides tying up the oven for 2 days.
7) can harvested yeast be stored in the freezer (slurry or dried) or will this mess it up?
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: 4swan on October 11, 2020, 12:20:43 PM
Just a quick response.  I'm sure some others can be more in depth.
1.) boiling with kill a wider range of microorganisms, so it will probably be more sanitary for long term storage.
2.) generally people say the middle of the trub.
4.) Dry yeast is not 100% pure. I don't remember, but over 99%.  So there is a slight chance of unwanted organisms multiply in each batch.
5.) You can, if you maintain sanitation.
6.) I have dried kveik. Pitfalls: not drying it enough, overheating it, contamination.
7.) freezing liquid yeast can rupture many of the cells.
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: HopDen on October 11, 2020, 12:31:02 PM
This is how I proceed. I'm not saying it is right but it has proven to work for me> I have been collecting yeast for a couple of years.

Clean and sanitize a quart mason jar. I use one step and idophor respectively. I can't emphasize enough sanitizing everything including your hands.

Collect your slurry, wipe rim of jar if needed with iodophor. Apply lid loosely and place in your refrigerator. After a couple of days I will tighten lid a bit more. I have read that if you let jar build with pressure it is detrimental to the health of the yeast so you can release any pressure if needed.

On brew day, I will pour off most of the top layer of beer, swirl to mix then pitch cold.

I also will repitch yeast from one fermentor to another when possible.

Good luck!!
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: majorvices on October 11, 2020, 12:34:52 PM
Quote
1) why boil the storage jars in water instead of just rinsing in Starsan?
2) after the slurry is poured into a jar from the fermenter, and left to separate, which portion do you want to reclaim? The slurry on top of the trub, or the trub on the bottom of the jar?
3) how many times should the #2 separation step be done?
4) I read something the other day that dry yeast (Safale, etc) can't be harvested effectively. Can someone explain why this is?
5) when brewing another batch using harvested yeast, do you re-harvest the stuff you've re-used ?
6) anyone ever dry their harvested yeast? Seems like a handy way to store it. There's a nice podcast on this site about doing it just wondering what some pitfalls are with it besides tying up the oven for 2 days.
7) can harvested yeast be stored in the freezer (slurry or dried) or will this mess it up?

1) If they are clean the star san is fine. You won't lose a pitch of yeast to a clean star san soaked jar.
2) You can tell the healtiest part of the yeast -i it will look "creamy" and is generally in the middle. The brown stuff on the bottom is dead-ish and the stuff of the top is usually trub.
3) Not sure what you mean unless you are "rinsing" the yeast which I recommend avoiding. Just collect your slurry in jars.
4) You can harvest dry yeast no problem. Sure, it's not 100% sterile but neither is the harvest you just selected let alone the 7th generation of a harvest that works just fine. The key is having a healthy pitch that outcompetes all other organisms and doesn't give them a chance to take hold. Fermented beer is a relatively stable product due to it's low pH, alcohol and lack of oxygen.
5) You can re-harvest yeast into infinity from subsequent generations. Just be aware that yeast is at it's healthiest when harvested from a lower gravity beer  anything under 1.065 should be fine. I don't often harvest yeast from batches much higher than this unless necessary. Also, yeast tend to mutate a little each generation so you might start noticing that the beer yeast doesn't flocculate as well or starts to pick up wild yeast flavors. Generally speaking 7-10 gens but I rarely go over 4 or 5.
6) I have not dried my own yeast but have wanted to do that with Kviek yeast. You should try it if it interests you.
7) Freezing yeast is possible but you need to use glycerine so that the cells don't rupture. I have never tried this. You can also freeze samples in slants but it's best to use a lab freezer that doesn't cycle a defrost mode and gets colder than a standard freezer. I haven't tried this either. I have toyed around with plates in a dedicated fridge but it's so much easier just to buy yeast than to maintain a library.
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: Saccharomyces on October 11, 2020, 01:07:42 PM
1) why boil the storage jars in water instead of just rinsing in Starsan?

