A Couple Of Basic Yeast Questions For You Seasoned Brewers

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gazeboar

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Hi all,

Just a couple of queries regarding kick starting the yeast into fermentation. After much torment and woe in my conquest to regulate fermentation temperature, i've finally bitten the bullet and spent some money on a better setup. I've just purchased a second hand fridge, in reasonable condition minus the seal, so i'm also waiting on a fridgemate thermostat and new fridge seal from online. I'm wanting to make a lager as my first attempt when the setup is all ready. With a lager, (9-13 degrees optimum fermentation temp I'm told), should I use a liquid or dry yeast? Will simply pitching a dry quality yeast (a belgian lager strain like SAF23) still produce good results? Also, what is the best temperature to add the yeast, and when do I place it in the fridge, if I have the fridge temperature at 13 degrees, for example? If I pitch the yeast in low twenties, can I place the fermenter bucket immediately into the fridge? And once I have the fermenter in the fridge, can I open the door to check the progress, or should I leave it shut for a good 2 week to avoid potential temperature fluctuations?

I'm hoping these aren't painfully newbie(ish) questions, I have read the airlocked thread regarding yeast, but i'm still confused. I'm not too confident with making a yeast starter, and after watching a tutorial and realising I need more equipment to do it, i'm deterred yet again. I've brewed before but with poor results because of how hot it is here. Basically, I just want a safe first brew, nothing insanely fancy or special; yet far less of a mediocre standard than previous results. Really, I just want a drinkable beer in which I can taste the success. It needn't be lager, even an ale will suffice. Help me out?
 

raven19

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Some brewers pitch warmer then cool down to ferment temps, others pitch low and let it warm up to ferment temps, and then others pitch at ferment temp.

Yes no worries to dry yeast. Swiss dry lager yeast has a good rap for lager brewing (and can actually be fermented at warmer than lager temps).

A clean ferment with healthy yeast is what want ideally. And if dry yeast is your preference then go for it. Look to pitch double the yeast for a lager compared to an ale (i.e. 2 packs for a typical 23L batch of lager).

You can open the fridge during the ferment to check on your baby, it will just result in the fridge kicking in more often. We have all been guilty of checking a fermenting beer!

Edit - S-189 thread:
Linky
 

thebeemann

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Hi all,

Just a couple of queries regarding kick starting the yeast into fermentation. After much torment and woe in my conquest to regulate fermentation temperature, i've finally bitten the bullet and spent some money on a better setup. I've just purchased a second hand fridge, in reasonable condition minus the seal, so i'm also waiting on a fridgemate thermostat and new fridge seal from online. I'm wanting to make a lager as my first attempt when the setup is all ready. With a lager, (9-13 degrees optimum fermentation temp I'm told), should I use a liquid or dry yeast? Will simply pitching a dry quality yeast (a belgian lager strain like SAF23) still produce good results? Also, what is the best temperature to add the yeast, and when do I place it in the fridge, if I have the fridge temperature at 13 degrees, for example? If I pitch the yeast in low twenties, can I place the fermenter bucket immediately into the fridge? And once I have the fermenter in the fridge, can I open the door to check the progress, or should I leave it shut for a good 2 week to avoid potential temperature fluctuations?

I'm hoping these aren't painfully newbie(ish) questions, I have read the airlocked thread regarding yeast, but i'm still confused. I'm not too confident with making a yeast starter, and after watching a tutorial and realising I need more equipment to do it, i'm deterred yet again. I've brewed before but with poor results because of how hot it is here. Basically, I just want a safe first brew, nothing insanely fancy or special; yet far less of a mediocre standard than previous results. Really, I just want a drinkable beer in which I can taste the success. It needn't be lager, even an ale will suffice. Help me out?
Im no seosend brewer lol , i have just started using liquid yeast (2 brews ) and 1 with recultured coopers yeast and imho the quality is 100% better than with dry yeast , the kit yeasts are ( imo) just hardy yeast strains that are semi fool proof for us novices to use , read up on the different yeasts and you will see that they impart totally different qualities and flavours to a brew , halve a kit and kilo ( this is what i brew atm ) brew out half with the kit yeast and half with a liquid yeast and you will see what i mean , i am waiting for a fridge mate temp controller atm and cant wait as i usually brew only in winter as its easier to keep the temp stable with a brew mat.

