Yeast Pitching Technique

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hightest

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For some time now I've been testing a novel (?) yeast pitching technique that I believe should vastly improve the lag time when making mead - and possibly other brews.

I'm assuming it's new as I've not read anything about it on the brew forums or in brew-related magazines [but then I can't have read them all... :)].

The process very simple and has resulted in lag times that are in the 1-2 hour range and seems to improve overall fermentation.

While I haven't got enough data to justify a new FAQ, I though I would share it now as there seems to be a forum group brew being planned and this would present an excellent opportunity to see if someone other than myself notices improved fermentation kinetics - lag time & rate.

Here's the general process
  • Make up your mead must - include the Stage 1 nutrients
  • Properly rehydrate your dry wine yeast (follow the FAQ)
  • Place the primary in a place where it will not be disturbed for 24 hours
  • New Step: Slowly pour the yeast slurry into the center of the must, but DO NOT STIR IT IN
  • Allow the must to sit (UNDISTURBED) for 24 hrs
  • Now dissolve the Stage 2 nutrients into some water (30-50 ml), add this solution (in small amounts) to the must and stir-in well. Watch for foaming!
  • Proceed as you would normally from this point onward
That's it... ;)
 
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I've considered this principle myself. My basic description of the theory is, that by pouring carefully and not stirring, you get a localized higher yeast population in the small volume area, and the yeast quickly progress through the respiration phase due to the higher localized yeast cell population. Just a scientific hypothesis, no degree to backup my thoughts.
 
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hightest

hightest

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I believe it works because it allows the yeast to acclimate to their new environment.

The yeast slowly diffuse into the must, gradually being introduced to their food source, and building their population quickly because they are not stressed as much as if they were evenly dispersed thoughout the must encountering a large sugar gradient.

This is along the same idea as how I build a starter for stuck fermentations - incremental additions of must into an active yeast slurry over time.
 
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