Finishing a muddy wort with US-05 to clear ?

Discussion in 'Homebrewing' started by jncastillo87, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Jan 27, 2013 Texas

    I am on week two of fermenting a Kolsch style recipe with K-97 ( safale ) yeast and its about as slow going as anything ..which is fine but I have an issue. From reading a million posts about K-97 everyone pretty much says it wont clear very well without lagering and I dont have the equipment to do that. Question is can I transfer to a secondary and pitch a packet of US-05 to finish the beer and clear it ? I cant really see it ruining anything since it is such a neutral yeast. Anyone ever attempt this and have any notes ? After two weeks the beer still has airlock activity and looks like muddy river water. No hydrometer tests have been taken yet.. temps are 59-63 range during the two weeks... the yeast started airlock activity within 12 hours so it did not start slow. ( 1.054 OG , 3.5 gallon batch )
     
  2. Tebuken

    Tebuken Jun 6, 2009 Argentina

    Turbidity doesn´t come from remaining sugars, the problem is this yeast has a very slow flocculation rate, you will need to be patient and let it rest a bit longer to try to clarify without chilling it.I don´t see any benefit on adding US-05
     
  3. mikehartigan

    mikehartigan Apr 9, 2007 Illinois

    Where to begin! ;)

    Adding a yeast that is not noted for its flocculating characteristics (US-05) will not clear your beer, particularly since it will do nothing to remove the 'muddy' stuff (could be yeast). Give it time to settle out, or figure out a way to lager it. You're in Texas. How are the temps this time of year? Maybe you could lager it in the garage.
    "No hydrometer tests have been taken yet". IOW, you don't know if fermentation is complete (airlock activity is not a reliable indicator). After two weeks, I suspect it's done, though that can only be confirmed by taking a couple of gravity readings a few days apart. If it is, adding another yeast will do absolutely nothing except, perhaps, muddy it up some more.
     
  4. VikeMan

    VikeMan Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    My advice is to stop watching the airlock, be patient, and take a hydrometer reading after two weeks have passed. You're looking at a symptom that may not be indicative of a problem at all, and looking for a solution to a problem that probably doesn't exist.
     
  5. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Jan 27, 2013 Texas

    Thats what I needed .. thanks man. The temps right now are 40s but that is in the morning .. we come up 20+ on a typical winter day and crash down another 20 at night so it might be to warm during the afternoon. Ill use the ice blankets I have and give in another two weeks or so. Think Ill start hydrometer readings today and if its done by monday ill transfer to secondary and let it ride out..
     
  6. VikeMan

    VikeMan Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Why are you trying to cold crash when you don't know if fermentation is finished yet? Maybe I'm misinterpreting what you're saying.
     
  7. epk

    epk Jun 10, 2008 New Jersey

    I think you are. He's saying he has no temp control and thats the temperature swing. A 20 degree variance.
     
  8. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Jan 27, 2013 Texas

    After I take a few hydrometer readings and declare the fermentation is complete I will try a cold crash to clear the beer .. I dont have an external fridge to use but I have ice blankets I will try out. Sorry I did write that kind of screwy ..my fingers just type what my crazy brain is thinking. I haz the stupids at times.
     
  9. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    You seem to be a bit ‘concerned’ at the moment but if you have sufficient patience your beer will clear. Lagering will accelerate the clearing process but if you give the beer enough time (i.e., months) it will clear of its own accord; gravity will eventually make the beer clear.

    I make a Belgian Wit every year and needless to say I want that beer to be cloudy. All of those Wit beers become clear if I do not consume them quickly; after about 3 months they are clear. They are still tasty at that point; they taste like a Wit but they sure do not look like a Wit.

    Cheers!
     
  10. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Jan 27, 2013 Texas

    Hate to say this but I do not want to wait months for the beer to clear. Although if I have to I will. I have never used this yeast and it seems no one else has either. Ill just keep waiting around until it does clear up. Ill move to secondary in week three and see from there.
     
  11. bgjohnston

    bgjohnston Jan 14, 2009 Connecticut

    For what it's worth, racking the beer off the yeast cake does speed up clarification of the beer. Obviously do so after the beer is finished, but racking multiple times is commonly done in wine making for that specific purpose, and I saw a blog post somewhere (sorry don't remember where) with an illustrated example of the same batch of beer put into multiple carboys, and the beer that was racked a couple of times clarified much more quickly than the beer left on its original cake. The picture showed a dramatic difference at 30 days.

    I generally ferment and ultimately bottle without using a secondary, but I did file that little bit of information away as a concrete example of why I might choose to rack a beer that would otherwise be finished in less than a month.
     
    jncastillo87 likes this.
  12. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Jan 27, 2013 Texas

    Very informational post man thanks.... Guess ill check the gravity and if its close ill move it over ... and after reading this I might move it over twice.
     
