Author Topic: Too Much Yeast?  (Read 10245 times)

Offline Wildrover

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 480
Too Much Yeast?
« on: January 19, 2009, 07:57:19 PM »
Exactly how much is too much, say for a 5-6 gallon batch?  What are the consequences of going over?  I'm wondering if its better to err on the side of too much rather than not enough?

What say you?

Offline Rep

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 370
Re: Too Much Yeast?
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2009, 08:40:57 PM »
Exactly how much is too much, say for a 5-6 gallon batch?  What are the consequences of going over?  I'm wondering if its better to err on the side of too much rather than not enough?

What say you?

Poke around this site:  http://www.mrmalty.com/

And see what Mr. Malty has to say.  I would rather err on the side of too much rather than too little.

Offline UselessBrewing

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1115
  • Useless Brewing
    • Useless Brewing
Re: Too Much Yeast?
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2009, 07:01:09 AM »
Check MrMalty!

There are many questions that go into this: Type of yeast (Ale or Lager), size of batch, OG of batch, dry yeast, liquid yeast ,age of yeast, all play a factor.

Cheers
Preston

The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!

Offline MaltLicker

  • Global Moderator
  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2004
    • Blue Ribbon Brews
Re: Too Much Yeast?
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2009, 03:02:11 PM »
Check MrMalty!

There are many questions that go into this: Type of yeast (Ale or Lager), size of batch, OG of batch, dry yeast, liquid yeast ,age of yeast, all play a factor. Cheers, Preston. 

+1, and the first question might be "What yeast-driven effect do I want in this particular batch?"  From what I've read, a lot of the esters are created during the yeast growth phase when the yeast are consuming the O2 present, and multiplying.  So, if you want more esters, then pitch less starter, and perhaps lengthen your aeration regimen a tad.  If you want a clean and neutral ferm, pick that type yeast and use sufficient quantity to ensure it works quickly without much yeast growth.  And of course the ferm temperature is critical as well. 

Most people I know do the starter well enough in advance that they cool it for two days so they can dump the spent wort.  I personally think pitching the whole starter would work best for smaller starters that were peaking when pitch time arrived. 

And for anyone that is rather new to this topic, dry yeast don't need "starters" per se, but merely need to be rehydrated per the package instructions just prior to pitching.  If a wet yeast package needs to be 'enlarged' prior to pitching, then that is a "starter" usually done in advance of brew day. 
« Last Edit: January 23, 2009, 08:39:51 AM by MaltLicker »

Offline UselessBrewing

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1115
  • Useless Brewing
    • Useless Brewing
Re: Too Much Yeast?
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2009, 12:38:57 PM »
I Agree
First Question:
Quote
What yeast-driven effect do I want in this particular batch?

Cheers
Preston
The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!

Offline MaltLicker

  • Global Moderator
  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2004
    • Blue Ribbon Brews
Idiot Check on yeast starter??
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2009, 09:20:44 AM »
I personally swear by the yeast calculator at Mr. Malty if no other reason is that it taught me that the amount of yeast varies each time by batch.  That said, this 10% ABV barleywine we're planning calls for a starter of 3.81 liters!!  On a stir plate!  Granted, it is 11 gallons of 1.102 wort, but Crikey that is huge. 

The other thing I've never noticed (since I do small batches) is that it still calls for four packages of yeast despite building a starter on a stir plate.  Apparently we "just can't get there" with one package.  So, I'm thinking I should make a 2nd starter on my plate to augment his 3-liter starter.  Divide and conquer, if you will. 

Anyone else with "big beer" experience care to confirm the need for multiple packages to build the starter?   (My MRMALTY assumptions were 1.102, 11 gallons, 12/19/2008 yeast born-on date, liquid, stir plate.) 

Offline UselessBrewing

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1115
  • Useless Brewing
    • Useless Brewing
Re: Too Much Yeast?
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2009, 09:49:00 AM »
I made a Scotch Ale last weekend that came in at 1.109. I make two starters for it (Kind Of). The first being a 2L that I pitch into an old Ale. Then Two weeks after that finishes I brew the monster.. So I am actually using one vial of yeast but it ends up the starter for the Scotch. I actually posted it on the "What are you brewing next" threat if you want to take a look. It will be in the primary for another two weeks.

So yes I can confirm that Starters need to be big for big beers. I cant bring myself to buy four packages tho. So I make more beer!  8)

I'm actually thinking of making a Stirplate for carboys using a 4" stirbar to help with the fermentation. I don't know what that will do to the beer, but It would keep me from having to roust the yeast twice a day for seven days! Guess I will start a thread and see if anyone has attempted the same, and what the thoughts are on that.

Cheers
Preston
The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!

Offline Henway

  • BeerSmith Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 36
Re: Too Much Yeast?
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2009, 01:40:28 PM »
All I can say is I did a 11.2% Barleywine on top of a Pale Ale yeast cake.  And now that it's a little more than 2 years old, it's MIGHTY tasty...

Offline bonjour

  • Global Moderator
  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 566
    • Beer du Jour
Re: Too Much Yeast?
« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2009, 09:49:24 PM »
A 5 gallon (drinkable) starter is a good way to go for a big beer.  Pitch on a yeast cake.  Don't worry about having too much yeast.  Since you have more fermentables you will produce more yeast byproducts.  More yeast and a cooler ferment temp will help counter these trends.

Fred

Offline MaltLicker

  • Global Moderator
  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 2004
    • Blue Ribbon Brews
Re: Too Much Yeast?
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2009, 04:19:59 PM »
Jamil wrote me back re: the yeast question, indicating how the slider on that yeast calc works.  However, given that brew day is January 31st, and I forgot to buy the 1028 yeast today at the store, and we don't have a yeast cake, alternatives are running short.  If I cannot get a second starter of 1028 done and settled in time, we may have to augment the principal yeast with some Nottingham dry packets. 

Offline UselessBrewing

  • BeerSmith Grandmaster Brewer
  • *****
  • Posts: 1115
  • Useless Brewing
    • Useless Brewing
Re: Too Much Yeast?
« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2009, 12:28:14 PM »
Jamil wrote me back re: the yeast question, indicating how the slider on that yeast calc works.  However, given that brew day is January 31st, and I forgot to buy the 1028 yeast today at the store, and we don't have a yeast cake, alternatives are running short.  If I cannot get a second starter of 1028 done and settled in time, we may have to augment the principal yeast with some Nottingham dry packets. 

Just say no to mixing yeast strains! Since you have 4 days until brewday. Make a starter tonight and pitch the yeast on it tomorrow everything should be settled out by brewday. If not, just buy more vials.

Cheers
Preston
The woodpecker pecks, Not to annoy, But to survive!