Either sanitation method will work, but I prefer Iodophor to Starsan.  Contrary to what a lot of amateur brewers believe, boiling does not render anything sterile.  Water make the phase change from liquid to gas (boils) at 212F at seal level.  That is not hot enough to kill spores.  Spores are not killed until a temperature of 121C/250F is reached. Suppressing the phase change from liquid to gas until a temperature of 250F has been reached requires boiling at 15psi above normal atmospheric pressure.  The process is known as autoclaving and it can be accomplished with any pressure cooker that is capable of boiling under 15psi above normal atmospheric pressure (most modern European and many modern American pressure cookers can only reach 13psi or less).

Quote
2) after the slurry is poured into a jar from the fermenter, and left to separate, which portion do you want to reclaim? The slurry on top of the trub, or the trub on the bottom of the jar?

If you leave at least a pint of beer behind, you can swirl the contents of the fermenter back into suspension, wait a few minutes for the break, dead cells, and any hop material that made its way into your fermenter to settle before decanting only the liquid fraction, which will be mostly clean yeast.

Quote
3) how many times should the #2 separation step be done?

Never, and I do mean never wash yeast with boiled water.  It is a bad practice that is not based on science.  Always, and I do mean always store a yeast crop under the beer from which it was harvested.  Why? Because a yeast culture shuts down competitors by first consuming all of the oxygen in batch of wort, shutting down aerobic competitors.  It then lowers the pH to around 4, shutting down pH sensitive competitors like the pathogen Clostridium botulinum, which stops replicating below pH 4.6.  Finally, it produces ethanol, which is toxic to all living creatures at different levels, even human beings.  Replacing green beer with water results in a rise in pH and the removal of ethanol, both which protect the culture in storage. Washing yeast is one of the worse practices in amateur brewing.  I can assure you that professional brewers do not wash yeast crops. Small to medium-size craft breweries usually just pump cropped yeast from fermentation vessels into sanitized soda kegs for storage.

Quote
4) I read something the other day that dry yeast (Safale, etc) can't be harvested effectively. Can someone explain why this is?

That is brewing dogma from the days when dry brewers yeast was a hit or miss affair with respect to viability and contamination.  I started to brew in early 1993.  Modern brewers have no idea as to how bad dry yeast was at that point in time.

Quote
5) when brewing another batch using harvested yeast, do you re-harvest the stuff you've re-used ?

It is known as serial repitching and it is how we obtained the cultures used in brewing today.  Back when most brewing cultures were not single strain, brewers used to crop and repitch yeast from good batches while discarding yeast from bad batches.  This practice is known as placing selective pressure on a culture.  Over a period of hundreds of years, these mixed cultures became domesticated and somewhat stable.  Brewers used to mostly top-crop yeast. The reason being is that wild yeast and bacteria generally do not rise to the top and form a skin after flocculation is no longer inhibited by mannose, glucose, sucrose, maltose, and the sugars that a yeast culture can reduce to one of these sugars.

Quote
6) anyone ever dry their harvested yeast? Seems like a handy way to store it. There's a nice podcast on this site about doing it just wondering what some pitfalls are with it besides tying up the oven for 2 days.

It is a practice that I would not recommend because it ensures that your culture will not remain a single strain culture.  The drying process is what used to be large part of the problem with contamination in dry brewers yeast.

Quote
7) can harvested yeast be stored in the freezer (slurry or dried) or will this mess it up?

Yes, but it requires the use of glycerol and a non-frost-free freezer.


