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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > How much harvested yeast to pitch?
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Old 06-22-2007, 05:02 PM   #1
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Default How much harvested yeast to pitch?

I've rinsed and stored my yeast and they are all happy and clean in their jar in my fridge. I'll be brewing again in a week or so and I'm wondering how much yeast I should pitch. Sure, I could pitch the whole she-bang but I'd like to get a few batches out of the considerable amount that I have. I know the suggested pitching rates for 5 gal batches but I don't know how many cells are in any given measurement.

Does anyone know how many yeast cells are in a teaspoon or some other measurement?

Thanks, brew brothers and sisters.
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Old 06-22-2007, 05:04 PM   #2
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I usually will pitch 1/3rd of what I harversted and it's always been more than enough.

Remember that the yeast cake you harvested is many times the amount of yeast you started with. After all, it's just been one big food orgy for 7 days.
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Old 06-22-2007, 05:17 PM   #3
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Good question Nost.

I brewed an American wheat a week ago now and used a Kolsch yeast per Jamil's suggestion. I am brewing in a week a Kolsch for a competition so i will have a huge amount of healthy Kolsch yeast and also am curious about the amount i should pitch.

Can one over pitch?


Should i just dump the Kolsch on the cake?
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Old 06-22-2007, 05:31 PM   #4
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I do believe you can over pitch from what I've read in Daniels' Designing Great Beer. If you over pitch the yeast can work through the wort too fast and go dormant before being given the chance to clean up their by-product.

I think you would really have to pitch a lot of yeast to do that though.
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Old 06-22-2007, 05:45 PM   #5
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I never pitch over 1/2 liter (liquid included).
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Old 06-22-2007, 06:31 PM   #6
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If you're pitching relatively fresh slurry, like a day out of primary, I'd say a cup is plenty to pitch directly. If you've harvested and refrigerated for a while, I'd certainly make a starter to get it re-energized (oxygenate the starter well).
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Old 06-22-2007, 07:18 PM   #7
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Hmm. Seems like we're getting nowhere quick here. Okay, how about this:

Can one of you who brew with White Labs yeast go look at the vial and see if there's a fluid measurement on there and then estimate how much of that vial is yeast and how much is liquid? A teaspoon? A tablespoon?

Those vials contain 75-150 billion cells and therefore may give us an idea. I would likely double or triple that amount. But we need an estimated measurement of how much is in there. I use Wyeast and don't have access to White labs at my LHBS so I have no idea how much yeast is in there.
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Old 06-22-2007, 07:40 PM   #8
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you could check their website...i was searching for you but got distracted by the honeyz they have werkin there:

http://whitelabs.com/about_us.html

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Old 06-22-2007, 07:41 PM   #9
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ooh, here's some more info:

http://www.whitelabs.com/beer/cell_count.html
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Old 06-22-2007, 07:43 PM   #10
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i see from a few websites that they are 35mL vials. i thought they were bigger, but that's what it says...
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