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Old 06-30-2009, 10:59 PM   #1
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Default Gah! Advice on speeding up yeast before the brew?

So I had some yeast left over, and (stupidly) poured it into my yeast starter before cooling the wort. Realized my mistake AS i was doing this, just wasn't paying attention. R.I.P. my yeast.

Anyway, the only yeast I have access to at this point is the WLP yeast that comes in vials. And I have to brew tomorrow.

Since the earliest I can pick up my yeast is tomorrow morning, and I'm brewing tomorrow night, what are some things I can do to ensure a healthy fermentation using vial yeast?

It's too late to make a starter and letting it go for a full 36 or so hours, but should I still make one ASAP tomorrow, just to get the ball rolling a little?

Should I pick up some yeast nutrient? (On that note, is the yeast nutrient used in wine the same type that's used in beer? My dad's a winemaker, and I know he has some.)

Any other ideas to ensure a healthy fermentation with last minute vial yeast?

Thanks!
-Kelly

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Old 06-30-2009, 11:13 PM   #2
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If you are making a relatively low gravity beer (say ~1.040) a White Labs vial would work. You would be underpitching but it would still ferment well. I don't think the yeast nutrient would do much because the yeast are not going to be limited on nutrients with the wort. This is assuming you are not using high levels of adjunct. Maybe you could start a starter and that would be enough time but I don't have enough experience to say. Good luck!

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Old 07-01-2009, 09:36 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by size View Post

It's too late to make a starter and letting it go for a full 36 or so hours, but should I still make one ASAP tomorrow, just to get the ball rolling a little?

Really never too late to make a starter, however the longer you can let the starter "go" before pitching is ideal. Delay pitching the starter to the wort for as long as possible, maybe even doing the pitch the following morning. Just put an airlock on top of your fermentation vessel after transferring the wort to keep out the bugs.

Quote:

Should I pick up some yeast nutrient? (On that note, is the yeast nutrient used in wine the same type that's used in beer? My dad's a winemaker, and I know he has some.)
ALWAYS use yeast nutrient with a starter. The yeast nutrient for wine is the same for beer.

Quote:

Any other ideas to ensure a healthy fermentation with last minute vial yeast?
Yes; ACTIVE aeration of the wort. I use a standard aquarium air pump, aquarium airline, and some rigid airline-size tubing that you should be able to get at most any pet shop. An in-line micron filter can be used to filter the air from the pump, but I've discontinued the use of such in my system and have had no infection problems thus far.

Pump air to the wort for 30 minutes, pitch the yeast, and then aerate for an additional 30 minutes. As well, aerate that starter wort, too, either with the pump or by shaking the starter vessel for SEVERAL minutes. Aeration is, in my opinion, one of THE most overlooked aspects of homebrewing and results in stuck fermentation or poor attenuations.

Good luck !
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