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Old 10-21-2013, 07:30 AM   #1
Bulldogjdub
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Default Pitch another smack pack or no?

First time using liquid yeast and brewing a belgian with 1.080 OG. Got talked into only 2 packs of 3787 wyeast by LHBS for direct pitch. Calculated after I have pitched the 2 that I need 274 billion cells for this OG beer. Pitched saturday no bubbles yet (pitched at 66 degrees). Question is do I pitch another pack at this time or not? LHBS is out til wenesday to complicate things. I do have the dry yeast that came with the kit as well.

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Old 10-21-2013, 11:10 AM   #2
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Be patient. By time you read this your yeast are propagating and probably putting out the CO2. Bubble in the airlock are not the best indication of fermentation anyway as any tiny leak and the gas escapes without making the airlock bubble.

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Old 10-21-2013, 11:55 AM   #3
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I'm really not worried that fermentation will occur, I'm worried that incomplete fermentation will occur with such a high OG and in light of underpitching...

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Old 10-21-2013, 12:45 PM   #4
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A calculator like Mr. Malty might tell you that you need more yeast, in fact as the OG goes up it will tell you that you need a massive amount of yeast, like a starter of half the size of your batch. Wyeast sells yeast packs and their business is yeast. If customers are unhappy because the yeast didn't do the job, they go elsewhere. Mr. Malty is a calculator, Wyeast is a business. I'd believe the business because their survival depends on them being correct.

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Old 10-22-2013, 12:11 AM   #5
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You are fine. A lot of people deliberately under-pitch Belgians to help bring out more of the yeast flavors.

Just remember to slowly bring the temperature up closer to 80 F as the fermentation slows to allow the yeast to complete their job.

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Old 10-22-2013, 04:34 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
Wyeast sells yeast packs and their business is yeast. If customers are unhappy because the yeast didn't do the job, they go elsewhere. Mr. Malty is a calculator, Wyeast is a business. I'd believe the business because their survival depends on them being correct.
This is faulty logic, to put it kindly.

Starter calculators are based on sound brewing science research. For a proper pitch, a starter is absolutely required for a starting gravity that high. The yeast manufacturers will as much as admit that if you dig deeper into their own recommendations at their respective sites.

Wyeast (and White Labs, for that matter) is trying to make a buck and provides the minimum amount of cells required for a 5 gallon pitch of low gravity ale. For those interested in making the best beer possible, that means making a starter almost every time (the only exception would be a very fresh vial/smack pack for a < 1.040 beer).

Yes, many home-brewers have pitched one pack into wort and made beer, but ignorance of the science is quickly revealed in the low quality product that is eventually produced.
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Old 10-22-2013, 06:17 PM   #7
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I have also seen the flip side of that where you extrapolate Mr. Malty to higher gravities and it goes astronomical. There comes a point where you can question the answers from either side plus the fact that there are so many other variables to making beer that may factor into this equation.

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Old 10-22-2013, 06:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RM-MN View Post
I have also seen the flip side of that where you extrapolate Mr. Malty to higher gravities and it goes astronomical. There comes a point where you can question the answers from either side plus the fact that there are so many other variables to making beer that may factor into this equation.

It is generally accepted that mrmalty tends a bit on the large side for starter calculations but to say astronomical is something I have not experienced.

If you wish to just make beer pitch the minimum amount of yeast. The yeast will reproduce and ferment the beer. This can also create off flavors.

If you want to brew the best beer possible making starters for beers over approximately 1.040 is essential.
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Old 10-22-2013, 09:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RM-MN
I have also seen the flip side of that where you extrapolate Mr. Malty to higher gravities and it goes astronomical. There comes a point where you can question the answers from either side plus the fact that there are so many other variables to making beer that may factor into this equation.
It never goes "astronomical" if using a stir plate and 1-2 tubes/smack packs, even with high gravity lagers....4L max, and with good planning the starter may be crashed and the liquid decanted before just pitching the slurry.

I don't understand what you're trying to say with your second point. We're talking about pitching rates, and if you think the yeast companies are providing enough cells in a package for any beer because they are the "experts", than you are clearly misguided.
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Old 10-22-2013, 10:15 PM   #10
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When using liquid (wyeast or white labs) I always make a starter. Not necessarily for yeast quantity but for yeast health. Pitching healty yeast is also as important as pitching the right quantity.

To answer the OPs question, It is now the 22nd and saturday was the 19th. If you have not seen something by now you may have stalled fermentation and I would try pitching more yeast and slightly warming the fermentor. 3787 has a temp tolerance of 64-78.

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