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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: dmtaylor on August 08, 2016, 09:11:30 PM

Title: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: dmtaylor on August 08, 2016, 09:11:30 PM
The following thread prompted a eureka moment for me just now: Are we all in fact overpitching with all of our dry yeasts?

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=27436.msg357686#msg357686

As many of us already know, dry yeasts are super reliable and shelf stable.  Even a 2-year old (or older!) packet of dry yeast can simply be sprinkled on top of 5 gallons of wort and immediately get to work in a matter of 12-16 hours, and typically will finish its job as quickly if not quicker than a huge starter of liquid yeast.

So..... what the hell is going on?  What's so special about dry yeast?

And then there's the continuing complaints over "my Belgian or hefeweizen is too clean".  I wonder: Is it just too darn easy for us to all overpitch when we use dry yeast?  These yeasts basically require some stress in order to give us the best flavors.  But if we always pitch 11 grams into 5 gallons, isn't that way too much to stress out these yeasts??

I wonder if maybe the dry yeasts are really all TOO good, TOO healthy, and there's TOO much placed into each packet, such that maybe, just maybe, we should really only be pitching 1/4 to 1/2 of a dry yeast packet into any given batch of 5-6 gallons of wort.  Thus we can expect all those esters and phenols, as applicable, plus save some of the yeast packet for next time, as well as save some money on yeast, and all without having to ever make any yeast starters.

Thoughts?  Are dry yeasts just TOO good to pitch the whole pack???

These questions might cause some folks to become excited.  I'm just thinking out loud.  But I do think there might be something to all this, especially for Belgians, German hefes, and maybe even the S-04 and Notty but more experiments would be needed to confirm and I don't know if anyone would dare pitch just 1/4 or 1/2 pack of S-04.  That one I might worry about.  But it might also be interesting to know if anyone has ever tried this and what the results were.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: brewinhard on August 08, 2016, 09:36:22 PM
I hear what you are saying. And with those thoughts in mind, I have always pushed the higher gravity batches to only pitch 1 packet of dry yeast with no issues whatsoever. As a small data point, I have used 1 packet of US-O5 (rehydrated) in a 1.082 OG wort and had it ferment down to 1.011 with no problems or off-flavors whatsoever. I will really only pitch 2 packets if I go above 1.100.

Lately, I have been into repitching liquid yeasts for 4-6 generations with great results and haven't even touched a dry yeast packet in months.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: HoosierBrew on August 08, 2016, 10:09:48 PM
It's definitely worth some experimentation. Who knows, maybe Belle Saison (for example) gets more interesting on half a pack ?
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: denny on August 08, 2016, 10:47:56 PM
Well, here we go with another homebrew myth....I don't believe pitching less yeast necessarily equates to more flavor/character.  My experience has been in line with what Dr. Clayton Cone of Lallemand has said.  He claims that the same enzyme, acetyl co-A, is responsible for both cell growth and ester production. He says that when it's doing one it won't be doing the other.  So, by pitching less yeast, you get more cell growth and fewer (not more) esters.  This has been my experience in general.  I realize others have had other experiences.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: HoosierBrew on August 08, 2016, 10:55:52 PM
FWIW, I don't make a habit of underpitching, Denny - I pitch plenty. Except in the case of hefeweizen where it seems (to me) that 3068 gets more estery on an underpitch.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: dmtaylor on August 08, 2016, 10:58:04 PM
What if I want more phenols, not esters?
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: a10t2 on August 09, 2016, 12:59:06 AM
What if I want more phenols, not esters?

Ferulic acid rest?
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: dmtaylor on August 09, 2016, 01:45:16 AM
What if I want more phenols, not esters?

Ferulic acid rest?

Possibly, but I have my doubts.  More experiments are needed.  Brulosopher?  ;)
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: mabrungard on August 09, 2016, 01:52:43 AM
I'm curious about this effect. I have to admit that I'm inclined to believe that additional yeast generations and growth will lead to more esters. Another school of thought is that the rate of growth is also a factor in ester and fusel production. This clearly is suited to a Brulosophy exbeeriment.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: narvin on August 09, 2016, 02:28:05 AM
What if I want more phenols, not esters?

Ferment colder?  It's not a hard and fast rule, but for yeasts that can produce esters and phenols (Belgian and German wheat) colder fermentation often expresses the latter.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: erockrph on August 09, 2016, 03:22:49 AM
What if I want more phenols, not esters?

Ferment colder?  It's not a hard and fast rule, but for yeasts that can produce esters and phenols (Belgian and German wheat) colder fermentation often expresses the latter.
I was under the impression that fermenting cooler didn't necessarily increase phenol production. Rather, it suppressed ester production, and thereby swinging the phenol/ester balance towards the phenolics. Of course, that could just be another homebrew myth.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: HoosierBrew on August 09, 2016, 11:43:24 AM
What if I want more phenols, not esters?

Ferment colder?  It's not a hard and fast rule, but for yeasts that can produce esters and phenols (Belgian and German wheat) colder fermentation often expresses the latter.


+1.  I find 3068, for example, to give more clove at cooler temps (63-64F), more banana at warmer temps (66-68F).
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: Todd H. on August 09, 2016, 02:25:29 PM
I'm curious about this effect. I have to admit that I'm inclined to believe that additional yeast generations and growth will lead to more esters. Another school of thought is that the rate of growth is also a factor in ester and fusel production. This clearly is suited to a Brulosophy exbeeriment.

