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Old 01-02-2011, 12:26 PM   #1
nelsonbaggins
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Default Proper aeration vs. extra yeast

My homebrew just tastes too young like wort does. It gets better over time, but I'd like to step up my game a bit and really get it right for once. I'm 99.9% certain now that the reason my homebrews aren't quite as tasty as I'd hoped is due to the fact that I haven't been fermenting properly (enough). For example: I haven't really tried to control fermentation temps, haven't gotten the wort cooled fast enough, and haven't used a starter. So I've been studying up on what the "experts" say and I've read a lot of brewmasters recommending using 50% more to double the amount of yeast when homebrewing. I've also seen here on the forums where, with proper aeration, one packet of yeast should be sufficient. So I'd like to evoke an opinion from one and all: Proper Aeration (with perhaps some yeast nutrient thrown in) vs. Extra Yeast. Which one is worthy of wearing the title belt?

p.s. I don't yet have a fermentation fridge, so I have to control fermentation temps MacGyver style for now

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Old 01-02-2011, 12:51 PM   #2
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My 2 cents is that you can never replace proper aeration because even if you vastly over pitch yeast, without aeration the yeast will stress or just give up. Further, it is easy to pitch the proper amount of yeast by using mrmalty.com and a starter w/stir plate.

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Old 01-02-2011, 12:55 PM   #3
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If your homebrew tastes too young, more than likely you're drinking it too soon..Probably bottling it too soon as well. If you're consuming your beer young adding more yeast to it will just make your youung beer taste even more yeasty.

Aeration is important, as is proper pitch rate, but if your already not giving your beers evnough time to finish fermenting and conditioning, then it's just going to exacerbate the issue, not help it.....

Like you said it gets better over time...that means you're drinking it way too soon. Start drinlking your beers ar the proper time....when they are finished fermenting and carbed and conditioned, and you won't have that issue....

For most of my normal gravity beers It's 8 weeks minimum from when I pitch my yeast to when I have my first glass. And I rarely have any issues with my beer tasting too young..If your timeline is less than mine...then THAT'S the real issue.....

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Old 01-02-2011, 01:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigB View Post
My 2 cents is that you can never replace proper aeration because even if you vastly over pitch yeast, without aeration the yeast will stress or just give up. Further, it is easy to pitch the proper amount of yeast by using mrmalty.com and a starter w/stir plate.
I agree, also when the yeast are in their growth phase, they produce important compounds like sterols which are important in yeast membrane permeability. Overpitching will cause yeast health at the end of fermentation to not be as healthy as it would normally be. So in my opinion the fermentation would also suffer by overpitching due to that fact.
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Old 01-02-2011, 01:39 PM   #5
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+1 to what everyone has already said. There is no way to get around pitching the proper amount AND aeration. Obviously having a stir plate and temp control is also helpful, but not the end of the world...like drinking bad beer.

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Old 01-02-2011, 01:54 PM   #6
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There are a couple of other things worth mentioning here. Dry yeast tend to not really need a lot of aeration so you might try sticking with them where appropriate strains exist. Also, "proper" aeration could mean a couple of things. Arguably the best is a O2 bottle with a stone attached but you can get decent results with an aquarium pump or just shaking the crap out of the fermenter or (as I generally do) draining from kettle to fermenter through an aeration device. I will say that ferm temp is IMO 10x more important than aeration level for controlling esters but both are important.

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Old 01-02-2011, 05:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
If your homebrew tastes too young, more than likely you're drinking it too soon..Probably bottling it too soon as well.
Well, I fermented my last batch for 3 weeks then bottled and let it sit 3 more weeks. I tried my first after week 3 and 1 per week subsequently and could really taste the difference in maturity from week to week. Currently, they've been bottled since Halloween and still have a sort of "young" flavor that I don't get when I buy a six from a brewery, but it's almost gone. I want to set one aside for a few months and then come back to it, just to see what that much more time would do to it. But I feel like if I was on top of my fermentation game a little more I should have a perfect beer around the 6-8 week range and not have to wait any longer.

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or (as I generally do) draining from kettle to fermenter through an aeration device
You mean something like this?



Seems a lot easier than pouring wort back and forth, making a mess with a power paddle, or shaking the beejezus out of a pail/carboy. How's it work for you?
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Old 01-02-2011, 07:43 PM   #8
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Nelson, I had the same problem with a few of my first beers. My issues were more of a temperature control issue than it was aeration.

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Old 01-02-2011, 08:08 PM   #9
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Haven't used that specific device but yes. I have used the tube with small holes drilled in it and then through a straining funnel - I end up with a huge frothy top on the wort which gives me a warm fuzzy feeling. I'm sure pure O2 is better and will go that way eventually. I also agree with the poster above that it's more likely temp affecting flavors than aeration at this point but no reason not to fix both.

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Old 01-02-2011, 08:22 PM   #10
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What are the recipes & yeast. Really hard to give accurate answers without those details. With dry yeast like S-05 I merely splash the wort into the fermenter, add re-hydrated yeast and 6 weeks later its very drinkable without green flavors. Some beers done that way are good to go in three weeks. Liquid yeast is a different process requiring aeration, but controlling temps is crucial.

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