Using Wyeast for smaller than 5 gallons - Home Brew Forums

Register Now!
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Extract Brewing > Using Wyeast for smaller than 5 gallons

Thread Tools
Old 10-12-2006, 06:09 PM   #1
Feb 2006
Astoria, NY
Posts: 53

I'm curious for people's opinion on this.

I brew 3 gallon batches rather than the standard 5. I know, I know - it would make more sense to just replace what I have with a 5 gallon setup, but...

Anyway, given that the Wyeast packs are measured so you can just dump the whole thing into 5 gallons of wort, what do you suppose will happen if I dumped one into three gallons of wort?

Is it a bad thing to have too much yeast in there? Will it lead to off flavors?

I'll be making an ale with a starting gravity @ 1.055 or so. In the primary for a week, secondary for two, then bottle.

Thanks everyone.

Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2006, 06:37 PM   #2
Evan!'s Avatar
Aug 2006
Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 11,863
Liked 87 Times on 72 Posts

If anything, those yeast packs have less than the optimal amount of viable cells. They claim that they do, but I've had enough of them fail or have long lag times that I'm making starters from now on.

Given that, and given that the yeast will propegate to the amount that the wort can sustain, you'll be just fine pitching into 3 gallon batches. Don't worry a bit. There won't be "off-flavors" unless you leave it in the primary fermenter for months.
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers

•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)

Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2006, 07:10 PM   #3
Dirty blonde
DesertBrew's Avatar
Jan 2005
Twin Cities, MN
Posts: 5,768
Liked 115 Times on 101 Posts

Yep, what Evan said. I make big starters for my batches which is probably 5-10x the amount of a smack pack or whitel labs vial. Bigger the better for the most part.

Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-2006, 08:17 PM   #4
TheJadedDog's Avatar
Aug 2006
People's Republic of Cambridge
Posts: 3,316
Liked 16 Times on 13 Posts

From everything I've heard it's really hard to over-pitch so I wouldn't be too concerned.
And now we go AG!

On Tap: Nadda
Primary: Nadda
Planning: Extra Special Bitter

Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2006, 12:37 AM   #5
Beer Weevel
Sep 2006
Dinuba, CA
Posts: 246
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

I'm far from an experianced brewer. (six five gallon batches) but I've spoken to some very knowleageable brewers from the Dinuba Beer Weavels brewing club and the overall concensus is that most homebrewers under pitch Soooo I've been making starters in a erlemyer flask and have been pitching 500ml of yeast to a five gallon batch and all have had very active fermentation cycles. With no off flavors noted . Just my 2 cents!!!

Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-2006, 10:50 AM   #6
homebrewer_99's Avatar
Feb 2005
Atkinson (near the Quad Cities), IL
Posts: 17,792
Liked 132 Times on 99 Posts

I've even pitched half vials without any a starter, of course...
HB Bill

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Installing elbow shanks in 3" tower, I need smaller hands or smaller hose clamps humann_brewing Bottling/Kegging 14 09-20-2012 04:01 AM
Smaller Batches DieselJohnny Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 11-05-2008 12:46 PM
Boiling all 5 gallons vs. using just 1.5 gallons of water rockout Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 05-10-2007 08:04 PM
Smaller bottles? Sir Humpsalot Bottling/Kegging 13 05-01-2007 02:50 PM

Forum Jump