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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: Linz on November 20, 2009, 02:11:38 AM

Title: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
Post by: Linz on November 20, 2009, 02:11:38 AM
1. Yesterday I brewed a high OG Tripel (1.098) with a target FG of 1.014. I pitched (1) 100 billion cell packet of Wyeast 1388 Belgian Strong Ale. Fermentation started within 6 hrs, but I am wondering if the amount of yeast is enough for that high of an OG?  Should I add more yeast, and when would I want to do that?

2. The fermentation temp is supposed to be at 79 degrees. I am using a carboy heater, and when I got home the wort was up to ~86 or slightly higher. It was possibly at this temp for about 4-6 hrs, maybe less. I have unplugged the heater and wrapped the carboy in a wet towel to bring down the temp.  Is this amount of time at a temperature that's higher than desirable enough to kill/stunt the yeast or produce any off flavors in the beer?
Title: Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
Post by: a10t2 on November 20, 2009, 02:17:58 AM
1. 100B cells in a 1.098 beer is underpitching pretty substantially. Ideally you'd want about 400B cells. If you've hit active fermentation, though, there isn't really any point in adding more yeast now. Just look into making a starter for next time. http://mrmalty.com (http://mrmalty.com)

2. The yeast actually LOVE warmer temperatures, but they'll contribute to producing some off-flavors (many of which are the same as those from underpitching). Personally I think even 79°F is too warm, but with Belgians there are several schools of thought on that. The first day or two is the most important time to control temperatures.

So there are a couple strikes against you, but it doesn't necessarily mean there will be a problem with the beer. A little extra time in the primary can't hurt, especially on a beer this big. I'd go at least a month.
Title: Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
Post by: bonjour on November 20, 2009, 02:38:18 AM
With that size of beer you should have used a starter.  I'll say don't worry about that forthis beer but remember for the future.

The yeast love the warmer temps, especially belgians.  The higher temps is what helps thro\w the characteristic belgian flavors, fruity and a bit of phenolic that works well in that style.  Saisons are actually brewed at the temps you got to.  The flavors that you are likely to get are most likely the corect flavors for your beer, but at a higher level.  Time will help these to soften a bit.  Again remember for next time.

Fred
Title: Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
Post by: Linz on November 20, 2009, 02:53:13 AM
Thanks for your knowledge!  Maybe I got a little slap happy with trying to get our ABV up.  But, it sounds like all is not lost. :-)
Title: Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
Post by: bonjour on November 20, 2009, 02:59:18 AM
Higher abv beers are going to ferment harder and potentially have a higher temp rise during fermentation.  This is/was the biggest issue with this beer. 

Fred
Title: Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
Post by: majorvices on November 20, 2009, 12:25:05 PM
And even with Belgians you do not want to pitch in the upper 70s. That's far too arm for any strain. You are going to have a far better beer keeping the fermentation temps in the mid to high 60s for at least the first few days and then, if you want, ramp the temps up near the end of fermentation to insure attenuation. If you would have pitched at a more "proper" temp, say 66, I doubt you would have had that short of a lag.
Title: Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
Post by: corkybstewart on November 20, 2009, 03:53:27 PM
I've had very high OG beers spike at that temp and taste like kerosene, but I found that leaving it in primary a couple of weeks after the beer gets to FG will help clean up those fusels.
Title: Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
Post by: Linz on November 20, 2009, 07:13:30 PM
We pitched at about 75-76, I think.  I followed the instructions on the yeast packet.
Title: Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
Post by: denny on November 20, 2009, 07:34:54 PM
I gotta tell ya, Linz, that in my opinion and that of many others, those instructions are geared toward yeast performance and not beer quality.  Most of us have found through trial and error that pitching in the low-mid 60s for ales makes a far better beer.  2 other things where experience differs from instructions....do NOT pitch lagers in the 70s, then cool them down. It's far better to get lagers (any beer, really) at or below your intended fermentation temp, then let the heat generated by fermentation warm it back up.  And finally, don't believe that a smack pack or vial is directly pitchable into anything over a 1.030 wort, no matter what they try to tell you!  ;)  My experience is that any beer I've made a starter for has turned out better than any beer I haven't made a starter for.  For info on starters, see Jamil's site mrmalty.com
Title: Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
Post by: ndcube on November 20, 2009, 08:00:29 PM
I used that yeast the last week in May for a beer that size and I must have underpitched somehow.  I'll have to check my notes.
Had a lot of fermentables too.  2 lbs of sugar and a long mash in the 140's.

