Dry hopping in primary + yeast harvesting = bad??

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by sbaclimber, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

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    My current brew-improvement-mission is to reduce the amount of unwanted/unpredictable esters which keep occurring in by brews.
    I was recently able to effectively eliminate too high of a fermentation temperature as a cause, by buying a refrigerator. My last brew was kept at a constant 18°C for the first week of fermentation and only raised to 20°C for the last few days.
    Unfortunately, I still ended up with quite a bit more esters than I was expecting.... :(
    Remaining possible causes are under-pitching and stressed yeast.
    Considering I only use fresh yeast every 3rd brew (the other 2 are pitched using yeast harvested from the previous brew), and the esters have been occurring the strongest in the brews fermented using harvested yeast, I am fairly certain that I am at least under-pitching. The Starter Calc. here tends to back up my suspicion, though it is hard to be 100% sure, because I don't really know how much "good" yeast I am harvesting. Either way, my next step is to eliminate the possibility of under-pitching by building a stir-plate and boosting my starter by a lot.
    What I am not so sure about is.....stressed yeast. I always pitch horizontal (same OG) or up, never down. So that shouldn't be an issue, but I do dry hop in my primary (thanks to Larry for the time and effort saving tip! :) ). I recently read something *somewhere* that seemed to suggest that yeast shouldn't be harvested from anything containing non-cooked hops. Is that a real risk? ...or could it be, that I simply misunderstood and shouldn't worry?

    EDIT: PS, some general background info...
    I always brew IPAs using WLP007 and primarily German Pale Ale and CaraFoam malts.
    Most of my brews are ~14-15°P OG and I normally pitch yeast into 1.5l. 9°P wort for 24hrs to make a starter.
    My last brew was a 19°P OG IIPA (slightly more % crystal malt than normal) with a 2.5l. starter, using 2nd generation harvested yeast.
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    using a bag for your hops would be better, too much hops seem to cause yest to not perform well, bad flavors can also be caused by a small infection or unsanitary washing of the yeast, drastic temperature changes or the hop trub mixed with the yeast, using aged yeast too.

    also never save yeast from a beer that doesn't taste right

    try changing your system up and pitching a couple dry yeast once or twice just to see if its your washing and using a bag for dry hoping
     
  3. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

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    I always use a bag for dry hopping, and filter my wort after boiling, so I don't have any trub.
    My washing process isn't exactly optimal, so that might be something...
     
  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    one thing to note that hops mildew very fast, if not completely submerged under the beer can have a drastic effect on the beer and yeast
     
  5. sbaclimber

    sbaclimber Well-Known Member

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    That is good to know. I weight the bag, so it is submerged, but never really thought too much about the "why" I do it (just seemed like a good idea)...
     

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