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Old 04-08-2008, 01:10 AM   #1
Dave the Brewer
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Default I can't pitch too much yeast can I?

Lately I've brewed a few Lagers. I always wash my yeast cakes from the bottom of the primaries. When I do that, I get a lot of yeast in one jar; about 10oz mason jar full of yeast, almost to the top (after refrigerating). I will make a starter while I am brewing, let the yeast party for about 4 hours. I added about 1 1/2 quart starter to my 6 gallon batch that was 1.055 at 49F .... 36 hours later its at 1.010. Theres nothing wrong with quick fermentation right?

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Old 04-08-2008, 02:06 AM   #2
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Hmm... that seems fast, but nothing wrong with that in my book. may have something to do with the fact that you made a starter? Only thing wrong with too much yeast might be a yeasty flavor. But I heard this from my LHBS owner who's a wine maker so not too sure. It's funny that you say the yeast are 'partying', perfect term to use, I always say that too... lol.

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Old 04-08-2008, 02:20 AM   #3
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I know a the yeast can cause a nasty flavor if the beer sits on the yeast cake for more than a month. I pulled it out to room temps for a diacetyl rest, although theres not much of a diacetyl taste, I still pull it out. I will rack it into a lagering tank/secondary after a couple days. The yeast will be washed out and used again. This is the second lager that has fermented this quick, the first one tasted GREAT! I'm really not sure why I am asking if there is anything wrong with quick fermentation.

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Old 04-08-2008, 02:14 PM   #4
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There is nothing wrong with a quick fermentation. Yeah, you can overpitch, but you have to try harder than pitching on a yeast cake.

Nederland, eh? My Mom used to teach first grade in Nederland before I was born. I grew up in Beaumont.


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Old 04-09-2008, 01:52 AM   #5
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Hi,
You should be fine - remember that yeast cake from the bottom of your fermenter is not pure yeast. It has lots of other stuff in it.

Overpitching is hard - requires over 400 billion cells for a 5 gallon batch for an ale and a lot more for a lager. Here's a quick article on starters, and how much to pitch.

Cheers!
Brad

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Old 04-09-2008, 12:54 PM   #6
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Autolysis would be the primary result of overpitching, but as a homebrewer it would be VIRTUALLY impossible for you to overpitch, especially if you are making a lager.

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Old 04-09-2008, 01:58 PM   #7
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I've read that overpitching yeast can prevent some flavors from developing and other, less desirable, ones from coming out. But that's advice for Belgian brews. With a lager, it may be a moot point.

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Old 04-09-2008, 03:50 PM   #8
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I wouldn't worry much about overpitching. The only real danger is autolysis, basically yeast eating itself, but there needs to be quite a lot of yeast for this to happen to the point where it would change the character of the beer. It would give it a really unpleasant yeasty taste.

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