It stalled at around 1.018.  It's still pootin' along though.  Checked it a few weeks ago and it was 1.012.  I'll let it go until it stops.

I think the fact that this strain doesn't floc out is keeping it going slowly.
Title: Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
Post by: Linz on November 20, 2009, 09:19:24 PM
Wow!  Thanks for the pearls of homebrewing wisdom, everyone. 

Denny, I think I'll be making a starter with the next batch and pitching at lower temps from now on. ;)

I'm having so much fun, feeling adventurous, and loving the new forum!
Title: Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
Post by: denny on November 20, 2009, 09:22:04 PM
We're all loving the new forum....thanks for all your effort on it!
Title: Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
Post by: tygo on December 13, 2009, 03:14:39 AM
I've been tooling around on the forum looking for a topic on this subject before starting a new one, and I found one!  I thought there was one out there.   :)

I'm planning a Belgian strong golden ale.  Shooting for an OG around 1.095.  I'm planning on using WY 3787 and making a 3 qt starter with a cell count target of about 250B.

My question is should I just pitch that starter and let it run?  I know that will work but should I plan for an additional yeast addition after the initial pitch?  And in general, for high gravity beers when (gravity-wise) do you need to throw in additional yeast additions?

I've also seen reference in some posts about adding oxygen when adding yeast after the initial pitch.  That confuses me a little since my understanding was to keep oxygen out of the beer after the initial aeration.



Title: Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
Post by: a10t2 on December 13, 2009, 05:31:12 AM
At 1.095 you won't need to do any re-yeasting. 250B cells is a little low though; standard would be about 350B.

If you like on really big beers you can aerate a second time after roughly 12 hours. As long as the yeast are in or just coming out of the "lag phase" it won't have time to oxidize your beer.
Title: Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
Post by: tom on December 13, 2009, 05:31:52 AM
Making a starter for a big beer (or any beer) is a great idea. How did you decide on a 3L starter? Depending on how you do your starters, check out the yeast pitching calculator at http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html by Jamil Z.

If you pitch adequate, viable yeast, oxygenate well at pitching, and watch your fermentation temperature you should get great beer without needing to add any more yeast.
Title: Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
Post by: tygo on December 13, 2009, 01:59:15 PM
I'm using Jamil's calculator, sort of.  His calculator uses the 1 million cells x 1 ml wort x 1 degree plato and factors that down by some amount, looks like to about 80% of the value you get from that equation for ales.  For a 1.095 ale he comes up with 305B cells.  I had factored that down a bit more but after looking at it again agree that it should be higher.  Probably up to the full amount called for by the equation.

After I figure out the number of cells I'm shooting for I'm using the table on page 68 of How to Brew to decide on the starter size.
Title: Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
Post by: coypoo on December 15, 2009, 06:45:22 PM
what table is that? I am trying to find online and I guess I am missing it?
Title: Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
Post by: denny on December 15, 2009, 06:56:50 PM
what table is that? I am trying to find online and I guess I am missing it?

mrmalty.com
Title: Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
Post by: coypoo on December 15, 2009, 07:24:40 PM
Ah. I know about that one, i have that on my favorites bar
Title: Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
Post by: tygo on December 15, 2009, 07:34:38 PM
what table is that? I am trying to find online and I guess I am missing it?

The yeast growth table I referred to in my earlier post is in How to Brew 3rd edition on page 68 I believe.  It has initial cell count down one side and starter sizes from 1-4 qts (liters) on the top to estimate how many cells a starter will give you.  I don't think that table is on the online version.
Title: Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
Post by: coypoo on December 15, 2009, 09:23:31 PM
what table is that? I am trying to find online and I guess I am missing it?

The yeast growth table I referred to in my earlier post is in How to Brew 3rd edition on page 68 I believe.  It has initial cell count down one side and starter sizes from 1-4 qts (liters) on the top to estimate how many cells a starter will give you.  I don't think that table is on the online version.

that sux, that sounds like a pretty useful table
Title: Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
Post by: tygo on December 19, 2009, 09:11:38 PM
Went with a two quart starter.  Once that's done I'll chill it for a couple of days, decant, and toss another two quarts in there.  That should get me to about 320B or so.