Wyeast 2112 California Lager primary

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Wyeast 2112 California Lager primary

Postby jayhawk » Thu Sep 02, 2004 12:08 pm

I am brewing a lager tomorrow, using Wyeast California Lager 2112. My temps in the "brewery" hover between 16C to 18C, so I am opting for this yeast as it tolerates higher temps.

This will be my first time brewing with lager yeast. Should I transfer the beer out of the primary (to get it off the trub) after 3 days, like I do with ales? The only reason I ask is b/c lager yeast is bottom fermenting, and i have read/heard that lagers require a longer primary, so I don't want to interfere unnecessarily with the progress of the yeast. I am also more concerned about trub contact since this ferment will be done at higher temps than typical lagers. Any suggestions?
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Re: Wyeast 2112 California Lager primary

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Thu Sep 02, 2004 3:15 pm

"Should I transfer the beer out of the primary (to get it off the trub) after 3 days, like I do with ales?"

No, for all beers you should do so just as fermentation signs exist. 3 days is too long because at that point, trub would be distributed throughout the fermenting wort via convection and CO2 production.

"The only reason I ask is b/c lager yeast is bottom fermenting"

A common misunderstanding that borders on urban legend...

Lager yeast actually are distributed througout the wort just like any other yeast. The reason that they appear to sedimentate is temperature related. Since lager fermentations are supposed to be undertaken at temperatures below 60 degrees, the yeast's metabolic activity is 1/2 or more that of ale yeast. This means that all byproducts of fermentation are released slower, including CO2. It is this slower CO2 production combined with reduced convection that allows the less viable and vital yeast to settle to the bottom while in primary fermentation. If you want to see the reverse happen, ferment with a lager yeast at warm temperatures. The yeast distribution will resemble what is observed with ale yeasts. Obviously, the resultant beer will not taste very "lagerish"!


"...and i have read/heard that lagers require a longer primary..."

True, if undertaken at traditional lager fermentation temperatures. Also remember that a lager yeast pitch has to be 1.5 to 2 times that of an ale yeast because of the temperature. If it is a new liquid culture either via smack pack or slant cultured, you should always 2X pitch. If it is a properly harvested sediment, it can be as low as 1.5X.

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Postby jayhawk » Thu Sep 02, 2004 5:25 pm

So Mesa, just to confirm: you are recommending that I get the wort off the trub just as I begin to see signs of fermentation?

Thanks for the other info, I really appreciate your guidance. Do you have any experience with this yeast. What were your impressions?
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Postby Mesa Maltworks » Thu Sep 02, 2004 8:20 pm

jayhawk wrote:So Mesa, just to confirm: you are recommending that I get the wort off the trub just as I begin to see signs of fermentation?

... & Do you have any experience with this yeast. What were your impressions?


1) Yes... all beers should be removed from the trub as soon as possible after seeing the beginning signs of fermentation. If you really want to get on top of it... as soon as the pH of the wort drops below 5 is the optimum time as this is a definite sign that fermentation is in progress. This typically occurs within 12 hours, assuming an adequate pitch.

2) Yes I have used it before. It is a very clean, highly flocculant, low acetaldehyde (green apple... a moderately high acetaldehyde example is Budweiser), moderate sulfur producing strain that ferments with the best lager characteristics being retained, in my experience, between 58 & 60 F which is well above the strains I presently ferment with which do best @ 48~53 deg. F. I believe Wyeast claims that it can retain these characteristics up to to 65 deg. F, but I suspect it would be on the fruity side of lagers at this temp. If I recall properly, this is a strain that is assumed to have been used to produce pre-prohibition Pilsners that is very similar to the hybrid California Common strains, which would explain why it has "lagerish" notes despite the high fermentation temperatures.

Eric
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Postby jayhawk » Fri Sep 03, 2004 1:24 am

thanks Eric 8)
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Off the trub???

Postby mje1980 » Fri Sep 03, 2004 9:39 pm

1) Yes... all beers should be removed from the trub as soon as possible after seeing the beginning signs of fermentation.

Mesa, what visual signs should be present when doing this??. Does this mean when there is the beginning of a krauzen, or when there is a good solid rocky foam??. I know it may be a silly question for you, but, if i rack my beer at this early stage, wont a lot of yeast be left behind???.

Also, after racking this early, will the yeast on the bottom be any good as a yeast source?? if not, when is the best time to collect the yeast from the bottom of the fermentor?? after secondary??.

Any advice is much appreciated.
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Off the Trub Continued...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Sat Sep 04, 2004 11:34 am

"what visual signs should be present when doing this??. Does this mean when there is the beginning of a krauzen, or when there is a good solid rocky foam??."

At first sign of krausen.

"if i rack my beer at this early stage, wont a lot of yeast be left behind???."

No. Whatever yeast is left entrained in the trub is either non-vital (dead) or non-viable (alive, but metabolically challenged). The remainder on the bottom will be vegetal matter, bacteria & protein (what the bacteria feed on when sugars are depleated.)

"when is the best time to collect the yeast from the bottom of the fermentor?? after secondary??. "

This is a question that I have addressed multiple times in the past and I always run into someone who wants to militantly argue that "it always works for me". They also typically don't keep fermentation records or/and brew "identical" beers back to back. Empirical data and back to back tasting of the "same" beer is required to see that in fact, the beer will NOT turn out the same. The hallmark of a good brewer is CONSISTENCY.

If someone doesn't believe this, try:

Brew the exact same recipy sequentially. (same ingredients, same hop doses, same boil, same starting gravity.)

Repeat "identical" brews 3~4 times, always pitch onto primary trub. You can even see differences if you pitch the second fermenter trub if decanting after the first signs of krausen, but it will take more batches before differences will be dramatic.

