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Yeast settling in bottles?!?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by HopNicholson, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. HopNicholson

    HopNicholson Aspirant (30) Jan 24, 2013

    I am on my 3rd batch, which is in primary fermentation right now. The 2 batches before were an IPA recipe from brooklyn brew and an American light lager from mr.beer. After bottling my 1st batch, the IPA, i noticed there was yeast that had settled at the bottom of the bottles which i know is not desired at all. I wasnt too upset about it because it was my 1st time homebrewing, and i figured i didnt siphon out as carefully as i could. when it came to my 2nd batch, the light lager, i made sure that i racked it to a 2nd fermenter for a few more days to clear out the beer and also because i decided to dry hop it. After 2nd fermentation/dry hopping was done i racked it to a 3rd carboy which i filtered the runnings through a screen and adding the primming sugar. At that point i felt pretty confident that i would not run into the same problem of yeast settling in the bottles because of the multiple steps i took to "filter" my beer to the best of my knowlegde. Even after all that, i have come across the same problem of yeast settling at the bottom of the bottles! Can anyone help me out with this problem before my 3rd batch is ready for bottling?!?! Has anyone run into this before??
  2. jpeck13

    jpeck13 Aficionado (150) California Apr 28, 2011

    There needs to be yeast in the bottle in order to condition it. It's completely normal. As far as reducing that amount, filtering it through a screen will do nothing but oxidize/ruin your beer. 24-36 hours before you bottle your beer, throw it in the refrigerator. That will help a bunch of yeast drop out of suspension (flocculate). Then bottle as normal. It might take a little longer to carb up, but there should be less yeast left over in the bottle.
  3. VikeMan

    VikeMan Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    There will always be some yeast settling in the bottles. What do you think is eating the priming sugar to carbonate them?
  4. HopNicholson

    HopNicholson Aspirant (30) Jan 24, 2013

    right i understand that much. im just curious to see what people have to say about it. so there is not much i can do about it.
  5. HopNicholson

    HopNicholson Aspirant (30) Jan 24, 2013

    I dont know why i didnt think of that because its the same process when i harvest and wash my yeast. Thanks for the helpful information!
  6. pweis909

    pweis909 Advocate (705) Wisconsin Aug 13, 2005

    As Vikeman suggests, natural carbonation in bottles requires yeast, so there necessarily will be yeast in the bottle, and when it is done eating the priming sugar, it will gradually settle. After giving it a few weeks to prime, you can refrigerate. I usually give it three weeks to prime at room temp, sampling a bottle here and there. WHen I know it is well carbonated, I stick it in my 35 degree (F) cooler, which helps the yeast floc out (crash cooling). This helps compact the sediment so that when I pour, I can leave a little bit of beer behind in the bottle and this little bit will contain most of the sediment. You will find that some yeasts form more compact sediments than others. This may be a desired trait when bottle conditioning; you might decide to brew beers with high floccing yeasts.

    Yeast sediments can create a musty flavor in beer (at least to me). Sometimes when people refer to "homebrew taste" or "extract twang," I wonder if this is what they are tasting. Getting rid of yeasty flavors following the process I describe above probably was a major obstacle for me to overcome in order to serve beers that I liked. In addition to affecting flavor, having a lot of yeast in the beer affects your <ahem> digestion. Such problems have mostly gone away for me, so either I am putting out beers with less yeast, or my body has made the necessary adjustments.
  7. jmw

    jmw Savant (430) North Carolina Feb 4, 2009

    Most of your yeast should flocculate out in the primary, as a layer sometimes a couple inches thick. Are you waiting for this to happen and for the beer to drop bright before transferring to secondary?
    How much yeast are you talking about in the bottles--a thin layer of silt on the bottom or a half inch in each bottle? If the latter, you are probably not giving it time to do what it naturally does.

    by the way--3 batches in and you're harvesting and washing yeast? You must be very confident of your sanitation experience.
    GreenKrusty101 likes this.
  8. As others have said, this is necessary. The beer is bottle conditioned and will contain sediment just like any commercially bottle-conditioned beer.

    Pretty much the only way for a home brewer to bottle and not have sediment is to keg the beer, carbonate with carbon dioxide, and bottle from the keg with a beer gun contraption.

    I strongly advise against filtering your beer with a screen when transferring - the extra splashy will almost definitely oxidize your beer.
    GreenKrusty101 likes this.
  9. VikeMan

    VikeMan Advocate (740) Pennsylvania Jul 12, 2009

    Not to mention that a screen isn't going to remove suspended yeast anyway.
  10. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Advocate (535) Minnesota May 11, 2007

    Why is yeast in a bottle not desired? May I ask?
  11. Not only does yeast provide your bottle carbonation, bottled beer in contact with yeast has a longer shelf life than filtered beer.
  12. mnstorm99

    mnstorm99 Advocate (535) Minnesota May 11, 2007

    Probably due to the oxidation concerns mentioned above.
  13. PortLargo

    PortLargo Savant (375) Florida Oct 19, 2012

    It is common to see commercial beers with labeling that it is unfiltered and/or bottle conditioned, usually with a recommendation for a slow pour.

    Here is a nice approach to serving unfiltered beers:



    I don't have a fancy tray, but to my educated friends I offer a bottle, glass, and shot-glass and let them decide what is the best approach. I have had yeast sediment that enhanced the beer (in my opinion) and it was added back. Then again, some of my brews see their yeast swirling down the drain.

    When my uneducated friends see the sediment in a bottle they suspect I'm trying to poison them and make for the exit.

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