> Me> What if I were to dump a little trub EVERY DAY? Yes, it would be
> Me> a potential waste of beer. But it could also improve the beer,
> Me> couldn't it?
> John> In what way would it improve the beer?
> Isn't the goal of racking to a secondary (and dumping trub with a
> conical) to get the beer off the dead yeast and other junk that has
> precipitated out?
Not really. The old fear of getting your beer off of the primary yeast
as soon as possible is mostly overblown. You're not really going to have
any problems unless you leave it sit in the primary for months. Some older
homebrewing books warned that you absolutely had to get the beer off
after a week, but IMO it's a myth.
> John> Letting the beer sit on the yeast does not hurt anything (unless
> John> you start talking about long term storage).
> Then why rack to a secondary at all?
Many people don't rack to a secondary. I like to do it, but mostly because
I find that the beer clears better when I rack to a secondary rather than
leave it in the primary. You don't need to rack to a secondary in order to
avoid off flavors from the yeast. IMO, that's just not true.
> John> Actually the opposite, removing most of the yeast from the beer
> John> too early can cause problems.
> I should have mentioned that I'm talking about ale here (I'm just
> getting started and haven't made it to lagers yet). I thought that
> the active ale yeast would all be suspended in the beer. Wouldn't
> dumping a little trub just remove the dead or inactive ones?
No, the yeast that settles out as fermentation slows down is not all dead
cells. Yeast will naturally flocculate down to the bottom of the fermenter
as activity slows. However, there is still work going on that the yeast
are doing. Things like cleaning up after themselves and removing some
by products that were created during the original fermentation. The stuff
that occurs during lagering also occurs to some extent with ales. One of
the classic side effects of removing the yeast too early in any beer (lager
or ale) is green apple (acetaldehyde) flavors.
I don't know for sure that dumping the yeast every day will cause
acetaldehyde problems, however it's a possibility. On the other hand
I don't believe there is any benefit from dumping every day. IMO,
possible bad things with no good benefit in my book means I wouldn't