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How to maintain yeast health for NEIPA

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  • How to maintain yeast health for NEIPA

    (As a preface - I am relatively new to brewing, so I apologize if my jargon is a little inaccurate)

    I know this topic has been touched on many times here, but I am curious about how to maintain yeast health after brewing a NEIPA.

    Currently, the brewery I work for will harvest yeast three days into the ferment before we dry hop. We are using a high floc yeast strain (an east coast IPA strain from Inland Island), but still pull a mostly beer slurry at this stage. We cannot cold crash at 3 days to help the yeast flocculate because the beer needs more time to ferment than that. What we do pull - the count and viability shows the yeast is basically not worth saving.

    Is there anything we can add at any point in the brewing process to promote yeast health? I know a lot of people promote "pitch and ditch" - but I think there has to be a better answer than that.

    Some research on the topic shows some commercial breweries are harvesting and repitching with success. I suppose I don't know if they are counting their yeast and checking viability, though.

    Any suggestions or input would be greatly appreciated.


  • #2
    Hey man!
    I have had success with a soft crash at 55F 1-3 days prior to the dry hop. I do harvest after the active DH and have had zero issues with cell counts and viability. I use multiple strains for various series of IPAs and have had to tweak the soft crash based on the floc habits of the particular strain.


    • #3
      Hello PMK8MStep,
      A few things to consider:
      • Yeast that floc first will be the most flocculent of the population (may not want to favour this characteristic) or just dead.
      • Harvesting after dry hopping can result in carry-over of hop flavour on the yeast cell membranes, which may be acceptable.
      • You should consider adding calcium as it may activate Flo proteins or help aggregate negatively charged cell walls.
      • Though probably impossible in a CCV, the yeast strain may be floc'ing to the surface and could be skimmed there.
      • Lastly, lower pH has been shown to increase flocculation.

      If you have the time, you may consider adding the dry hops with few plato left to ferment. The lower sugar concentration should help flocculation along with extra calcium and a slight cold crash. Good luck.
      Dave Shapiro
      Technical Training Engineer
      Scandinavian School of Brewing
      Copenhagen, Denmark