Author Topic: getting 30 bbls on line  (Read 1971 times)

Offline anthony

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Re: getting 30 bbls on line
« Reply #60 on: December 23, 2012, 07:56:06 PM »
My WAG is that it won't really matter whether you pitch for the first step or the whole volume, as long as you're consistent the beer should also be consistent. It might be worth experimenting. If you can save money pitching less yeast and make the same quality of beer, why not? It might be an expensive experiment, though.

The big problem with stuff like this is that it is usually non-linear in nature. So someone's experiment to prove this has no effect on a 6 gallon batch might not scale to 7 or even 30 bbls. Same thing with gravity, it could be that a beer with a gravity below 12 plato shows no issues but beers above have problems or vice-versa.

Ultimately, on a professional scale, while the yeast pitch is the most expensive component of many batches, unlike the majority of the other inputs, that cost gets split into a fraction as you reuse the yeast in each further generation. And the fact that most breweries are pretty religiously repitching makes an experiment like the above, even more risky, all for saving what will probably amount to $20-40.

Offline bluesman

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getting 30 bbls on line
« Reply #61 on: December 24, 2012, 07:23:31 AM »
I think the formula used by some breweries is .75 million cells/mL/degree Plato for ales, and 1.5 million cells/mL/degree Plato for lagers.

Don't know if this is the industry standard for pro-breweries but I think most homebrewing calculators use this formula.
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Offline nateo

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Re: getting 30 bbls on line
« Reply #62 on: December 24, 2012, 08:28:15 AM »
And the fact that most breweries are pretty religiously repitching makes an experiment like the above, even more risky, all for saving what will probably amount to $20-40.

I don't really see how it's risky, since that technique was so common in German brewing that they made a name for it. Sure, $20-40 isn't much per batch, but if you're doing 100-200 batches a year, that adds up.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: getting 30 bbls on line
« Reply #63 on: December 24, 2012, 08:46:27 AM »
Sure, $20-40 isn't much per batch, but if you're doing 100-200 batches a year, that adds up.

I think a more accurate way to look at it would be to say that the cost of a single yeast pitch, amortized over 100-200 batches, is insignificant. If there are any commercial breweries buying a fresh yeast pitch every time, well, they're doing it wrong.

The risky part would be trying the experiment and possibly ending up with a batch of beer that didn't meet your standards for sale.
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Offline nateo

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Re: getting 30 bbls on line
« Reply #64 on: December 24, 2012, 10:30:38 AM »
I think a more accurate way to look at it would be to say that the cost of a single yeast pitch, amortized over 100-200 batches, is insignificant. If there are any commercial breweries buying a fresh yeast pitch every time, well, they're doing it wrong.

The risky part would be trying the experiment and possibly ending up with a batch of beer that didn't meet your standards for sale.

If you're getting 100-200 batches out of a yeast pitch, you're only buying fresh yeast once a year. Most of the guys on the probrewer board are pitching fresh yeast about 5-15 repitches, and buying fresh pitches 5 or 6 times a year, or more. That's assuming you're using the same yeast for every beer you make, too. If you have 3 or more different strains, I don't think it's feasible to get 200 batches out of a single pitch.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: getting 30 bbls on line
« Reply #65 on: December 24, 2012, 12:07:11 PM »
I think a more accurate way to look at it would be to say that the cost of a single yeast pitch, amortized over 100-200 batches, is insignificant. If there are any commercial breweries buying a fresh yeast pitch every time, well, they're doing it wrong.

The risky part would be trying the experiment and possibly ending up with a batch of beer that didn't meet your standards for sale.

If you're getting 100-200 batches out of a yeast pitch, you're only buying fresh yeast once a year. Most of the guys on the probrewer board are pitching fresh yeast about 5-15 repitches, and buying fresh pitches 5 or 6 times a year, or more. That's assuming you're using the same yeast for every beer you make, too. If you have 3 or more different strains, I don't think it's feasible to get 200 batches out of a single pitch.
It is not a problem to get 200 batches out of a single pitch if your yeast management and brewing schedule are solid.  But yes, it helps if you use a single yeast strain.  You pitch the first one, then split it for the next 2-3 batches, then each of those can be split for subsequent batches, you hit 200 pretty fast.  The limiting factors are really the fermenters.  Many of the local breweries swap yeast back and forth, so it is not a problem for them and saves a bunch of money.
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Offline nateo

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Re: getting 30 bbls on line
« Reply #66 on: December 24, 2012, 12:20:25 PM »
The limiting factors are really the fermenters.

Yeah, assuming you average 14 days per batch in the FV, you'll need to brew 5 days a week and need 10 FVs to hit 240 batches per year. You might be able to do it with 9 FVs if you have a few beers that need less time. Most of the brewpubs/micros I've been to have half that many FVs.
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Offline anthony

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Re: getting 30 bbls on line
« Reply #67 on: December 24, 2012, 12:28:44 PM »
And the fact that most breweries are pretty religiously repitching makes an experiment like the above, even more risky, all for saving what will probably amount to $20-40.

I don't really see how it's risky, since that technique was so common in German brewing that they made a name for it. Sure, $20-40 isn't much per batch, but if you're doing 100-200 batches a year, that adds up.

I guess for me, $2-4k isn't worth it. In a year, that is an insignificant amount of our total costs.

It may have well been common in German brewing but it isn't common in American brewing. And you can be sure that if the cost/benefit was there, the larger breweries like AB-Inbev would be all over it; think how much they could save.

Anyhow, that is the great thing about the brewing business and being the owner/brewer, you can roll whichever way you want :)

Offline a10t2

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Re: getting 30 bbls on line
« Reply #68 on: December 24, 2012, 12:52:51 PM »
Most of the guys on the probrewer board are pitching fresh yeast about 5-15 repitches, and buying fresh pitches 5 or 6 times a year, or more.

I wouldn't agree that's a fair characterization of the industry, frankly. For every brewer you meet who believes there's a maximum number of repitches, there's one who's working on his 150th and not planning on stopping anytime soon. And even if you are only repitching through 10 "generations", that's 4-8 months of brewing, depending on turnover times.

At any rate, my point was that even if you're getting a relatively small (say 20-30ish) number of batches out of each pitch, the amortized cost of doubling or tripling up on that initial pitch is insignificant relative to the other consumables.
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Offline boulderbrewer

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Re: getting 30 bbls on line
« Reply #69 on: December 24, 2012, 10:01:31 PM »
Nice work, if those are 42 g Blichmanns you are what 3' 6". I knew you were small but damn!
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