I started maintaining a yeast bank on agar slants in 1993 because dry yeast was unusable and liquid yeast was only available on the East Coast during the cool months.  At that point in time, Wyeast was the only real player in the liquid yeast market and their culture collection only contained about a dozen cultures.   White Labs did not appear in the market until 1995.  Plating and slanting cultures allowed me to brew what I wanted to brew without having to worry about obtaining clean yeast cultures.  Today, the only reason I see for keeping a person yeast bank on agar slants is out of curiosity or for cultures that are difficult to obtain.  With good sanitation, if stored under the beer from which they were harvested, most crops will contain viable cells for at least six months in refrigerated storage.  If yeast is pitched within a month of being cropped, it can usually be repitched after the liquid portion has been discarded without making a starter.  Many of us have restarted crops that were over a year old.
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: Joe_Beer on October 11, 2020, 03:33:56 PM
Thanks all! Yes, #2 was in regards to yeast rinsing. I did some more poking around and Saccharomyces is spot on. I don't think I'll do that after all.  I forgot to ask  -- how do you know how much harvested yeast to add  to the starter? The Lutra package is 100ML which is about a 1/2 cup of liquid so do you just measure that much out or do you pitch the whole works and re-harvest it all later? I'm assuming any new/viable yeast floats around above the trub and anything that died from the first gen goes to the bottom.
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: denny on October 11, 2020, 03:46:48 PM
Thanks all! Yes, #2 was in regards to yeast rinsing. I did some more poking around and Saccharomyces is spot on. I don't think I'll do that after all.  I forgot to ask  -- how do you know how much harvested yeast to add  to the starter? The Lutra package is 100ML which is about a 1/2 cup of liquid so do you just measure that much out or do you pitch the whole works and re-harvest it all later? I'm assuming any new/viable yeast floats around above the trub and anything that died from the first gen goes to the bottom.

I estimate a tablespoon or so.  Close enough.
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: Joe_Beer on October 11, 2020, 05:06:25 PM
I was wondering about that. A Tablespoon of water is about 14 grams and a packet of dry yeast is 11.5g so it's a nice easy measurement to remember. :)
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: denny on October 11, 2020, 05:15:20 PM
I was wondering about that. A Tablespoon of water is about 14 grams and a packet of dry yeast is 11.5g so it's a nice easy measurement to remember. :)

Don't know if slurry will weigh the same as water
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: Saccharomyces on October 12, 2020, 03:43:40 AM
I was wondering about that. A Tablespoon of water is about 14 grams and a packet of dry yeast is 11.5g so it's a nice easy measurement to remember. :)

The volume of a tablespoon is 14.78ml.  However, you should use the rule of thumb that one 1ml of thick yeast slurry contains approximately 1.2 billion yeast cells; therefore, a tablespoon of thick yeast slurry contains 14.78 * 1.2 billion = 17.7 billion cells.   A 1L starter at maximum cell density contains roughly 200 billion cells.  Pitching 17.7 billion cells is a 1 to 11.3 step ratio. Anything up to 1 to 20 ratio should work without a hitch with most yeast strains.

When pitching straight slurry, we need to pitch 200 / 1.2 = 167ml of thick yeast slurry to approximate the amount of yeast cells in a 1L starter that has reached maximum cell density. In practice, if one's wort is well-aerated, one can get away with pitching 80ml of thick slurry as long as it is fresh.  I can assure you that 80ml of recently cropped yeast will tear through 5-gallons of well-aerated wort with an S.G. below 1.065.
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: Joe_Beer on October 12, 2020, 11:25:07 AM
The volume of a tablespoon is 14.78ml.  However, you should use the rule of thumb that one 1ml of thick yeast slurry contains approximately 1.2 billion yeast cells; therefore, a tablespoon of thick yeast slurry contains 14.78 * 1.2 billion = 17.7 billion cells.   A 1L starter at maximum cell density contains roughly 200 billion cells.  Pitching 17.7 billion cells is a 1 to 11.3 step ratio. Anything up to 1 to 20 ratio should work without a hitch with most yeast strains.