I did the math on this once...
Let's say you pitch a 1L starter into 20L of wort.  That allows for (optimally) 4-5 doublings.  If you "underpitch" by half, that's one additional doubling.  Let's say 50 billion cells going to 100 billion cells.  After that 100 billion doubles 4 times, it will be 1.6 trillion cells.  That initial one extra doubling is like a drop in the bucket when you add up the total number of individual cell divisions (an additional 3.3%... 50b to 100b to 200b to 400b to 800b to 1.6b means an extra 50b/1.5t cell divisions).  I've always found it hard to believe that that additional generation of cells had any impact on flavor, unless there is some sort of quorum sensing thing going on and the culture as a whole senses that they are low in numbers and for some reason start secreting esters because of it.  Don't know why that would happen.  In addition, when I did look this up in the literature awhile ago (specifically for lager yeasts) you can find ample papers suggesting that overpitching leads to problems, not "underpitching".  Of course, being science, you can find older papers saying the opposite.  Not necessarily with the same strains, so maybe it is a strain-to-strain thing?
That's my former yeast biologist self thinking.  I could be wrong.  I'm 20 years out of the field.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: zwiller on August 09, 2016, 03:13:58 PM
Well, here we go with another homebrew myth....I don't believe pitching less yeast necessarily equates to more flavor/character. 

+1;  My personal take on this is that for some reason (maybe it is known why) the manufacturers of dry yeast use more of the neutral strains.  I used WB06 on a hefe and it is a great yeast, but ain't no 3068 and very much doubt any manipulation will change the results. 

Curious if many would agree "liquid is better than dry" is now a myth as well?  Same strains of course. 
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: dmtaylor on August 09, 2016, 03:39:31 PM
Curious if many would agree "liquid is better than dry" is now a myth as well?  Same strains of course.

If true, it's only temporary.  More excellent dry yeasts are coming out all the time.  One example: Take a look at Belle Saison.  That's a super awesome yeast, which nobody should deny (but probably will just to be contrarian if nothing else).  I must confess I have not tried the weizen strains yet but intend to, maybe next year.  And I'll be sure to underpitch, like only 1/16 of a packet for a 1.7-gallon batch.  ;)
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: zwiller on August 09, 2016, 04:15:13 PM
Curious if many would agree "liquid is better than dry" is now a myth as well?  Same strains of course.

If true, it's only temporary.  More excellent dry yeasts are coming out all the time.  One example: Take a look at Belle Saison.  That's a super awesome yeast, which nobody should deny (but probably will just to be contrarian if nothing else).  I must confess I have not tried the weizen strains yet but intend to, maybe next year.  And I'll be sure to underpitch, like only 1/16 of a packet for a 1.7-gallon batch.  ;)
Belle is 3711 right?  Good yeast, fast and dry but too bland for me.  I would have to say my most favorite yeast of all time is Blaugies/wyeast limited edition 3726.  I am fairly certain this is Imperials Rustic and have one on deck awaiting final confirmation.  I seriously owe a huge thanks to a dude on the old green board who turned me onto it...  There's simply NO other saison yeast to me. 

The WB06 hefe was the game changer for me and made me a believer in dry yeast.  I think WB06 is WY3638.  Nice light fruity tart take on the style but not for banana/clove bombs.  I think it would also make a great wit.  I tend to be with Denny that underpitching won’t help much but that is based on me seriously abusing yeast and getting away with it over the years. 

One slight tangent.  I tend to see most LHBS carry most dry yeasts but only a small assortment of wet.  My LHBS is like 90% chico so I tend to look at the dry stuff as more unique offerings.  I think that's part of the allure...  That is in addition to cost/simplicity/cell count. 
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: HoosierBrew on August 09, 2016, 04:28:06 PM
Belle is 3711 right?  Good yeast, fast and dry but too bland for me.  I would have to say my most favorite yeast of all time is Blaugies/wyeast limited edition 3726. 


Yeah, 3711 is said to be Belle. And I agree on all counts - I'm a 3724 lover, too, but I'd pick Blaugies over all the others. Gonna use Rustic soon.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: chumley on August 09, 2016, 04:58:20 PM
If Belle is 3711, then underpitching it won't make it turn into 3724 or 3726.

If WB06 is 3638, then underpitching it won't make it turn into 3333 (my favorite weissbier strain).

I haven't found any dry English ale yeast that comes remotely close to giving the stone fruit esters of 1469.

And, I have disagreed with Denny for years on this.  As someone who has pitched on top of yeast cakes for years, I can emphatically say that English ale and German weissbier yeast character drops dramatically with later generations.  The Belgian yeast, not so much.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: zwiller on August 09, 2016, 05:24:49 PM
If Belle is 3711, then underpitching it won't make it turn into 3724 or 3726.

If WB06 is 3638, then underpitching it won't make it turn into 3333 (my favorite weissbier strain).

I haven't found any dry English ale yeast that comes remotely close to giving the stone fruit esters of 1469.

+1;  I have not run the gamut of dry english ale strains but it sounds like you saved me the time.  I might have to admit defeat with SO4.  That said, never dialed the heat up like some do. 
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: dmtaylor on August 09, 2016, 05:31:38 PM
Belle is 3711 right?  Good yeast, fast and dry but too bland for me.

