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Lagers - Pitching Cold With Dry Yeast

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buttersd70

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1 packet at 10 degrees would have the yeast pushing itself a bit to start.
2 packets if pitching dry yeast cold and 1 packet if pitching warm seems to work best.
1 packet is underpitching, regardless, for this type of yeast. Pitch rates for 34/70 is 1g/L, ie 23g (2packs) for a 23 L batch. As per the fermentis data sheets.
 

SJW

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1 packet is underpitching, regardless, for this type of yeast. Pitch rates for 34/70 is 1g/L, ie 23g (2packs) for a 23 L batch. As per the fermentis data sheets.
Thats true.
But the fact is we are splitting hairs anyway. It's only beer at the end of the day. Re-hydrate, don't rehydrate, one pack of yest or two, facts are that it will still make beer in some format it all depends if you are happy with the results. I have done it both ways with one and two packs ..............................and I'm not going to loose any sleep over this issue.
Just get the yeast in there and get it fermented so you can drink it. ;)

Steve
 

buttersd70

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True what you are saying...first time I used this yeast, I underpitched unknowingly. My only issue with it was that, having ony pitched one pack, it was a bastard to get going. As far as flavour is concerned, it was excellent, and didn't seem to detract in any way. so it all worked out in the wash. :D . But at the time as a lager newbie, the very slow start stressed me more than the yeast. :p
 

agraham

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Its has taken 2 days for the first sign of krausen after pitching 1 sachet into wort that was ambient 16 C, with the fermentor in the fridge.
 

agraham

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Just an update, the yeast took around 60 hours to fire up when pitched cold.
 

tdh

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Far out, how hard could it be to do the right thing by dried yeast???

I would never recommend not rehydrating. Claims about 'yeah, it works for me' are apocryphal and mean nothing.

Soon we'll have beermakers leaving the lid off the fermenter and waiting for a spontaneous ferment to kick off. "yeah, works for me and 20 brewers in Flanders"

Rehydration isn't there to create more either, it's needed to 'rehydrate', read - put the water back in that the manufacturer took out.

Pitching rate for a cold fermented beer (usually a lager) = 1g/litre of moderate strength wort
 

mfdes

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Hi Steve,

I disagree with you. Yes, it's all beer, but if you can, and it only takes a small amount of effort, or cost, would you not make the BEST beer you possibly can? I mean kit and kilo plus the kit yeast at 25 degrees is also, arguably beer, but I still spend a full day mashing, and make up starters over several days with a stir plate. My point is, you can learn, or teach you palate, to like almost anything... but with effort you can make a beer that most people would rather drink over commercial brands.
Rehydrating with 24 degree water is important in that you end up with (so I hear) about double the amount of viable yeast cells. The way I do it is by sprinkling the yeast on some cooled boiled water at 24 or 25 degrees (tepid) and let it cool down to ambient (1/2 an hour or so). I then pitch this into wort. You'll not really shock the yeast because it is not yet in active fermentation.
The reason sprinkling onto the wort results in lessened viability is that the cells suffer osmotic shock from the sugar concentration in wort. That is, the sugar concentration is only barely lower than the dissolved solids concentration inside a hydrated yeast cell, so the cells essentially have trouble sucking up water from the wort.
Finally, the rationale behind not making starters with dried yeast is that dried yeast should be at the optimal metabolic stage to begin fermentation (with maximum reserves of glycogen). The companies that make good dried yeast like Fermentis put a lot of effort into ensuring that this is so. If you make a starter, it would be almost imposible for you to replicate the conditions for optimal reserves and in any case your starter would need to be huge (like 12 liters), as there is already enough yeast to pitch in the packet. On the other hands, with liquid yeasts, they have normally been sitting in liquid for a while and their reserves are very depleted, viability low, etc... especially by the time they travel to Oz. In the case of liquid yeasts making a starter, especially a stirred or aerated starter, can make all the difference.
MFS.
 

Noxious

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Don't want to start an argument, especially with those who can't accept other methods exist.
But as this is a 'discussion' site I will add some notes from my experiences in brewing lagers with dry yeast (in the extract style).
I have been using 18L of water from the fridge along with the necessary hot/boiling water for grain/mixing and hops, bringing the wort temp to around 12-14C.
I have pitched both W-34/70 and S-23 at this temp range directly into aerated wort, one packet - 11.5gms (even though I have been told that 2 packets is optimal for this temp, $10?) and within 24-48 hours have an active wort, patience tested once but no noticeable problems.
Only real worry for me was whether it would be able to bring the FG down to a nice 'dry' level, which is has. Not getting the 1006-1008 achieved with US-05 but nothing to worry about (considering the last 3 lagers have been just under 7%, attentuation has been great for one packet, IMO).

It all depends how worried you are about your brew. I pitched some S-23 yesterday and it will start by this afternoon with any luck.

Being told that this information is 'apocryphal' is inane in it's own right.
Questioning someone's authority to write about their personal experiences, to me, is wrong. Humans have developed because of their ability to share ideas and visualise thought patterns which they themselves may not have conceived.
Question your own motivations before questioning others.
Being a slap-happy brewer may result in an average brew but disregarding human experience results in ignorance, and we all understand where that leads..
 

mfdes

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I don't think 48h lag time is anything to worry about in a lager. I mean we're talking lager here not ale. We're actually aiming for a slow and steady fermentation to minimise all those esters and get a crisp clean lager profile. On top of this a wort at 10 degrees holds a hell of a lot more dissolved CO2 before you start seeing bubbles. Which means by the time you see bubbles you've probably had active fermentation for a while already.