When pitching straight slurry, we need to pitch 200 / 1.2 = 167ml of thick yeast slurry to approximate the amount of yeast cells in a 1L starter that has reached maximum cell density. In practice, if one's wort is well-aerated, one can get away with pitching 80ml of thick slurry as long as it is fresh.  I can assure you that 80ml of recently cropped yeast will tear through 5-gallons of well-aerated wort with an S.G. below 1.065.

Thanks for claifying with all the calculations! So, to make sure I get your drift (I'm still reading up on all this), a Tablespoon of thick slurry contains enough cells to make a viable 1L starter. If pitching fresh (within a few weeks of harvest) thick slurry without making a starter, a little more than 11 Tablespoons of thick slurry would be needed but ideal aeration could bring that amount down to about 5.5 Tablespoons (80ml)? Apologies for all the imperial conversions. 
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: Joe_Beer on October 14, 2020, 02:09:14 PM
I harvested the yeast last night and let it crash in the fridge overnight at 34F. Shouldn't this have a few more layers of stratification to it or will it take a few days to develop?

(https://i.imgur.com/9QNhA72.png)
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: HopDen on October 14, 2020, 07:49:22 PM
I harvested the yeast last night and let it crash in the fridge overnight at 34F. Shouldn't this have a few more layers of stratification to it or will it take a few days to develop?

(https://i.imgur.com/9QNhA72.png)

It would probably take a few days or longer, not entirely sure about that though. I honestly just harvest and put into the fridge. I don't even try and separate the layers. On brew day I pour most of the beer off,swirl entire contents and pitch cold.

Do an experiment and proceed with 2 of them as you wish but on the 3rd do as I suggest and see if you can tell any difference.
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: Joe_Beer on October 14, 2020, 08:25:43 PM
Do an experiment and proceed with 2 of them as you wish but on the 3rd do as I suggest and see if you can tell any difference.

Sounds like a plan but isn't that bottom layer dead yeast? I thought the usable stuff stuff was supposed to materialize in the layer above that to get poured off. Maybe I'm all confused.
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: denny on October 14, 2020, 08:26:47 PM
Do an experiment and proceed with 2 of them as you wish but on the 3rd do as I suggest and see if you can tell any difference.

Sounds like a plan but isn't that bottom layer dead yeast? I thought the usable stuff stuff was supposed to materialize in the layer above that to get poured off. Maybe I'm all confused.

I just pitch it all.  Works great and less chance of screwing something up.
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: Joe_Beer on October 14, 2020, 09:59:30 PM
Thanks - you guys just made this way easier :J
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: Joe_Beer on November 08, 2020, 01:01:14 AM
So I had these three jars sitting in the back of my kegerator and a couple days ago the temp controller blinked out and it got below freezing. I noticed some slushy looking ice at the tops of the jars. The yeast at the bottom didn't seem to be frozen though. I was going to use this stuff tomorrow so thought I'd better put it in a starter to see what happens (never did this before). Boiled 1000ml of water, threw in a cup of DME and then let it cool. Poured off most of the beer in the yeast jar and then dumped the whole jar in along with 1/2 tsp of yeast nutrient.  The starter wort was 1.045 when I dumped the yeast in. It's been going for about 10 hours around 72F ambient. There is mild activity in the airloc. How do I know if this is viable and worth pitching into a batch? Also, do I pitch the whole 1000ml of starter or should I let it settle and pour off what I can and only pitch the slurry?
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: HopDen on November 08, 2020, 01:02:49 PM
So I had these three jars sitting in the back of my kegerator and a couple days ago the temp controller blinked out and it got below freezing. I noticed some slushy looking ice at the tops of the jars. The yeast at the bottom didn't seem to be frozen though. I was going to use this stuff tomorrow so thought I'd better put it in a starter to see what happens (never did this before). Boiled 1000ml of water, threw in a cup of DME and then let it cool. Poured off most of the beer in the yeast jar and then dumped the whole jar in along with 1/2 tsp of yeast nutrient.  The starter wort was 1.045 when I dumped the yeast in. It's been going for about 10 hours around 72F ambient. There is mild activity in the airloc. How do I know if this is viable and worth pitching into a batch? Also, do I pitch the whole 1000ml of starter or should I let it settle and pour off what I can and only pitch the slurry?


