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Author Topic: Head-scratching cloudiness issue...  (Read 1376 times)

Offline Village Taphouse

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Head-scratching cloudiness issue...
« on: May 23, 2019, 03:30:13 pm »
Guys:  I'm going to LINK to this because all of the information is there. 

Quick take:  I made six beers with a blob of 1056 and every one of them has failed to clear even with using a gel solution on them.  My recent beers with 2112 and 2782 were all clear.  I have never seen a yeast so stubborn to clear and there has been no other changes to my ingredients or processes.  Has anyone ever seen anything like this? 
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Head-scratching cloudiness issue...
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2019, 05:08:21 pm »
Interesting read from Wyeast:  https://wyeastlab.com/clarificationflocculation


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Offline Robert

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Re: Head-scratching cloudiness issue...
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2019, 06:18:00 pm »


I have had similarly frustrating experiences.   I've had what appear to be BrewTan related issues as alluded to in your link, but you can clearly rule that out.  First generation yeast I find more troublesome,  but if I understand that you serially repitched these six batches, you can likewise rule that out.  I've found certain strains particularly resistant to clarification even with fining, for example the various 34/70 derivatives.  The single factor I believe I've observed to be most helpful in promoting clarification -- affecting both yeast flocculation and other sources of turbidity  -- is sufficient calcium.  Any pattern emerge in your beers if you consider this?  I suspect there is some complex synergy that would be difficult to tease out.  No single silver bullet.  Which brings us to:

Interesting read from Wyeast:  https://wyeastlab.com/clarificationflocculation


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So, now we have a much clearer idea of why it is so unclear why we have trouble getting clear beer?  Interesting read, thanks for posting the link, but no less head scratching than before.

I'll be watching this thread.  Hope someone has an answer.  Every time I think I'll never encounter this kind of thing again, I'm proven wrong.
Rob Stein
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Head-scratching cloudiness issue...
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2019, 07:00:25 pm »
Guys:  Thanks.  I have not read that link yet but thanks for posting it.  @Robert:  I typically target around 60ppm of Ca in my beers and it would be really weird if I wasn't in that zip code.  I used a lot of 1056 and have NEVER had it act this way for me.  Okay, I'm off to read that link...
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Head-scratching cloudiness issue...
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2019, 07:09:51 pm »
Ooh, I got into deep water very quickly with that link.  I'll be honest, I don't get into super-scientific parts of brewing... I just do what I do and I try to make it as repeatable as possible especially when everything has been working well.  Over the last 15+ months, I have been making some of the best beer I have made in 20 years of brewing.  I try to be very consistent and I take good notes when I brew.  I mentioned in the thread that some recent 2112 and 2782 beers have been excellent.  I have some 2124 coming up and if those beers come out clear then I think I have to point the finger at this 1056.  Also, I have this colloidal silicon dioxide clarifier (similar to BioFine) that I added to 4 kegs of this cloudy beer this morning and I agitated the kegs as the directions suggest.  Tomorrow I will hit them all with another dose without agitation and then on Saturday I'll pull the first pint from each one and toss it (as the directions suggest) and then see if that product can do what a gel solution could not.  Should be interesting.  Cheers guys.
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.

Offline Robert

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Re: Head-scratching cloudiness issue...
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2019, 09:21:29 pm »
Yep.  Top candidates:  my "complex synergy," and your "this [crappy batch of] 1056."   If placing a wager, since you've had success with 1056 in the past and haven't apparently changed any aspect of your process, I'd put it on a bad pitch of 1056. Not surprised WY have been interested in communicating  with you.  Disappointed that they haven't taken more information from you.  You could be a canary in a coal mine.

I've tried silicic acid preparations (usually known as "auxiliary finings," as they are only intended to initially aggregate flocs of yeast, so that a following dosage of isinglass finings will work more effectively) and found that they tend to have unintended consequences -- creating so much "fluffy bottoms" that you may never know if clear beer lurks just above... even following with isinglass you may well create excessive bottoms.  Depends on your equipment configuration.   Do report.
Rob Stein
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Head-scratching cloudiness issue...
« Reply #6 on: May 24, 2019, 05:41:43 am »
I found this point interesting in the WYeast article:

“Yeast Cropping/Harvesting:

Cropping of yeast for subsequent repitching is very important for maintaining proper flocculation characteristics

Cropping from different layers in the fermenter cone can be used to adjust and maintain flocculation characteristics. Cropping from the middle layer of yeast in the yeast bed will select for the highest flocculation”


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Offline Robert

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Re: Head-scratching cloudiness issue...
« Reply #7 on: May 24, 2019, 05:53:43 am »
I found this point interesting in the WYeast article:

“Yeast Cropping/Harvesting:

Cropping of yeast for subsequent repitching is very important for maintaining proper flocculation characteristics

Cropping from different layers in the fermenter cone can be used to adjust and maintain flocculation characteristics. Cropping from the middle layer of yeast in the yeast bed will select for the highest flocculation”


