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09/01/06 10:41 AM  
Has anyone tried top cropping?
Hey guys. Dan and I are making a Pale Ale on Monday and a Double IPA on Wednesday. We're thinking about skimming off some of the yeast from the Pale Ale and adding it to the Double IPA. Any idea approximately how much we should skim off?



09/01/06 12:16 PM  
Re: Has anyone tried top cropping?
Cool experiment Joelle, love to know how it goes. As far as your question, I think applying conventional wisdom to pitching the answer would have to be "as much as you possibly can". It would be cool to get a first hand feel of the effects of skimming as MJ described them at the '01 SoB.
09/01/06 12:22 PM  
Re: Has anyone tried top cropping?
Agreed about the "as much as possible" part. I'm just concerned that I'll take too much from the Pale Ale and it won't attenuate like it should. Would the yeast continue to multiply in the Pale Ale to make up for what was lost, or would there not be enough oxygen for them to do that since they had been fermenting it for a couple of days already?


09/01/06 03:23 PM  
Re: Has anyone tried top cropping?
My guess is that most of the yeast that has risen above liquid surface is somewhat excess and not doing that much of the fermenting. If the yeast is suspended above the sugar solution, how much can it be munching sugars from the solution? I believe that the yeast suspended in the liquid is doing most of the fermenting. Even with a top fermenting yeast, most of the CO2 bubbles are rising up through the liquid. Therefore, skimming off the surface should not deplete the working yeast population. Though I would wait until you have had a significant drop in gravity before skimming. Also, as you skim, you will knock a fair amount of the surface yeast back down into the liquid.

Unless you splash around alot (bad thing) and re-oxygenate the wort, the yeast will probably not go into a growth phase and re-multiply.

09/01/06 04:38 PM  
Re: Has anyone tried top cropping?
Thanks Ted!
09/03/06 10:16 AM  
Re: Has anyone tried top cropping?
The one thing about skimming that I kind of wonder about is flocculation. Is there a reason some yeast cells would be up top, others suspended and still others fallen out? I mean the stuff is very prone to genetic alteration. By skimming are you specifically grabbing the yeast that is less likely to flocculate? This doesn't necessarily suggest curtailed ability to attunuate, but it may be your odds of cloudiness increase.
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