If you are concerned about over-pitching, use a yeast calculator. If I were brewing, I would use all of it. If you're worried about the yeast viability, have a backup yeast if your starter doesn't kick in. I think it will work though.

Keep us posted!!
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: Saccharomyces on November 08, 2020, 02:32:11 PM
How do I know if this is viable and worth pitching into a batch? Also, do I pitch the whole 1000ml of starter or should I let it settle and pour off what I can and only pitch the slurry?

First off, if you ever find yourself in this situation in the future, resist the urge to dump everything into 1L of starter.   If you have a scale that can measure in grams, make starters based on the metric system (you will thank me later).   When attempting to revive stressed yeast cells, it is better to start with a 5% weight by volume (w/v) wort solution (5 degrees Plato or an S.G. of 1.020), which is 50 grams of dry malt extract dissolved into a 1L solution.  With normal starters, you want a 10% w/v solution (10 degrees Plato or an S.G. of 1.040), which is 100 grams of dry malt extract dissolved into a 1L solution.  It is best not to mix metric and U.S. standard units of measure when working with yeast cultures.  The reason being that one U.S. fluid ounce weighs more than one U.S. dry ounce and a liter is larger than a quart.  If using U.S. standard units of measure, the weight of dry malt extract in a 10% v/w solution is equal to the starter volume in fluid ounces * 0.106.  With the metric system, one milliliter of water weighs 1 gram, which drastically simplifies w/v calculations because all calculations are base 10.

That being said, I would give the culture more time to start and then decant about 100ml of the liquid fraction into new starter wort.  That will leave behind of all of the break and dead cells, which will probably be massive if ice crystals formed in the crops.  Freezing yeast cells without a cryoprotectant can cause the fluid inside of the cells to freeze and burst cell walls.  If any cells survived the ordeal, they had strong cell walls that have more than likely have undergone significant stress.  It is worth attempting to revive the culture because the cells that are left are hardcore. 

Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: Joe_Beer on November 09, 2020, 12:20:19 PM
If you are concerned about over-pitching, use a yeast calculator. If I were brewing, I would use all of it. If you're worried about the yeast viability, have a backup yeast if your starter doesn't kick in. I think it will work though.

Keep us posted!!

Used all of it and managed to get to the LHBS to pick up a new pack of Lutra just in case. Don't think I'll need it though. I need a bigger blowoff! =D
https://imgur.com/a/BT1imIR

If you can't load the link, it's a gif of what I woke up to this morning. I re-pitched the 1 liter starter and this is the action 10 hours later at 72F.  The 1/2" blowoff is getting plugged and kind of releasing in an erupting fashion. I've pushed down on the lid a few times to help clear it and it's finally perking steadily now but I really need to get a bigger blowoff for this Kveik. It's not like the US-05 I've been using all summer.

Next time I make a starter, I'll work through the very thorough and helpful info left by Saccharomyces. I made the starter in a 1 gallon cider jug and couldn't decant it very easily without disturbing the bottom layers. I tried chilling it for a couple hours and it did stratify nicely and settle out but the jug just mixed it all up again when trying to pour it.  Maybe I'll invest in one of those beakers next time. Any recommendations? Preferably with a stopper size for an airloc?


Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: goose on November 09, 2020, 02:16:50 PM
Do an experiment and proceed with 2 of them as you wish but on the 3rd do as I suggest and see if you can tell any difference.

Sounds like a plan but isn't that bottom layer dead yeast? I thought the usable stuff stuff was supposed to materialize in the layer above that to get poured off. Maybe I'm all confused.

I just pitch it all.  Works great and less chance of screwing something up.

