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Excess Sediment in American Wheat Ale

Hey everyone,

I recently purchased the deluxe NB kit with the glass carboys. For this batch, I did everything as instructed. Just used a Primary carboy, as per the instructions. I know that Wheat Ales typically aren’t super clear, so the clarity of the beer does not bother me. Additionally, I know that they are bottle conditioned so of course there is going to be some sediment.

However there is excess sediment in the bottles. I didn’t really take much notice, until a friend who gave a bottle to his brother (who has been brewing for 3 years) mentioned it. He said something along the lines of it was bottled too quickly… So my question to you, could this be from transferring the beer from the carboy to the bottling bucket too fast?

I’ve included a picture to help show the amount of sediment in the bottles.

How careful were you when you transferred to your bottling bucket? I would also suggest moving it to where you are going to rack it at least 2 hours before so any sediment that is brought back into suspension has time to resettle. I sometimes do this a day in advance.

Do you mean to fast as in slowing the flow down? Speed of the transfer will make no difference. Use a 3/4" hose if you can. Just don’t splash it. :wink:

Or do you mean as in too soon? How long did you have it in the fermenter?

And like mentioned, if you picked up a lot of sediment from the fermenter into the bottling bucket…

Theres usually more yeast suspended in a wheat beer if its fermented with a wheat beer yeast. and eventually it will drop, and give you more dregs and they will likely be kind of fluffy just because the yeast doesn’t coagulate real well.

This is why I always do a secondary. The current thinking seems to be that they’re unnecessary, which is probably true, but you do leave a lot of junk behind in the primary, then have a week or two for more junk to settle in the secondary. I don’t know that it’s really all that important, but it does make for a clearer beer.

You can get away from most of the trub with a careful racking from primary after an appropriate length of fermentation. It takes some practice to get good at racking, and really it doesn’t matter too much if theres 1/8" or 1/4" in the bottom of the bottle.

My 3rd batch, I bottled too soon assuming my rather high FG was due to it being my first partial mash and I possibly created a less fermentable wort. After nearly every bottle gushing I realized that (or hypothesized that) being lax in oxygenation / temp control caused the stall.

This batch was the only to this point that had that level of sediment in the bottle. So in your case, do these bottles seem to be overly carbonated?
What was your measured FG? (the fg in my above mentioned batch was 1.020)

Thanks everyone for the responses.

[quote]Do you mean to fast as in slowing the flow down? Speed of the transfer will make no difference. Use a 3/4" hose if you can. Just don’t splash it. :wink:

Or do you mean as in too soon? How long did you have it in the fermenter?

And like mentioned, if you picked up a lot of sediment from the fermenter into the bottling bucket…
[/quote]

I think what I meant was transferred too fast from the bottling bucket to the bottles; as in I didn’t let the beer settle in the bottling bucket for any length of time before bottling. Could I do that and have no negative effects on the beer? For example, transfer from carboy to bottling bucket, wait a few hours to a day, then bottle? Or am I better off doing it in one go, and just practicing getting better at not mixing things up.

[quote=“dsidab81”]My 3rd batch, I bottled too soon assuming my rather high FG was due to it being my first partial mash and I possibly created a less fermentable wort. After nearly every bottle gushing I realized that (or hypothesized that) being lax in oxygenation / temp control caused the stall.

This batch was the only to this point that had that level of sediment in the bottle. So in your case, do these bottles seem to be overly carbonated?
What was your measured FG? (the fg in my above mentioned batch was 1.020)[/quote]

The OG was 1.040 and the FG was approximately 1.006

Another question, how does the FG of the beer change once the priming sugar has been added (in terms of how do I more accurately estimate the alcohol content of the beer)?

[quote=“m125x”]

The OG was 1.040 and the FG was approximately 1.006

Another question, how does the FG of the beer change once the priming sugar has been added (in terms of how do I more accurately estimate the alcohol content of the beer)?[/quote]

Sugar will add 46 gravity points per pound per gallon (46ppg). It will also completely ferment so all added points will add abv.

Take the amount of sugar you added (in pounds) * 46 / gallons. Then you can use that amount in an ABV calculator to find out what you’d add.
Let’s say you used 5 oz of sugar in 5 gallon batch. The sugar is 5/16lb or 0.3125lbs
0.3125*46/5=2.875. Put 1.002875 OG to 1.000 FG into abv calc and you get around 0.4% of added ABV.

Awesome thank you for the well thought out reply. Great forum!

Can anyone help me with this part of my post? Thanks!

The problem with letting things settle is that your priming sugar could also settle. You should focus on siphoning more carefully from the carboy.

If you can drop the temperature of the carboy to 35-40F for 2-3 days, this will help the sediment fall to the bottom and compact.

Really, from your picture, I don’t think you have an unreasonable amount of sediment for a wheat beer. Just chill the bottles for at least 48 hours, pour carefully into a glass, and enjoy!

If you wait a few days before going from the bottling bucket to the bottles, you will need to add the sugar before filling the bottle. You will also need to stir the beer to mix the sugar. Defeating your desired outcome.

If you want the cloudy beer, try adding 1Tbls of flour to the boil pot. Dissolve it in some cold water first.

Then go with a 3 week fermentation to allow the yeast to drop out more.

Increase your batch size so you can leave more in the fermenter and avoid transferring the sediment.

Thank you everyone for the tips! Would Irish Moss help in this case? Thus helping to clear/settle the beer quicker? Or does that just get rid of the haze?

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