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I recently bottled this recipe, last Sunday (2014-03-09). I popped one open today, and it is damn tasty, and even decently carbed after less than a week. However, all the bottles have about a half inch of yeast on the bottom!?

My last batch never carbed up enough, so with this one, I made sure to suck up some of the yeast cake (primary fermenter, no secondary). I don't think I sucked up enough yeast to cause this much in nearly 50 bottles.

Does the yeast continue to multiply while bottled? Is the major yeast in the bottles just a result of what I sucked up into the bottling bucket? I've had previous batches, both with and without secondaries, that carbed up just fine with nearly no settled yeast.

I'm just wondering where did this 'cake' in my bottles come from?

EDIT: I used 4 oz table sugar in just under a 5 gallon batch at about 72F, if any of that makes a difference.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Different yeast strains can look a little different in the bottle as well. One characteristic of yeast is how well it "compacts" at the bottom of the fermentor or bottle. Some strains, like English Ale yeasts, are known for creating a very tight, compacted sediment, whereas others leave the yeast cake much more "fluffy".

And yes, the yeast caked that you sucked up from the carboy is contributing to the size of the cakes in the bottom of the bottles. But hey, that's better than under-carbed bottles, right?

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After a few days in the fridge, the sediment settled a bit more, making it easier to pour. –  CDspace Mar 16 at 14:29
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I would guess that it's only partially yeast. The majority of it may be trub that was still in suspension when you bottled. Bottle conditioning will result in yeast in the bottle, but it's unlikely that 1/2 in. of sediment is all due to yeast.

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Yes, the yeast will continue to thrive and reproduce as long as there is food and the temperature is correct. What you can do is let them bottle condition for a day or 2, pop the cap on 1 or 2 bottles to test for carbonation, and then put the bottles in the fridge to make the yeast hibernate.

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