I make my yeast starters in a 2litre Flagon with a drilled bung and air lock whole lot cost me $8 from my lhbs , use ldme make your wort to 1040 ( around a litre ) wack in the bottle add yeast and air lock and swirl around when you walk past it .

And you can check your brew just dont stand there with the fridge open for an hour :lol:
 

ekul

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when i make lagers i pitch at 20-25C (or whatever my nochill cube is sitting at) and then set the fridge for 12C. It takes a few hours for the fridge to get it down that low so the yeast has time to multiply.

If pitching at lager temps i think you need more yeast. I only do this when i got space in the fermenting fridge (so that i can chill my cube down) and a yeast cake ready to go.

BTW i always use swiss lager yeast. I foundit works for me so haven't tried anything else.
 

gazeboar

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Seasoned or otherwise, you're imparting valuable information :p

Alright, thanks guys, just something else - If I pitch two packets of dried yeast in the low twenties and place in the fridge, (as you say, the yeast has time to start work before it hits the 12 degrees mark), if there's more yeast than there is fermentable sugars, will the leftover yeast will simple flocculate and end up as the trub? Simply put: I dont need to worry about too much yeast in the beer, as there is no such thing?

If I can obtain liquid yeast from my local HBS I'll do so.. unsure about having any mailed to me. Do i need to add two of these also, or is it only with the dried yeast that this is required?

Also, one thing which i've seen conflicting ideas over... suppose I pitch two dry belgian yeast packets. Do I need to mix the fermenter around to aerate this wort? Or is this a myth, and simply pitching on top and walking away will still be fine?

Is making a yeast starter neccesary? Or is this simply a preference/piece of mind when it comes to allowing the beer to commence fermentation vigorously?
 

bignath

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Im no seosend brewer lol , i have just started using liquid yeast (2 brews ) and 1 with recultured coopers yeast and imho the quality is 100% better than with dry yeast , the kit yeasts are ( imo) just hardy yeast strains that are semi fool proof for us novices to use , read up on the different yeasts and you will see that they impart totally different qualities and flavours to a brew , halve a kit and kilo ( this is what i brew atm ) brew out half with the kit yeast and half with a liquid yeast and you will see what i mean , i am waiting for a fridge mate temp controller atm and cant wait as i usually brew only in winter as its easier to keep the temp stable with a brew mat.

I make my yeast starters in a 2litre Flagon with a drilled bung and air lock whole lot cost me $8 from my lhbs , use ldme make your wort to 1040 ( around a litre ) wack in the bottle add yeast and air lock and swirl around when you walk past it .

And you can check your brew just dont stand there with the fridge open for an hour :lol:
Good advice here, but the OP isnt referring to kit yeasts.
 

thebeemann

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Good advice here, but the OP isnt referring to kit yeasts.
See i told you i aint a seasoned brewer lol , yeah i assumed he was talking kit yeast cause he is new and i forgot about the 40 million specialty yeasts in dry form :ph34r:
You dont need a yeast starter with dry yeast just pitch 2 packs .
 

bignath

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Seasoned or otherwise, you're imparting valuable information :p

Alright, thanks guys, just something else - If I pitch two packets of dried yeast in the low twenties and place in the fridge, (as you say, the yeast has time to start work before it hits the 12 degrees mark), if there's more yeast than there is fermentable sugars, will the leftover yeast will simple flocculate and end up as the trub? Simply put: I dont need to worry about too much yeast in the beer, as there is no such thing?

If I can obtain liquid yeast from my local HBS I'll do so.. unsure about having any mailed to me. Do i need to add two of these also, or is it only with the dried yeast that this is required?

Also, one thing which i've seen conflicting ideas over... suppose I pitch two dry belgian yeast packets. Do I need to mix the fermenter around to aerate this wort? Or is this a myth, and simply pitching on top and walking away will still be fine?

Is making a yeast starter neccesary? Or is this simply a preference/piece of mind when it comes to allowing the beer to commence fermentation vigorously?
A couple of things...

Your plan in first paragraph sounds good.

