Pitching question

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MB331

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How long can wort sit in a carboy before pitching? I have done about 40 brews and have used both dry and liquid yeasts. Recently I used a dry yeast that my local homebrew doesn't carry. There were no signs of fermentation after 24 hours so I considered getting an equivalent liquid yeast from the local shop. Thankfully the visible fermentation started so I didn't have to use the liquid yeast. Had I needed to use the liquid yeast would I have had enough time to make a starter? The wort would have been sitting in the carboy for 4-5 days if I had used the starter.
 

friarsmith

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You would need to refrigerate the wort and it would probably be ok.

4-5 days at room temp… well, you would be asking for trouble.

I routinely refrigerate a half gallon of wort 7-10 days in a mason jar. This is from the first pour after boiling a regular sized batch. I use the saved wort instead of corn sugar to naturally carbonate beer in the keg.
 

IslandLizard

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Glad you had lift off! How long did it actually take since pitching?

I've had some nerve racking times in the past (before using liquid yeasts with appropriately sized starters) where it took 3 days to get any visible signs after pitching dry yeasts. They were always rehydrated before pitching.

Liquid yeast and starters:
According to White Labs most yeast starters made from liquid yeast should be completed within 24-48 hours:
"When using a stir plate, 24-48 hours is generally enough time for a starter to be completed."

I'd take that statement with a large grain of salt. Surely, fresh yeast at White Labs themselves may behave that way.* I seriously doubt that model fits a normal distribution a typical homebrewer will experience.
Especially when the (liquid) yeast is not all that fresh or was stressed during shipment/storage etc. as many of us experience when buying (liquid) yeast from our LHBS or mail order.

* When making new starters using my own fresh yeast, in good health, such as from a recently crashed previous starter, I have foam within mere hours (3-6 hrs). So I too expect those starters to be completed in 24-48 hours, yes.

You would need to refrigerate the wort and it would probably be ok.
That would be the best course of action, when a pitch seems to fail, awaiting a new supply.
However, making a pitchable starter from liquid yeast in that short time frame can be a dime on its side too, depending on how fresh/viable that yeast is. Most will therefore recommend repitching with a dry yeast, even if it's not quite the one you intended. You'll still make good drinkable beer.

You may even want to drop to 28-30F, or even a tad lower, so it starts to get slushy. That will slow down wild microbes from taking over significantly. Just don't do it in glass vessels! Kegs would be fine or plastic buckets.
 

FloppyKnockers

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I had one batch sit at 68° for a couple weeks before adding yeast. Not on purpose, I thought I did pitch, but obviously I didn't. Imagine my surprise on kegging day.

Anyway, the wort/beer soured and was not very palatable. I drink my mistakes - It's the best way to learn not to do that again.
 

McMullan

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I don’t subscribe to LODO brewing practices, but I’ll just add that malted barley and hops add reactive oxygen species far more damaging than some air. ROS we can’t do much about. Viable healthy yeast cells are your best friend, in terms of mopping up all these rogue molecules. A very good reason to get fermentation on the go as soon as. Just saying.
 

marc1

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Glad you had lift off! How long did it actually take since pitching?

I've had some nerve racking times in the past (before using liquid yeasts with appropriately sized starters) where it took 3 days to get any visible signs after pitching dry yeasts. They were always rehydrated before pitching.

Liquid yeast and starters:
According to White Labs most yeast starters made from liquid yeast should be completed within 24-48 hours:
"When using a stir plate, 24-48 hours is generally enough time for a starter to be completed."

I'd take that statement with a large grain of salt. Surely, fresh yeast at White Labs themselves may behave that way.* I seriously doubt that model fits a normal distribution a typical homebrewer will experience.
Especially when the (liquid) yeast is not all that fresh or was stressed during shipment/storage etc. as many of us experience when buying (liquid) yeast from our LHBS or mail order.

* When making new starters using my own fresh yeast, in good health, such as from a recently crashed previous starter, I have foam within mere hours (3-6 hrs). So I too expect those starters to be completed in 24-48 hours, yes.


That would be the best course of action, when a pitch seems to fail, awaiting a new supply.
However, making a pitchable starter from liquid yeast in that short time frame can be a dime on its side too, depending on how fresh/viable that yeast is. Most will therefore recommend repitching with a dry yeast, even if it's not quite the one you intended. You'll still make good drinkable beer.

You may even want to drop to 28-30F, or even a tad lower, so it starts to get slushy. That will slow down wild microbes from taking over significantly. Just don't do it in glass vessels! Kegs would be fine or plastic buckets.

Here's what Escarpment Labs recommended for starters:
 
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