Author Topic: over pitching yeast  (Read 4193 times)

Offline jimrod

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over pitching yeast
« on: December 03, 2011, 11:05:30 AM »
What are the symptoms of over pitching yeast? Is there a flavor that is recognizable?

I got a little nervous and started adding additional packs of US O5 to a 6 gal batch of ale (1.060)  because after 4 days there was little activity in the fermentation lock. I thought I had some bad or old yeast so I added more. I ended up pitching 3 packs of US O5.

The lack of activity wasn't the yeast fault, the gasket wasn't seated correctly under the lid of the conical to form an airtight fit.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: over pitching yeast
« Reply #1 on: December 03, 2011, 11:27:18 AM »
I'm not laughing, more shaking my head. :-\  You can find repeated posts around here that airlock activity is not a reliable sign of fermentation in a bucket. ;)

That said, while three packs is a lot it is not so much that I would expect any off flavors.  RDWHAHB.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline timberati

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Re: over pitching yeast
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2011, 03:57:45 PM »
I'm not laughing, more shaking my head. :-\  You can find repeated posts around here that airlock activity is not a reliable sign of fermentation in a bucket. ;)

That said, while three packs is a lot it is not so much that I would expect any off flavors.  RDWHAHB.
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Offline bo

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Re: over pitching yeast
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2011, 09:25:30 PM »
What are the symptoms of over pitching yeast? Is there a flavor that is recognizable?

I got a little nervous and started adding additional packs of US O5 to a 6 gal batch of ale (1.060)  because after 4 days there was little activity in the fermentation lock. I thought I had some bad or old yeast so I added more. I ended up pitching 3 packs of US O5.

The lack of activity wasn't the yeast fault, the gasket wasn't seated correctly under the lid of the conical to form an airtight fit.
Okay, laugh all you want. You know you've done the same thing.

We've ALL been there, even the ones laughing, which is so sad in a teaching forum. Anyway, I think your beer will be fine.

 Assuming you checked your gravity, check it again. Go by the gravity of the beer, not the bubbles. Don't get me wrong, I still look at my airlocks, but after a while you get used to no bubbles and check other things first before you panic,.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2011, 09:27:57 PM by bo »

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Re: over pitching yeast
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2011, 07:49:03 AM »
Yup, don't rely on air lock bubbles to indicate fermentation activity. You over pitched by about 3Xs. Not a highly recommended practice but  not a killer either.
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Offline musseldoc

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Re: over pitching yeast
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2011, 07:07:13 AM »
Agreed, I don't rely on airlock observations at all.  Often, I will just use foil instead of an airlock. 

Dry yeasts are so healthy that you shouldn't get any off flavors.  Remember though, pitching dry straight into wort will kill ~50% of the packet.  Pitching straight into beer (with alcohol) will reduce the number of viable cells even further.  You likely didn't over-pitch nearly what you think you have.  If, and I stress if, there were any concerns, it would be with the number of dead yeast cells. 

Myself, I would dump the yeast as soon as I could, and then enjoy the beer!
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Offline bluesman

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Re: over pitching yeast
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2011, 07:37:22 AM »
Yup, don't rely on air lock bubbles to indicate fermentation activity. You over pitched by about 3Xs. Not a highly recommended practice but  not a killer either.

+1

One key indicator is a healthy krausen on top of the wort. If you have a layer of krausen...you will be fermenting.
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Offline repo

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Re: over pitching yeast
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2011, 10:42:20 AM »
Well, overpitching can produce yeast autolysis flavors, which can be described as yeasty,soapy or smell like vitamin B. Also a lower amount of esters will be produced. Us-05 reccomends that 2 packets of properly handled, stored and rehydrated yeast be added to 5 gallons of wort at 1.060, you say you have 6 gallons. Also did you pitch 3 total or add 3 after you thought is wasn't working? As some previous advice stated I would drop the yeast as soon as possible, and think it will be fine. To accurately assess fermentation you need to take daily hydrometer readings-easily done from your conical. Krausen and airlock bubbling are great "indicators" , always confirm any assumptions with gravity checks.

Offline bluesman

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Re: over pitching yeast
« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2011, 10:56:33 AM »
Krausen and airlock bubbling are great "indicators" , always confirm any assumptions with gravity checks.

Sage advice here.

I view a bubbling airlock as confirmation that fermentation is in progress, however an idle air-lock doesn't necessarily mean that fermentation isn't occurring. It's a good indicator as well as a layer of krausen. I typically take a gravity reading after 7 days to determine the degree of attenuation. If I've reached my targeted gravity, I'll give the yeast several more (at a minimum) days to clean up the beer and take another reading. Once I've measured two of the same gravity readings on two consecutive days, I'll prepare to bottle or keg. It won't hurt to give the beer several days beyond terminal gravity if need be.
Ron Price