Newbie Query - Did I ruin my beer by stirring it too much right after pitching?

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osh

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Hi everyone,

I am pretty new in home brewing and have only started my second batch, this time it's a pale ale. I have searched and read quite a few posts in the last couple of days regarding whether to stir or not to stir yeast in during pitching and it seems that it seems like it might be a "riskier" move. Apologies, if this is a stale topic and for the noob question, I am quite paranoid that I have ruined the batch :/

I have stirred the yeast into the wort quite vigorously yesterday, whilst pitching the yeast in a plastic fermenting vessel. In my head, it was a great idea that the yeast should be well and truly mixed into the wort to give it a better chance for activation. However, I have been reading many posts since that advised strongly against even gentle stirring due to the introduction of excess oxygen and/or yeast/yeast cells sticking to the vessel walls.

Have I increased the chances of ruining my beer by vigorously stirring in the yeast? It is currently fermenting (first 24 hours since pitching) and the airlock is bubbling away as we speak, so I am hoping that it's all good, well if not there is probably nothing that I can do at this stage. I certainly will only stir or aerate the wort prior to pitching for future brews.

Thanks in advance for your input.

Cheers!
 
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osh

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Thanks for the replies fellas. Glad to hear that it should be all good.

Yep, maybe I should RDWHAHB :) I had to google the meaning of that acronym.
 
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Biggest risk is contamination with molds and funghi and oxidation.
Risk of contamination is easy to mitigate by proper cleaning, using Star San (or similar product), ...

Before pitching the yeast, there is no risk of oxidation.

After pitching the yeast, the risk of oxidation can be mitigated by CO2 purging. There are additional techniques that can be used to mitigate oxidation when packaging in bottles. Those techniques are covered well in other topics here at HomebrewTalk.

edits to remove extra letters :-(
 
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Alex4mula

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If you stirred too quick in circular motion the yeast can get motion sickness and will start late. :-D. Just joking. You will have no problems from that ;-)
 
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jpakstis

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What type of beer and what strain of yeast is it? Like others mention above, it’s highly unlikely to be an issue. The farther from the boil you get temperature-wise, the bigger the need for sanitizing becomes but if you used a clean spoon or other stirrer, that shouldn’t be an issue. To me (and the reason I ask about type of beer and yeast strains) is that ale strains are “top fermenting” in that they will clump (flocculate) and rise to the surface for fermentation (lager yeasts are bottom fermenting strains and so they fall to the bottom).

By stirring them into solution, it just takes the yeast that much longer to rise up to the surface. There’s nothing wrong with it (I always make yeast starters and by pouring the slurry in, it always sinks into the wort). It just will take a little longer to start to see signs of fermentation. And there’s nothing better than seeing that airlock activity!
 
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I have stirred the yeast into the wort quite vigorously yesterday, whilst pitching the yeast in a plastic fermenting vessel. In my head, it was a great idea that the yeast should be well and truly mixed into the wort to give it a better chance for activation. However, I have been reading many posts since that advised strongly against even gentle stirring due to the introduction of excess oxygen and/or yeast/yeast cells sticking to the vessel walls.
If you are using dry yeast, the instructions from Lallemand & Fermentis offer a viable option with smaller (5 gal or less) batches:
  1. sprinkle the yeast on top of the wort (when pitching dry) -or- pour it in (when rehydrating), then
  2. seal up the fermenter and walk away
It's simple. I find that it works. Consider giving it a try.
 
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osh

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Thanks heaps for the replies. I will have a quick look in a couple of days, when I plan to dry hop the beer :)
 

RolandD

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I could be wrong, but your wort needs to be oxygenated for the yeast to properly do their thing. It's only after alcohol production that you need to worry about oxidation.
 

davidabcd

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stale topic
I have searched and read quite a few posts in the last couple of days regarding whether to stir or not to stir yeast in during pitching and it seems that it seems like it might be a "riskier" move.
...stale topic....
I have stirred the yeast into the wort quite vigorously yesterday, In my head, it was a great idea that the yeast should be well and truly mixed into the wort to give it a better chance for activation. However, I have been reading many posts since that advised strongly against even gentle stirring due to the introduction of excess oxygen and/or yeast/yeast cells sticking to the vessel walls.
Have I increased the chances of ruining my beer by vigorously stirring in the yeast? I certainly will only stir or aerate the wort prior to pitching for future brews.
It's not riskier, you have not increased your chances of ruining your beer and I have many batches to prove it. It also may not be necessary but I still do the same thing--add the yeast, let it sit and then beat the heck out of it with a slotted spoon. I'll allow that the wort gets plenty oxygenated by aggressively pouring it from the pot to the fermenter. For perspective, there are people here and elsewhere who use O2 and fish aquarium devices to oxygenate--kudos to them.
I would be choosey as to which sources I use.
Logically, some of the yeast websites (pointed out above) tell you what to do.
Stale topic--that's just funny.
 
