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Old 02-08-2012, 12:39 PM   #1
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Default Tour of Dragonmead (Warren, MI)

My homebrew club held our February meeting at Dragonmead last night and were given a tour of the brewery by Larry Channell, one of the co-owners. A few things stuck out - according to Larry, on a home brew scale where fermentation isn't done under pressure it is impossible to over-saturate the wort with oxygen even if using a stone and canned O2 like that sold by Home Depot, Lowes, etc. He also said that Dragonmead pitches 6 million yeast cells per ml of wort per degree Plato and that homebrewers should pitch that amount as well. He also showed us their "open fermenters", opening the lid on one and explaining that they skim the top layer of krausen to remove any "scum" that rises above the layer of yeast at the surface.

Larry was a wonderful host, and it was the most informative tour I've had the pleasure to enjoy.

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Old 02-08-2012, 12:58 PM   #2
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He also said that Dragonmead pitches 6 million yeast cells per ml of wort per degree Plato and that homebrewers should pitch that amount as well.
That 6 million seems extremely high. Most of what I see is average 1 million. For ales around 750,000 cells per.
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Old 02-08-2012, 01:54 PM   #3
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Agreed. I specifically asked him if that was for commercial brewing, but he said it applied to both homebrewers and commercial. I won't shoot for that many cells in my brewing, but now I won't be concerned about over-pitching either.

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Old 02-08-2012, 02:44 PM   #4
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I wouldn't question if homebrew and commercial should pitch at the same rate. I question the rate. I think if he would have said they pitch at 600,000 it would be closer to what I would expect. 6 million is over 8 times more yeast. So if you use Mr Malty or Beer Smith you would have to multiply the recommended amount by 8. Instead of pitching a pack of dry yeast you would need to pitch 8. I'm currently brewing an 11 gallon batch of 18.5B To pitch at the rate that was suggested I would need to make a 12 gallon starter of liquid yeast on a stirplate, or I could pitch 21 packs of dry yeast.(241 grams)

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