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Old 11-12-2012, 03:07 PM   #1
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Default Pitching Temp

So how sensitive is yeast to pitching temp?

Assuming you will ferment at a good temperature, does it matter if the wort is slightly warmer when you pitch? Say 85-90 degrees?

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Old 11-12-2012, 03:09 PM   #2
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I've always heard that you want the wort to be below 80 before you pitch. 90F could shock the yeast or even kill off some of your cells. The beer will turn out the best if you pitch at the exact temp you plan to ferment at but I always pitch at about 70-72F and ferment at 65F....it just seems that the yeast get started faster if you pitch around 70F.

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Old 11-12-2012, 03:38 PM   #3
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For most ale strains that temperature is going to produce off flavors and fusels.

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Old 11-12-2012, 04:11 PM   #4
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Listening to some podcasts with Jamil Z and people on this forum, yes the temperature when pitching matters although the effects of different pitching rate temps will vary depending on things like the yeast strain, oxygenation levels, amount of time it will take to cool your beer to the fermentation temperature, etc. I wouldn't worry, I've done what you described and the beer came out pretty good. It's my understanding that pitching on the colder side reduces certain off flavors and ensures yeast viability. What yeast were you using?

I used to cool my beer to about 80 since that was the lowest I could get the wort with my ground water temperature. Then pitch the yeast while the beer was cooling in a temperture controlled fridge. I'm now cooling the beer in the fridge to at, or slightly below, my desired fermentation temperature than pitching the yeast.

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Old 11-12-2012, 04:17 PM   #5
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According to the experts, it is beneficial to pitch below desired fermentation temperature to create a controlled growth phase of the yeast which is the first phase of fermentation.

When you pitch warm you stimulate a faster growth and then by dropping the temp you consequently shock and stress the yeast which then can produce off flavors.

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Old 11-12-2012, 04:19 PM   #6
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I usually cool the wort with either the chiller or in my fermentation fridge to a few degrees below my fermentation temp and then pitch. Once fermentation starts, I let it rise up to my temp and then hold it there.

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Old 11-12-2012, 06:20 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pie_Man View Post
I used to cool my beer to about 80 since that was the lowest I could get the wort with my ground water temperature.
That is your well water temp?! The joys of living in FL! My well water is cold (50F @ my pump depth of 350' but it has to travel 100 feet from my well through warm soil and then through 40 feet of cpvc in my house before it gets to my wort chiller. I'm really thinking that building a outdoor faucet in my yard right next to the well head is the key to faster chilling! Might be something to think about for you since your well water might actually be 65 or 70F but warms up between the well and your connection at the house.
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Old 11-12-2012, 06:40 PM   #8
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Thanks for the suggestion Jayhem, it's actually city water. This time of year the water is colder, but most of the year it's around 70 or so. I found that getting the wort below 80 to take way too long and waste too much water (that extra 10 degrees is stubborn). For me, it's much easier to cool to 80-90, then cover the carboy lid with a sanitized paper towel and stick it in the ferm fridge for a few hours.

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Old 11-12-2012, 07:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pie_Man View Post
Thanks for the suggestion Jayhem, it's actually city water. This time of year the water is colder, but most of the year it's around 70 or so. I found that getting the wort below 80 to take way too long and waste too much water (that extra 10 degrees is stubborn). For me, it's much easier to cool to 80-90, then cover the carboy lid with a sanitized paper towel and stick it in the ferm fridge for a few hours.
Oh sorry. I assumed well water when you mentioned "ground water".
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Old 11-12-2012, 10:21 PM   #10
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I use a pre chiller. My ground water in the summer is in the high 70's. I think I am going to use it this winter even though the water temp will drop to the low 60's. As Pie Man said the last 10 degrees are a bugger.

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