Author Topic: To Skim or Not  (Read 1743 times)

Offline harbicide

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To Skim or Not
« on: February 25, 2012, 08:56:30 PM »
In reading Noonan's Brewing Lager Beer, he talks about skimming brown 'scum' that forms during low kraeusen.  I use a clear plexiglass lid to my conical, thus I can see the scum that has formed.  I'm wondering if those with conicals bother to skim the scum.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: To Skim or Not
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2012, 09:15:56 PM »
I never tried it.

I've read a few discussions that basically determined that it really doesn't make a difference. These bitter compounds seem to age their way out of the beer flavor during the lagering stage. I haven't been able to tie any off flavors to this particular issue. If I found it to be a problem I would act on it, but there doesn't seem to be an issue in this regard. YMMV.
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Offline The Professor

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Re: To Skim or Not
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2012, 02:09:15 AM »
I never tried it.

I've read a few discussions that basically determined that it really doesn't make a difference. These bitter compounds seem to age their way out of the beer flavor during the lagering stage. I haven't been able to tie any off flavors to this particular issue. If I found it to be a problem I would act on it, but there doesn't seem to be an issue in this regard. YMMV.

+1
Do it if it makes you feel better..but by and large I've found the 'skim' to be pretty much unnecessary.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: To Skim or Not
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2012, 05:54:49 AM »
There's no way to skim the or top crop in a conical, unless you do a blow off.
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Offline harbicide

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Re: To Skim or Not
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2012, 06:59:09 AM »
There's no way to skim the or top crop in a conical, unless you do a blow off.

A sanitized spoon does wonders.
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Offline majorvices

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Re: To Skim or Not
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2012, 07:09:34 AM »
How are you gonna get it in the top of a sealed conical? ??? Unless you are using a plastic conical. My conicals are 7 bbls and pressurized though so I may be thinking on a different level. But even my blickmann conicals with the pull top lid were impossible to skim any foam from especially squeezed inside of a fridge/freezer.

Regardless, much of the "braunhefe" will get stuck to the sides of the fermenter anyway and unless you are open fermenting or in a bucket I don't see an easy or convenient way to skim and I personally feel it is a very, very minor difference. I doubt many breweries are skimming from inside their conicals.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 07:12:23 AM by majorvices »
Keith Y.
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Offline harbicide

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Re: To Skim or Not
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2012, 07:20:57 AM »
How are you gonna get it in the top of a sealed conical? ??? Unless you are using a plastic conical. My conicals are 7 bbls and pressurized though so I may be thinking on a different level. But even my blickmann conicals with the pull top lid were impossible to skim any foam from especially squeezed inside of a fridge/freezer.

Regardless, much of the "braunhefe" will get stuck to the sides of the fermenter anyway and unless you are open fermenting or in a bucket I don't see an easy or convenient way to skim and I personally feel it is a very, very minor difference. I doubt many breweries are skimming from inside their conicals.

The lid on my SS conical is a sheet of clear plexiglass, thus it is somewhat of open fermentation.  It stands 5 ft tall, so it doesn't fit in a fridge.  You are talking me out of skimming, but I'm having trouble resisting the urge.
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Offline richardt

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Re: To Skim or Not
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2012, 07:43:03 AM »
As long as you are quick about it and keep the skimmer sanitized--the risk (of infecting your wort/beer with unwanted organisms) should be minimal.  Most of us don't waste our time with it---most of it sticks to the walls of the fermentor, blows off via the blow-off tube, or settles to the bottom as trub once the krausen has fallen.

A similar urge probably strikes you during boiling--do you skim off the foam of the hot break in the BK?  I haven't found doing so to make much difference in my beers. 

Offline majorvices

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Re: To Skim or Not
« Reply #8 on: February 26, 2012, 08:01:40 AM »

A similar urge probably strikes you during boiling--do you skim off the foam of the hot break in the BK?  I haven't found doing so to make much difference in my beers.

It can help knock down the boil over, but outside of that there theoretically can be advantages and disadvantages. Advantage (beside boil over) is you are removing some of the hot break protein. Disadvantage is some of those proteins may help in foam stability.
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