Getting back to the OP....... I wonder if it's bland because one pack of dry yeast in 5 gallons is a major overpitch.

Sidebar: Denny, your previous comment/opinion that underpitching doesn't help is noted and appreciated.  But doesn't mean it's right, either.  More experiments are still needed, methinks.   ;)
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: denny on August 09, 2016, 05:55:21 PM
If Belle is 3711, then underpitching it won't make it turn into 3724 or 3726.

If WB06 is 3638, then underpitching it won't make it turn into 3333 (my favorite weissbier strain).

I haven't found any dry English ale yeast that comes remotely close to giving the stone fruit esters of 1469.

And, I have disagreed with Denny for years on this.  As someone who has pitched on top of yeast cakes for years, I can emphatically say that English ale and German weissbier yeast character drops dramatically with later generations.  The Belgian yeast, not so much.

It was documented in the HBD maybe 15+ years ago that weissbier yeast loses it's character and is not a good candidate for repitching.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: zwiller on August 09, 2016, 06:27:16 PM
Belle is 3711 right?  Good yeast, fast and dry but too bland for me.

Getting back to the OP....... I wonder if it's bland because one pack of dry yeast in 5 gallons is a major overpitch.

Sidebar: Denny, your previous comment/opinion that underpitching doesn't help is noted and appreciated.  But doesn't mean it's right, either.  More experiments are still needed, methinks.   ;)

I used wet 3711 and if I use the numbers based on the yeast calcs out there I'd be underpitching. 

Honestly, a great experiment and should be easy to conduct.  That said, ToddH is on point.  It's strain dependent.  Just because one yeast might express more stressed/underpitched does not mean another will.  That said, I am rooting for ya: I am a consummate cheap SOB and would love to kick up yeast expression at times.  You might be surprised just how little yeast you can use successfully.  One time I forgot to order yeast and pitched the dregs of a bottle of homebrew and it was just fine (chico for the record). 
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: brewinhard on August 09, 2016, 07:02:11 PM
Belle is 3711 right?  Good yeast, fast and dry but too bland for me.

Getting back to the OP....... I wonder if it's bland because one pack of dry yeast in 5 gallons is a major overpitch.

Sidebar: Denny, your previous comment/opinion that underpitching doesn't help is noted and appreciated.  But doesn't mean it's right, either.  More experiments are still needed, methinks.   ;)

  One time I forgot to order yeast and pitched the dregs of a bottle of homebrew and it was just fine (chico for the record).

That is awesome. You are one brave brewer. How big was the batch?
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: Joe Sr. on August 09, 2016, 07:29:59 PM
And, I have disagreed with Denny for years on this.  As someone who has pitched on top of yeast cakes for years, I can emphatically say that English ale and German weissbier yeast character drops dramatically with later generations.  The Belgian yeast, not so much.

Are you pitching right on top of the full cake?

It was documented in the HBD maybe 15+ years ago that weissbier yeast loses it's character and is not a good candidate for repitching.

What's the thought/science behind this?  If you grow up a starter does that help?  It seems like that just adds to the number of generations and would be detrimental.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: denny on August 09, 2016, 07:56:25 PM
It was documented in the HBD maybe 15+ years ago that weissbier yeast loses it's character and is not a good candidate for repitching.

What's the thought/science behind this?  If you grow up a starter does that help?  It seems like that just adds to the number of generations and would be detrimental.

I used to know, but I'm old and it's been a long time.  I'll see if I can dig it up.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: zwiller on August 09, 2016, 08:19:33 PM
Belle is 3711 right?  Good yeast, fast and dry but too bland for me.

Getting back to the OP....... I wonder if it's bland because one pack of dry yeast in 5 gallons is a major overpitch.

Sidebar: Denny, your previous comment/opinion that underpitching doesn't help is noted and appreciated.  But doesn't mean it's right, either.  More experiments are still needed, methinks.   ;)

  One time I forgot to order yeast and pitched the dregs of a bottle of homebrew and it was just fine (chico for the record).

That is awesome. You are one brave brewer. How big was the batch?
Average strength, 5 gallons.  This was along time ago in the dark ages (before yeast calculators or the web  ;D).  Originally, I thought it was a fail since it took like a week to start.  I remember it distinctly because it was first beer I fermented in a basement.  I was worried it would be too cold since in those days we were told to "keep it in a warm place".  Little did I know at the time that a cooler fermentation made better beer.  I was ecstatic. 
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: brewinhard on August 09, 2016, 08:39:03 PM
Belle is 3711 right?  Good yeast, fast and dry but too bland for me.

Getting back to the OP....... I wonder if it's bland because one pack of dry yeast in 5 gallons is a major overpitch.

Sidebar: Denny, your previous comment/opinion that underpitching doesn't help is noted and appreciated.  But doesn't mean it's right, either.  More experiments are still needed, methinks.   ;)

  One time I forgot to order yeast and pitched the dregs of a bottle of homebrew and it was just fine (chico for the record).

That is awesome. You are one brave brewer. How big was the batch?
Average strength, 5 gallons.  This was along time ago in the dark ages (before yeast calculators or the web  ;D).  Originally, I thought it was a fail since it took like a week to start.  I remember it distinctly because it was first beer I fermented in a basement.  I was worried it would be too cold since in those days we were told to "keep it in a warm place".  Little did I know at the time that a cooler fermentation made better beer.  I was ecstatic.