  13. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “ …and after reading this I might move it over twice.” While there may be a benefit of clarification by transferring from a primary to a secondary you need to keep in mind that there are negatives in transferring beer from one vessel to another. There is always a small chance of an infection during the transfer and even if you are very careful in your siphoning technique some air (oxygen) is introduced to the beer. Oxidation can result in accelerated staling of the beer.

    I personally do not secondary my ales since I do not want to add these aforementioned negatives to my beer.

    Cheers!
     
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  14. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    It seems to me that you are highly motivated to find a ‘magic bullet’ to clarify your beer (besides time & patience). IMHO, there is no true ‘magic bullet’ here. Even lagering takes time.

    Some folks use fining agents to help clarify their beers. Examples are isinglass, gelatin, biofine (and there are other products). I personally do not use finings in my beer making process since I do not like the idea of adding ‘extra stuff’ to my beer. I personally would not advice that you use finings to clarify your beer but maybe some other BA has a particular product and process to help you out. I am only mentioning this since using finings are ‘better’ than performing multiple transfers in my opinion.

    In the October 2013 edition of BYO magazine, Mr. Wizard answered a question about how to make a clear beer. It was a well written response where he detailed the following beer making processes: proper milling of grains, recirculating wort, vigorous boil, rapid chill down, and cold storage prior to packaging. He did not recommend the utilization of finings in his response; he stated: “I am one of those brewers who believe in sticking to the fundamentals of brewing …” I have a similar viewpoint to Mr. Wizard.

    Cheers!
     
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  15. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Jan 27, 2013 Texas

    I dont transfer beers either so the oxidation that negatively affect hops flavors can be introduced.. but this beer does not have much if any hop flavors that will stick out ..mostly just a bittering addition. I have the copy of the magazine actually and I think I will just stick with patience. Im just used to using US-05 and that monkey clears up quick and easy. Since this is my first attempt with K-97 ill report back in this thread and the other one I have about "Do I have to Lager my Kolsch ?"
     
  16. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    “I dont transfer beers either so the oxidation that negatively affect hops flavors can be introduced.. but this beer does not have much if any hop flavors that will stick out ..mostly just a bittering addition.” Hop fade is only one of many manifestations of oxidation processes. You really need to be concerned about unnecessary introduction of air (oxygen) for all beer styles (not just hoppy beer styles).

    Cheers!
     
  17. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Jan 27, 2013 Texas

    Another point taken thanks man. ;)
     
  18. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire

    Can you supply a reference for this phenomenon? It flies in the face of physics. You'd think the speed of flocculation would occur at a constant rate independent of a new vessel or not.

    If you transfer into a secondary, you only leave behind the trub and whatever has already floc'ed out. The yeast still in suspension would also hitch a ride to your secondary vessel.

    Some food for thought, at least.
     
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  19. bgjohnston

    bgjohnston Jan 14, 2009 Connecticut

    I apologized in advance for not remembering where I saw the information and pictures. But I take exception to the casual assertion that it flies in the face of physics.

    I have done this myself with some of my earlier beers and my own first-hand observations and comparison to similar batches that were never racked have shown me that it does clarify more quickly. Yes, all of the risks to oxygen exposure and possible contamination apply, but if you want to get the beer clarified, your choices are filtration, if you have the equipment; fining agents, if you are willing to use them; and racking the beer and allowing it to settle in a secondary container. You can implement any combination of these three, but that's really about it.
     
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  20. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Jan 27, 2013 Texas

    Will report back with findings based on this yeast when it finally does happen.. Im going to brew again soon and just let this river water sit a while.
     
  21. honkey

    honkey Aug 28, 2010 Alabama

    If your fermentation is taking so long, it is completely possible that your yeast is strained and it will take a long time to ferment. As a result, there will be fermentable sugar in the beer. Any fermentable sugar will prevent yeast from flocculating. If there is still food for the yeast, the yeast will not want to go dormant.

    For what it's worth, a typical ale fermentation should take 2-4 days. A lager should take 8-12 days. This K-97 is not a very robust yeast, so 6 days or so would have been somewhat normal. If you had unhealthy yeast, not enough yeast, or you didn't rehydrate your yeast, than I would expect that the yeast has been strained: some of it has died, and some of it is still fermenting very slowly. In addition, you are working with a yeast that is supposed to be lowly flocculent and typically used in wheat beers. It will take a long time to clear.
     
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  22. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Jan 27, 2013 Texas

    From what I have read the yeast just takes a long time. The FG is just about there and its been 14 days of 63 degree fermentation. The beer had Krausen after 18 hrs so I wouldnt think it was strained. I know I pitched ehough yeast and I also had it rehydrated with water that was boiled and had a small amount of yeast nutrient in it. Im just going to try and keep it cold for another week or so and hope it clears up some. You may be very right about the yeast dying off and the rest taking a long time to ferment but it just doesnt seem that way with how soon I had activity and how long the yeast were swirling around. I just really think I wont be using the shit ever again. Thanks for all the input though.
     
