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Krausen Skimming

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kook

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How many of you guys skim the Krausen (ie, remove the hop residue ontop of the krausen) after the fermentation has kicked in ?

How beneficial is it to do this?
 
J

Jovial_Monk

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I leave the beer alone


Jovial Monk
 

bradmcm

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Sometimes I do. Sometimes I don't.
The krausen contains a lot of the bitterness.
If you skim, it takes away a lot of the harshness
and it is a smoother beer. You get
the same effect if you leave it and let it drop out
through the beer over a few months.
 

RegBadgery

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I recently started skimming after following a discussion on the craftbrewing digest - havent' tasted a skimmed brew yet.

cheers
reg
 

PostModern

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I read on some site or other that skimming the krausen can reduce head retention. I also don't like risking possible contamination of the brew. Let it be :)
 

Julez

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After a bit of searching past threads, this was the best one I could find from about two years ago (are my search skills that shabby, or is this a topic that just isn't talked about)?

I've been wondering about skimming krauesen from my fermenter. Haven't done it so far, but curious as to its merits/otherwise. Especially since I have the krauesen from hell in my currently fermenting hefe weizen!!

Does anyone have anything to add to this thread?

Cheers :beer:
 

Julez

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Crap! Make that 5 years ago!! :eek:
 

PostModern

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A blast from the past.

Try searching for "cropping" or "top cropping" rather than skimming. I'm sure there will be numerous threads on it.

I've gotten into it since '03, but as a means to get some very active and healthy yeast. Pitching a cropped yeast (of the right strain) will kick off a very healthy fermentation in the next batch.
 

Julez

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A blast from the past.

Try searching for "cropping" or "top cropping" rather than skimming. I'm sure there will be numerous threads on it.

I've gotten into it since '03, but as a means to get some very active and healthy yeast. Pitching a cropped yeast (of the right strain) will kick off a very healthy fermentation in the next batch.
Just tried that PM, didn't bring up much :( ~ mostly to do with lager yeasts...

I'm interested in skimming (or cropping?) krauesen with regards to its impact on the flavour/quality of the finished beer. Do you think removing any of the krauesen at a particular stage is advisable? Or is it better to just leave it be as others have suggested?

Julez
 

PostModern

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Unless you want to harvest the yeast, leave it. It is mostly live yeast.

EDIT: this is just going off my own experience. If the krausen is climbing out of control, just fit a blow-off tube.

What strain is it and what beer are you making?
 

Julez

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Unless you want to harvest the yeast, leave it. It is mostly live yeast. What strain is it and what beer are you making?
Currently a hefe weizen, giving the Danstar Munich Wheat yeast a go. Interested in this question not specifically in relation to this beer, just in general.

So you wouldn't even consider skimming what's left at the end of the fermentation? Are their any positives at all to skimming krauesen, or is it just a bad idea all round?
 

warra48

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Maybe I'm wrong, and I stand to be corrected, but I just don't understand the fascination of so may home brewers wanting to interfere with their brews by skimming the fermenter, racking etc etc.
I just leave well enough alone, and avoid any potential infection introductions.
 

mika

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Heffe yeasts live fast and die young. I'd leave a Hefe well enough alone, for others the best time for yeast harvesting (in my understanding) is at high krausen due to the large amounts of healthy yeast.

I haven't heard of anyone cropping to impact the flavour profile. I would imagine that any yeast removed would be replaced by the other yeast dividing. I guess if you pulled the yeast off late enough in the ferment there might not be enough residual oxygen for the yeast to want to multiply so the existing yeast would struggle on, probably producing similar flavours to underpitching. The downside being you've opened the fermentor and thus increased the chance of infection, the yeast in the later stages is struggling against the growing alcohol percentage, so removing too much yeast may result in a stalled ferment. Also at such a late stage I can't see there being a lot of sugar left for the yeast to process, so flavour impact would be fairly marginal, kinda like heating the ferment up in the final stages doesn't produce the wild esters that can be created if heated at the start of the ferment.
Just my musings...
 

pint of lager

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Skimming usually refers to skimming scum from the first 10 minutes of boil. If you leave it later, it drops back into the boil.

Cropping usually refers to skimming live yeasts from actively fermenting krausen. One English style of brewing used a very special fermenter called a Burton Union which actually took this active top off the krausen.

This is very specific to a particular English ale yeast.

Like the others said, don't do it to your heffe yeast and don't try it on a lager.
 

Stuster

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This is a technique used by traditional brewers, often those open fermenting. (Do you get BYO? If so, to save me going through all the details, turn to p.16 of this month's. ;) ).

Anyway, in essence, the idea was to remove the bitterness that's apparent in the scum when you taste it. Seems like a good idea. Doesn't seem to have any impact though. Leave it alone (or you'll go blind :lol: ).
 

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