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Ale Fermentation Schedule Question

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popmedium

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Lads,

Got a question about fermentation temp. schedules. I've start slightly lower (say 18C) and I ramp up slowly towards the end of fermentation, say finishing on nearly 20 C.

My question is this, after fermentation do you throw it back down to 18C for conditioning? Or would you keep it up around 20 for the conditioning stage?

I know this is a general question and it depends on style, yeast etc so for arguments sake lets say you're using WLP001 and making an APA.

Thanks lads! Keen to hear your thoughts.

Joel
 

hsb

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Keep it at 20C, by dropping the temperature you might stall the yeast, it's just cleaning up by that stage anyway. Then you can drop it right down when you're ready to clean it up with cold conditioning. My 2c.
 

Wolfy

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Once fermentation is complete - including adding an extra couple of days for it to 'clean up' any unwanted byproducts that may have been created at the start of fermentation - I cool the beer (to below 4degC) to drop the yeast and 'condition' the beer. The yeast will flocculate and settle much quicker and more easily at cold temperatures, and so I'll let the beer condition at that cold temperature for days-to-weeks.
 

popmedium

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Thanks guys!

Pretty much what I expected. I've never cold conditioned an ale and I was going to start trying it however I'm currently brewing some stouts and my nderstanding is that cold condition ales mostly just drops the yeast out, which sacrifices any extra work the yeasties might have been able to do. And given that it's a stout, clarity isn't much of an issue.

Thanks for the advice!

Joel
 

Truman42

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Once fermentation is complete - including adding an extra couple of days for it to 'clean up' any unwanted byproducts that may have been created at the start of fermentation - I cool the beer (to below 4degC) to drop the yeast and 'condition' the beer. The yeast will flocculate and settle much quicker and more easily at cold temperatures, and so I'll let the beer condition at that cold temperature for days-to-weeks.
Sorry to hijack the thread Joel..
I generally ferment for a week, let the yeast clean up for a week then CC for a week. But sometimes I would like to shorten this whole process. So once I reach FG does the yeast only need a couple of days to clean up before I CC at 2C?
 

MattC

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Thanks guys!

Pretty much what I expected. I've never cold conditioned an ale and I was going to start trying it however I'm currently brewing some stouts and my nderstanding is that cold condition ales mostly just drops the yeast out, which sacrifices any extra work the yeasties might have been able to do. And given that it's a stout, clarity isn't much of an issue.

Thanks for the advice!

Joel

Perhaps, however a stout (and most beers for that matter) would still benefit from few days of cold conditioning post fermentation. Yep it drops the yeast out but also other substances that can have an effect on the overall flavour profile of your beer. CC can result in a more stable beer over time because it has the ability to drop these substances out. Of course we can add things such as polyclar, gelatine etc that will assist in dropping these particles out of the beer. Most commercial breweries adopt some kind of cold conditrioning phase in the form of a bright tank prior to filtering (where appropriate) and kegging/bottling.

The beer would also benefit from ramping up the temp by a couple of degrees towards the end of fermentation to let the yeast eat up some of those by products such as diacetyl that can impact heavily on flavour of your beer. I always up the temp from 18-19 to 20-21 or slightly higher for some beers prior to crash chilling and CC.

Cheers
 

mckenry

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Keep it at 20C, by dropping the temperature you might stall the yeast, it's just cleaning up by that stage anyway. Then you can drop it right down when you're ready to clean it up with cold conditioning. My 2c.
Just to clear this up a bit. The OP wanted to know if dropping back to 18C was the go. It wont stall the yeast, by dropping back to 18, but there is no point if at 20C. Dropping to 3 or 4 will.

Sorry to hijack the thread Joel..
I generally ferment for a week, let the yeast clean up for a week then CC for a week. But sometimes I would like to shorten this whole process. So once I reach FG does the yeast only need a couple of days to clean up before I CC at 2C?
Truman - yes mate, 2 or 3 days is all it takes, for 'normal' beer if there is such a beast... This is why I reckon all info says 'after FG has been steady for 2 days bottle blah blah blah'. Not only does that mean FG has been reached, but cleanup will be complete too. So yep, if youre looking to shorten your 3 week pitch to package, you can lose a few days in conditioning, but also a few days in CC. I reckon a week is way more than enough. In fact, I tend to ferment out, leave 3 days, CC for 3 days (with Gelatin when temp reaches 3). Regularly 2 weeks for an ale
 

popmedium

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Good advice dudes!

Mckenry what happens to the yeast when you cold condition for three days? Is it at all reusable? I know by that stage it's getting late in the piece to be grabbing the yeast for your next batch but generally I find pulling it out and doing a starter is OK.

j
 

MattC

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Keeping the yeast at CC temps simply makes them dormant. Just warm them up to wake them up. Where do you keep your liquid yeasts prior to using? In the fridge of course ;)

I have kept the slurry from brews for a week in the fridge in a sterile container prior to pitching with no ill effects. Others on here have probably done this for longer periods of time.

Cheers
 

popmedium

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Of course! Such an obvious answer :) I listen to a lot of brewing network shows and if I had a dollar for every time Jamil banged on about the importance of pitching healthy yeast, I'd probably be selling beer from my own micro. I'll give it a bang this time around!

Thanks again!

j
 

mckenry

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Good advice dudes!

Mckenry what happens to the yeast when you cold condition for three days? Is it at all reusable? I know by that stage it's getting late in the piece to be grabbing the yeast for your next batch but generally I find pulling it out and doing a starter is OK.

j
Hey Joel,
As MattC says. Or some people will rack to a secondary, scavenge the yeast from the primary, then CC the secondary. Waiting and doing a starter from primary is still AOK. I dont bother anymore to scavenge yeast at all. I split a new pack 3 ways and build starters out of each one. That way I always get fresh yeast and at $3 per brew I dont have to worry about rinsing and all that extra effort. Some say the second generation will perform better, attenuate and/or floc better.
BTW I have had 1084 in the fridge for more than a year and it has fired up perfectly in a starter.
 

popmedium

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Yeah that's what I keep reading. people harvest yeast and use it much later than recommended by either the manufacturer or people like Jamil. I wonder what the real difference is?
 

mckenry

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Yeah that's what I keep reading. people harvest yeast and use it much later than recommended by either the manufacturer or people like Jamil. I wonder what the real difference is?
The real difference is viable cells. Use a yeast calculator to determine how to build the cells up. Whenever I split a pack 3 ways, I write on the label how many cells (in theory e.g. 33B = 1/3 of 100B cells) the date of manufacture and put it away. When it comes time to step it up I use yeastcalc.com plug in the date of manufacture and 33B cells and it estimates the number of viable cells. Then I play with the steps to get to my target profile, which is based on other info in the spreadsheet, such as OG, batch size, Ale or Lager, stirplate etc.
 

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