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Old 12-04-2010, 11:48 PM   #1
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Default How long can you keep wort before pitching yeast?

Just brewed a fresh batch and would like to step up my starter for another day before pitching. My question is how long can you keep wort before pitching the yeast in? I have heard you want to cool down and pitch as quickly as possible.

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Old 12-04-2010, 11:57 PM   #2
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You can keep it a good long time if your sanitation is good. The trick is the good sanitation as the fermentation process helps keep things "clean". Since you are delaying this step, you risk an infection taking hold. But with good sanitation you will be fine for the day you are planning to wait.

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Old 12-04-2010, 11:59 PM   #3
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I had a batch where fermentation never did take off...I waited over 72 hours with nothing going on (yes, I even took a gravity reading). So I repitched and it turned out fantastic. So, in other words, sanitation being good, it can sit for at least 72 hours....based upon my experience.

ALSO - I put my lagers in my fermentation chamber overnight as I wait for the temp to drop to 45 before pitching...and that has worked. So, you don't need to pitch ASAP - as long as sanitation is good.

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Old 12-05-2010, 12:43 AM   #4
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Most people are not that sanitary to leave the batch for more than a couple of hours.

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Old 12-05-2010, 12:45 AM   #5
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If you have a starter that's been growing, I'd pitch it. It'll multiply in the beer just as well as the starter and you won't be leaving your wort where a wild yeast or bacteria can get a foothold. Can't see stepping up a starter while your wort sits being worth doing.

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Old 12-05-2010, 01:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChshreCat View Post
If you have a starter that's been growing, I'd pitch it. It'll multiply in the beer just as well as the starter and you won't be leaving your wort where a wild yeast or bacteria can get a foothold. Can't see stepping up a starter while your wort sits being worth doing.
Chesre's right under normal brewing situations you want to pitch the yeast asap, and an active starter, even if it's not at the volume you would like is still better than no starter....or waiting and risking infection.

However some folks do "No Chill Brewing" and they don't pitch til the wort has cooled down to pitching temp, and that may be a couple days.

BUT they don't put it into a typical fermenter. They use something similar to a plastic jerry can, called an aquatainer. And what they do is pour the still boiling wort into the container and seal it up. The boiling wort instantly sterilizes the vessel, and after they put the stopper on the cooling wort forms a vacuum in the container which prevents anything from harming the wort. It's sort of like a rudamentary pressure canning of it. And it keeps it sterile til they pitch the yeast.

It is nearly impossible to recreate this in a normal bucket, with normally cooled wort. That added vacuum doesn't get formed...so your wort is at risk.

If you wanted to do no-chill and hold off pitching til you build your starter, then I'd say go for it...but storing it in a bucket, or carboy, that you couldn't pouring boiling wort in and instantly sterilise...then no, I personally wouldn't wait...I would just pitch what I had.
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Old 12-05-2010, 06:04 PM   #7
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Ive been doing no chill brewing in a bucket for a year and a half now.

I simply rack the wort over at about 180 F and pitch the next day. Works like a charm!

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