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Old 11-20-2011, 03:12 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Yooper

I really don't think it would be easy to overpitch in a homebrew setting. You'd have to put a 1.040 beer on a yeast cake I'd think to come close to gross overpitching. Even then, I doubt you'd get many adverse effects; unlike underpitching one vial of yeast in a 1.080 beer in which I'd expect to see some effects of stressed yeast.

It's true that good beer can be made with less than perfect techiques. But I would submit that great beer can not be made with underpitching and temperature control.
That's the gist of what I said.

And yeah, overpitching is much more forgiving. I'm not sure any amount of overpitching could even make a good beer bad, especially those styles where you want a neutral yeast character.

However, it can have subtle impacts. It's no secret that ester production is reduced somewhat when overpitching. Sometimes you may even want that, but other times not so much. There seems to be an oft-repeated fallacy on this forum that a certain method or parameter must be best, because it's already producing good or even great beer - even "great" beer can be improved.

As for fermenting/conditioning times... there's a few styles which I tend to rush (hefes, APAs), but most styles I tend to give 4+ weeks (and another 3-4 in bottle). I'm rarely in a rush, so if I know it won't hurt, and there's even a chance it might help, I don't mind waiting. Unless it's a beer that's going to be negatively affected by being more than a couple weeks in the fermentor, I just don't see the point in focusing on going grain to glass as quick as possible.


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Old 11-20-2011, 03:47 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by yinzer2 View Post
I think that he and everyone else is agreed on "For an ale, you want to pitch around 0.75 million cells of viable yeast (0.75 million for an ale, 1.5 million for a lager), for every milliliter of wort, for every degree plato.". I'm keying in on his growth factor for the stir plate.

sorry, i should of posted this link at the get go.

http://www.beersmith.com/forum/index.php?topic=5895.0
I'll have to agree. Jamil's pitching rates on Mr. Malty are calculated by the accepted standard. What seems to vary a lot, and not just with Mr. Malty, is how to achieve said pitching rate. There are many factors that affect growth rates, cell counts and viability. To boast that any one method or software program provides the perfect starter with spot on pitching rates everytime is just non sense. What Mr. Malty tries to do is take all of these factors into account and error on the side of caution so that as homebrewers, we can expect to achieve at least the proper pitching rate (if not slightly over). Bottom line is, it's your job as a homebrewer to experiment and find the optimal pitching rate and starter methods that work best for your beer. Until then, you'll just have to take someone elses word for it and Mr. Malty is a good place to start.


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Old 11-20-2011, 03:50 PM   #23
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Unless it's a beer that's going to be negatively affected by being more than a couple weeks in the fermentor, I just don't see the point in focusing on going grain to glass as quick as possible.
I actually agree with you. But I'm feeling the need to mention the option to people, as it seems almost a militant like mantra around here suddenly: "Four weeks in primary at least or you beer will suck!" That's simply not true.

Some beers can possibly benefit from an ultra long primary (more than 2 weeks). Most will not benefit, but it usually can't hurt. That's the truth.

My argument is that a well made beer (proper pitch yeast, fresh ingredients, good water, proper temperature control) will never NEED that long. Once the beer has been at FG for at least three days, and it is clear, there is no advantage to simply letting it sit for the sake of letting it sit. That's the point I'm trying to make.
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Old 11-20-2011, 05:28 PM   #24
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Also the big breweries are fermenting under pressure in many cases, which causes the yeast to behave differently.
This is a myth with no basis in reality. I've been to hundreds of breweries and have not seen one that ferments under pressure. Sealing the tank with a couple of degrees plato left, yes, performing the active portion of fermentation under pressure, no. It probably happens but it is certainly not a normal or popular practice.
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Old 11-20-2011, 06:40 PM   #25
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Underpitching won't result in underattenuation unless you're doing it to an absurd degree. It might be a bit slower, sure, but terminal gravity should be pretty much the same.
FWIW, page 278 of 'Yeast' indicates that underpitching can result in a stuck fermentation. It's possible that severe underpitching is neccesary for this to occur but there is no indication of degree in the book that I can see.

The bottom line is that unhealthy yeast conditions cause stuck fermentations.
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:00 PM   #26
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You know what I'd like to see? An experiment. One 10 gallon batch, even divided between two fermenters. One would be underpitched, like using one vial in a 1.065 batch. The other, overpitched. We'd have to calculate what that is, but say 4 vials as an example. All else would remain the same- temperature, time in the fermenter, etc. At the end of 10 days, check the SG and have a blind taste test. Bottle (or keg) and have another taste test in 3 weeks.

I'm unwilling to do it for two reasons- one, I refuse to underpitch even in the interests of science and two, I would say to avoid a starter to take out the possiblity of contamination or any other variable, and I don't want to spend that much money on yeast!

But I think it would be the only way to say what the effects of underpitching vs overpitching the same batch in homebrewing do.
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:11 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Yooper
You know what I'd like to see? An experiment. One 10 gallon batch, even divided between two fermenters. One would be underpitched, like using one vial in a 1.065 batch. The other, overpitched. We'd have to calculate what that is, but say 4 vials as an example. All else would remain the same- temperature, time in the fermenter, etc. At the end of 10 days, check the SG and have a blind taste test. Bottle (or keg) and have another taste test in 3 weeks.

I'm unwilling to do it for two reasons- one, I refuse to underpitch even in the interests of science and two, I would say to avoid a starter to take out the possiblity of contamination or any other variable, and I don't want to spend that much money on yeast!

But I think it would be the only way to say what the effects of underpitching vs overpitching the same batch in homebrewing do.
Basic Brewing Radio did that in late 2009 in conjunction with BYO Magazine. They did one with 1/4 the recommendation, one with proper, and one with 4 times. I think they got about 10 people to do it at the same time with different beers. The odd thing was that some beers benefited from under, while some did better with over. Their conclusion was to use Mr Malty, but if you make a beer repeatedly then you should try this experiment because it seems to be yeast related which do better an which worse.
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Old 11-20-2011, 07:20 PM   #28
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I think that the OG plays a big role... big beers will probably be affected by yeast count to a much greater extent than smaller beers. In other words, yeast proliferation can probably mask underpitching in a smaller beer but would result in stressed yeast in a bigger beer.

I've personally underpitched a 1.060 beer that scored a 35 and no off flavors in a competition. That was before I started using THE rate calculator.

So I think good beers can be had with underpitching. But good is good and better is better.

And FWIW Yooper, I am totally with you on the time before bottling/kegging. If you make a beer by the book, pitch at fermentation temps with an appropriate amount of healthy yeast and keep the wort oxygen free and fermentations temperatures without fluctuations, you do not always need 3+ weeks in the primary.
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Old 11-20-2011, 08:59 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by remilard

This is a myth with no basis in reality. I've been to hundreds of breweries and have not seen one that ferments under pressure. Sealing the tank with a couple of degrees plato left, yes, performing the active portion of fermentation under pressure, no. It probably happens but it is certainly not a normal or popular practice.
Well, sort of.

The vessel itself isn't pressurized, correct. But there is a ton of pressure placed on the bulk of the yeast by the weight of the liquid column alone...
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:00 PM   #30
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Well, sort of.

The vessel itself isn't pressurized, correct. But there is a ton of pressure placed on the bulk of the yeast by the weight of the liquid column alone...
That's why they dump the trub.


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