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Anyone know the outcome of the Basic Brewing Radio yeast contact time experiment, where they asked people to let their beers sit on the yeast for four weeks? I can't seem to get the podcast out of iTunes and I'm trying to plan my brewing schedule.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

I never understood the point of that experiment. 2 extra weeks is nothing. I know many brewers who routinely leave beer on yeast for 2-4 weeks with no ill effects. Nor is there any difference between the 2 and 4 week beers.

If they really wanted to see if there was an issue they should have really turned up the time. Like 6 weeks extra. Or asked the question, "How long does it take to get autolysis?"

Yeast autolysis is a left over myth form the days when dried yeast was always mildly contaminated and no one did a starter. Everyone was underpitching unhealthy yeast in those days and thats where autolysis fears and cider flavors first came from. Today, even pitching only one vial of whitelabs won't lead to autolysis.

All I am saying is that its not much on an experiment when the conditions exist in normal practice already. I enjoy the Basic Brewing Radio podcasts, but these BYO collaborations are sometimes just a little shy of being completely thought out.

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This link has some detailed results from the experiment:


The consensus seems to be that 2 to 4 weeks on the yeast in primary doesn't harm the flavor, but it does have a moderate (not negative, per say) effect on the flavor.

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