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Old 10-13-2012, 01:04 AM   #1
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The other day I made a Holiday ale with 9 lbs. of malt (LME and DME) among other ingredients. The employee at the store where I buy my supplies said that since I was not going to use a starter and since it was going to be high gravity, I should use 2 vials of WLP 530 instead of 1 vial. I brewed on Fri. and went out of town on Saturday afternoon and came back on Sun. afternoon. The lid on the fermenting bucket was partially off and the airlock was full of wort and/or beer. It was under a controlled temp. of 69 deg. I resealed the bucket and cleaned the airlock and it continued to ferment. Couple of questions. Is this batch still good, could I have got by with 1 vial, or would I have been better off using a starter? Never did a starter before.

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Old 10-13-2012, 01:09 AM   #2
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2 vials should have been ok depending on how high your gravity... as for the lid popping off you should most likely be ok however there is a possibility of the beer turning sour from wild yeast. It's not a bad thing all together however only time will tell.

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Old 10-13-2012, 01:17 AM   #3
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Next time set up with a blow off tube and no worries

The beer will be fine, there was obviously a lot of CO2 coming out so nothing was able to get in, hopefully you cleaned AND sanitized everything when you put it together again.

Making a starter is easy and cheaper than buying multiple packs of yeast but most important is pitching the proper amount of yeast.

You can visit Www.mrmalty.com or Www.yeastcalc.com to calculate pitch rates and learn how to make a starter.

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Old 10-13-2012, 01:31 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by duboman
Next time set up with a blow off tube and no worries

The beer will be fine, there was obviously a lot of CO2 coming out so nothing was able to get in, hopefully you cleaned AND sanitized everything when you put it together again.

Making a starter is easy and cheaper than buying multiple packs of yeast but most important is pitching the proper amount of yeast.

You can visit Www.mrmalty.com or Www.yeastcalc.com to calculate pitch rates and learn how to make a starter.
+1. Any time you make a high gravity beer you need to adjust the amount of yeast you pitch (most likely). And with extra gravity + extra yeast you can expect an extra active fermentation. I always use a blowoff tube for the first few days of fermentation, because it beats mopping the ceiling!
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:44 AM   #5
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+1. Any time you make a high gravity beer you need to adjust the amount of yeast you pitch (most likely). And with extra gravity + extra yeast you can expect an extra active fermentation. I always use a blowoff tube for the first few days of fermentation, because it beats mopping the ceiling!
Actually any time you use a liquid strain of yeast you should make a starter. While the package will say good for 1.060 beers, the reality is unless the pack is ultra fresh meaning over 95% viability, chances are you will under pitch.

In addition, its not really extra active fermentation, its pitching properly and creating a best practice fermentation, especially if you pitch at the proper temperature, not high, preferably lower.
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Old 10-13-2012, 03:45 AM   #6
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Actually any time you use a liquid strain of yeast you should make a starter. While the package will say good for 1.060 beers, the reality is unless the pack is ultra fresh meaning over 95% viability, chances are you will under pitch.
When you make a starter, how do you ensure you don't over-pitch?

I am an advocate of making a starter every time, and don't really care if I pitch the right amount; so long as I feel I have enough to do the job and don't over do it.

Personally I don't like the yeast calculators out there, as I there is so much variation, and I think their viability numbers are very conservative. But a lot of people seem to follow them without question, and I think many of them end up over-pitching.
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Old 10-13-2012, 04:00 AM   #7
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When you make a starter, how do you ensure you don't over-pitch?

I am an advocate of making a starter every time, and don't really care if I pitch the right amount; so long as I feel I have enough to do the job and don't over do it.

Personally I don't like the yeast calculators out there, as I there is so much variation, and I think their viability numbers are very conservative. But a lot of people seem to follow them without question, and I think many of them end up over-pitching.
IMO it is a lot better to pitch too much yeast, within reason, than to underpitch. I have used mrmalty and yeastcalc and have not found a drastic difference between the two.

So if you use the calculators to determine the viability of the yeast and make the right sized and gravity starter you should end up with the proper amount of yeast cells.
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Old 10-13-2012, 01:26 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calder

When you make a starter, how do you ensure you don't over-pitch?

I am an advocate of making a starter every time, and don't really care if I pitch the right amount; so long as I feel I have enough to do the job and don't over do it.

Personally I don't like the yeast calculators out there, as I there is so much variation, and I think their viability numbers are very conservative. But a lot of people seem to follow them without question, and I think many of them end up over-pitching.
Since I don't have a lab and my kids got tired of me asking them to actually count billions of cells I have always used yeast calc. While I cannot say for sure it is 100% accurate I feel that someone put a lot of time into creating the calculator and it Puts me in a more reliable place than just guessing. I only use liquid yeast, always make a starter and always pitch cold and allow to rise to fermentation temperature.

I am happy with how everything goes and since reading the book "yeast" and following recommendations by Jamil and Chris I can't argue with the experts
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