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Old 11-19-2008, 10:46 PM   #1
mangine77
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Default Can you pitch too much yeast?

I had a beer that wasn't doing anything after 48 hours so I pitched another packet of yeast. First time it was a nottingham but the second packet was Windsor.

The beer has now been very active for 4 days and I'm wondering if there is the possibility of off flavors or just a bad beer because of this.

It's a blonde ale, so I would have expected to calm down by now. I have a feeling that the second packet sparked the first one into action also.

Are there some things to be concerned as far as how this will turn out??



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Old 11-19-2008, 10:48 PM   #2
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Yes, you can over pitch.

The beer will end up tasting yeasty, but that will fade.

next time don't panic at 48 hours. 72 hours is the minimum.

Did you rehydrate the Nottingham first? did you pitch at the right temp? did you oxygenate your wort?



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Old 11-20-2008, 12:50 AM   #3
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Did you rehydrate the Nottingham first? Yes


did you pitch at the right temp? For sure. 66 degrees

did you oxygenate your wort? With a drill attachment aerator


I will add that this was my first ever all grain batch. I'm not sure what effect this could have on it. All of my partial mash batches (at least 10) have started fermenting within 24 hours. I used the Zapap system for this all grain batch.

I'll also add that I wasn't just counting on the airlock to gauge fermentation. After 48 hours, I took a quick peek and there was zero Krausen formation and no sign of it getting ready to start.

What are the differences between all grain and partials where I could have gone wrong to cause this??

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Last edited by mangine77; 11-20-2008 at 12:52 AM.
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Old 11-20-2008, 12:54 AM   #4
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Pitching two different strains is the one thing that grabbed my attention first. Beyond that, most dry yeast has more than enough for one batch, so you may have overpitched. I wouldn't lose sleep over it, personally. Most of this stuff is academic. Just leave it in the primary for 4-6 weeks on the cake to let it condition, then bottles for another 4-6 weeks and you should be a-okay.

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Old 11-20-2008, 12:55 AM   #5
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It is possible to over pitch, but you didn't do it with two packets of yeast unless you have a very low gravity beer.

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Old 11-20-2008, 01:08 AM   #6
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yes, you can overpitch. it's just difficult to do. don't worry about your brew...next time wait longer but it's fine.

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Old 11-20-2008, 01:27 AM   #7
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2 packets in a 5 gallon (I assume) batch is not overpitching
10 packets in a 5 gallon batch is definitely overpitching
the rest is a grey area

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Old 11-20-2008, 01:31 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pelikan View Post
Pitching two different strains is the one thing that grabbed my attention first. Beyond that, most dry yeast has more than enough for one batch, so you may have overpitched. I wouldn't lose sleep over it, personally. Most of this stuff is academic. Just leave it in the primary for 4-6 weeks on the cake to let it condition, then bottles for another 4-6 weeks and you should be a-okay.
Really??? I should wait this long now before bottling???
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Old 11-20-2008, 02:21 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mangine77 View Post
Really??? I should wait this long now before bottling???
For every batch, not just this one.

Many brewers are too impatient.
You can drink green beer 2 weeks after brew day.
Or you can drink really good beer 2 months after brew day.

Bottle this batch after 2 weeks and drink one a week.
The last one is always the best.

The trick is brewing more than you can drink right away.
Once the pipeline is full you won't be tempted to drink green beer.
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Old 11-20-2008, 03:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mangine77 View Post
Really??? I should wait this long now before bottling???
Yes. On every beer you do, 3 weeks minimum in the primary. I've settled on about 4-5 weeks in the primary, depending upon my schedule. Then after that, leave your brews in the bottle for minimum 3 weeks for proper conditioning, then one week in the fridge for cold conditioning (if you don't, the CO2 won't dissolve into the beer properly, and you'll end up with a foamy mess, not to mention the fact that the tastes won't have properly mellowed and melded).

Darker beers can go much longer, 8 weeks++ in bottles plus fridge time. And keep in mind, these times are before the first one is cracked (so for a stout, about 2.5 months until the first cold beer is opened and consumed).

Like the former poster said, you can drink your beer whenever you want. Hell, you can drink it before it's finished fermenting. But as common sense dictates, it gets better with age. Granted, beer can get a little too old, especially in the case of hoppy beers, which should be consumed fairly quick after the proper conditioning time.

My basic rule is as follows: Regardless of style, 4ish weeks in the primary -- OR 3 weeks primary and 2 weeks secondary in the case of dry hopped/fruited beers.

Regarding bottle conditioning: For lighter beers and/or hoppy brews, 3-4 weeks in bottles, then 1 week in the fridge before the first one is cracked. Mediumish beers (reds, browns) 4-6 weeks in bottles, then 1 week in the fridge before the first is cracked. Dark beers (porters, stouts), 5-8 weeks bottles, 1 week fridge before the first is cracked. I should note that darker beers can age up to around a year and still improve, from what I gather. Barley wines can reputedly go decades or thereabouts. With the oatmeal and raspberry stouts I'm working on, I plan to put a few 22s away for 8-12 months and try them out.

All of the above considered, special occasions may make me bend my bottle conditioning rules a little bit, but the primary/secondary times are set in stone as far as I'm concerned, unless there's a specific brew that requires longer times, such as a barley wine. Bottles = no less than 3 weeks then 1 fridge under any circumstance, regardless of brew or occasion.


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Last edited by Pelikan; 11-20-2008 at 03:33 AM.
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