Yeast still in suspension after bottle conditioning

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matt76

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I tried a bottle of my latest Munich Helles the other night - my 51st AG brew, and the third time I've made a Helles so not exactly a newbie...

The right flavours are there, but these are rather spoiled by a yeasty taste - fine if it was a Weizen or Witbier, but not what you want in a Helles (and before you ask, no, I didn't pour out any of the yeast sediment into my glass! :laugh8: ).

It was brewed with my standard Helles recipe. I pitched CML Hell yeast. I did a thorough cold crash before bottling.

However, I noticed throughout brewing from gravity samples, at bottling and after 4 weeks bottle conditioning/carbonating that a slight haze remained... (they're actually still a little under carbonated so need a few more weeks really, but from experience they should be perfectly drinkable at this point)

To be clear, this is neither chill haze nor hop haze - I know what they are. And yes I used protofloc in the boil.

So, what options do I have? The right flavours for a Helles are there, I can taste them so I'm reluctant to ditch an entire batch, I just need to get the yeast to settle out to leave the clean flavours behind:

1. I've tried agitating the bottles to get the yeast sediment back into suspension in the hope this will settle out again and drag all the yeast out of suspension.

2. I've put a few bottles in the fridge to cold condition/cold crash. I'm not in a rush to drink them so I can leave them for a few weeks (months even) and hopefully this will do the trick eventually (I do this normally with my lagers to get rid of chill haze, but even so they still taste clean, I've never had trouble before with unwanted yeasty flavours)

3. Pop the caps and add finings? I've never used isinglass etc, but willing to try - anyone got any positive experience of doing this as a remedial action after bottling?

If anyone has any other ideas then I'm open to suggestions.

Cheers,

Matt
 

foxy

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Some yeasts take longer to settle out, I would be leaving the bottles in a cool place for a while.
They will settle.
 

jMac

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2. I've put a few bottles in the fridge to cold condition/cold crash. I'm not in a rush to drink them so I can leave them for a few weeks (months even) and hopefully this will do the trick eventually (I do this normally with my lagers to get rid of chill haze, but even so they still taste clean, I've never had trouble before with unwanted yeasty flavours)
This will probably work, but obvs not ideal if you want to start drinking now 😁

I’ve had bottled Wits drop completely clear when left in the fridge for an extended period (which is kind of the opposite problem to you).
 

matt76

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Some yeasts take longer to settle out, I would be leaving the bottles in a cool place for a while.
They will settle.
Thanks @foxy , yes agreed, except...

I don't believe this strain is noted for such behaviour (possibly same/similar strain to W-34/70 or S-23).

And also I didn't see this behaviour when I used the same yeast in my recent Baltic Porter and Munich Dunkel - though in fairness, both of these give you more margin for error on taste and colour! :laugh8:

Actually now the weather here is turning a little cooler, my cryogenic lagering chamber* is an option again with regards to time and cool.

(*shed)

Cheers,

Matt
 

Pennine

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Do you take pH readings? I have had this when I mashed below 5.0. It has not cleared yet after a couple of months. I have not cold stored it yet though.
 

Ben034

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I've also had issues with CML hell yeast and beer that was clear in bottles with 2 weeks of lagering with wlp830 or w34/70 took months to clear (same recipe) with the hell yeast. Of course there could be other explanations but I'm sure my processes were thorough.
 

PhilBrew

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Hi Matt
they're actually still a little under carbonated so need a few more weeks really, but from experience they should be perfectly drinkable at this point
... for me, this is the key bit of your original post ... you're an experienced brewer, you clearly feel the yeast in those bottles haven't finished consuming the priming sugars in those bottles (I presume you don't think the beers are under-carbonated because you didn't add enough priming sugars :?:) ... so I don't understand why getting those bottles into an environment where the yeasties can get on with finishing off what they're trying to do (after which they'd be much more likely to flocculate out), isn't under consideration :confused.:

Surely you're experienced enough to know by now that not all ferments behave the same (even with similar yeasts/worts) and you can never just rely on it running to your schedule ... or maybe you just need to be reminded every so often wink...

Cheers, PhilB
 

Covrich

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This will probably work, but obvs not ideal if you want to start drinking now 😁

I’ve had bottled Wits drop completely clear when left in the fridge for an extended period (which is kind of the opposite problem to you).
A transluscent wit is an impressive achievement :laugh8:
 

matt76

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Thanks for the response @PhilBrew athumb..

so I don't understand why getting those bottles into an environment where the yeasties can get on with finishing off what they're trying to do (after which they'd be much more likely to flocculate out), isn't under consideration
It is - in fairness I didn't state it explicitly in option 1 of my OP, but having agitated the sediment I'll now leave the bottles another 4 weeks or so at an appropriate temp (12-21degC for this strain) to let the yeast continue to do their thing.

What I would add though is that with the various Pilsners and Helles's I've made before, they've been perfectly drinkable at 4 weeks, just that they benefit from additional lagering in terms of flavour and carbonation (and chill haze in my case which is a continuous thorn in my side!). This time around though I'm just a little surprised to find this isn't the case.

or maybe you just need to be reminded every so often
Don't we all! :laugh8: acheers.
 

Stuart Wilson

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I'm a relative beginner to brewing, but the one thing I have learned is that sometimes beer can take ages to clear. The first brew I did was cloudy for ages, whilst the second and third went crystal clear after about a week. The first brew tasted fine, and most of it was drunk cloudy. However, the last few bottles eventually went beautifully clear....after about 2 months! It tasted a lot nicer. No idea why it took so.long to clear but the important thing I learned was "be patient" and avoid premature consumption. It will clear eventually!

I have decided that the only way around this issue is to brew several batches so that you can build up a 2 - 3 month stockpile! I've
 

matt76

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Thanks @Stuart Wilson ...

From what you're describing (cloudy but tastes fine, clears eventually given enough time in the fridge) this sounds like chill haze...

As it happens chill haze is an age old issue for me and no matter what I try I can't seem to solve it any other way than time, so I mostly ignore it (chill haze is only visual, it doesn't affect taste).

But the issue I'm referring to in my OP is most assuredly not chill haze (well, actually, this beer does have chill haze, but that's normal for me and I know it'll clear in time). It's quite obvious from the taste in this case that there is still yeast in suspension, which at this stage 4 weeks after bottling is at odds with anything I've ever experienced using ale and lager yeasts.
 

Stuart Wilson

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20200908_145400.jpg
Case in point.....similar recipes, one on left of picture bottled for 10 days, one on the right for 2 weeks. Pretty confident that one on right will eventually clear fully...
 

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