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My Process - Fermentation

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Salt

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Hey all,

Have approximately 8 or so AG batches under my belt and am fairly happy with my process in terms of Brew day etc...However have some questions about my process in terms of Start of Fermentation through to bottling...

Feel free to suggest ways to improve, tell me what Im doing wrong or how you do the same...?

As I tend to brew mostly APA/IPA styles, the process is intended for these beers...

Cheers;

> Pitch Yeast and Fermenter goes into Temp controlled fridge
> Ferment at 18degC for duration of Primary
> Once gravity is stable at FG, I crank the temp up to 22deg for approx 48 hrs or two days for Diacetyl rest
> Rack to secondary and add Dry Hops - back at ferment temp of 18deg
> Leave for 7-10days
> Crash cool to 4deg for 2-4 days (Gelatine at this time - optional)
> Bottle at CC temps

I add my dry hops direct, so there is no bag to remove etc...

Questions;

- Should I dry hop in Primary at all?
- Is my D-rest process correct - waiting until ferment is complete then ramping up temp?
- Is 48 hrs sufficient?
- Should I be dry hopping back at ferment temp of 18deg? Warmer/Cooler?
- Should I rack again before Crash Cooling? (I understand all the risks of Oxygen when racking etc)...
- Is Cooling for 2-4 days what most do?

Suggestions?

Cheers!
 

Aydos

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Hey all,

Have approximately 8 or so AG batches under my belt and am fairly happy with my process in terms of Brew day etc...However have some questions about my process in terms of Start of Fermentation through to bottling...

Feel free to suggest ways to improve, tell me what Im doing wrong or how you do the same...?

As I tend to brew mostly APA/IPA styles, the process is intended for these beers...

Cheers;

> Pitch Yeast and Fermenter goes into Temp controlled fridge
> Ferment at 18degC for duration of Primary
> Once gravity is stable at FG, I crank the temp up to 22deg for approx 48 hrs or two days for Diacetyl rest
> Rack to secondary and add Dry Hops - back at ferment temp of 18deg
> Leave for 7-10days
> Crash cool to 4deg for 2-4 days (Gelatine at this time - optional)
> Bottle at CC temps

I add my dry hops direct, so there is no bag to remove etc...

Questions;

- Should I dry hop in Primary at all?

i do but only to keep the hops there. I then leave for a few days and then transfer to racking container after that.

- Is my D-rest process correct - waiting until ferment is complete then ramping up temp?

Not sure why you would be doing a D-rest for an ale yeast, they clean up after themselves quite fine

- Is 48 hrs sufficient?

For a lager yes 48hrs is fine

- Should I be dry hopping back at ferment temp of 18deg? Warmer/Cooler?

Im not really sure 4c is going to make any difference on hop additions as it has nothing to do with the yeast, which is why your doing the D-rest anyway.

- Should I rack again before Crash Cooling? (I understand all the risks of Oxygen when racking etc)...

Racking once is sufficient unless you somehow got HEAPS of yeast into you racking container.


- Is Cooling for 2-4 days what most do?

I CC for around a week but i think its more just what suits me. The longer you leave it, the more it will generally drop stuff out of suspension.
Suggestions?
If Im wrong somewhere then someone else can add to that but that's what i have found so far.

Cheers!
 

Bribie G

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If you can cold condition at -1 for a few days that has a similar effect to conditioning at a higher temp for a lot longer. Most domestic fridges don't get that cold but down the track you could pick up a Kegmate type fridge that will happily do down to -2 for around $400 which will also hold two vessels. In my bottling days I would rack into a "conditioning" vessel - a 20L cube of the sort that fresh wort kits come in is ideal - then stick that in the fridge. I would rack as quietly as possible and add gelatine.

Then after a couple of days I would add Polyclar, leave another two days and then bottle. Often the beer would be almost bright in the bottles, but there's always enough yeast there to kick off bottle conditioning.
Seeing as you are going to all the bother of bottling it's nice to be able to pour nice clear beer with the minimum of sediment, and to have all your bottles with even amounts.

I found when I bottled out of primary the first few bottles were generally shockers.
 