  23. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Jan 27, 2013 Texas

    I put it in the garage .. Carboy temps are 55 and the 10 day forecast shows that should not change much at all. Im going to give 10 days in there. Total fermentation time will be around 25 days.
     
  24. pweis909

    pweis909 Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    All things being equal, yes, I think you are right. But if the dimensions of the new vessel differ, it could speed things up. If the vessel were short and stout as opposed to long and narrow, the settling distances would be shorter and the settling times would be shorter. Marquis has described transferring beer into separate smaller demijohns to speed clearing.

    jncastillo also might bottle his beer now (assuming it is finished) and allow settling to occur in the bottle. That would be fast as it would reduce settling distance to the length of the bottle. It would settle quickly and he should be able to pour a clear beer. However, this yeast won't form firm lees, in my experience, so decanting must be a careful operation. And perhaps this approach would leave more yeast in the bottle than he may want. This would make things more prone to off flavors do to autolysis, but depends on how quickly he consumes the beer and the storage conditions. This is the approach I used when I bottled lagers in the past and I never had a problem.
     
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  25. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Jan 27, 2013 Texas

    Hey man appreciate the input. Im going to let the beer sit in the cool garage for the 10 days and then bottle... the last hydrometer reading was 1.012 so its pretty damn close ... i tasted the sample and it was super smooth. I think ill even transfer the beer to the bottling bucket in the garage so I dont have to carry the carboy in and shake up the cloud inside. I also had another thought.. I have a 1 gallon carboy and 0.5oz of hallertau in the freezer ( pellets )... I think I may take 3/4 gallon of the beer and dry hop it for 5 days and see what comes of it .. sounds like a pretty good experiment to me ! thoughts on that ?
     
  26. VikeMan

    VikeMan Jul 12, 2009 Pennsylvania
    Beer Trader

    Normally, I'd say that this sounds like a great idea. But for someone so concerned about clarity, be aware that racking some of your beer off is going to remix some of those yeast cells that are slowly making their way to the bottom, and probably some that already have made it..
     
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  27. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Jan 27, 2013 Texas

    Then I will have to do it the same day I bottle so it all gets moved at once.... the second small carboy will just get bottled a week after the main one does. :D
     
  28. pweis909

    pweis909 Aug 13, 2005 Wisconsin

    This sounds like an interesting experiment. I very much like Hallertau but never dry hopped with it.
     
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  29. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Jan 27, 2013 Texas

    I will report back of course to let you know how it ends up .. this is happening.
     
  30. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire

    I would also be cautious of dry hopping in a small vessel just because when your hop pellets fall apart, they'll make a mess. If you are using a hop sock with a small diameter container, pulling that hop sock out is no fun.
     
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  31. Seacoastbrewer

    Seacoastbrewer Jun 5, 2012 New Hampshire

    Good point regarding vessel dimensions, I had not thought of that.
     
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  32. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Jan 27, 2013 Texas

    True .... true .....
     
  33. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Jan 27, 2013 Texas

    Since the beer has been in the garage at around 54 degrees now it has finall started to clear ...The top 2/3 of the carboy has gotten darker and not as cloudy.... ill be damned though there is still a decent sized Krausen on top .. think I might have to bottle from under it ? I have heard of certain yeast doing this before. Wish there was a way to just vacuum that shit out of there.
     
  34. epk

    epk Jun 10, 2008 New Jersey

    That's exactly what you would do regardless. Glad to hear it's coming along.
     
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  35. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Jan 27, 2013 Texas

    :)
     
  36. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Jan 27, 2013 Texas

    Well here we are another week later ( three week total ) and the Krausen is finally freakin gone. Current beer temp is 54... and has been for about a week. Not sure if bottling tomorrow or sunday. I think sunday would work plus that will give it another few days to clear even more. IF this beer turns out really well it might be worth it to try the same recipe with US-05 and compare. Anyway, for anyone that cares about how this yeast acts in a few weeks ill post pics of the post carbonation pour and give taste reviews and what not so we can all learn together about it.
     
  37. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    "Anyway, for anyone that cares about how this yeast acts in a few weeks ill post pics of the post carbonation pour and give taste reviews and what not so we can all learn together about it."

    Please do.

    Cheers!
     
  38. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Jan 27, 2013 Texas

    After 10 days in the cold ass garage ( beer now down to 50 ) the beer appears to be clear as glass ! Sweet Jesus its time to bottle.. Will report back taste and general K-97 reviews.
     
  39. JackHorzempa

    JackHorzempa Dec 15, 2005 Pennsylvania

    It would appear that the Arctic blast came just in time for you? Maybe you should name this beer Arctic Kolsch?

    Cheers!
     
    jncastillo87 likes this.
  40. jncastillo87

    jncastillo87 Jan 27, 2013 Texas

    I think I will now that you mention it.
     
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