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Old 12-13-2012, 03:47 PM   #1
dierythmus
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Default Pitching yeast question

Hi Guys,

I have a half dozen batches of extract under my belt (various types of beer), that all turned out OK. After reading through the forums, I have some questions regarding the instructions that my local homebrew dude gave me. Sticking with extracts…..

After my wort is cooled, I dump it into the fermenting bucket. At this point, I am told to add water to reach the 5 gallon mark. When I do this, I simply take my extended faucet and fill it up. This creates a foam/bubbles on the top of the cooled wort. Is this OK? I feel like if I pitch the yeast onto the foam, it may not distribute as well?

Is adding the water necessary to begin with, and if it is, should I add it via a siphon to reduce the amount of oxygen?

Also, once I pitch the yeast, I am told to close the fermenting bucket and rock it back and forth. Is there a better way to distribute the yeast, like gently stirring?

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Old 12-13-2012, 03:51 PM   #2
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Although not an expert, I will try my best to help. First I would make sure the water you are using to top off has been boiled and cooled to sanitize it or there might be an increased risk of contamination. When pitching the yeast, I always add a little wort to the fermenter then pitch the yeast and then finish transferring my wort. I feel this gets better results by oxygenating the yeast and mixing it well. Although there is no need to really mix it in, it will do this on its own and even if it's in the bubbles you described it will work. Hope this helps!

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Old 12-13-2012, 03:53 PM   #3
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Yeast needs plenty of oxygen so splashing the top off water is as good a way as any to do it I guess.

You really don't need to worry about how you "distribute" the yeast. It's going to find the sugar just find. You can just pitch it in, seal up the bucket and walk away for that matter.

What I do is pitch yeast, seal the fermenter, let it sit for about 10 minutes and then I carry from wherever I pitched it to my brew closet. That swishes the yeast plenty...like it matters. You could pitch the yeast in the brew closet and not move it, and the yeast is going to do it's thing just fine.

You really don't need to sweat the details, you are dealing with a micro-organism who's entire mission, it's very dna, is NOTHING but finding sugars, eating them, peeing alcohol and farting co2...with a little reproduction thrown in for fun....

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Old 12-13-2012, 03:53 PM   #4
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Some people might worry about what is in your water when you add it. Assuming you're using tap water, anything really bad is going to boil off, but when you just add it from the tap to top off, it never gets boiled. If you have a second pot, you can boil water for 15 minutes or so, cool, then top off with that water.

The yeast will distribute just fine when you add it. It seeks out the sugar. Some folks put the yeast in first, then put the wort on top of it to mix it up that way. I'm honestly not sure if there is a difference between the two methods.

The reason you were told to rock back and forth is not to distribute the yeast, but instead to add oxygen to the wort. Oxygen helps the yeast out, so a vigorous shake is better than a gentle stirring. After fermentation begins, oxygen is bad, but prior to it, it is very helpful.

Hope this helps!

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Old 12-13-2012, 03:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mobeers View Post
Although not an expert, I will try my best to help. First I would make sure the water you are using to top off has been boiled and cooled to sanitize it or there might be an increased risk of contamination. When pitching the yeast, I
This is purely a matter of preference. I haven't boiled my top off water in 7 years. I just use the same water that comes out my faucet or tap......If it's safe to drink, it's going to be safe for your beer.

This is ultimately one of those things you're going to have to decide on on your own....people have different opinions on this matter, and they are ALL correct.

Like so much else in brewing, it's all about common sense, and what works for you.
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Old 12-13-2012, 04:28 PM   #6
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You want to add oxygen your wort before pitching yeast, dump, pour, splash, stir, have a hay-day.

I pour my wort, making lots of foam, add top off water, making more foam, pitch yeast on foam, cover with lid loose, wait 10 min on dry yeast to let yeast hydrate, then stir yeast in, then press lid down, add air lock.

As Revvy said the yeast will do their thing just fine.

Cheers

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Old 12-13-2012, 04:41 PM   #7
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There are many ways to oxygenate. 'Viga-spoon-eration" or stirring the crap out of it, capping and rocking, capping and covering the grommet in the lid with a sanitary finger or thumb and shake weighting the heck out of the bucket, O2 stones, and probably more that I dont even think about. The oxygen addition is only desired before fermentation happens. If you do it after the yeast have been working for a while you will get some soggy cardboard, not tasty beer out of it. Yuck.

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Old 12-13-2012, 04:58 PM   #8
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I shake the crap out of mine after I pitch the yeast. But my age is starting to tell me that shakin' a 5 gallon bucket of liquid isn't going to be an option for very much longer.

So I'll invest in an O2 aeration system soon.

Gary

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Old 12-13-2012, 05:16 PM   #9
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Awesome, thanks guys. I love this board. Post a question - go to lunch - get half a dozen great answers.

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Old 12-15-2012, 03:26 PM   #10
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What a great and simple way for a person like me to understand what yeast does. Awesome!

You really don't need to sweat the details, you are dealing with a micro-organism who's entire mission, it's very dna, is NOTHING but finding sugars, eating them, peeing alcohol and farting co2...with a little reproduction thrown in for fun....[/QUOTE]

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