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Keeping yeast in the bottom of the bottle - new data

H

harebare

I'm not sure what the protocol is for reviving an old thread but I'm modifying my original post.  ;D

An email to SN got the response that they repitch when they add the bottling sugar. I talked to my professional brewer friend and he told me that often bottle conditioned ales are bottled with lager yeast as it is sticky and clings better to the bottom of the bottle.

I've never added yeast at bottling time. Can anyone point me to an article that would help me understand how much yeast / sugar I need to get proper carbonation levels?

Also, any idea which lager yeast would be appropriate for high gravity ales?

- Hare


My original post follows...

harebare said:
Hi,

I'm new here. Nice place you got.

I've been brewing for several years, just now starting to brew all grain. I have mostly home-made equipment. I'm fond of crisp, high-alcohol, hoppy ales. I only bottle condition as I love the tiny bubbles and great head it produces.

I've been improving my ales through experimentation, consulting professional brewers and reading everything I can get my hands on. One of the things I'm trying to get out my ales is chill haze. One of the things I tried was inducing haze in the secondary and then clearing it with gelatin. It worked moderately well.

Anyway, the 2nd time I tried it, I added the gelatin too close to bottling time and I got a nice little layer of solid gelatin in the bottom of each bottle. It had no chill haze BUT if you poured a little carelessly, you got a nasty floater in your glass. (We called this batch "Ole Jellyfish" for obvious reasons.)

I've noticed that Sierra Nevada's bottle conditioned beers have the very desireable trait of having the spent yeast stick to the bottom of the bottle. (Finally he gets to the question...)

Q: Does anyone know of additives or techniques that make the sediment in bottle conditioned beers stick to the bottom of the bottle?

Enquiring minds want to know.
 

BeerSmith

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Hi,
  I'm not aware of anything that locks the sediment in.  However I would recommend adding your gelatin or polyclar a week or so before you bottle.  This will help reduce the sediment in the first place.

  Here are some other tips on clarity.
    http://www.beersmith.com/blog/2008/03/26/6-tips-for-crystal-clear-home-brewed-beer/

Cheers,

Brad
 
H

harebare

Thanks, Brad. Those are great tips. And I learned my lesson on the gelatin thing.  ;)

Actually I was trying to clear chill haze by dropping the secondary down to around 45F, letting the beer haze up and then adding the gelatin.

Didn't work.  :-\

But I STILL believe Sierra Nevada uses something in the bottle to keep the charging yeast stuck to the bottom when you pour. Or maybe they have a particularly sticky yeast strain? Maybe I should try brewing from a starter of their beer...

- Hare
 

Wastegate

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My thought is it is the type of yeast that influences the small amount of cake in the bottle. My hef's tend to be heavy on the yeast cake in the bottle (I like WPL800), whereas other beers tend to have a loose cake that you have to watch out for. You can always do a starter from a Sierra Nevada bottle and see how it turns out. That sounds like a great idea. Although this may not be the yeast they ferment with, just the finishing yeast.

Cheers

Preston
 
H

harebare

Wastegate said:
...
Although this may not be the yeast they ferment with, just the finishing yeast.

Cheers

Preston

Good point, Preston. Maybe culture a little of that yeast and pitch it in the bottling pail. I don't have the means to filter and even bottling very clear beer, I've not had a problem with carbonation so I know I'm already getting plenty of live culture into the bottle. I don't know what effect a 2nd strain would have. I don't want yeast wars in my bottles. ;)

- Hare
 
H

harebare

Maine Homebrewer said:
Buy some corny kegs and you'll never clean a bottle again, problem solved.

Nah. I'm a bottle guy. I find my ales improve greatly with cellaring that would kill kegged beer. Also, I can tell the head of a keg charged beer from a bottle conditioned beer from across the beer hall.

I know people who keg get to drink their beer a lot sooner but for me, the extra (and sometimes long) time in the bottle makes a difference.

- Hare
 

Maine Homebrewer

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I respect your choice, the fact is that I'm lazy.
Dry hopping and kegging is a pointless venture, yet I find myself unwilling to clean 40+ bottles when I could clean just one keg.
I love the aroma from dropping a plug or two into the secondary, but you lose it all once it goes into a corny.
 
H

harebare

Maine Homebrewer said:
I respect your choice, the fact is that I'm lazy.
Dry hopping and kegging is a pointless venture, yet I find myself unwilling to clean 40+ bottles when I could clean just one keg.
I love the aroma from dropping a plug or two into the secondary, but you lose it all once it goes into a corny.

Two suggestions:

1. Brewing your own beer is not lazy. Go the extra mile to get the product you want.

2. I don't use pellets, only flower hops. Drop a flower of cascade or your favorite in a pint glass after you pour. O. M. G. !

