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Old 12-19-2011, 06:54 PM   #1
Anbrand
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Default Yeast Questions

Yesterday I brewed a 10G batch of a Bell's TH clone. I harvested yeast from three dregs of Bell's Amber earlier in the week. I started with 300ml and stepped up to 500ml and had about a 16th inch of yeast at the bottom of the quart jar.

Against the advice of my LHBS guy I still pitched one of my 5G primaries with the slurry. The second primary was pitched with S04. I know, I know. I should have went slower, stepped it up several more times, and probably under-pitched. Poor planning and lack of knowledge on my part.

My LHBS guy said it was hard to harvest yeast from bottles and that I may get wild yeast instead of the intended yeast. Perhaps he is trying to sell more yeast. He said to smell the yeast to determine if it was good. Well, I'm not sure I would be qualified to sniff out a bad yeast unless it was foul. Regardless, it did not smell foul and I pitched it. I figured if it did not take off I would over-pitch S04.

Well, 12 hours later the S04 primary was off and going strong. The Bell's yeast primary was going about one bubble a minute.

My questions are;

If I under-pitched will the yeast propagate to the colony size needed to do the job?
What signs should I look for that something may not be progressing as hoped for?
Is there anything else I should do to help the process? i.e. Nutrient, energizer, etc.

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Old 12-19-2011, 08:16 PM   #2
JonK331
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Yeast will propagate but need oxygen to do so. How did you aerate/oxygenate? Slightly under pitching is less of an issue if there is plently of O2. Drastically under pitching is another story. Yes, you probably should have stepped the starter up a few more times but you'll most likely be okay. The Bell's yeast and the SO4 are two different strains so they will behave differently, I wouldn't judge based on how fast the airlock is bubbling. If there are signs of fermentation, I'd just let it do its thing

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Old 12-19-2011, 08:16 PM   #3
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What as the OG, if it was more than around 1050 and less than 24hrs has elapsed you could re oxygenate the wort. Adding more O2 will allow more propagation plus adding energizer.

Clem

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Old 12-19-2011, 10:10 PM   #4
Anbrand
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I spashed the wort around pretty good when transferring to the primaries. There was a good amount of foam on the surface. Yes, I've learned the fermentation lesson first hand. I once bought a bucket that had a small amount of flash on the top. The airlock did not show any activity but the beer fermented out fully. I ended up trimming and smoothing it out so it would seal.

The OG was 1.060. We'll see after work tonight how things are going. Brewing can make us worry about little stuff that doesn't usually happen.

Update: Well, though starting out much slower, the harvested yeast appears to be fermenting normally. It is more on par now with the S04. Now I need to read up collecting and preserving this yeast for future batches. I think I will do the same with the S04 as well.

Thank you all for the comments and suggestions.

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