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Oh CRAP - underpitched yeast - suggestions

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globell

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So I had this weird off flavour - not pleasing. Just started as it wasn't there two days ago. Has what I describe as an acetyl flavour. Almost like the beginning of a vinegary taste (of the taste of the smell of apple pressings about about a week) but not decernable by nose and this flavour is all up front (if that helps).

Did not sulphite must. Only barrel.

55G barrel of cider @ 50G (soon to be 55G with some sugar addition and more must)
OG 1.052 - Sept 25
SG 1.03 current
pH 3.3
wlp775
Temp around 16C

So it's dropped .22 in a week.

I made starter of the yeast for one and pitched three tubes but I only had 1/2 barrel. Then I filled it almost up. I should have pitched more yeast when I added more but it was bubbling like mad and SG dropping. Bubbler was VERY active.

Took two or three days of pressing to fill it up.

So I've added some Fermax and given it a stir and it seems to have helped.

Any suggestions?
 
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Iseneye

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I have used WLP775 on smaller batches and it was pretty good. Using Mr Malty with Ale setting and 97% viability on 25G you would need 9 vials or 4 vials in a 3G starter. So your original 25G was underpitched and then your 50G was further underpitched. Anyway, ferment it out and see what it tastes like. I have found with some batches tasting part way through fermentation it can be very tart and acidic. Never vinegary though. Did you treat with sulphite prior to pitching?
 
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globell

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I have used WLP775 on smaller batches and it was pretty good. Using Mr Malty with Ale setting and 97% viability on 25G you would need 9 vials or 4 vials in a 3G starter. So your original 25G was underpitched and then your 50G was further underpitched. Anyway, ferment it out and see what it tastes like. I have found with some batches tasting part way through fermentation it can be very tart and acidic. Never vinegary though. Did you treat with sulphite prior to pitching?


It’s not tart, still sweet. Not acidic.

The flavour has improved. Maybe it’s a fusel alcohol

Should I pitch more yeast?

My bubbler is about three bubbles per second.
 
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globell

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Thanks. Viewed Andrews site but no luck
 

Justwingnit

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i use wlp775 one vial in a 4 to 5 gallon batch and at 60 f i have only had 3 to 4 bubbles per second, im still new at this, at this point i would wait and as long as SG keeps dropping I'm thinking your good.
 

madscientist451

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Adding more vials of yeast at this point isn't going to do much of anything. If its fermenting, everything is going ok. Most flavors in cider come from the varieties of apples used and their degree of ripeness. I don't think the WLP 775 is known for throwing off flavors.
I don't usually de-gas cider like I do with mead, but in your situation this may help.
I never taste my cider until the fermentation stops and the yeast starts dropping out. The suspended yeast usually overwhelms other flavors. I usually age the cider for more than 6 months anyway and the taste changes somewhat.
 
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globell

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Thanks. We age for a year.

Status report - airlock moving faster than I’ve ever seen but I normally ferment lower temps. Warmer it up with a heating belt is it was under ideal temps. Probably 6 second.

Smells lovely. I’ll check SG later in the day.

These were very ripe apples and have made very close to this apple combo in previous years and have been my favourite cider of the year (same yeast too)
 

Chalkyt

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I used an "out of date" (expired Jan '18) vial of WLP773 this year and after an initial burst of activity it really slowed down and I thought that it might have been a bit old and therefore not viable and under pitched. However after transferring to secondary in May, it plodded along and overall took six months from April to August (mid Fall to the end of Winter) to get from 1.050 to 1.002.

The end result is excellent.
 
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globell

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thanks for the post.
Love this yeast. Very much a fan.
Good to hear. I normally ferment colder than recommended.

Awesome.
 
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globell

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So the barrel is almost fermented out and the flavour is basically gone.

What I did do is add some sugar and it turned things around. I also added some yeast nutrient but that alone didn't seem to do the trick. Guessing it was Ethyl acetate. Tasting fine!!
 
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