Pitching High And Dropping

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bcp

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Is it ok to pitch slightly higher, say 23-24c, and immediately throw it into the fridge and drop to fermenting temp?

I know it's ideal to pitch at the right temp, but just fridge management means sometimes my no chill cube is ambient temperature. My understanding is that the first phase is yeast growth, rather than significant fermentation, so my assumption is then that the production of esters etc, will be low in the first few hours. If this should be done at all, I assume it would also depend on the beer.

Having said that, in this particular case it's 3068 for a hefeweizen, and last time i got good results around 17C. I'm actually thinking with the hefeweizen i am inclined to pitch cool and bring it up to 17c, because this seems to be standard german practice.
 

QldKev

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Have a read of this.

The answer is Yes, and I always start my ferment warmer as I brew back-to-back using the same yeast cake; hence I'm pouring a room temp cube onto the yeasties and putting the fermentors back into the fridge to cool.

QldKev
 

tallie

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Is there any chance it'll drop a few more degrees overnight (maybe even with a few blocks of ice sitting on top of the cube)? If so and you're concerned about pitching temp, I'd leave it overnight and pitch it first thing in the morning.

Cheers,
tallie
 

chadjaja

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+1 to pitch slightly over and then cool.

With higher water temps creating problems using an immersion chiller I do this all summer and its no problem at all. In the first phase its not as important as once fermentation really kicks in. By then its down to the 16-18 degrees I want it at anyway.
 

ekul

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I'm another back to back brewer. Wort comes out of the cube at 25C sometimes, the beers come out great. Even when i was chilling i think i was pitching around 28C, as the water coming out of the tap is sometimes pretty hot.
 

bcp

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Thanks guys. Excellent article, Kev. Gives a good handle on critical needs of yeast and happenings during fermentation.
 

Nick JD

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Just beware that "room temp" for some is 32C. That's not a great way to establish yeast numbers.

When they say 21-23C, they don't mean "the temp of the shed".
 

yardy

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Have a read of this.

The answer is Yes, and I always start my ferment warmer as I brew back-to-back using the same yeast cake; hence I'm pouring a room temp cube onto the yeasties and putting the fermentors back into the fridge to cool.

QldKev
Kev,

slightly off topic but what's your routine for this pitch ?
rinse the yeast and then into a sanitised ferm or straight onto the yeast cake ?

Yard
 

Aces High

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I pitched us-05 at 29 degrees last night. I had the no chill cubes sitting in the shed and didn't check the temp until I'd filled the fermenter and put it in the fridge and attached the temp probe.

I just pitched 2 dry bags straight into a 40L batch. Was thinking I would be heading out again today for another 2 bags

I came out this morning and its down to 17 degrees and has a nice foam on top thankfully. Best to check the temp of your cubes if pitching in the afternoon, or just pitch first thing in the morning when they would be cooler.
 

eamonnfoley

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On Sunday my chiller only got me down to 30C (high tap water temps). So I put the fermenter in the fridge for a couple of hours and I was down to 20C and ready to pitch. Gave fermenter a shake and pitched yeast. All too easy. Its best to pitch at or under 20C for most ale yeasts. During the growth phase it is more critical to have the yeast at its preferred temp. Its more acceptable to ramp up during fermentation.
 

QldKev

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Kev,

slightly off topic but what's your routine for this pitch ?
rinse the yeast and then into a sanitised ferm or straight onto the yeast cake ?

Yard


Shh!!! don't tell anyone, cause I'll be told how wrong it is and my yeast will be mutants with arms out of the heads etc

Basically swirl and discard 1/2 to 2/3 of the old yeast cake, depending on new beer gravity (or if I want the strain for later fill a 600ml coke bottle with it)
Pour on new cube onto the yeast cake
Straight back into the fridge,
Fridge set to a couple of degrees below my target temp to help drop the temp quick, and help prevent the yeast exploding everywhere through the fridge.

Obviously you need to want the same strain of yeast next time around, and you need to keep compatible beers, don't drop a light colored beer onto a stout yeast cake etc.

I've just fired up the fermentors after moving,
One with a Whitbread Ale (Wyeast Labs #1099), starter being a coke bottle full from the original brew of it and has 2 more cubes lined up waiting for their time, and hopefully may have another 4 cubes brewed by the time they are needed.

And a US-05 which will have a few brews through it, 2 Bachaus brews, and 4 of my house beer APA.

The only downside is if you want to brew with different yeasts all the time. But I guess you could just dump a 600ml coke bottle full every time and it put aside in the fridge ready for later use.

I tried washing yeast, growing up test tubes etc. To much rooting around if you ask me. About the only time I touch test tubes is when someone gives me a yeast.

QldKev
 

yardy

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Shh!!! don't tell anyone, cause I'll be told how wrong it is and my yeast will be mutants with arms out of the heads etc

Basically swirl and discard 1/2 to 2/3 of the old yeast cake, depending on new beer gravity (or if I want the strain for later fill a 600ml coke bottle with it)
Pour on new cube onto the yeast cake
Straight back into the fridge,
Fridge set to a couple of degrees below my target temp to help drop the temp quick, and help prevent the yeast exploding everywhere through the fridge.

Obviously you need to want the same strain of yeast next time around, and you need to keep compatible beers, don't drop a light colored beer onto a stout yeast cake etc.