I get over 24h lag times and usually just under 48h when pitching the correct number of yeast cells at 7 degrees. I allow the wort to naturally rise to 9 degrees in this period of time. You have to keep two things in mind: a lot less biological activity happens at 7-10 degrees than it does at 18-20. Contaminants like bacteria and wild yeasts take a lot longer to proliferate at these temperatures. Also you're making a lager. Things go more slowly. Have patience and be carefula bout sanitation. If your sanitation is good you have nothing to worry about. There is no excuse for sloppy sanitation IMO.


MFS
 

tdh

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The "she'll be right method" doesn't work for me.
The yeast manufacturer has done more research on their product than we ever will and to 'use the method my mate uses' is daft. You can quote me on 'daft' too, if you like.

tdh

Being told that this information is 'apocryphal' is inane in it's own right.
Questioning someone's authority to write about their personal experiences, to me, is wrong. Humans have developed because of their ability to share ideas and visualise thought patterns which they themselves may not have conceived.
Question your own motivations before questioning others.
Being a slap-happy brewer may result in an average brew but disregarding human experience results in ignorance, and we all understand where that leads..
 

T.D.

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Finally, the rationale behind not making starters with dried yeast is that dried yeast should be at the optimal metabolic stage to begin fermentation (with maximum reserves of glycogen). The companies that make good dried yeast like Fermentis put a lot of effort into ensuring that this is so.
Hi mfdes, thanks for the info.

What's your opinion on repackaging yeast? Given that companies like Fermentis spend a lot of time getting the characteristics of their yeast correct at the time of packaging, would repackaging and the consequent exposure to the elements cause any issues for yeast viability? Or is it something that is not very important? I ask because I have read articles about how exposure to oxygen can dramatically reduce the life span and viability of dry yeast. Yet there is quite a lot on the market all the same.

I hope this isn't going off topic much but I thought it was worth asking as it may have implications for pitching rates etc.
 

Noxious

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I never recommended any "she'll be right method". Merely discussed the options available to the brewer.
Pointing out that rehydration is not the only way to produce a malt drink with alcohol content.
I'm very happy with the results of pitching one dry pack directly into wort (attentuation, lag time, flavour etc).
My mates who brew, in general, don't take many precautions and end up with beers which they enjoy making and drinking.
I use more refined methods and don't employ a 'holier than thou' attitude when hearing their ideas and experiences.

Your correct about the yeast manufacturers having performed alot of research on these type of issues but when the producer themselves have conflicting information, one can hardly dismiss the need for a discussion.
Website says to rehydrate as you stated but the packets of Fermentis yeast I have been purchasing state to pitch directly into wort.

We all make beer, whether you like it or not people will make it differently than you.
If you don't want to hear about how others make their beer, wrong forum?
But I guess I'm just an extract brewing newbie, so disregard anything I say...oops, it looks like you already have.


The "she'll be right method" doesn't work for me.
The yeast manufacturer has done more research on their product than we ever will and to 'use the method my mate uses' is daft. You can quote me on 'daft' too, if you like.

tdh
 

brettprevans

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1 packet at 10 degrees would have the yeast pushing itself a bit to start.
2 packets if pitching dry yeast cold and 1 packet if pitching warm seems to work best.
+1

2 packs of dried yeast for lagers at ~10C always works for me.
 

mfdes

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I guess it depends how the yeast is repackaged. Dried yeast is inherently fairly stable, and only really suffers from oxidation in the long term. I don't think the viability drop is that much over time.
Some retailers (you know who you are) just open a vacuum bulk pack of yeast straight from Fermentis and immediately repackage it into sachets under vacuum. This yeast, especially if kept refrigerated, should last for years.
My local homebrew shop, in contrast (I never shop there any more), just scoop a little into ziplocks or paper envelopes. For starters this is less than sanitary. For seconds it then sits on the shelf at room temperature for who knows how long. This yeast is probably about the lowest viability you're likely to come across. I can tell you most of it can still make good beer. It just goes to show you.

I do notice that sometimes the yeast can come with contradictory information. If you look at the Fermentis website, you get very clear and detailed instructions on how to properly rehydrate this yeast. It is not hard to do. This method is employed by many commercial breweries (you'd be surprised how many commercials use dried yeast), and gives superb results. Repackaged yeast, and sometimes yeast packaged for the domestic consumer market (homebrewers) can come with simplified instructions. Much like a kit, the instructions are not on how to make the best beer you can, they're on how to be guaranteed you'll come up with something that will pass for beer and will not kill you.

I'm not saying pitching the dried yeast into the wort won't work. I am saying that following simple rehydration instructions will produce a strong, viable pitch that will likely ferment a cleaner lager at cold temperatures (without the need for starting warm), and finish at the correct gravity.

MFS.
 

PostModern

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Fixed the broken quotes in tdh's and Noxious's posts. The argument is interesting but all over the place when the quotes is broke.
(As a hint: for every "[ quote name='xxxx' date='Mmm dd yyyy, hh:mm AM' post='12345' ] there needs to be a "[ / quote ]" and it all works OK.)

I'm with tdh on this one. Yeast should be rehydrated in water then pitched. Sprinkling on the wort works, but proper rehydration is what works BEST. I'm not zealot tho. For some low grav beers, if I'm pitching enough yeast, I won't rehydrate, but I don't expect to be able to re-use the slurry with another direct pitch. It's my lazy-arse method for throwaway beers. For good beers, and generally for all lagers, I'll rehydrate.
 

warrenlw63

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Not saying yay or nay but if sprinkling on the wort doesn't work why does Fermentis' literature and certain site sponsors freely advocate just sprinkling on the wort?

Maybe less misleading by people and manufacturer's would be in order then?

Either that or a site sponsor and multi national know less than certain forum members?

Warren -
 

agraham

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Oh no here it goes again :p

I will let you guys know how the next brew that gets dumped on this yeast cake turns out, and how the current lager ferments out.
 
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