Technically you can overpitch, but your not overpitching by throwing two lager packs into a standardish gravity, standardish volume wort.
Look for the online pitching rate calculator called Mr Malty. It will work out exactly how much you need.

Dont pitch two packs of liquid yeast as thats really expensive. Build one up into a starter big enough. If not quite ready to do this just use dry yeast. Its not like a beer with liquid yeast will be twice as good as dried yeast.

A quality dry yeast handled and fermented correctly will create a kick ass beer.

Last para re: starters....youve answered the question with your own instincts.
 

gazeboar

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Haha all good.. I figured it would be near on beer blasphemy to use the unlabeled kit yeast if hoping for something of reasonable quality. The strains are durable and inexpensive no doubt, and these qualities are the only reasons I can guess they're sold with the can. I know next to nothing about brewing but I'm wise enough to be completely doubtful of the quality of something something which appears so ambiguous (unlabelled, no date etc), etc etc...
SAFLager23 Belgian yeast strain is what i'll be using. Guess it can't hurt to throw in two in the low twenties then chill to 12 degrees with the fridgemate.
 

gazeboar

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^^ @Big Nath

Thanks man, don't think I'll mess it up so long as i'm careful with handling/sanitation/other critical components etc
 

bignath

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Haha all good.. I figured it would be near on beer blasphemy to use the unlabeled kit yeast if hoping for something of reasonable quality. The strains are durable and inexpensive no doubt, and these qualities are the only reasons I can guess they're sold with the can. I know next to nothing about brewing but I'm wise enough to be completely doubtful of the quality of something something which appears so ambiguous (unlabelled, no date etc), etc etc...
SAFLager23 Belgian yeast strain is what i'll be using. Guess it can't hurt to throw in two in the low twenties then chill to 12 degrees with the fridgemate.
Do you like Belgian type beers? Ive never used that particular strain, although i do have a sachet in my fridge....

Dont know if that requires any special steps like diacetyl rests, or extra or shorter conditioning times....someone else may be able to expand for you.
 

gazeboar

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I do enjoy Belgian style beers... Mainly I chose that yeast because I made a "Czech Pilsener", just with a extract can, and it was recommended on the back of the can. Also, i've been told it is a good clean fermenting strain to use. It was also readily available at my local store. Diacetyl rests are something else i'm not familiar with. Although it doesn't seem to complicated to do, just a little timely.
 

gazeboar

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Also, I think it's made in Belgium, but isn't neccesarily limited to producing Belgian beer characteristics, is more so a universal lager yeast. Then again, i'm not really sure.
 

Dazza88

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Didn't know s-23 was Belgian, it is fruity and i have heard it is good in a tooheys old clone at ale temps, iirc. I would go with s-189 or w-34/70 for a dried lager yeast. I think they are cleaner at lager temps than s-23. Also plenty of people use s-189 up to 19 c for ferment with good results.
 

gazeboar

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'Made in Belgium' is written on my pack, made by Fermentis. *shrugs*. S-189 at 19 degrees is also an option? Without diacetyl rest?
 

brucearnold

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Could I suggest that since you want a nice simple brew to start out with that you do an Ale not a Lager. An easy ale will be done fermenting in under 2 weeks and ready for bottling or kegging. A lager done at 12 degrees will take around 4 weeks and probably require lagering after this for at least 6 weeks to get a proper finish. A Pale Ale is very straight forward and forgiving beer to brew, also means that you will have good beer ready to drink in very little time.
 

pcmfisher

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@gazeboar
What sort of recipe are you looking at??
 

Nick JD

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S189 has a habit of stripping a fair bit of the maltiness from a lager. This is great for some lagers, but a bummer in others.

Wyeast 2278 is my all-time favourite lager yeast. Leaves the beer kinda "meaty". Lagers need not be subtle.

What a lot of people tell you about lagers (and their extra time and finickiness etc) is true - but no one ever tell you how much all the extra dicking around adds to the overall quality of the beer. It's not as much as you'd think.

You can easily crack out a "quick" lager that's almost as good as one treated like a baby. It is not compulsary to lager a lager. S189 @14C will ferment out as quick as an ale. Carb it up and drink it.
 

Big E

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Not sure if it has been said but if you are using dry yeast it will help if you properly rehydrate the dry yeast before pitching into the fermenter.
 

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