Under Pitching (visual indicator) - Home Brew Forums
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:36 PM   #1
DPBISME
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Jul 2012
Alexandria, VA
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Started from another thread:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/hig...9/#post4394170


So from my reading and from Wyeast site these are the results of Under-

Effect of Pitch Rate on Beer Flavor

Pitch rates, in addition to strain, temperature, and gravity, make a dramatic difference in the final flavor and aroma profile of any beer. The pitch rate will have a direct effect on the amount of cell growth during a fermentation. Cell growth decreases as pitch rates increase. Ester production is directly related to yeast growth as are most other flavor and aroma compounds.

A low pitch rate can lead to:
•Excess levels of diacetyl
•Increase in higher/fusel alcohol formation
•Increase in ester formation
•Increase in volatile sulfur compounds
•High terminal gravities
•Stuck fermentations
•Increased risk of infection
When I do the calculations I fond that "maybe" I have been under pitching for 12 years so I was wondering is there a "visual indication" of a low pitch rate?

I frequently ferment at the HIGH end of the scale and my fermentations get going with-in 12-16 hours and are done after 3 days.

I use Nottingham frequently just tossed on top after areation; (2 or 3 for a 11 Gallon batch...)

Even when I use a TWO (2) tubes or smack-packs to make some other kind of beer I usually toss in one Nottingham as a backup. (I have had bad "packs").

SO AGAIN:

I was wondering is there a "visual indication" of a low pitch rate?



 
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:55 PM   #2
sarsnik
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Oct 2010
Pennsylvania
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The best 'visual indication' I can think of would be fermentation ceasing early and abruptly. This would be an indication that the cell count was too low to survive the high alcohol content and clean up the beer. Most of my properly pitched fermentations reach peak activity in 2-3 days and then slowly taper for another week.

I wouldn't use visual indicators for gauging fermentation. Smell and taste are better tools for identifying flaws that will be cleaned up.



 
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Old 09-10-2012, 02:58 PM   #3
DPBISME
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Jul 2012
Alexandria, VA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarsnik View Post
The best 'visual indication' I can think of would be fermentation ceasing early and abruptly. This would be an indication that the cell count was too low to survive the high alcohol content and clean up the beer. Most of my properly pitched fermentations reach peak activity in 2-3 days and then slowly taper for another week.

I wouldn't use visual indicators for gauging fermentation. Smell and taste are better tools for identifying flaws that will be cleaned up.
I might mot really be running in to this as I like Low Gravity Beers (because I like to drink a few pints every night and not suffer for it later)

BUT it could explane the off taste in my first "triple"... at the monthly beer tasting it was described as "band-aid" like.

Not enough to ruin the beer, it is pretty drinkable, but enough to keep it out of placing...

DPB

 
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:40 PM   #4
cosmo
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Nov 2010
Montverde, FL
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I know I am not under or over pitching because I either create the proper starter using mrmalty.com for the given OG, or I measure the volume of the yeast from a re-pitch. If the yeast health is in qustion, I always step up the yeast (sometimes multiple times) and measure the slurry to make sure it is the right ammount. I have been burned a few times in the past when the yeast had lost some vitality. That's why starters are very important in my opinion. If you are sure of your yeast health and volume, you can eliminate that as a possiblity if there are issues. The more variables you can eliminate, the easier it is to diagnose later.

 
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Old 09-10-2012, 06:26 PM   #5
SpeedYellow
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Nov 2007
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No, there's no generally-accepted visual indicator of over- or under-pitching. That said, fermentation time can be an indicator. I've never had a fermentation end early & abruptly like somebody noted above, and I've underpitched a great many batches. Rather, an ale that takes 7 days or a lager that takes 20 days would tell me I underpitched. My ales seem to take 4-5 days, and lagers 7-10 days. But when I used to underpitch, they might take twice that long. Just my experience with the handful of yeasts that I prefer.



 
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