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10/10/06 09:26 AM  
Who top crops?
Do any of you guys on here top crop yeast? I've recently switched back to plastic fermentation vessels to get more of an open fermentation/square vessel (the results have been great). I brew three gallon all grain and use these:


I haven't top cropped yeast yet, but was wondering if anyone one here does. If so, how long does the yeast stay viable in the fridge. I'd love to be brewing every weekend and pitching away, but we all no that's not possible.

10/10/06 06:04 PM  
Re: Who top crops?
Dan and I tried it about a month back with WYeast 1056. We made a pale ale and then about 36 hours into fermentation we skimmed the majority of the krausen off and put it right into a Double IPA we had brewed that day. 1056 isn't necessarily a "true top cropper" like they say some of the English yeasts are, so that might explain why we weren't able to get as much yeast as we thought we would. After about 24 hours the Double IPA took off (we had aerated with pure O2). The airlock didn't seem have a ton of activity (maybe a bubble every 3 seconds). About 48 hours after pitching the yeast we had skimmed off it slowed down considerably. We were afraid it had pooped out, so when we racked the Pale Ale to secondary that day, we spooned quite a bit of the slurry from the bottom of that bucket into the DIPA. The next day there didn't seem to be any activity so we took a reading. It was down to 1.014 which was only 3 points higher than the 1.011 we had been expecting. I guess the yeast we had skimmed originally did more than we had thought, although I can't prove that since we didn't take a reading before putting the slurry from the Pale Ale in. Doh!


10/10/06 07:44 PM  
Re: Who top crops?
As an alternate to top cropping, you can "serial brew": first, let your primary run its course. Then, on the day you want to rack the beer to secondary, you brew another batch. Immediately after you rack the first beer off the yeast cake, rack the new beer onto it. I'm not sure of the subtle differences between this and top cropping, but it does produce the benefits of multiple generations of the same yeast culture.
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