Ha!  Amazing what yeast can do.
Title: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: BrewBama on August 09, 2016, 09:54:12 PM
..."in those days we were told to "keep it in a warm place".  Little did I know at the time that a cooler fermentation made better beer"....  When I started in the 99(s) I also followed the "warm dry place" fermentation advice. I kept my bucket in an outside storage room ...in Georgia ...in the summer!  LOL. It was pretty good IPA if I recall. LOL


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: brewinhard on August 10, 2016, 02:12:59 PM
Hell, at least better than what was available commercially at that time.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: dmtaylor on August 16, 2016, 03:54:51 PM
Validation!  I heard Jamil say on the following podcast at about the 59-minute mark that the standard 11-gram dry yeast packets contain about 225% as much yeast as a standard vial of liquid yeast.  Whammo!  I mean, he would know, right?  He wrote the book on Yeast?!

http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/membersarchive/bws_2016_07_05_diacetyldryyeastQs.mp3
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: Pricelessbrewing on August 16, 2016, 07:22:21 PM
Math works out for a typical WL vial.

Minimum viable 180B per satchet, average WL vial for most strains* is about 80-90B. 180/80=2.25.

*Flocculation seems to be the biggest variable for this. Low flocc strains have an average of ~65-75B, and can be as low as 30B according to the QC reports I pulled from yeastman last winter.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: denny on August 16, 2016, 08:03:44 PM
Validation!  I heard Jamil say on the following podcast at about the 59-minute mark that the standard 11-gram dry yeast packets contain about 225% as much yeast as a standard vial of liquid yeast.  Whammo!  I mean, he would know, right?  He wrote the book on Yeast?!

http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/membersarchive/bws_2016_07_05_diacetyldryyeastQs.mp3

Weren't you aware of that already?  And I assume he didn't specify age of liquid yeast and was assuming 100% viability for it?
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: dmtaylor on August 16, 2016, 08:06:37 PM
Awesome -- thanks Priceless.

I think I'll be pitching less dry yeast from here on out.  Rehydration....... bah!  I guess I could, if I really wanted to save some money.  However it's already not so easy estimating the difference between 1/12 to 1/6 of a packet of yeast for my little 1.7-gallon batches anyway!   ;D
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: denny on August 16, 2016, 08:08:26 PM
Awesome -- thanks Priceless.

I think I'll be pitching less dry yeast from here on out.  Rehydration....... bah!  I guess I could, if I really wanted to save some money.  However it's already not so easy estimating the difference between 1/12 to 1/6 of a packet of yeast for my little 1.7-gallon batches anyway!   ;D

Just be careful with that open pack.  I tried that twice and ended up with infections.  No way to know for certain, but I think it was from the open yeast pack. Haven't tried since.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: dmtaylor on August 16, 2016, 08:12:41 PM
Weren't you aware of that already?  And I assume he didn't specify age of liquid yeast and was assuming 100% viability for it?

No, I wasn't aware.  Jamil also didn't state his assumptions, so we can only assume what he assumed.  In context I think it was pretty clear what he was saying -- there's generally a lot more viable yeast in a dry pack.  Not to mention, the dry packs remain mostly viable for YEARS in the fridge instead of just 8-10 months.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: denny on August 16, 2016, 09:29:37 PM
Weren't you aware of that already?  And I assume he didn't specify age of liquid yeast and was assuming 100% viability for it?

No, I wasn't aware.  Jamil also didn't state his assumptions, so we can only assume what he assumed.  In context I think it was pretty clear what he was saying -- there's generally a lot more viable yeast in a dry pack.  Not to mention, the dry packs remain mostly viable for YEARS in the fridge instead of just 8-10 months.

I've been saying that for years!  It's why I don't bother to rehydrate.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: zwiller on August 17, 2016, 02:17:11 PM
Awesome -- thanks Priceless.

I think I'll be pitching less dry yeast from here on out.  Rehydration....... bah!  I guess I could, if I really wanted to save some money.  However it's already not so easy estimating the difference between 1/12 to 1/6 of a packet of yeast for my little 1.7-gallon batches anyway!   ;D

Just be careful with that open pack.  I tried that twice and ended up with infections.  No way to know for certain, but I think it was from the open yeast pack. Haven't tried since.

On ebay there are all sorts of small 5-25ml sterile containers that are CHEAP so you could portion a packet.  Tare out the container on a scale and divide away!  That said, I've read numerous stories that homebrewers that got bricks of dried yeast and used them over time without issues.  I wonder that since the yeast is dried, is it less susceptible to infection? 
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: Philbrew on August 17, 2016, 04:31:20 PM
Weren't you aware of that already?  And I assume he didn't specify age of liquid yeast and was assuming 100% viability for it?

No, I wasn't aware.  Jamil also didn't state his assumptions, so we can only assume what he assumed.  In context I think it was pretty clear what he was saying -- there's generally a lot more viable yeast in a dry pack.  Not to mention, the dry packs remain mostly viable for YEARS in the fridge instead of just 8-10 months.