Take gravity readings at least every other day and WRITE THEM DOWN.

Finish out the beers as close to the same terminal gravity as possible. The last 2 batches may not ferment completely down to the same gravity due to reduced viability (yeast exhaustion) cause by starting from a compromised yeast source.

Keg or bottle the beers and age for 1 month.

You will be able to see that, in fact, this method does not produce identical beer before tasting them. The proof will be in the numbers. Either chart or compare the gravity readings for all of the batches. What you will see is either slowing fermentation rates in subsequent batches or fermentation that became too fast. (Yes, too fast is bad, but elaboration as to why would take a lot of space and is better addressed in another thread).

After aging, taste the beers starting with the first batch and follow through to the last. They will not taste the same! With extended storage, some will become infected. Some could possibly show the early signs of infection at 1 month old.

So... Here is the only way to fly:

1) Transfer from primary at first sign of krausen to glass/stainless.
2) Allow to ferment down within 2 deg. plato of intended finishing gravity. (measure it, don't be a "bubble watcher!!!")
3) Transfer to stainless/glass.
4) Allow to ferment out to intended finishing gravity. (measure it!)
5) Transfer to glass/stainless for settling. This is best undertaken by refrigeration.
6) Harvest the yeast from the vessel in step 4. It will be devoid of trub and will contain the yeast with the highest vitality and viability and will exhibit the least cell differentiation.
7) Place this yeast in a STERILE not sanitized container and dilute to 50/50 with STERILE (boiled & cooled) distilled water. Close with a tight sealing lid and refrigerate to as close to 32 deg. F as possible.

NEVER STORE HARVESTED YEAST IN 100% BEER!!!! Alcohol is toxic to yeast that are in dormancy (it is a solvent!) and will reduce the life of the slurry to less than 2 weeks.

Yeast prepared and stored in this way will exhibit no degradation if used within 2 weeks. Take it out of the fridge and allow to warm to room temperature before pitching. If you really want a great start, 12 hours ahead of brewing take out of fridge, let it warm to room temp. then pitch it into a STERILIZED container with STERILIZED DME (boiled) that was prepared to SG. 1.015~1.020 with a teaspoon of high alpha hops. Close with an airlock.

If you store this yeast beyond 2 weeks, it will experience a reduction of ~2.5% v/v per week. You should not use yeast prepared this way after
1 month of storage.

If you wish to culture the yeast:

1) Streak 100X diluted (boiled & cooled distilled water) slurry from the yeast in vessel in step 4 immediately after transfer onto properly prepared agar plates.

2) Allow the colonies to grow for around 3 days.

3) Loop some cells off of the healthiest looking colony into a sterile test tube containing 100 ml of sterile distilled water.

4) Shake to distribute the cells. Then stick the loop into the liquid and streak onto properly prepared agar slant tubes. Refrigerate.

By using this method, yeast can be maintained for up to 1 year without reduction in v/v.

To use the yeast, you loop off some cells into a 10 ml. sterile wort of 1.015~1.020. After CO2 is evident, you add that liquid to 50 ml of the same and then 100 ml, then 250 ml, then 500 ml and finally 1,000 ml. This proceedure produces the best pitching yeast possible if sanitation and sterilization practices are followed well.

This may have been a bit more than you needed, but I figured that there may be others who would want to know about how to culture the yeast post harvest.

A note on preparing glassware and solutions to sterile standards:

The best way is to autoclave or pressure cook all glassware and solutions at 15 PSI for 15 minutes. Otherwise, boil all solutions, glassware, lids and airlocks (yes... you can get thermal glass airlocks) completely covered with water for 30~45 minutes.

Whew! I need a beer! :lol:

Eric
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Trub Definition

Postby Dr Strangebrew » Sat Sep 04, 2004 1:36 pm

Eric,

How do you define trub? Unfortunately I cannot cite my source, but I thought trub consisted of the material from hot and cold breaks and was to be distinguished from yeast settling out of the suspension, which as a whole is referred to as the yeast sediment.

My concern is this. I haven't worried about the trub because I thought that I didn't transfer it to my beer. There is a 1.5 gallon deadspace at the bottom of the kettle which I leave behind when I transfer to fermentor. I thought that by doing this I leave the trub (hot and cold break material) behind, thus eliminating the need to transfer to another fermentor.

I do understand that I am keeping a yeast sediment in the bottom of the fermentor, but I assume that I have little if any trub transferred into the fermentor. I would be interested in any comments you have on this process.

Thank you,
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Hot Break vs. Cold Break...

Postby Mesa Maltworks » Sat Sep 04, 2004 1:57 pm

Hot break is the protein break that you see rolling around in the kettle after about 10~15 minutes of a vigourous boil (if the pH is right). This is what settles in the kettle and, hopefully, you left most of it behind.

Cold break occurs at temperatures below 89 Deg. F. and takes time to settle... much longer than the time during chilling the wort in the kettle by immersion and very little at all under counterflow. Maximizing this break is what Irish Moss finings are used for.... they have little effect in the kettle.

Therefore... the definition of trub = a slurry mixture of a little hot break, some vegetal matter (hops/grain), yeast and mostly, cold break. These are what you need to decant off of as soon as the first signs of krausen appears. If you have ever talked to a competent pub or micro brewer that uses conical fermenters, they will tell you that 12 hours after pitch they bleed off the bottom of the fermenter until it runs clear. This is the same technique I am explaining to you, but you are not using conicals, so you have to siphon the wort off.

Eric
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That was fast

Postby Dr Strangebrew » Sat Sep 04, 2004 2:12 pm

Thanks for your quick response. I think that I will begin to siphon into a new fermentor.

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