I really love bottle conditioned beers. My favorite commercial beers are unpasturized, bottle conditioned beers. My holy grail is to be able to duplicate the hop intensity and crispness of Bear Republic's Hop Rod Rye (Sonoma Co. available in the midwest at Binny's). I only bottle in 24oz bottles. I always bottle 1 6x12 to test progress in the bottle without wasting good ale. I am careful to rinse the sediment out of all the bottles after a "session" and I wash them in my dish washer on high heat dry. I repeat that process on bottling day. Personally, I think I have far less labor in a batch than your average kegger. And my beers both keep and continue to improve in the cellar (I live in a 125ish year old house. I KNOW about cellar temp.) for months and (I hope) even years.

- Hare
 

Wastegate

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I have used WPL800 on multiple occasions. But if it were me, I would use Danstar Nottingham. That stuff is like mud at the bottom of primaries. As far as the carbonation put the carbonation you desire into Beersmith and it will tell you how much corn sugar to use.

Cheers

Preston
 
H

harebare

Wastegate said:
As far as the carbonation put the carbonation you desire into Beersmith and it will tell you how much corn sugar to use.

Preston,

I know THAT. It's the amount of additional yeast to pitch. I read the following on BYO:

If you add fresh yeast, it is not necessary to pitch as much as for a completely new batch. The Sierra Nevada brewery, for instance, adds only enough yeast to their bottle conditioned beers to get about 250,000 cells/mL, or the equivalent of 1 teaspoon (5 mL) of yeast slurry in a 5-gallon (19 L) batch.
 

Wastegate

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I seem to remember something similar to that also, I know it doesn't take much. I have also read that some commercial brewers use yeast from the Krausen for Carbonation (Because it is the most active). If you do use a separate yeast for carbonation, the question then becomes. What do you do with the remainder of the yeast? If it was Nottingham, you could just seal up the package, but if it was a liquid yeast that would be a different story. Do you make a starter before hand for a lager and pull off 5ml? I guess you could go online and find some sterile vial's and add 5ml and some sterile water to each of them for pitching that way you would not have any waste. Basically yeast washing on a much smaller scale.

As far as a source, I will look through some of my books, but it was a long time ago. So it may be a futile search. I seem to remember that it was in "The New Complete Joy of Home Brewing by Charlie Papazian" but I can not be sure of that.

Cheers

Preston
 
D

Dr Hop

Hare,

I am with you on this. Much prefer naturally carbonated beer either bottle conditioned or cask conditioned. I also agree that you keep the aroma of the hops.

With regards to carbonation, I actually dont add any sugar to each bottle or to the fermented brew. For a 27ltr batch we freeze about 2.5ltrs of pre fermented wort until its time for bottling. This is then mixed back with the fermented wort and bottled into 0.5l bottles. We find that the sugar left in the 2.5ltrs is more than enough to condition the beer in the bottle and this amount does not make the beer too carbonated. In fact we have had compliments on it being about right and comparable to english real ale from the cask.

Hope this helps.

Dr Hop.
 
H

harebare

Ah, krausening!

I've done it a few times. You freeze yours? How interesting. I just put hot wort in clean bottles, capped them and left them in the fridge (with a stern warning label - "Not beer, don't drink!"). The problem I had (and the reason I stopped doing it) was the large amounts of trub in the bottles. I didn't want to dump all that junk in my nice clear beer and I couldn't find a way to decant/filter it suitably.

Any hints?

- Hare
 

Maine Homebrewer

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The more I think about it the more I am unable to disagree about the quality of bottle conditioned brew compared to kegging.
I have yet to come up with as clear of a product as when I was using bottles since I have been kegging. 
Sucking straight from the bottom compared to pouring off while leaving the compacted yeast behind...
Then there's the naturalness of it; letting they yeast carbonate the beer instead of using a metal tank from the local welding shop.

That said, I will respect your choice and continue to force carbonate my beer because I hate cleaning bottles.
Perhaps if I get a utility sink to put into the basement I may change my mind, but as it is I have no other option but to do my work in the bathroom in the tub with my bottle sprayer hooked to the same sink that sees toothpaste spit everyday...

Not to mention my wife who is OCD about water on the floor or anywhere else.

If things weren't so tight between gas and anticipated heating oil costs I'd put a sink down there, but in the mean time I'll keep kegging.
 
H

harebare

Good to hear from you. Since my illness, I've not been able to read the forum much. Thanks for instigating a morning reading exercise. ;)

I started bottle conditioning because it was easy and cheap. I learned to love it after seeing the expense others went to in force carbonating. (Perhaps I convinced myself then and there that bottle conditioned beer is just "better.")

In conversations with my professional brewing friends, I learned that they all felt that bottle conditioned brew was a superior product. Head and head retention and flavor being the two big factors. I was told, "You'll never get the clarity I get with all my equipment but I'll never get the head density and retention you get in the bottle."

I also think of all the large brewery beers that I like and all of them are finished in the bottle. Of course, that's not a fair comparison to home brewing since your kegged beers are unpasteurized and the comparable, non-bottle conditioned, commercial brews are.

Always great to hear from you.

Thanks,

- Hare
 
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