I've been saying that for years!  It's why I don't bother to rehydrate.
What about a lager...say, a 6 gal. batch of German pils with one packette of W34/70?  Would you (should I):
- sprinkle on top?
- rehydrate and cool to 50*-54*?
- make a SNS starter and cool to 50*-54*?
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: HoosierBrew on August 17, 2016, 04:35:06 PM
What about a lager...say, a 6 gal. batch of German pils with one packette of W34/70?  Would you (should I):
- sprinkle on top?
- rehydrate and cool to 50*-54*?
- make a SNS starter and cool to 50*-54*?



I don't use 34/70 often, but when I do it's 2 packets sprinkled (standard strength beers).
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: denny on August 17, 2016, 04:35:57 PM
What about a lager...say, a 6 gal. batch of German pils with one packette of W34/70?  Would you (should I):
- sprinkle on top?
- rehydrate and cool to 50*-54*?
- make a SNS starter and cool to 50*-54*?

If I'm using dry yeast, it's sprinkle on top.  If I'm using liquid, I've done 1 qt. SNS starters and pitched in the low-mid 50s.  One of these days I want to compare a 1 qt. SNS to a 2 qt. SNS.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: dmtaylor on August 17, 2016, 04:37:12 PM
What about a lager...say, a 6 gal. batch of German pils with one packette of W34/70?  Would you (should I):
- sprinkle on top?
- rehydrate and cool to 50*-54*?
- make a SNS starter and cool to 50*-54*?

For that I might actually rehydrate or at least activate the yeast to make sure it's lively.  But if it were only 3 or 4 gallons, I'd probably just sprinkle on top and call it good.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: zwiller on August 17, 2016, 05:13:17 PM
What about a lager...say, a 6 gal. batch of German pils with one packette of W34/70?  Would you (should I):
- sprinkle on top?
- rehydrate and cool to 50*-54*?
- make a SNS starter and cool to 50*-54*?



I don't use 34/70 often, but when I do it's 2 packets sprinkled (standard strength beers).

That's what I used to do but I would be interested how 1 packet rehydrated would do (and bet it does fine).  That said, I did one single packet @ 60F in a NGP and don't think I will ever go back to cooler ferments.  I am BJCP and brutal about my own stuff.   
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: HoosierBrew on August 17, 2016, 05:15:39 PM
What about a lager...say, a 6 gal. batch of German pils with one packette of W34/70?  Would you (should I):
- sprinkle on top?
- rehydrate and cool to 50*-54*?
- make a SNS starter and cool to 50*-54*?



I don't use 34/70 often, but when I do it's 2 packets sprinkled (standard strength beers).

That's what I used to do but I would be interested how 1 packet rehydrated would do (and bet it does fine).  That said, I did one single packet @ 60F in a NGP and don't think I will ever go back to cooler ferments.  I am BJCP and brutal about my own stuff.   


Yeah, that stuff (830/2124/34-70) is super clean. Pretty hard to screw up.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: dmtaylor on August 17, 2016, 05:27:56 PM
I am BJCP and brutal about my own stuff.

Oh boy, I hear ya, man.  I beat myself up pretty bad about approximately 50% of the beers I make, "dang it, I should have done this or that, what was I thinking".  Then the other 50% of the time I'm elated just because it turned out halfway decent.  :)
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: el_capitan on August 19, 2016, 12:00:09 AM
It's definitely worth some experimentation. Who knows, maybe Belle Saison (for example) gets more interesting on half a pack ?

I picked up a couple AG saison kits from NB, and I read that they recommend pitching TWO packs of dry yeast in the 5 gallon batch.  I kind of thought that was overkill.  I'm going to brew tomorrow - do you think I can get away with just the single pack?
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: HoosierBrew on August 19, 2016, 12:03:24 AM
It's definitely worth some experimentation. Who knows, maybe Belle Saison (for example) gets more interesting on half a pack ?

I picked up a couple AG saison kits from NB, and I read that they recommend pitching TWO packs of dry yeast in the 5 gallon batch.  I kind of thought that was overkill.  I'm going to brew tomorrow - do you think I can get away with just the single pack?


Absolutely. One pack is plenty of yeast. The only time I use two packs of dry is on a lager or a 1.090+ ale. Having said that, I don't use dry yeast a lot . No worries.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: el_capitan on August 19, 2016, 12:11:49 AM
Yeah, I really thought 2 packs was extreme overkill, but I've never used Belle Saison before.  Glad to hear that people have had good results with it.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: dmtaylor on August 19, 2016, 12:59:27 AM
I picked up a couple AG saison kits from NB, and I read that they recommend pitching TWO packs of dry yeast in the 5 gallon batch.  I kind of thought that was overkill.  I'm going to brew tomorrow - do you think I can get away with just the single pack?

That's just silly.  In future I shall use a half a pack.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: redzim on August 26, 2016, 06:17:55 PM

That's what I used to do but I would be interested how 1 packet rehydrated would do (and bet it does fine).  That said, I did one single packet @ 60F in a NGP and don't think I will ever go back to cooler ferments.  I am BJCP and brutal about my own stuff.

Tell me more about this: you ferment your Pils @60F, with 1 packet of W-34/70 per 5-6gal?  I loved 34/70 but I've been a solid 2packs per 5gal guy for years, and always try to keep it around 50-51F for the first 5-6 days, then ramp it up toward mid-60s over the next 5-6 days... 