Salt

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If Im wrong somewhere then someone else can add to that but that's what i have found so far.

Cheers!
I do the D-rest to ensure that the active yeast can clean up any signs of Diacetyl and Pentainedoine...which whilst not usually as obvious in Ales, can be present...I have tasted plenty of Diacetyl bombs that have been Pale Ales/IPAs...

Thanks for the tips...I will Crash Cool for a week, as im not dropping right down to 1 or 2 deg. But will CC in my secondary to drop out the hops and any extra yeast and not rack for a second time (prob uneccessary).

Cheers :D
 

Jazzafish

Fermentation is my bitch
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Answers (Well my opinion);

- Should I dry hop in Primary at all?
Depends on timing. Adding early in ferment/airlock bubbling will drive off aroma you want. Adding before yeast starts to drop out can cause yeast to absorb some of the hop oils you're adding. If you're reusing the yeast cake, I'd dry hop after harvesting yeast.
- Is my D-rest process correct - waiting until ferment is complete then ramping up temp?
After a few days, I let the temp ramp up naturally and hold until complete. EG: 18*C a few days, rise to 20*C and hold until done. Within reason, it is the first growth phase you want to be cooler to avoid unwanted esters. Note diacetyl is not often an issue in ales for me. To see if you need to clean up diacetyl, check this out: Diacetyl Test
- Is 48 hrs sufficient?
Can you still detect butter? If yes, more time/fresh yeast. If not chill it.
- Should I be dry hopping back at ferment temp of 18deg? Warmer/Cooler?
Both give techniques give different results. Suggest you split a batch and take notes of the differences and see what suits your taste buds. Then try dry hopping pre crash and post crash in the same batch.
- Should I rack again before Crash Cooling? (I understand all the risks of Oxygen when racking etc)...
Can't see a benifit in it
- Is Cooling for 2-4 days what most do?
More or less. I have a conditioning keg so do it in that then transfer when a tap is available.
Suggestions?
Check out the book "yeast" by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff. No prizes for guessing which chapters were written by a microbiologist and which ones by a brewer! Controlling the yeast/ferment is the most important part of brewing.
 

Salt

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Answers (Well my opinion);

- Should I dry hop in Primary at all?
Depends on timing. Adding early in ferment/airlock bubbling will drive off aroma you want. Adding before yeast starts to drop out can cause yeast to absorb some of the hop oils you're adding. If you're reusing the yeast cake, I'd dry hop after harvesting yeast.
- Is my D-rest process correct - waiting until ferment is complete then ramping up temp?
After a few days, I let the temp ramp up naturally and hold until complete. EG: 18*C a few days, rise to 20*C and hold until done. Within reason, it is the first growth phase you want to be cooler to avoid unwanted esters. Note diacetyl is not often an issue in ales for me. To see if you need to clean up diacetyl, check this out: Diacetyl Test
- Is 48 hrs sufficient?
Can you still detect butter? If yes, more time/fresh yeast. If not chill it.
- Should I be dry hopping back at ferment temp of 18deg? Warmer/Cooler?
Both give techniques give different results. Suggest you split a batch and take notes of the differences and see what suits your taste buds. Then try dry hopping pre crash and post crash in the same batch.
- Should I rack again before Crash Cooling? (I understand all the risks of Oxygen when racking etc)...
Can't see a benifit in it
- Is Cooling for 2-4 days what most do?
More or less. I have a conditioning keg so do it in that then transfer when a tap is available.
Suggestions?
Check out the book "yeast" by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff. No prizes for guessing which chapters were written by a microbiologist and which ones by a brewer! Controlling the yeast/ferment is the most important part of brewing.

Thanks heaps, exactly what I was after!

Will check out the 'Book of Yeast'!

Salt
 

Bribie G

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Talking about yeast, if you are collecting and reusing yeast cake - which you would almost certainly want to do if using the more expensive varieties such as Wyeasts, then racking to a conditioning vessel is a good time to collect the yeast. If you wait till the very end after cold conditioning you'd end up with possibly shocked and certainly "sub optimal" yeast.
 

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