From the HBD Archive
From: Jeremy Cook <>
Subject: storing homebrew/yeast sediment
Date: 1989-01-12 09:56:06 GMT

>> >> Recently I have been reading about using champagne bottles. This would
>> >> seem to be a good compromise except pouring anything less than the whole
>> >> bottle would stir up the yeast at the bottom.

> >...I have started using a fairly simple method to reduce the sediment in
> >the bottle...

Firstly, if you only want to pour half of a large bottle at a
time then get hold of a large jug. I do this when we hold 'pub
nights' at our house to remind us of good old Blighty... Not all
of my beer glasses take 0.5l so I pour 2 or 3 0.5l bottles of
homebrew at a time into a large beer jug.

A fellow brewer and I have discussed the problem of sediment,
here are some conclusions: Allowing the brew to settle before
bottling reduces the subsequent amount of sediment significantly.
I ferment my brews in a large plastic bottle with a fermentation
lock and have had no contamination problems when I allow the brew
to stand for 2-3 weeks in a cool place after fermentation is com-
plete. Having a cool climate helps here and I estimate that my
'cellar' is at 8-10 degrees for most of the year (ie perfect tem-
perature for British type ales). If you're afraid of contamina-
tion at this stage you could syphon it over into a sterile con-
tainer and seal (with a fermentation lock). It could, however, be
argued that doing this would actually increase the risk.

After 2-3 weeks the brew will be fairly clear and you can go
ahead and bottle - there will still be enough yeast in suspension
to carry out secondary fermenation. With the bottles in a warm
place, secondary fermentation should be complete after 1 or 2
days, infact mine are usually almost completely clear after this
time. Moving back to a cool place finishes off the process.
There should only be a small amount of sediment deposited on the
bottom of the glass. It seems to be better if you keep the bot-
tles as cool as possible (for as long as possible). The sediment
that does remain eventually forms fairly hard layer which will
hardly move when poured. We have even transported homebrew suc-
cessfully. Any disturbed sediment seems to disappear within a
very short time.

-- Jeremy Cook

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