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Old 06-12-2012, 02:33 AM   #1
JasonScott
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Default One billion yeast cells...a question

So my latest brew was my first foray brewing with liquid yeast. I told the manager of my local home brew store as much and he recommended a "smack pack" because they didn't need a starter. After researching some more, it seems like the one billion yeast cell count is greatly insufficient. I just followed the wyeast directions and pitched the yeast. How badly do you think my beer will be under pitched?

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Old 06-12-2012, 02:40 AM   #2
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I have wondered similarly however I think you'll find there is much debate. Beer under 1.070 SG doesn't need additional cells. I've heard the opposite. Your beer will be fine. I recommend oxygen/aeration prior to pitching. That will slow the yeast to work more efficiently.

Interestingly I've also seen side by side samples of under, ideal, and over pitched brews and the under pitched typically wins the challenge with its nuances... Something to experiment with for sure.

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Old 06-12-2012, 02:48 AM   #3
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I just did a pale ale that came in at 1.073 (if I'm reading my brand new refractometer correctly---broke my only hydrometer to calibrate) and pitched a smack pack without doing a starter. The previous week, I pitched a smack pack into an ESB that came in at about 1.063, and the A/C is on, bringing the temp down to the 60s.

so far everything is burbling along swimmingly, so far. take it for what it's worth.

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Old 06-12-2012, 03:00 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stixobutta View Post
I have wondered similarly however I think you'll find there is much debate. Beer under 1.070 SG doesn't need additional cells. I've heard the opposite. Your beer will be fine. I recommend oxygen/aeration prior to pitching. That will slow the yeast to work more efficiently.

Interestingly I've also seen side by side samples of under, ideal, and over pitched brews and the under pitched typically wins the challenge with its nuances... Something to experiment with for sure.
a beer 1.040 and under wont need additional cells


your beers will still ferment fine. and im sure they will taste fine. but for a good healthy ferment, you want to pitch more yeast. you are underpitching A LOT if you pitch 1 smack pack into 1.070 wort. your fine beers could be great with proper pitching rates

starters are really easy to make. www.mrmalty.com pitching rate calculator will tell you how many cells you need, and the size of the starter you need. if you have a scale, 100grams DME for every liter of starter.

youtube yeast starters. its really easy. and your beers will improve
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Old 06-12-2012, 03:06 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JasonScott View Post
So my latest brew was my first foray brewing with liquid yeast. I told the manager of my local home brew store as much and he recommended a "smack pack" because they didn't need a starter. After researching some more, it seems like the one billion yeast cell count is greatly insufficient. I just followed the wyeast directions and pitched the yeast. How badly do you think my beer will be under pitched?
A smackpack or vial contains 100B cells. Assuming your pack was produced about a month ago, you would have about 75% viability, and if you were brewing a 1.050 ale then you pitched about 40% of the recommended amount.

Here is some information about pitching rates and risks of under/over pitching from Wyeast

And here are some tools to help estimate pitching requirements and starters: Mr. Malty and YeastCalc
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Old 06-12-2012, 03:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoggin

a beer 1.040 and under wont need additional cells

your beers will still ferment fine. and im sure they will taste fine. but for a good healthy ferment, you want to pitch more yeast. you are underpitching A LOT if you pitch 1 smack pack into 1.070 wort. your fine beers could be great with proper pitching rates

starters are really easy to make. www.mrmalty.com pitching rate calculator will tell you how many cells you need, and the size of the starter you need. if you have a scale, 100grams DME for every liter of starter.

youtube yeast starters. its really easy. and your beers will improve

I do make starters but in a pinch I've just thrown the smack pack in. I've been happy every time. I do agree that the yeast should be given the best possible chance and if allowing them to multiply before pitching is the key then so be it.

I just wouldn't worry that the beer will be sub par because of it. Some people pitch on a yeast cake with great results. Over or under, I think it's worth experimenting with to see what the differences would be in the end.
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Old 06-12-2012, 03:35 AM   #7
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a lot of experimenting has been done and published. which is where sites like mrmalty get their info. I'm not saying your beers wont be good when you underpitch. just that they could be better and 5 gallons is a lot to risk. it becomes more important with bigger beers. in a pinch, id recomend more than 1 pack, or dry yeast.

its a good habit to keep some extra safale 05, and 04 in the fridge. just incase

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