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https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=33454.msg426324.msg#426324
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Head-scratching cloudiness issue...
« Reply #8 on: May 24, 2019, 07:59:52 am »
If I spund, I send the beer from fermenter to keg with about .005 points left which means that some amount of yeast is left in the beer and I suppose that yeast is the least flocculant with the yeast that is sitting in the fermenter being the most flocculant.  After that transfer I would send that remaining yeast to a clean & sanitized flask and place it in the fridge and usually brew with it again in a couple of days.  When I go to retrieve that flask, the yeast is typically on the bottom with clear beer sitting on top of it and that was the case in ALL six of these 1056 beers.  Still, if I was sending the least flocculant yeast to the keg that would be the case every time (including beers that have turned out clear for me) so I'm not sure there's anything to it. 
Ken from Chicago. 
A day without beer is like... just kidding, I have no idea.

Offline BrewBama

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Re: Head-scratching cloudiness issue...
« Reply #9 on: May 24, 2019, 08:34:54 am »
I was listening to an MBAA podcast the other day where the guest genetic scientist was talking about how quickly recycled yeast morph from generation to generation. The WYeast article also mentions this change over generations. It would be interesting to have the non flocculating yeast compared to an original pitch of the same strain.

...of course it could be something much more common.  I imagine from time to time yeast gets blamed when it’s a much simpler explanation (Forgot to add whirlflock, malt analysis is different in this bag, etc).

Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: Head-scratching cloudiness issue...
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2019, 11:40:09 am »
I was listening to an MBAA podcast the other day where the guest genetic scientist was talking about how quickly recycled yeast morph from generation to generation. The WYeast article also mentions this change over generations. It would be interesting to have the non flocculating yeast compared to an original pitch of the same strain.

...of course it could be something much more common.  I imagine from time to time yeast gets blamed when it’s a much simpler explanation (Forgot to add whirlflock, malt analysis is different in this bag, etc).
I hear that.  I have looked at this situation and I could have forgotten to add Whirfloc once but not six times.  Also, the wort was very clear going into the fermenter on all of these batches and all of my other batches.  Another brewer thought he was having clarity issues when using Brewtan B but later concluded that the issue was a lower-vigor boil.  I have been boiling a little lower lately but not just on these six batches but every batch I have made in the last 15 months or so.  I agree it seems weird to blame the yeast and it certainly doesn't feel like an A-HA! moment to me but I can't see what else it could be.  Does gelatin go bad?  I have it in sealed containers in the dark, cool, dry basement.  The guy at Wyeast asked me how old my gel was.  Other recent batches... where the same gel was used... came out clear. 
Ken from Chicago. 
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Offline Robert

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Re: Head-scratching cloudiness issue...
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2019, 12:04:20 pm »
Your process of elimination seems mighty thorough.   Confirmation could come from buying a new pitch of 1056, following SOP, and getting clear beer.  Unless, of course, there is a bigger, ongoing problem at Wyeast.  Production problems are not unprecedented at any of the labs.  I suppose it's silly to ask if you noted the production date on that smack pack.  (Though I think I might add doing so to my routine whenever I buy a new culture to prop up, in light of this discussion.)  But I wonder if others out there have had the same experience with this particular yeast?   
Rob Stein
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Head-scratching cloudiness issue...
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2019, 12:35:54 pm »
Your process of elimination seems mighty thorough.   Confirmation could come from buying a new pitch of 1056, following SOP, and getting clear beer.  Unless, of course, there is a bigger, ongoing problem at Wyeast.  Production problems are not unprecedented at any of the labs.  I suppose it's silly to ask if you noted the production date on that smack pack.  (Though I think I might add doing so to my routine whenever I buy a new culture to prop up, in light of this discussion.)  But I wonder if others out there have had the same experience with this particular yeast?   

I have not had great luck with 1056 or its "cousin" US-05, but clarity was not the issue, typically, rather it was flavor related at lower temperatures (heat was not on, when I thought it was, so it fermented in mid-50's).  I have had a bit of trouble with Hornindal Kveik at cooler temperatures (unexpected May cold snap), as it is supposed to be highly flocculant and wasn't so on that batch.  These discussions just seem to show that the critters are live beings and may not react exactly how we expect, I guess.  I would try a different batch of 1056 and keep the process the same...I seriously doubt that it is affecting all of Wyeast production of this strain (or at least I surely hope not, given its nearly ubiquitous availability and use).
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Re: Head-scratching cloudiness issue...
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2019, 03:11:39 pm »
Your process of elimination seems mighty thorough.   Confirmation could come from buying a new pitch of 1056, following SOP, and getting clear beer.  Unless, of course, there is a bigger, ongoing problem at Wyeast.  Production problems are not unprecedented at any of the labs.  I suppose it's silly to ask if you noted the production date on that smack pack.  (Though I think I might add doing so to my routine whenever I buy a new culture to prop up, in light of this discussion.)  But I wonder if others out there have had the same experience with this particular yeast?

Used 1056 maybe a month ago.  No issues.
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