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Conditioning/Secondaries/dry hopping & yeast harvesting - help&#33

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Giddo

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Hi all,

I have two BIAB brews under my belt now; one is sitting in the fermenting fridge, and the other I no-chill cubed. My questions relate to the brew that is in the fermenter now.

I know this sounds like another "has it finished fermenting yet" question, but stay with me....

Background:
The brew (Little Creatures Bright clone) was pitched using a Whitelabs vial (which I ramped up in numbers using a 2.5 litre starter). It has been fermenting for just on 10 days at 18.5 degrees (STC controlled fridge). I checked the gravity a couple of days ago, and it was around 1014 which I thought was a bit high, so I upped the temp to 19.5 and gave the fermenter a gentle nudge. Since then the gravity has dropped to 1011.


I want to harvest the yeast cake for future brews (the first being the cubed wort sitting in my garage). My main question is: should I transfer the beer to a secondary vessel now (and harvest the yeast cake sooner) for some conditioning to take place (one week or two?)? Or is there little/no value in doing so, and I'm better off just leaving it to condition in the current fermenter (with the yeast cake etc sitting at the bottom).

I have read quite a few posts about the benefit of racking into a secondary, with the more recent posts seeming to favour leaving it in primary to condition. I'm not massively concerned about making the beer super clear, I'm a rookie after all. I'm most concerned about whether the yeast will be in better/worse condition now than if I leave it for another 2 weeks under the beer.

I may also dry hop it as the aroma seems to have faded a bit - I think it's a given that the yeast should be spared the hit of hops to avoid flavouring future brews.

Another option is to rack into a keg and condition & dry hop in there - possibly killing two birds with one stone as I could let it carbonate slowly (rather than force carbing).


If anyone has any advice for a new fish that would be great.


(BTW I'm not chasing info on how to harvest the yeast, I have read a bit about that on here already)



Cheers all
 

raven19

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Leave it on the yeast cake to allow the yeast time to clean up after itself.
Then chill down to near zero for as long add you can justify then rack beret odd and harvest yeast for next batch.
 

Giddo

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Great, thanks Raven. In terms of timing for the temp drop - how long after the gravity stabilises would you recommend? Straight away or wait a few days / a week / ?

Cheers
 

wombil

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If you have your next lot cubed, ready to go I would just tip it onto the yeast cake in the fermenter when you take the present one out.
Works for me and saves cleaning the fermenter.
 

Giddo

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Hi all,

Sorry to resurrect this thread.

I've just found out I am going to be out of town for most of February. In my position, would you:

a) Give your house keys to your mates to enjoy the beer
b) Leave it in cold conditioning (still in primary) for another month (which would be a total of 5 weeks cc'ing on the yeast cake)
c) Rack to keg, harvest yeast and get the cubed wort fermenting
d) Other

In other words, are there any negative impacts of leaving the beer in cc (on the yeast) vs kegging it early or something else I should have thought of?


Cheers again all
 

stux

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In that situation... i'd probbaly rack to the keg and get the next wort going.

Ideally you want to leave the current batch going as long as you can before leaving, so rack the current one into a keg, and get the next one going as late as possible.

And then when you get back, you'll have a beer to drink, and a beer to keg ;)
 

fcmcg

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If it were me and because i'm sometimes lazy....
I'd rack to keg...
Dump the cube of wort onto the cake in the fermentor....
Come back in 5 weeks to another beer ready to keg....
F
 

Giddo

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Great, thanks Stux & Ferg, appreciate it. I will get it kegged one day next week when I'm back for a couple of days, and get the cube going.

:D

Cheers
 

stux

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don't use *all* the yeast cake... that's an over-pitch... maybe just a third?
 

Amber Fluid

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A general rule of the thumb, I read here but can't find the link now....

1 cup slurry for a Lager
1/2 cup slurry for an Ale

I personally use 1 cup for an Ale and have never had any issues.

I have also left my fermenter for 6-7 weeks without any problems. You can either do this or as others here mentioned previously, keg this one and get your next in but provided you have temp control. If you don't have temp control then I wouldn't.

If you chose to keg the current and considering you are away for so long, I would prime with sugar at half the rate the calculators indicate for bottling the same volume and turn off the gas.
 

Giddo

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Thanks. Yes I was planning to see how much sludge was in there, and have a stab at Wolfy's yeast rinsing. From there I will use the mrmalty calculator as a starting point, and save the rest for another brew.

I've made myself a stir plate as well, so half thinking I could use a bit less of the harvested yeast and build it up in a DME driven starter.

Amber, thanks for the advice. I've not kegged anything yet so was a bit unsure of the natural vs force carbing. One reason for going kegs was to avoid the need to put sugar in the beer, so I was favouring the force carbing buy intended to try both...maybe the month away is a good reason to try natural this time, and I can back to back it with the cubed beer (same recipe).

Thanks again
 

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