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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Stater Overpitching?
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Old 06-13-2012, 08:44 PM   #1
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Default Stater Overpitching?

I am brewing a 3.5 gallon batch of 1.048 OG beer. Yeastcalc and Mr Malty recommend 118 billion yeast cells. I made a 1L stirred starter from a wyeast pack (WY1968), about 200 billion cells.

Would you pitch the entire starter or shake well and pitch about 60-75% of the starter? I pre-weighed the flask and stirbar so I can check the % of the starter added. The stater is chilled and decanted either way.

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Old 06-13-2012, 08:48 PM   #2
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I would add the whole thing unless you want to save some if it and make 2nd starter for another beer....

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Old 06-13-2012, 08:48 PM   #3
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If it were me I'd hold off on pitching everything. But, you are talking about small differences so you won't hurt things too much by overpitching.

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Old 06-13-2012, 09:00 PM   #4
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I take the pitching rates as the bottom end of where you want to be. I mean, they say like 458B cells for typical batches I make and I can tell you that 1) the amount of viable cells in the tube or smack pack is a rough estimate of how many cells are actually in there, 2) calculations for starters are very rough estimates if you're starting with an estimate of how much yeast you have, 3) for the tiny quantity of stuff that comes out of a smack pack that little bit that gets stuck in the nutrient bag might represent 5-15% (who knows) of your viable yeast. So if I need 458B yeast cells, no more and no less, then I'm pretty freakin' sure I've never pitched the right amount of yeast.

I try to overshoot by a bit and figure it is much harder (and much less common) to overpitch than to underpitch.

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Old 06-13-2012, 09:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bensiff View Post
If it were me I'd hold off on pitching everything. But, you are talking about small differences so you won't hurt things too much by overpitching.
Me too. Most of the time I let my starters finish out completely, cold crash for 24 hours, decant the 'beer' leaving just enough to suspend the yeast, swirl it up and pitch the slurry.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:14 PM   #6
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I've stopped popping the nutrient pack for that reason because yeast always gets inside. The starter activity will show if the yeast are ok.

My original intent was to pitch 75% of the starter as long as I'm convinced it's well mixed. 1968 is pretty chunky so it might come down to pitching it all in to avoid underpitching...

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