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Depending on the temp of my wort entering the fermenter, I would have the yeast in the fermenter already. Then the wort is splashing onto the yeast, getting some mild oxygenation and mixing with the yeast at the same time. Worked well with dry packets and slurry both; fermentation would take off by the next morning at the latest and good beer was had by all (well, most of the time, but that wasn't the fault of the wee yeasties).
 
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osh

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Update on this batch, the beer turned out delicious dry hopped with Galaxy and Citra, very tropical and fruity taste and aroma, with a nice light blonde colour.

However, it turned dark on me and the hoppy aroma and taste has mostlt dissipated after 4 weeks in the bottle, it still tastes decent but nowhere near what it was. I can't figure it why, I am thinking it's either my poor decision to store it (in boxes) in my home office where sun light floods in every morning/afternoon or because I have only just realised that the spring and rubber ring on the bottle wand should be removed when sanitising.

I've just bottled an XPA with Ella, Citra and Mosaic hops yesterday and did not remove the spring and rubber ring when sanitising as I have only realised this afterwards. I'll let you know if the same thing happens with this batch :/

Thanks again for all your inputs, it's really appreciated and I find it very informative.
 
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osh

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Hmmm, I do use a plastic fermenter and bottle straight from there, with the lid and airlock still on and fill/cap 5 bottles at a time to reduce exposure (also place the caps on the bottle in between filling and capping). Any tips on how I can reduce oxygen mixing whilst bottling?

Wild guess based on your description. I think you might have gotten too much oxygen mixed in before bottling.
 
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osh

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Oh and also, the beer was still light in colour and had nice hoppy taste/aroma until 3 weeks or so in the bottle. It changed around the 4th week.

Update on this batch, the beer turned out delicious dry hopped with Galaxy and Citra, very tropical and fruity taste and aroma, with a nice light blonde colour.

However, it turned dark on me and the hoppy aroma and taste has mostlt dissipated after 4 weeks in the bottle, it still tastes decent but nowhere near what it was. I can't figure it why, I am thinking it's either my poor decision to store it (in boxes) in my home office where sun light floods in every morning/afternoon or because I have only just realised that the spring and rubber ring on the bottle wand should be removed when sanitising.

I've just bottled an XPA with Ella, Citra and Mosaic hops yesterday and did not remove the spring and rubber ring when sanitising as I have only realised this afterwards. I'll let you know if the same thing happens with this batch :/

Thanks again for all your inputs, it's really appreciated and I find it very informative.
 

RM-MN

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Hmmm, I do use a plastic fermenter and bottle straight from there, with the lid and airlock still on and fill/cap 5 bottles at a time to reduce exposure (also place the caps on the bottle in between filling and capping). Any tips on how I can reduce oxygen mixing whilst bottling?
How you fill the bottles matters and you didn't mention the method. I use a bottle filling wand that allows the bottles to fill from the bottom so the beer doesn't splash into the bottle. Agitation is the way most oxygen gets dissolved into liquids and the bottle filling wand limits that.
 

VikeMan

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It's that coating on the dry yeast (or something) isn't it?
No. Here's why dry yeast don't need to be oxygenated:

In order for yeast to bud (in the exponential growth phase of fermentation), they need a lot of cell wall material, which is made of (among other things) sterols. To make sterols, yeast need oxygen. But dry yeast manufacturers capture the yeast in a state where they already have "full" sterol reserves. Thus there is no need for oxygen at pitch time.
 

lumpher

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I've used dry yeast almost exclusively for the entire time I've been brewing, and have never oxygenated. I sprinkle it on top, seal it, gently slosh it a little, and walk away. Made some half-decent beers, too...
 
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