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Old 06-29-2011, 06:54 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by chrros7 View Post
very useful info guys. thank you. And while am at it, jsweet, is there a danger of too LITTLE yeast? or will it just reproduce anyway until it 'maxes' out (obviously, non-technical term )
Yes, absolutely. Underpitching can cause stressed yeast, off flavors, or even a stuck fermentation. Most people recommend MrMalty's pitch rate calculator: http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

On my 3rd brew, I underpitched, and had a real hard time getting fermentation to complete. It was a pretty high gravity beer, though; most average gravity beers you won't have as much of a problem (mostly because it's harder to significantly underpitch).

So make sure you are pitching enough yeast. That's really important.
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:55 PM   #12
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in the 21st century there is no such thing as "lower quality" yeast. Even the stuff that is going to come with a mr beer or other kit is going to come from a very professional yeast lab. And since there's very few, even the ones from those kits are going to originate from Munton's or Coopers, or Fermentis, even if it's in an unlabled pouch.

The idea of that ANY yeast is "bad" is really a holdover from the bad old days of homebrew prohibition (prior to 1978 in america) when yeast came over in hot ship cargo holds, was of indeterminant pedigree and may have sat on the shelves under those cans of blue ribbon malt extract in the grocery store for god knows how long. That is simply not the case in the 21st century- all yeasts, liquid or dry ave excellent and can be used, EVEN the stuff that comes with kits.

The only thing that is going to matter is the age of the yeast. Usually there's a date on the kit or on the packet, and even then people have used yeast years past the expiration date with no issues.

Most of the things that folks "blame" on this or that being "bad" or "better" than something else, usually has nothing to do with what they blame it on. Most of the time when someone has beer they think is "crappy" tasting, when you get to specifics about what they're doing you'll find that time is often the real culprit, too soon off the yeast, not long enough to condition, not long enough in the bottle.

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Old 06-29-2011, 07:46 PM   #13
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Yes, 2 packets is for 5-6g of beer, I would only do 1 packet for 2.5g. Do not ever worry about over pitching. There might be problems pouring wort directly onto the yeast cake, maybe. This, much like autolysis, is something that could happen in a commercial setting but won't happen in a home brew setting.

I will be able to tell you in about 3 or 4 weeks where the threshold is but only after reading some very technical books. Basically, don't worry about it, just pitch good quality yeast and throw out the packet on the bottom of the malt can.

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Old 06-29-2011, 08:04 PM   #14
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To the OP: the only issue with underpitching that I can think of is: the unfermented wart is a breeding ground for many types of bacteria as well as yeast. IF you had poor sanitary practices AND IF you didn't seal the fermenter properly AND IF you underpitched AND IF that resulted in a slow starting fermentation, wild yeast or bacteria COULD cause an infection. Infections seem to be the boogy man of the forums: lurking around at the edges of everyone's postings. I've used dry yeast from kits twice and liquid yeast from LHBW 3 times, always used 1 packet or 1 tube per 5 gallon batch with no stuck fermentations, no fermentations that were slow to start, and no infections. Of course I'm still a NOOb, so what do I know?

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Old 06-29-2011, 09:01 PM   #15
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It's the sanitation that would cause the infections. You can under pitch significantly and it won't cause an infection, you could pitch properly into an unclean vessel and it will cause an infection in under a day, it's all about sanitation.

Stuck fermentations come from a fairly complicated problem but from having experienced one I can tell you that if you are doing all extract or specialty grain steeping with extract, you will never come across a stuck fermentation. So really, I am going to go out on a limb and say that Mr. Beer will produce beer if you follow the instructions and use good yeast. Once you get into this as a hobby, I would pick up either "How to Brew" by Palmer or "The Joy of Brewing" by Papizan. Both are great books and will tell you why you are doing what the instructions say. There are arguments about which one is better for beginners, I started with the the book by Papizan, others have started with Palmer, they are both standard books.

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