^^^^This.
I use the same rationale when I re-pitch a slurry.  As Denny says, less room for error and I don't taste any rubberiness from autolysis.
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: Joe_Beer on November 14, 2020, 12:07:37 PM
So the kveik looks like it's almost done. Gravity has dropped about .1 brix/day for the past three days. It looks like it's going to finish right around 10 brix. The last batch with this same yeast finished at 8 brix. My OG was only .5 brix higher on this batch so thought it would finish at 8.5 or close to it. Is finishing higher typical of re-pitched yeast?
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: Saccharomyces on November 14, 2020, 04:28:27 PM
So the kveik looks like it's almost done. Gravity has dropped about .1 brix/day for the past three days. It looks like it's going to finish right around 10 brix. The last batch with this same yeast finished at 8 brix. My OG was only .5 brix higher on this batch so thought it would finish at 8.5 or close to it. Is finishing higher typical of re-pitched yeast?

Were you a wine maker before you start to brew?  The reason I ask is that Brix is the scale that wine makers use.  Brewers use Specific Gravity or Degrees Plato.  Degrees Plato and Brix are basically the same thing when the solvent is water.
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: Joe_Beer on November 14, 2020, 06:04:08 PM
Were you a wine maker before you start to brew?

Not a winemaker. I use a refractometer for measuring gravity since it only needs a small amout of wort. Someone told me not to use the SG scale on it as it wasn't accurate. Not sure if they were talking about a specific manufacturer or what. I've checked my refractometer over it's range against a converter (https://www.brewersfriend.com/refractometer-calculator/) and it seems to be spot on (Brix <> SG @1.0 ) so not sure what the issue actually is.
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: Saccharomyces on November 15, 2020, 02:01:36 PM
What if I told you, I only take original and terminal gravity readings and that is only for quality control reasons?   A yeast culture will tell you when it is finished fermenting. if you are using an airlock and the temperature of the green beer is not rising (hence, allowing CO2 gas to come out of solution), airlock activity will slow to a crawl, eventually stop and the green beer will start to clear.  Far too many amateur brewers have adopted crash cooling in order to get a culture to drop out of suspension.  Crash cooling may be necessary for professional brewers in order to meet production schedule demands, but it is absolutely an unnecessary step for amateur brewers.  The culture will floc and drop clear when it is done.  Some powdery (i.e., low to non-flocculating) strains take longer to drop than others, but they will drop if given enough time.  If a culture is in suspension, it still has work to do; therefore, patience is a virtue.
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: Saccharomyces on November 15, 2020, 02:09:04 PM
By the way, anyone with a pulse has heard AB's claim that Bud is beechwood aged.  However, in this case the beechwood adds no flavor because the aging process is based on the old practice of using beechwood to clarify beer.  The aging tank  (a.k.a. chip cask) is filled with boiled beechwood chips. The purpose of the chips is to increase the surface area on which AB's yeast culture can settle.  That is their sole purpose.
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: Joe_Beer on November 15, 2020, 02:41:42 PM
Man, you really have your info nailed down. Yep, I've heard the AB claim but honestly never gave it much thought..heh.. One of those beer commercials used to make a big deal out of "krausening" or claimed their beer was "krausen'd" as well :o

As far as CO2 coming out of solution, are you referring to airloc activity in general or something more specific? My understanding is that changes in air pressure and/or ambient temp changes can affect airloc activity even when no fermentation is happening. Maybe there is more to that?

All my beers thus far have been slighlty hazy but I think that's due to my dry hopping in the chilled keg, or chilling in general. Could be from suspended yeast but I guess I don't mind so much. As long as it's not plugging the dip tube  ;D
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: denny on November 15, 2020, 04:18:23 PM
By the way, anyone with a pulse has heard AB's claim that Bud is beechwood aged.  However, in this case the beechwood adds no flavor because the aging process is based on the old practice of using beechwood to clarify beer.  The aging tank  (a.k.a. chip cask) is filled with boiled beechwood chips. The purpose of the chips is to increase the surface area on which AB's yeast culture can settle.  That is their sole purpose.

