I have just started a kit based IPA, but am experimenting with my own hops. I have been reading about reducing the amount of sediment, as the ciders i have made recently, have had about 5 - 6mm of sediment on the bottom of the bottle, I would like to avoid this with my beer if possible.

I plan on leaving the beer in the primary for 1 - 2 weeks after fermentation is complete before bottling, and then using carbonation drops in each bottle. Will there be enough suspended yeast in the beer after 2 weeks to carbonate? If so, roughly how long will carbonation take at "room temperature" (20 - 22c).

Are there any other steps i can take and still get a carbonated beer with reduced sediment. (Keg and forced carbonation are not options).

  • 2
    I think your best bet is to rack to secondary and let the beer sit for a week or two, then rack from your secondary into your bottling bucket. I used to skip secondary, but the improvement in clarity and reduction in sediment is dramatic. In my experience, 5-6mm is quite a bit of sediment; you can get that down to trace amounts with secondary. Bottle conditioning will always create some sediment, however.
    – Ryan
    Commented Oct 31, 2016 at 15:27

2 Answers 2


You'll never remove the sediment at the bottom when bottle conditioning. 5-6mm is not a terribly large amount of sediment either.

Here are a few methods that can reduce the sediment:

  1. Use a secondary fermentor, typically a 5-gallon carboy. This is used after primary fermentation, and has little to do with fermentation despite the name. It removes the beer from the yeast cake (trub) and therefore lots of sediment. A secondary is also great for dry-hopping if you're doing that for this IPA. 1-2 weeks in the secondary is an acceptable amount of time, but longer is totally fine too.

  2. Cold crash if you can. This is most effectively done in a fridge for the last few days to cause the yeast to suspend itself to the bottom of your fermentor. I've had luck by placing my secondary in a large container of ice for 2 days and racking into my bottling bucket without moving it, but the amount of ice used and difficulty racking wasn't exactly worth it.

  3. Perhaps a "no brainer", but great caution should be taken to not disturb the sediment before racking to your bottling bucket. I like to place my fermentor on the counter I'll rack from a few days before the actual transfer.

You can also use several fining methods/agents to help reduce the sediment, but it is moreso to ensure a clear (as opposed to cloudy) beer:

Whirlfloc/Irish Moss - Used in the last few minutes of the boil, it helps weigh down sediment in your primary fermentation.

Gelatin - Used in the last few days before bottling, it is often used in conjunction with cold crashing. This might not be the best option as it can pull much of the hop flavor and aroma out of the beer.

With any of these methods, it's important to note that there will be enough yeast to carbonate. However, the more sediment you separate from the beer using these methods, the longer it will take to carbonate. I've had beers carbonate fully in 2 weeks when using none of the aforementioned methods, but the beers I've cold-crashed with gelatin took 6 weeks to fully carbonate.

  • 1
    +1, however, I would say that gelatin only slightly reduces hop aroma/flavor which can be easily compensated.
    – Nimrod
    Commented Nov 22, 2016 at 17:23

If you want to minimize the sediment. You can clairify the beer in fermentation secondary, cold crash etc. This beer will usually be free of much of the suspened yeast.

Add a your sugar drops and a few grains of Champaign yeast to each bottle, they should carb nicley and have minimal sedimentation.

Though it's not an option for you. Kegging is ideal if you want complete control over the clarity and carbonation level. You can bottle off a keg fyi.

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