But you're saying with less yeast and a warmer ferment, you're still happy with it?
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: zwiller on August 27, 2016, 12:57:55 PM

That's what I used to do but I would be interested how 1 packet rehydrated would do (and bet it does fine).  That said, I did one single packet @ 60F in a NGP and don't think I will ever go back to cooler ferments.  I am BJCP and brutal about my own stuff.

Tell me more about this: you ferment your Pils @60F, with 1 packet of W-34/70 per 5-6gal?  I loved 34/70 but I've been a solid 2packs per 5gal guy for years, and always try to keep it around 50-51F for the first 5-6 days, then ramp it up toward mid-60s over the next 5-6 days... 

But you're saying with less yeast and a warmer ferment, you're still happy with it?

Heck yeah.  I was the same as you but gave it a shot once and am converted.  In fact, planning to brew a NGP today with same technique. 
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: Philbrew on September 21, 2016, 06:09:24 PM
Math works out for a typical WL vial.

Minimum viable 180B per satchet, average WL vial for most strains* is about 80-90B. 180/80=2.25.

*Flocculation seems to be the biggest variable for this. Low flocc strains have an average of ~65-75B, and can be as low as 30B according to the QC reports I pulled from yeastman last winter.
Looked up the data sheet for Lallemand Belle Saison.  Says 5 x 10*9th cells per gram.  So an 11 gram satchet would have 55B cells.  Considerably less than a WL vial.  Unless I'm doing the math wrong (good posiblity).
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: zwiller on September 21, 2016, 06:21:14 PM
I think your math is right and hope theirs is wrong.  A quick look and their windsor is low too...  Interesting find! 
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: dmtaylor on September 21, 2016, 06:54:32 PM
I think your math is right and hope theirs is wrong.  A quick look and their windsor is low too...  Interesting find!

Yeah but... I still maintain my bet that a little stress by underpitching with any Belgian or weizenbier yeast helps these yeasts to express more of the lovely esters and phenols... and secondly, Windsor is a BEAST that will hit final attenuation within 36 hours if you pitch "the standard" quantity, so perhaps underpitching wouldn't be such a bad thing for that one as well, maybe then it takes 48 or even 72 hours to hit FG -- oh no!

 :D 8)
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: Philbrew on September 22, 2016, 08:49:56 PM
I think your math is right and hope theirs is wrong.  A quick look and their windsor is low too...  Interesting find!

Yeah but... I still maintain my bet that a little stress by underpitching with any Belgian or weizenbier yeast helps these yeasts to express more of the lovely esters and phenols... and secondly, Windsor is a BEAST that will hit final attenuation within 36 hours if you pitch "the standard" quantity, so perhaps underpitching wouldn't be such a bad thing for that one as well, maybe then it takes 48 or even 72 hours to hit FG -- oh no!

 :D 8)
Dave,  I agree that under pitching is good for some styles.  I think that I've underpitched Belle Saison twice and tasted some interesting flavors (pear, pepper, anise) in the beer.  But my idea of underpitching is a rehydrated 11 gram satchet in 5.5 gallons of wort.
Here's my math (yours may vary). :)
If you want the beer at high kraeusen to have 200B cells/liter* in 21L, that's 4200B cells.  If you want to get there in 4 doublings (should be enough lipids for 4 replications without O2), you need to start with 262.5B cells.  At 55B cells/satchet** you would need to pitch 4.77 satchets. 

* Don't know if that's realistic.
**Lallemand says >5 x 10*9th cells/gram, so could be more.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: Philbrew on September 22, 2016, 11:32:03 PM
I think your math is right and hope theirs is wrong.  A quick look and their windsor is low too...  Interesting find!
I checked the other dry yeast makers and found that they are all in the same ballpark.  Fermentis is high at > 69B cells/packet and Mangrove Jack's is lowest at >50B cells/packet.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: dmtaylor on September 23, 2016, 02:02:41 AM
I think your math is right and hope theirs is wrong.  A quick look and their windsor is low too...  Interesting find!

Yeah but... I still maintain my bet that a little stress by underpitching with any Belgian or weizenbier yeast helps these yeasts to express more of the lovely esters and phenols... and secondly, Windsor is a BEAST that will hit final attenuation within 36 hours if you pitch "the standard" quantity, so perhaps underpitching wouldn't be such a bad thing for that one as well, maybe then it takes 48 or even 72 hours to hit FG -- oh no!

 :D 8)
Dave,  I agree that under pitching is good for some styles.  I think that I've underpitched Belle Saison twice and tasted some interesting flavors (pear, pepper, anise) in the beer.  But my idea of underpitching is a rehydrated 11 gram satchet in 5.5 gallons of wort.
Here's my math (yours may vary). :)
If you want the beer at high kraeusen to have 200B cells/liter* in 21L, that's 4200B cells.  If you want to get there in 4 doublings (should be enough lipids for 4 replications without O2), you need to start with 262.5B cells.  At 55B cells/satchet** you would need to pitch 4.77 satchets. 

* Don't know if that's realistic.
**Lallemand says >5 x 10*9th cells/gram, so could be more.

I think you've accidentally squared the math.  For a standard beer of about 1.055 OG, you want 7B cells/liter, so in 21L (5 gal), that's ~150B cells/5 gal, or let's say 200B like you had.  Not 4200B!!!!  So divide 200B by 16 and you get... 12.5B, which is only a quarter of a sachet for 5 gallons!!!!