I've just fired up the fermentors after moving,
One with a Whitbread Ale (Wyeast Labs #1099), starter being a coke bottle full from the original brew of it and has 2 more cubes lined up waiting for their time, and hopefully may have another 4 cubes brewed by the time they are needed.

And a US-05 which will have a few brews through it, 2 Bachaus brews, and 4 of my house beer APA.

The only downside is if you want to brew with different yeasts all the time. But I guess you could just dump a 600ml coke bottle full every time and it put aside in the fridge ready for later use.

I tried washing yeast, growing up test tubes etc. To much rooting around if you ask me. About the only time I touch test tubes is when someone gives me a yeast.

QldKev
Totally agree with all that, that's how i do it, I sometimes brew a basic 3% starter beer to get a decent pitch B)

Yard
 

the_new_darren

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Remember never to pitch onto a WHOLE yeast cake unles you are 4-5 C under ferment temp

Aces high....I bet your beer is finished already.

cheers

tnd
 

Phoney

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Its best to pitch at or under 20C for most ale yeasts. During the growth phase it is more critical to have the yeast at its preferred temp. Its more acceptable to ramp up during fermentation.

I hate to pick a bone with anyone but this is in direct contradiction to the Whitelabs article posted by Kev... According to that it's fine to pitch at 24C, so long as you bring it down by the time it reaches phase 2, growth. Then you ramp up at phase 3, stationary.

Lag phase, 3-15 hours after pitching yeast:

The lag phase can be carried out at a higher temperature than the rest of fermentation because very little
flavor compounds are produced. Ethanol production is also very limited, therefore ester formation is not a
concern. Some brewers begin the lag phase for ales at 72-75F, and complete the fermentation at 68F.
This can be done with success for lagers too, with starting the lag phase at 72-75F and lowering the fermentation temperature to 50-55F.
Brewers will not see any visible activity during the lag phase, hence the way it got its name. But this phase
is very important in building new healthy cells that will be able to complete fermentation. If the wort is
overpitched, this will decrease the lag phase, and each individual cell will not be as healthy at the end of
fermentation. Although it may feel reassuring to a homebrewer to see fermentation activity within one
hour of pitching yeast, it is not best for the yeast.

Exponential growth phase: 1-4 days:
Unfortunately it's not possible to chill your wort to under 20C in most places in Australia in summer without modifying your chiller to incorporate cold gas, risking infection by pitching 12 hours later or going "no chill" and pitching the following day.
 

Nick JD

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Thanks for posting this. The amount of people on AHB who think that "off flavours are produced in the first few hours after pitching" was getting out of hand.

The lag phase can be carried out at a higher temperature than the rest of fermentation because very little
flavor compounds are produced. Ethanol production is also very limited, therefore ester formation is not a
concern. Some brewers begin the lag phase for ales at 72-75F, and complete the fermentation at 68F.
This can be done with success for lagers too, with starting the lag phase at 72-75F and lowering the fermentation temperature to 50-55F.
Brewers will not see any visible activity during the lag phase, hence the way it got its name. But this phase
is very important in building new healthy cells that will be able to complete fermentation. If the wort is
overpitched, this will decrease the lag phase, and each individual cell will not be as healthy at the end of
fermentation. Although it may feel reassuring to a homebrewer to see fermentation activity within one
hour of pitching yeast, it is not best for the yeast.


Most people will also know by watching their STC's temperature (when the probe is at least stuck to the fermenter) that it takes roughtly 12-18 hours to cool a 21L batch from 23C to 12C. How handy is that!?
 

Aces High

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Remember never to pitch onto a WHOLE yeast cake unles you are 4-5 C under ferment temp

Aces high....I bet your beer is finished already.

cheers

tnd
Why do you think that? 2 packets of US-05 into a 45L batch is pretty standard isn't it? Would there be more yeast growth due to the higher pitching temp?
I haven't bothered to measure it yet, but it did have a solid foamy head on it.


I often repitch onto the whole yeast cake, I will have to bottle some in future, saves me having to start from scratch when I have a break between ferments
 

Nick JD

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Why do you think that?
Pitching onto a whole yeast cake means that the byproducts of "normal pitching", that have become part of "beer flavour" will not be in the beer. In some beers this will result in things being missing from the flavour.

Weirdly, the yeast makes better beer if it first has to breed up a bit. Pitching onto a whole cake means you are using old, tired yeast that's half dead but will reluctantly but quickly eat all the sugaz in two days flat. It's like getting products made in Shanghai - quick and cheap, manufactured by the masses, not some bespectacled German youth fresh out of college.

IMO the best beers to pitch onto a whole yeast cake are the lagers. Ales, not so good. Belgians and german wheats - really not so good.
 

QldKev

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I think it is because most brewers lump fermenting into 1 process, and don't know (or care) there are phases within it. They come onto site such as this one and we all tell them the importance of a decent fermenting temperature to suit the yeast; hence see the temp as the entire fermenting cycle. I know personally I lumped it together for a while until I read the doco, and then tried it. I'm lucky, that my fermenting fridge will drop the fermentors over 2 degrees per hour. (measuring from the outer edge of the wort, so the middle will take a bit longer to catch up)

QldKev
 

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