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Old 09-17-2012, 03:36 PM   #1
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Default Pitching yeast cold

It's interesting that a lot of instructions say to let yeast warm to room temperature before pitching. I recently found the topic about pitching it cold, and from my experimentation it does indeed start faster when pitched cold and ferments more vigorously.

I just brewed the Jack'O Lantern from AHS yesterday. I made a 1L yeast starter ahead of time, let the starter go for 24 hours on the stir plate, refrigerated it overnight for 12 hours, brewed the beer (partial mash), removed the starter from the frige, decanted the wort on top and pitched the yeast. After TWO hours I had activity, here is a video of the activity 14 hours later.

Think the yeast is good?

http://youtu.be/VnUoFzso1b4


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Old 09-17-2012, 03:43 PM   #2
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The recommendation to pitch within 15F of wort temp has less to do with potential vigor of fermentation, which you've indeed got, and more to do with potential off favors from yeast shock.


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Old 09-17-2012, 03:45 PM   #3
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Best improvements I've made to my beer have been dropping my wort down to 50 degrees along side my starter (literally same fridge). Decant, pitch, and lets rise to my fermentation temperature, i.e 62 for my hefe. As long as you're using sound sanitation don't worry about your wort getting infections before you pitch. I've really never cared about lag time since I started pitching colder. Colder pitches = better, cleaner beer for me... so lag for 80 hours, I don't care. Some guys at my homebrew club told me they've been doing it this way for 10 years, I figured they know that they are talking about. And yes they did. My cleanest beer results! Congrats, I think it looks awesome man. Looks like your video is in fast forward
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brulosopher View Post
The recommendation to pitch within 15F of wort temp has less to do with potential vigor of fermentation, which you've indeed got, and more to do with potential off favors from yeast shock.
I guess we'll see how it tastes. I can understand the off flavors coming from yeast fermenting at the wrong temperature, for it's duration, but if you pitch 40 degree yeast into 70 degree wort, the yeast will be up to temp within minutes, and by the time it starts fermenting it'll obviously be at the correct fermentation temp.

Is there any documentation regarding yeast being "shocked" and then living out the rest of their lives producing off flavored byproducts?
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeafCutter View Post
Best improvements I've made to my beer have been dropping my wort down to 50 degrees along side my starter (literally same fridge). Decant, pitch, and lets rise to my fermentation temperature, i.e 62 for my hefe. As long as you're using sound sanitation don't worry about your wort getting infections before you pitch. I've really never cared about lag time since I started pitching colder. Colder pitches = better, cleaner beer for me... so lag for 80 hours, I don't care. Some guys at my homebrew club told me they've been doing it this way for 10 years, I figured they know that they are talking about. And yes they did. My cleanest beer results! Congrats, I think it looks awesome man. Looks like your video is in fast forward
Interesting, I may give that a try now that I have a freezer with a thermostat to ferment in. How long does it take 5 gallons of 75 degree wort to drop down to 50 degrees?
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:07 PM   #6
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How long does it take 5 gallons of 75 degree wort to drop down to 50 degrees?
This was my exact question when I first heard about these guys doing this. They pretty much said "who cares" leave it overnight and pitch in the morning. Or if you had an early brewday pitch before bed. I've had equal success with both.

Come to think of it, when I wake up its always well into its fermentation so my lag time must not be so bad.. considering I never sleep over 9 hours.
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Old 08-02-2015, 02:17 AM   #7
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I just did this today. The coolest I could get my wort this morning was 80 degrees, so I put it in my beer fridge. I just now pitched the yeast, which has been kept in the same fridge so both are pretty chilly. I'll look for activity late tomorrow, but not sure I expect to see any at that point.
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Old 08-02-2015, 02:20 PM   #8
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There is no point to chilling below the minimum temperature tolerance of your yeast
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Old 08-03-2015, 01:29 AM   #9
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I was pleasantly surprised to see bubbles in the airlock early this morning, approximately ten hours after pitching to chilly wort. I don't know how cool it was really, it was 80 degrees when I put it in the fridge where it sat for about 7 hours... how many degrees would 6 gallons lose ubder those conditions?
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Old 08-03-2015, 04:19 AM   #10
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I just dumped a keg of beer that I figured I could pitch a little warm and it wouldn't matter. WRONG! If you pitch too warm it does matter! Big time! Better to pitch a little cool and let the wort warm to proper fermentation temp than to pitch warm and figure it will cool down quickly enough. (That is assuming you don't care for excessive banana flavor in your beer.)

I have a counteflow chiller which works great during the winter months. But this time of year the tap water rarely drops below 80F so that is the temperature my wort is at when I'm done brewing. The answer I've found is to move the fermenter to my fermentation chamber and let it chill overnight. By the following morning the wort is at perfect pitching temperature. Rehydrate dry yeast or add starter and you're off and running.

How long does the wort take to drop from 80F to 65F? I haven't a clue. But I do know that overnight seems to do the trick. FWIW, I did invest in a thermowell which is linked to the controller for my fermenter freezer. I think this combination is critical to good beer making.

Cheers!


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