From the HBD Archive
From: Brian Atkins <atkins@hpindqa>
Subject: White precipitate in beer??
Date: 1989-04-24 18:11:26 GMT

Twice now we have done partial grain/extract brews and both have been good.
However, both have had extraordinary amounts of a very fine white
precipitate in the bottom of both the primary and secondary fermenters
and the bottles.

First let me tell you a little about our process. We started the extract,
about 3 lb of dry Australian Light, boiling in bottled drinking water (not
distilled, perhaps filtered, but definitely listed as "Drinking" water).

Using the same water we did the infusion mash thing with about 3 lbs of
bringing it to a temp of around 125 for 30 minutes, then raising it to
150 for about 20 minutes and then sparging with 170 degree water.

The sparging was a slow pour through a kitchen strainer into the extract which
was already boiling. As we poured, the grain built up in the strainer, but
a lot of the fluid was poured off the top, before the grain was in the
strainer to act as a filter (we'll do better next time). We then sparged
with water through the same, conical, kitchen strainer attempting to keep
the water going through the grain and not over the edge. We also kept the
flow through the grain slow so as not to overly disturb the grain bed.

We then boiled as usual with about 50 minutes of bittering hops and
about 10 minutes of finishing hops, both leaf. We did use the finishing
hop leaves as a filter while pouring into out (glass) carboy.

We racked after about 2 weeks, nicely active fermentation including about
a quart of blow off. We used another glass carboy as the secondary. There
was about 3/4" to 1" of this white powdery stuff on the bottom of the
primary and the beer was still very cloudy. We added some gelatin (per
Charlie's directions) to the secondary to see if we could get it
a little clearer before bottling.

At bottling we had about 1/4" to 1/2" of the stuff on the bottom of the
secondary AND the beer was still very cloudy. It was cloudy enough
to be visibly cloudy in the filling tube (1/4" id clear rubber hose)
while bottling.

The next evening, maybe 20 hours after bottling, the bottom of the two
or three bottles we checked had the same white powdery sediment and the
beer, although clearer after each rack, and clearer yet now, was still

Now, the beer tasted fine both when we racked to the secondary and at
bottling. The other beer we did last fall which also had the sediment
also tasted fine. No bad smells or aftertastes.

Aside from the less then skillful sparging process, can anyone explain
why so much of this stuff is in our beer? Is it all husk? Is it yeast?
Is there something in the conditioned water that is falling out of
solution (we plan to use tap water next time)? Has anyone ever seen this
stuff before and what did you do to get rid of it?

Finally, a completely separate question. What are the ramification of using
two different yeasts in a brew? Say using some lagar AND some ale yeast
in the same brew?? What about two different strains of the same yeast
(ale or lagar)?? What about using wine or champagne yeast in beer
(isn't there a name for such a brew?)?

Just asking.

Brian Atkins
Brian Atkins atkins@hpindqa.HP.COM (408)
Hewlett Packard (43LS) 19420 Homestead Road, Cupertino, CA 95014

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