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Too Much Yeast??

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JonnyO

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So I'm in the middle of reading "How to Brew" by John Palmer online as recommended by HBT (picking up a chapter here and there at work when the boss isn't watching). It seems as though Mr. Palmer is an advocate of pitching at least 2 packets of yeast (when using dry yeast) to insure a good, fast fermentation. Could some of the more experienced brewers give advice on this. It seems that overpitching is not a good idea, but I'm only on my second batch. I've pitched one packet each time and things have turned out well. My fermentations have been a bit slow, but I think that it's been a problem of not properly aerating my wort rather than a yeast problem. Just wondering what you guys think.
 

Blender

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There are 6 gram packs and 11 gram packs of dry yeast. The 11 gram packs should work just fine on a mid gravity ale. Fermentation temps and aeration would be a better area of focus to make better beer.
 

TheOceaneer

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I'm curious, too: is there such a thing as too much yeast? I've been following Palmer's book, so I use two packets of dry yeast, and have been making starters -- even for "pitchable" packs of yeast. And I have been experiencing "mad fermentation" -- the blowoff tube is de rigeur now.

Are there any downsides to this much yeast?
 

cheezydemon

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The only cases of "too much yeast" would be through pitching onto a fairly large cake from another batch, and from pitching 10 or so packs of yeast.

Underpitching happens in 99.5% of all homebrews. Better to err on the side of over if you asked me.
 

FlyGuy

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It is much harder to overpitch than underpitch, but it is possible. As mentioned, pitching wort onto a previous batch's yeast cake is the common way. Although overpitching can lead to off-flavours in your beer, it is generally not as big a problem as with off-flavours associated with under-pitching.

However, there are some notable brews where over-pitching can be a real problem. Any beer where a large part of the flavour profile comes from the yeast (e.g. fruity ester flavours or spicey phenolic flavours -- a German hefeweizen or Belgian witbier are good examples, as are many estery British beers).
 
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JonnyO

JonnyO

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Good information, thanks. Sounds like it's not a bad idea to go ahead and pitch a couple of packets to make sure fermentation goes well (although it sounds like a blow-off tube) might be a must-have.
 
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