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Beginner Yeast Questions

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Droopy Brew

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Ok so I have brewed half a dozen kits and so far so good. However to me yeast is just a silver packet that you chuck on top of your brew once mixed (yes I empty the packet- dont throw the whole thing in :) ).

So some questions-

What is the advantage of hydrating yeast? My HBS tells me that the yeast they stock is fresh so this step isnt required. So far I havent had any dramas by not doing it.

What does the term 'smack refer to? (Guessing hydrating?)

What is the advantage of harvesting used yeast cake for reuse?

How the hell do you do it?

How can you tell how much yeast you require if you have harvested some?

What effect do various yeasts have on FG?

Thanks in advance.
 

slash22000

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1) If you pitch yeast dry (ala "sprinkle on top"), you kill about 50% - 60% of the viable cells. People bitch and moan about this point ("It works anyway, ****!") but the facts are the facts.

2) "Smacking". You can buy liquid yeast in packets that have some yeast nutrient shit inside, in a seperate packet. So inside the packet, is a packet full of shit good for the yeast. So you "smack" the pack, busting open the little packet inside and it helps the yeast grow. Hence "smack pack".

3) Harvesting yeast advantages? It's free and there is shitloads of it. Youtube it if you're interested. It's not complicated but it's not "simple" exactly, takes a bit of explaining.

4) How much yeast? - http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html - You'll visit this website every 5 minutes once you start dealing with yeast.

5) Yeast effect on final gravity? The characteristic you're looking for is called "attenuation". Think of different yeast strains being more or less hungry. Some yeasts will eat shitloads of sugar (lower final gravity), some eat less (higher final gravity). Therefore the yeast has a big effect on final gravity.
 

jimmy01

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Hi Droopy

Your questions are good ones but difficult to concisely answer - although Slash has done a pretty good job. Below are a few links that will help increase your knowledge.

A good place to start is with John Palmer's how to brew - there is a whole chapter on yeast.
http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter6.html

Slash has recommended Mr Malty's calculator - This site also has some good articles on yeast propogation.
http://www.mrmalty.com/index.php

cheers


Droopy Brew said:
Ok so I have brewed half a dozen kits and so far so good. However to me yeast is just a silver packet that you chuck on top of your brew once mixed (yes I empty the packet- dont throw the whole thing in :) ).

So some questions-

What is the advantage of hydrating yeast? My HBS tells me that the yeast they stock is fresh so this step isnt required. So far I havent had any dramas by not doing it.

What does the term 'smack refer to? (Guessing hydrating?)

What is the advantage of harvesting used yeast cake for reuse?

How the hell do you do it?

How can you tell how much yeast you require if you have harvested some?

What effect do various yeasts have on FG?

Thanks in advance.
 

Droopy Brew

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GReat replies thanks gents. My last wheat beer only attenuated to 1018 so I think that was a yeast problem. I will rehydrate from now on.

Just a couple more if I may-

Smack pack versus dry yeast- is there much difference in quality?

I used an enzyme on one of my beers which attenuated to a shade under 1000- it had some kick. I used the enzyme as a drying agent but is it essentially a yeast nutrient?
 

wbosher

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Liquid vs dry? I'm looking into that myself at the moment, might take the plunge into liquid yeast soon. Main reason for me, is there is a LOT more variety in liquid yeast. I've never had a problem with the good ol' US-05, but might be time to move on, especially when doing English ales. :)
 

GalBrew

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I recently made the switch to liquid yeasts, starters etc. Made an IPA with and OG of 1.066, dropped to 1.026 in 24 hours and to 1.006 in 48 hours using 1056 (1L starter) @ 18degC. Amazing to watch in comparison to s-05 for a similar beer style.
 

Lord Raja Goomba I

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GalBrew said:
I recently made the switch to liquid yeasts, starters etc. Made an IPA with and OG of 1.066, dropped to 1.026 in 24 hours and to 1.006 in 48 hours using 1056 (1L starter) @ 18degC. Amazing to watch in comparison to s-05 for a similar beer style.
US05 rehydrated is a different beast, compared with it just pitched dry into the fermenter. I got a couple of big inches of thick krausen from a rehydrated, versus the usual half inch pitched headlong noisely into the fermenter.
 

GalBrew

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I always rehydrated my s-05 and got very little lag and great attenuation, just not in the rapid timescale of the 1056 with starter.
 

Dars183

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I've just pitched my 1st liquid yeast and watching the starter grow and now starting to smell all the esters and stuff is great, I'm a convert ;) Now to start researching washing, cakes, splitting, stir plates etc etc :D

Cheers
 

GalBrew

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If you haven't already, get a magnetic stirplate. Best purchase ever......(for yeast).
 

Droopy Brew

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Lord Raja Goomba I said:
US05 rehydrated is a different beast, compared with it just pitched dry into the fermenter. I got a couple of big inches of thick krausen from a rehydrated, versus the usual half inch pitched headlong noisely into the fermenter.
Well after grabing a pack of US-05 and rehydrating for 30 min I pitched into a 1060 OG Belgian Ale brew.
After 24 hours I could play the drums on the cling wrap top with about 8 inches of quality Krausen and a gravity of 1035.
There may just be something to this whole yeast Buisiness!

Thanks for the tips fellas.
krausen.jpg
 

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