I have read that they don't even use beechwood, but aluminum spirals, for the same reason.  I'm willing to believe that may be apochryphal.
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: Saccharomyces on November 18, 2020, 02:48:40 PM
As far as CO2 coming out of solution, are you referring to airloc activity in general or something more specific? My understanding is that changes in air pressure and/or ambient temp changes can affect airloc activity even when no fermentation is happening. Maybe there is more to that?

I am attempting to differentiate between dissolved CO2 coming out of suspension and CO2 actually being produced.  The beauty of using a clear fermentation vessel is that it is easy to determine when fermentation is complete because there is a color change, starting at the top, when fermentation is complete. The thing to remember is just because a batch has reached terminal gravity does not mean the yeast culture is done doing its job.  Most cultures will continue to consume metabolic waste products for a period of time after it appears that fermentation is complete.  That is why cold crashing as a practice is non-optimal for amateur brewers who have the gift of time.  I have never had a cold-crashed beer that tasted as good as one that was allowed to settle on its own schedule.  Amateur brewers do not need to cold crash because we are not beholden to bean counters. Our hobby is not driven by profit and loss.
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: BrewBama on November 18, 2020, 08:20:06 PM
Once the yeast activity stops I package because there’s no O2 protection after that point. When I see a flatline on the data logger, I package and cold crash.  I don’t want the beer sitting in a fermenter any longer than it takes to actively ferment potentially exposing it to O2 pickup.


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Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: Saccharomyces on November 18, 2020, 11:23:10 PM
However, O2 pickup is a non-sequitur while yeast cells are still in suspension. One of the reasons why bottle-conditioned beer stores better than filtered and bottled beer is because bottle-conditioned beer has an active yeast culture that continues to scrub O2 as long as it is in suspension.
Title: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: BrewBama on November 18, 2020, 11:37:15 PM
However, O2 pickup is a non-sequitur while yeast cells are still in suspension. One of the reasons why bottle-conditioned beer stores better than filtered and bottled beer is because bottle-conditioned beer has an active yeast culture that continues to scrub O2 as long as it is in suspension.
I thought the yeast had to be active. Thx for the clarification. Good to know it just has to be present.

I recall Dr Bamforth saying if a beer is oxidized run some yeast thru it. If you say it doesn’t have to be active his statement makes even more sense.
Title: Re: A bunch of questions on harvesting yeast
Post by: erockrph on November 19, 2020, 03:38:22 AM
As far as CO2 coming out of solution, are you referring to airloc activity in general or something more specific? My understanding is that changes in air pressure and/or ambient temp changes can affect airloc activity even when no fermentation is happening. Maybe there is more to that?

I am attempting to differentiate between dissolved CO2 coming out of suspension and CO2 actually being produced.  The beauty of using a clear fermentation vessel is that it is easy to determine when fermentation is complete because there is a color change, starting at the top, when fermentation is complete. The thing to remember is just because a batch has reached terminal gravity does not mean the yeast culture is done doing its job.  Most cultures will continue to consume metabolic waste products for a period of time after it appears that fermentation is complete.  That is why cold crashing as a practice is non-optimal for amateur brewers who have the gift of time.  I have never had a cold-crashed beer that tasted as good as one that was allowed to settle on its own schedule.  Amateur brewers do not need to cold crash because we are not beholden to bean counters. Our hobby is not driven by profit and loss.
I have a few recent brews that seem to corroborate this statement. I ferment in kegs with a spunding valve on the gas poppet. My last few batches have been chilled and kegged as soon as there was no increase in pressure on the valve for at least 2 days, rather than waiting my usual 10-14 days to package. I'm finding that these batches taste more muddled and flat than usual.

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