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Author Topic: Floating Yeast layer in primary fermenter after 2 weeks  (Read 1038 times)

Offline jgoedd99

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Floating Yeast layer in primary fermenter after 2 weeks
« on: January 20, 2023, 09:05:13 am »
Hello; i am a relatively experienced extract brewer and am seeing something i have not encountered before. I am brewing an IPA with Safale 05 yeast.  I did a starter using DME and it went as usual.  The primary bubbled fine for about 10 days but has pretty much stopped now at 14 days.  In the primary i still have a floating layer on top that looks crusty.  It is not sinking.  It does not look like mold.  I have brewed this specific IPA several times before and have not seen this.  Only difference from prior batches is that i am keeping it in the basement and it is about 60oF this time of year.  The ferment was slow and steady as expected at this temperature.  Should i be concerned?  Should i sink it or just exclude it when i transfer to secondary? Thanks for any help.

Offline Bob357

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Re: Floating Yeast layer in primary fermenter after 2 weeks
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2023, 01:01:47 pm »
US-05 isn't the only strain that exhibits this behavior but due to its popularity, it sometimes seems so. I've found that giving the fermenter a gentle swirl really helps. You may need to repeat this several times to get good results. You can begin the swirling as soon as the Krausen becomes thinner and airlock activity slows. There are alternatives to US-05 that are less troublesome. I use Mangrove Jack's M36, Liberty Bell. The Krausen drops quickly, it flocculates faster, and the attenuation is similar. Raising the fermentation temperature a few degrees will give you an ester profile that a close match too.
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Offline jgoedd99

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Re: Floating Yeast layer in primary fermenter after 2 weeks
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2023, 02:55:11 pm »
Thanks, will try that.

Offline jeffy

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Re: Floating Yeast layer in primary fermenter after 2 weeks
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2023, 03:02:00 pm »
You could take a hydrometer sample from under the kreusen to see if it is finished, then syphon the beer out from under it.
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Offline denny

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Re: Floating Yeast layer in primary fermenter after 2 weeks
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2023, 03:25:30 pm »
You could take a hydrometer sample from under the kreusen to see if it is finished, then syphon the beer out from under it.

That would be my preferred method
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Offline jgoedd99

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Re: Floating Yeast layer in primary fermenter after 2 weeks
« Reply #5 on: January 21, 2023, 06:01:09 am »
 Good suggestion.  I am planning on moving  to secondary tomorrow will do hydrometer reading first.

I swirled a little yesterday and about 75% of the crust has settled.

Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Floating Yeast layer in primary fermenter after 2 weeks
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2023, 08:13:03 am »
Eventually, you could simply skip any secondary…one less transfer to concern yourself about (risk of contamination and oxidation is minimized).  Cheers!
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Offline denny

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Re: Floating Yeast layer in primary fermenter after 2 weeks
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2023, 08:29:51 am »
Eventually, you could simply skip any secondary…one less transfer to concern yourself about (risk of contamination and oxidation is minimized).  Cheers!

THiS. Unless you're adding more fermentables, I have found no reason to use secondary.
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Offline jgoedd99

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Re: Floating Yeast layer in primary fermenter after 2 weeks
« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2023, 12:03:52 pm »
It is an IPA with dry hopping so secondary is necessary.

I swirled it twice before transferring which sunk a lot of the floating yeast.  At transfer the specific gravity was 1.018 (OG = 1.05).  It is in secondary now and there are still a few smallish clumps (1/8 inch or so) floating, but it tasted fine when i transferred. 
I moved it out of the basement so temps are 64 - 66oF.

Offline denny

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Re: Floating Yeast layer in primary fermenter after 2 weeks
« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2023, 12:05:39 pm »
It is an IPA with dry hopping so secondary is necessary.

I swirled it twice before transferring which sunk a lot of the floating yeast.  At transfer the specific gravity was 1.018 (OG = 1.05).  It is in secondary now and there are still a few smallish clumps (1/8 inch or so) floating, but it tasted fine when i transferred. 
I moved it out of the basement so temps are 64 - 66oF.

Secondary is not necessary for dry hopping.
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Offline Kevin

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Re: Floating Yeast layer in primary fermenter after 2 weeks
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2023, 08:17:38 am »
It is an IPA with dry hopping so secondary is necessary.

I swirled it twice before transferring which sunk a lot of the floating yeast.  At transfer the specific gravity was 1.018 (OG = 1.05).  It is in secondary now and there are still a few smallish clumps (1/8 inch or so) floating, but it tasted fine when i transferred. 
I moved it out of the basement so temps are 64 - 66oF.

Dry hopping is not necessary in any other circumstance than what Denny outlined. You can dry hop in the primary fermenter or in a keg.
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Offline neuse

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Re: Floating Yeast layer in primary fermenter after 2 weeks
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2023, 08:52:13 am »
It is an IPA with dry hopping so secondary is necessary.

I swirled it twice before transferring which sunk a lot of the floating yeast.  At transfer the specific gravity was 1.018 (OG = 1.05).  It is in secondary now and there are still a few smallish clumps (1/8 inch or so) floating, but it tasted fine when i transferred. 
I moved it out of the basement so temps are 64 - 66oF.

Dry hopping is not necessary in any other circumstance than what Denny outlined. You can dry hop in the primary fermenter or in a keg.
I think you meant secondary is not necessary...