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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > First lager: pitching rate seems insane?!
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Old 12-23-2011, 12:55 AM   #11
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See all the the threads titled "72 hours, no activity, help!" and the like? More than likely, they were underpitched lagers. The two best things you can do for your lagers, assuming temperature control, is pitch the right amount of yeast and oxygenate.

And then wait.
Pitch active starter (at desired fermentation temperature!). Aerate well.

Most problems, I bet arise from pitching yeast and then cooling the wort quickly to lager temps. Shocking the yeast. less to do with under pitching.

Since most homebrew is "underpitched," anyway, just aerate and rouse yeast again. It will adapt and ferment out.
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Old 12-23-2011, 01:02 AM   #12
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Look. Geek out all you want. Spend your time counting yeast cells. Boring, stupid, waste of time and money. I have done enough of it (they had to pay me to do so). It is totally unnecessary and will not make better homebrew beer--> except in your mind. The homebrew shop will appreciate you buying the extra yeast and/or equipment. The "experts" will appreciate you buying their books telling you to do so.

There is no "correct amount." Just like there is no correct brewing method.

Telling someone newer to brewing that they have to use "Mr. Malty" or their beer will turn out bad is asinine.

Pitch an active starter, begun from a vile or smack pack, and you will make good beer.
In just under the wire to be considered for worst post of 2011. What a maroon.

Meanwhile, back here on planet Reality, a good way for new lager brewers, or those who don't have the ability to make huge starters, to get enough yeast pitched with ease is by using dry lager yeast. There are a couple of really good strains that work well under different temperature ranges. Plus you can go back-to-back-to-back for quite awhile with slurry.
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Old 12-23-2011, 01:53 AM   #13
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You'll get much better results from your starter if you use 200ml of your starter slurry in a new batch of wort to step up a starter than just cold crashing, decanting and pouring fresh wort. Yeast reproduction is influenced by a perceived amount of resources vs population. By starting with a small population, they will reproduce more because of the perceived amount of wort they have to consume.

And yes, it's completely doable to hit your pitching rate, it's not even that difficult.

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Old 12-23-2011, 04:04 AM   #14
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In just under the wire to be considered for worst post of 2011. What a maroon.

Meanwhile, back here on planet Reality, a good way for new lager brewers, or those who don't have the ability to make huge starters, to get enough yeast pitched with ease is by using dry lager yeast. There are a couple of really good strains that work well under different temperature ranges. Plus you can go back-to-back-to-back for quite awhile with slurry.
Hey captain know it all.... I know you and your blogging consensus have it all figured out and all... However...

I know enough about yeast to know (and have been instructed by people with PHD's on the subject) that even the smartest people on the subject (yeast and fermentation) admit we only have reached the tip of iceberg when it comes to knowledge on yeast and fermentation. There are unlimited factors.... Pitch rate is only one.

What is thought now--will be different in the future. Brewer's are not yeast farmers or biologists--we make beer. Stressing yeast can even be desirable. When it comes to homebrewing, the vials and smack packs, pitched active, after a starter, is sufficient for most any beer. Including a simple pilsner.

The best tools you have are your taste buds and observations.

For example: Two weeks ago I brewed, by coincidence, I brewed 12 gallons of pilsner--one of several batches this year. I bought a smack pack, made a starter the night before, and pitched it the next evening. During the afternoon I slowly cooled it to ferment temperature before pitching.

The beer just finished out--spot on final gravity. Tastes absolutely great. They all have come out great this year. And they all begin fermentation within 24 hours.

In your world--the "mr. malty world"--the "correct" amount of yeast I should pitch is 8.4 vials (if the yeast was manufactured on the brew date!!!) with out a starter or three with a starter (of 12 litres!!!).



This again, from practical experience and observation, is completely not necessary. If makes you feel better, spend the time and money on "correct" pitch rates.

Personally, I just pitch an amount that is adequate and save the time and money. All the mythical off flavors and horrendous results from not staying true to "Mr. Malty's" commandments set in stone--have never manifested.

Anecdotaly, I am sure there are plenty of homebrewers, on this forum no doubt, who routinely don't pitch the "correct" amount of yeast--and have great results as well.

That is certainly not bad advice.... it is just practical advice.

ps. the dry lager yeast is good advice. simplicity. although none are my favorite for taste.
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Old 12-23-2011, 05:44 AM   #15
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From what I have researched, pitch rates without off flavors totally depend on the strain of yeast used, so just saying "make a starter and pitch" might work for some strains, but not all. Since one is looking for more of a clean, crisp character from lager yeast, instead of a fruity, estery, ale like flavor, it would be of more benefit to actually OVER PITCH a lager, then under pitch. So, basically, if you are new to lager brewing and are not sure how the yeast strain will react do to pitch rate, I would recommend pitching a size equal to the Mr. Malty calculator or higher in order to get the flavor profile you are after. And, yes. It will seem crazy big for a starter, but you will be rewarded in the end.

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Old 12-23-2011, 07:32 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewBrewTheGreat View Post
Look. Geek out all you want. Spend your time counting yeast cells. Boring, stupid, waste of time and money. I have done enough of it (they had to pay me to do so). It is totally unnecessary and will not make better homebrew beer--> except in your mind. The homebrew shop will appreciate you buying the extra yeast and/or equipment. The "experts" will appreciate you buying their books telling you to do so.

There is no "correct amount." Just like there is no correct brewing method.

Telling someone newer to brewing that they have to use "Mr. Malty" or their beer will turn out bad is asinine.

Pitch an active starter, begun from a vile or smack pack, and you will make good beer.

you're advocating poor brewing practices. that's not why we come to this board.
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Old 12-23-2011, 10:13 AM   #17
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It is totally unnecessary and will not make better homebrew beer--> except in your mind.
If you're saying you don't agree with the piles of evidence that under- and overpitching have an effect on the final outcome of the beer, I don't know what to say to you.

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Old 12-23-2011, 11:33 AM   #18
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Well I don't want to go through an argument on here about under and over.
On a small homebrew scale the difference maybe small , I'm not saying do it.

If you have the money to spend anything over 20 dollars in yeast for one 6 gal batch than do it, if you don't than look for an alternative. You buying like 8 smack packs is too much. Step up a starter of 2 .

Personally s-23 dry yeast is great, one dry pack for $ 3.00 and that will do a 6 gal batch. It's tried it's tested it's true no one can argue that.

The beer also tastes great. Your choice.

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Old 12-23-2011, 12:19 PM   #19
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Check out this link on a pitching rate experiment, specifically about stepping up starters.

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/yea...logist-284819/

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Old 12-23-2011, 12:56 PM   #20
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Drew,

most of us are not just interested in brewing beer, but we try to make the best beer possible. To do so, we stand on the shoulder of the often anonymous giants who have developed brewing procedures, ingredients and tools over many millennia through trial, error, and lots of experience. While the standard pitching volumes are simplifications, they do have an empirical basis, and new brewers are well-advised to follow those guidelines as a baseline until they have the experience to make adjustments to dial in their system instead of just stabbing in the dark.

In my opinion, the most important aspects of brewing are sanitation, yeast health (and count) and temperature control.

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