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Quick question on pitching yeast

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jayjay

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Hi
I am just about to pitch the yeast in my first NEIPA batch.

I brew 2.5gal batches and the recipe (5 gal) calls for a whole package of wyeast london ale III.

So should i just pitch half the packet or is there no harm in using it all?

Cheers
 

VikeMan

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Hi
I brew 2.5gal batches and the recipe (5 gal) calls for a whole package of wyeast london ale III.
Many (including me) would consider a single smack pack to be under pitching for most 5 gallon batches, even if the pack is brand spanking new.

Hi
So should i just pitch half the packet or is there no harm in using it all?
Without knowing more specifics (like the gravity and the age of the yeast), I'd say it's more likely that the whole pack in 2.5 gallons will be better than pitching half. And I'd say, when in doubt, slight over pitching is less problematic than under pitching.

But you might want to look into yeast calculators, either online or within brewing software. They can help you come up with a much better answer than whatever one size fits all instructions might be printed on yeast packages or in a recipe.
 

IslandLizard

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But you might want to look into yeast calculators
That ^

@jayjay Such as this one:
BrewUnited's Yeast Calculator

Look into making yeast starters as they prove viability, revitalize the yeast, and increase cell count. If you overbuild them, making them larger than needed, save the remainder out for a next fresh starter batch. And so on. You can save some money that way, also by reusing a (partial) yeast cake from the previous batch.

Even a super fresh pack of WYeast that's less than 1 month old, and wasn't mishandled, contains between 100 billion cells (freshly packed yesterday) and 77 billion cells (1 month old). Barely, or not enough cells to properly inoculate a 2.5 gallon batch of 1.060 wort (105 billion needed).

Most packs you get from your local LHBS or online are typically 3-4 months old on average. Shipping during extreme hot or cold weather adds another toll onto them.
 
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jayjay

jayjay

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Right cheers i'lll start to look into yeast starters
Nursing your own yeast culture sounds like an interesting extra aspect of brewing ;)
 

IslandLizard

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Right cheers i'lll start to look into yeast starters
Nursing your own yeast culture sounds like an interesting extra aspect of brewing ;)
After all we are zymurgists... taming the beasties is our trade.

Read up on yeast starters. You'd need a stir plate and a 2 liter (flat bottomed) erlenmeyer flask.

Regardless of what you see and read, don't boil in the glass flask, use a pot on the stove instead. Transfer the wort when it has chilled to room temps. I stick the pot in a tub with cold water or in the sink and replace the water once.
Use excellent sanitation and you should be good.

Oh, and add 1 drop of Fermcap-S to the starter wort before you start boiling. Keeps you from being exiled from the kitchen by your significant other. ;)

Instead of using a stir plate, a good alternative is "shaken-not-stirred" starters. Look it up. Works great with a gallon glass jug as commonly found in homebrew stores, and a screw lid or well sealing stopper.
 

VikeMan

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Instead of using a stir plate, a good alternative is "shaken-not-stirred" starters. Look it up. Works great with a gallon glass jug as commonly found in homebrew stores, and a screw lid or well sealing stopper.
So that @jayjay doesn't get the wrong idea... regardless of the vessel you use for your starter, you need a way for excess CO2 to escape, like an airlock, or a foam stopper designed for starters, or covering the opening loosely with foil.
 

IslandLizard

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So that @jayjay doesn't get the wrong idea... regardless of the vessel you use for your starter, you need a way for excess CO2 to escape, like an airlock, or a foam stopper designed for starters, or covering the opening loosely with foil.
Thanks for that addition! It's elementary...

Explicitly, when using the "shaken-not-stirred" method:
After shaking the jug as vigorously as you can, the lid needs to be loosened or replaced with foil to allow CO2 to escape, and fresh air to enter.

With the "shake" method the jug can be shaken again as soon as the foam resides, and as often as possible for fastest growth. Or left on the counter (with loosened lid and/or foil covering).

Also with the "shake" method, don't use Fermcap-S in the boil as it may reduce the foaming which this method relies on heavily. It's in the foam phase where growth takes place.

Good sanitation practices are very important when propagating yeast.
 
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jayjay

jayjay

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Thanks for that addition! It's elementary...

Explicitly, when using the "shaken-not-stirred" method:
After shaking the jug as vigorously as you can, the lid needs to be loosened or replaced with foil to allow CO2 to escape, and fresh air to enter.

With the "shake" method the jug can be shaken again as soon as the foam resides, and as often as possible for fastest growth. Or left on the counter (with loosened lid and/or foil covering).

Also with the "shake" method, don't use Fermcap-S in the boil as it may reduce the foaming which this method relies on heavily. It's in the foam phase where growth takes place.

Good sanitation practices are very important when propagating yeast.
Very good - ill look into the shaken not stirred method, and try to avoid creating yeast bombs by letting the co2 escape
 

IslandLizard

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Very good - ill look into the shaken not stirred method, and try to avoid creating yeast bombs by letting the co2 escape
And letting air (oxygen) in before shaking again. It's the presence of an abundance of oxygen that encourages yeast to grow/propagate over fermenting the wort, which is what we're after in yeast starters.
 

ncbrewer

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Note: Starters are primarily for liquid yeast - not recommended for dry yeast (per White and Zainashef's Yeast book).
 
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