This is the first time I ever dicked around with cell counts.  Educational.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: Philbrew on September 23, 2016, 03:52:00 AM
I think your math is right and hope theirs is wrong.  A quick look and their windsor is low too...  Interesting find!

Yeah but... I still maintain my bet that a little stress by underpitching with any Belgian or weizenbier yeast helps these yeasts to express more of the lovely esters and phenols... and secondly, Windsor is a BEAST that will hit final attenuation within 36 hours if you pitch "the standard" quantity, so perhaps underpitching wouldn't be such a bad thing for that one as well, maybe then it takes 48 or even 72 hours to hit FG -- oh no!

 :D 8)
Dave,  I agree that under pitching is good for some styles.  I think that I've underpitched Belle Saison twice and tasted some interesting flavors (pear, pepper, anise) in the beer.  But my idea of underpitching is a rehydrated 11 gram satchet in 5.5 gallons of wort.
Here's my math (yours may vary). :)
If you want the beer at high kraeusen to have 200B cells/liter* in 21L, that's 4200B cells.  If you want to get there in 4 doublings (should be enough lipids for 4 replications without O2), you need to start with 262.5B cells.  At 55B cells/satchet** you would need to pitch 4.77 satchets. 

* Don't know if that's realistic.
**Lallemand says >5 x 10*9th cells/gram, so could be more.

I think you've accidentally squared the math.  For a standard beer of about 1.055 OG, you want 7B cells/liter, so in 21L (5 gal), that's ~150B cells/5 gal, or let's say 200B like you had.  Not 4200B!!!!  So divide 200B by 16 and you get... 12.5B, which is only a quarter of a sachet for 5 gallons!!!!

This is the first time I ever dicked around with cell counts.  Educational.  Thanks.
Ahah!  I thought that 200B cells/liter couldn't be realistic.  7B-10B cells/liter final growth would make 2-3 grams a "standard" pitch.  Makes more sense now.

Wow!  You're going to have to get out the jeweler's scale to underpitch a 1.7 gal. batch. :)
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: dmtaylor on September 23, 2016, 11:47:43 AM
Wow!  You're going to have to get out the jeweler's scale to underpitch a 1.7 gal. batch. :)

You ain't kidding!  I may never have a need to buy yeast or make a starter ever again!  ;)
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: zwiller on September 23, 2016, 03:33:54 PM
So divide 200B by 16

Lost on this.  Is this the "4 doublings"?  Also, the aforementioned pitch rate 7B/L, where does it come from?  I am just interested.  I really think homebrewers in general are way overthinking yeast. 
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: dmtaylor on September 23, 2016, 03:50:53 PM
So divide 200B by 16

Lost on this.  Is this the "4 doublings"?  Also, the aforementioned pitch rate 7B/L, where does it come from?  I am just interested.  I really think homebrewers in general are way overthinking yeast.

I TOTALLY agree that many homebrewers tend to overthink pretty much everything, myself included when it comes to certain stuff.  Yeast was never something I thought a whole lot about but am starting to now.

Yes, exactly.  2 to the 4th power is 16.

I got the 7B/L thing from the following link, but I'm sure they got it from someplace else.  Interwebs are probably chock full of crazy talk about billions of yeast cells and yadda-yadda and honestly I'm not even all that terribly interested in any details except for the bottom line.  And the bottom line is, I only need to use 1/4 packet of dry yeast for 5 gallons from now on, or its equivalent for my 1/3 size batches (1.7 gallons) so I guess that's 1/12 packet!  I've always used 1/4 to 1/2 packet so I guess I was really overpitching.  Anyway, here's that link:

www.northernbrewer.com/documentation/YeastPitchingRates.pdf
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: Philbrew on September 23, 2016, 03:51:41 PM
So divide 200B by 16

Lost on this.  Is this the "4 doublings"?  Also, the aforementioned pitch rate 7B/L, where does it come from?  I am just interested.  I really think homebrewers in general are way overthinking yeast.
Yes.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: Philbrew on September 23, 2016, 04:14:31 PM
So divide 200B by 16

Lost on this.  Is this the "4 doublings"?  Also, the aforementioned pitch rate 7B/L, where does it come from?  I am just interested.  I really think homebrewers in general are way overthinking yeast.

I TOTALLY agree that many homebrewers tend to overthink pretty much everything, myself included when it comes to certain stuff.  Yeast was never something I thought a whole lot about but am starting to now.

Yes, exactly.  2 to the 4th power is 16.

I got the 7B/L thing from the following link, but I'm sure they got it from someplace else.  Interwebs are probably chock full of crazy talk about billions of yeast cells and yadda-yadda and honestly I'm not even all that terribly interested in any details except for the bottom line.  And the bottom line is, I only need to use 1/4 packet of dry yeast for 5 gallons from now on, or its equivalent for my 1/3 size batches (1.7 gallons) so I guess that's 1/12 packet!  I've always used 1/4 to 1/2 packet so I guess I was really overpitching.  Anyway, here's that link:

www.northernbrewer.com/documentation/YeastPitchingRates.pdf (http://www.northernbrewer.com/documentation/YeastPitchingRates.pdf)
What has me confused is that the dry yeast makers all say their packets contain > approx. 55B cells.  That's about the same or less than a smack-pak of liquid yeast.  Does that mean that everyone is overpitching liquid yeast too?  Or is the ">" really ">>>" ?
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: dmtaylor on September 23, 2016, 04:18:37 PM
What has me confused is that the dry yeast makers all say their packets contain > approx. 55B cells.  That's about the same or less than a smack-pak of liquid yeast.  Does that mean that everyone is overpitching liquid yeast too?  Or is the ">" really ">>>" ?

