« on: March 16, 2015, 11:22:46 AM »
WLP-022 is also a top cropper.
I just top cropped the Essex Ale for a second time this weekend. It is EXTREMELY different looking than the Cal Ale I was using. Very dense and I easily collected 80 grams of yeast. After collecting the yeast, several hours later, a new krausen formed and could have been cropped again if I wanted.
Based on S. Cervevisiae posts in this thread, I may be top cropping too soon however. In this second harvest, I skimmed the braun hefe and discarded around 16 hours after pitching. The actual harvest was about 24-26 hours after pitching. It may take me a while working with this yeast to figure out the "right" time. But so far I have been impressed.
I also agree with storing yeast under fermented beer, not water. A couple of years ago I was storing under water (still harvesting Cal ale at the time), I lost batches of beer due to spoiled yeast very quickly (4-5 generations).
I brew every other week, so in my process, I collect some wort from the fermenter (through the valve of the SS Brewtech bucket) to let the top crop ferment (about 2-3 days), then I store in my kegerator for about 7-8 days, then make a quart to 2 quart starter for the yeast to feed on a couple of days before the next brewday.
Before fermenting in the bucket, I was top cropping from a carboy. Get an orange carboy cap and insert a racking through it so the end sticks into the krausen. This is basically a forced blowoff. It works, but it takes longer to collect.