Yes, the > is actually >>>.  When folks run real life experiments, they find that fresh packets actually usually contain 100-200B viable cells, so the >55B is super conservative, and probably applies only when skipping rehydration as so many of us do (myself included) or keeping that packet in your fridge for a up to a year or two before use (which I also do).

So, if I skip rehydration as I still plan to do always, and continue to use old yeast from time to time as I'm sure I'll also do, then maybe that 1/3 to 1/2 pack per 1.7 gallons is still the right amount for me and my little batches, and not 1/12 as I might otherwise only need to use for a rehydrated brand new pack.  etc. etc. etc.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: narcout on September 23, 2016, 04:41:02 PM
I think you've accidentally squared the math.  For a standard beer of about 1.055 OG, you want 7B cells/liter, so in 21L (5 gal), that's ~150B cells/5 gal, or let's say 200B like you had.  Not 4200B!!!!  So divide 200B by 16 and you get... 12.5B, which is only a quarter of a sachet for 5 gallons!!!!

I think you are confusing the recommended initial pitch rate from the paper you linked to (1M cells per milliliter per degree Plate) with final maximum cell count (200B cells per liter).

Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: dmtaylor on September 23, 2016, 05:06:25 PM
I think you've accidentally squared the math.  For a standard beer of about 1.055 OG, you want 7B cells/liter, so in 21L (5 gal), that's ~150B cells/5 gal, or let's say 200B like you had.  Not 4200B!!!!  So divide 200B by 16 and you get... 12.5B, which is only a quarter of a sachet for 5 gallons!!!!

I think you are confusing the recommended initial pitch rate from the paper you linked to (1M cells per milliliter per degree Plate) with final maximum cell count (200B cells per liter).

You're probably right, but 150B and 200B are in the same ballpark regardless.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: narcout on September 23, 2016, 05:28:03 PM
What I mean is that you want to pitch at your target rate (whatever that may be), not be at your target rate after several replication periods.

Assuming a max cell density of 200B cells per liter, Philbrew's analysis below was correct.

If you want the beer at high kraeusen to have 200B cells/liter* in 21L, that's 4200B cells.  If you want to get there in 4 doublings (should be enough lipids for 4 replications without O2), you need to start with 262.5B cells.

Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: zwiller on September 23, 2016, 06:33:34 PM
I am totally lost.  Somehow I was under the impression that a packet of Saflager 3470 contains 200B cells and never heard of using replication.  I don't really care.  I am successfully using it in lagers and couldn't be happer.  1 packet to 5G room temp. 
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: dmtaylor on September 23, 2016, 06:51:10 PM
I am totally lost.  Somehow I was under the impression that a packet of Saflager 3470 contains 200B cells and never heard of using replication.  I don't really care.  I am successfully using it in lagers and couldn't be happer.  1 packet to 5G room temp.

I'm right there with you, man.  I'll spend more time researching and doing math problems some other time.  Until then, one pack of lager yeast in 5 gallons seems good to me too, and delivers great results, so why question.  :)
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: narcout on September 23, 2016, 07:25:28 PM
Basically, you are pitching a certain number of cells into your wort (X) which then grows to a larger number of cells (Y) during the growth phase.

If you calculate Y as the max cell density per liter of wort and estimate X, there is a formula you can use to determine how many growth cycles it takes for X cells to become Y cells.

It isn’t really necessary.

More info can be found here if you are interested:  https://www.experimentalbrew.com/blogs/saccharomyces/yeast-cultures-are-nuclear-weapons
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: ynotbrusum on September 23, 2016, 09:47:26 PM
I, too, use 34/70 and S-189 for lagers with one sachet for a 5 gallon batch (unless extraordinarily high OG).  I once used 3 sachets on a 10 gallon batch, but then found that 1 per 5 was sufficient, so 2 in a 10er should be fine.  Highly viable product that dry yeast is.  I hope they keep expanding the strains; I want to try that ESB that just came out, too.
Title: Re: Are We All Overpitching All Dry Yeasts?!
Post by: Philbrew on September 24, 2016, 03:51:40 AM
I am totally lost.  Somehow I was under the impression that a packet of Saflager 3470 contains 200B cells and never heard of using replication.  I don't really care.  I am successfully using it in lagers and couldn't be happer.  1 packet to 5G room temp.
Fermentis' tech specs for Saflager W-34/70 say viable cells > 6x10*9/gram.  So a 11.5 gram packet would have greater than 69B cells at minimum.  Fermentis is being very conservative with that number.  Dave's research says that the normal number of cells in a packet is, in fact, more like 200B!  So, 1 pack to 5 gal. should work fine if you aerate well and your sanitizing is good.  I pitch 1 pack of 34/70 in 5.5 gal. pils @ 1.050 and it comes out great.