Author Topic: Okay to always pitch 2 packs of liquid yeast?  (Read 676 times)

Offline aplank

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Okay to always pitch 2 packs of liquid yeast?
« on: July 30, 2014, 07:54:11 AM »
I'm brewing IPAs, Dubbels, etc. Instead of yeast starters, and regardless of cost, is it okay to simply pitch two packs of liquid yeast for every 5 gallon batch? Thanks.

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Okay to always pitch 2 packs of liquid yeast?
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2014, 08:18:44 AM »
No problem with that. Most yeast calculators will tell you how many packs to pitch if you're not using a starter.
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Offline denny

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Re: Okay to always pitch 2 packs of liquid yeast?
« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2014, 08:29:11 AM »
I'm brewing IPAs, Dubbels, etc. Instead of yeast starters, and regardless of cost, is it okay to simply pitch two packs of liquid yeast for every 5 gallon batch? Thanks.

I'd say it's more like 2 or more.  As Jimmy said, use a calculator to determine the correct amount.
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Re: Okay to always pitch 2 packs of liquid yeast?
« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2014, 08:37:07 AM »
Depending on age, you might need 3-4 packs for 5 gal of IPA or Dubbel at typical gravities, but as long as the packs swell there's nothing wrong with that.
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Offline kylekohlmorgen

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Re: Okay to always pitch 2 packs of liquid yeast?
« Reply #4 on: July 30, 2014, 11:02:59 AM »
If I'm not making a yeast starter, I'm using dry yeast.

Dry yeast is a MUCH cheaper option to pitch the proper amount of cells without propagation. Safale S04 and S05 are great yeasts for most American and English styles. I've had great results with both in IPA, APA, and stouts. Lallemand and Mangrove Jack also have high quality dry yeast strains.

I haven't used any of the Belgian dry yeast strains, so I can't speak for them. You could always pitch a few liquid packs for one batch and save the slurry for future batches.
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Offline mattybrass

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Re: Okay to always pitch 2 packs of liquid yeast?
« Reply #5 on: July 30, 2014, 11:38:44 AM »
depending on the viability of the smack packs/vials 2 packs might not even be equal to 1 fresh smack pack.

I tend to brew styles i can use dry yeast for if im brewing without enough time to make a starter.

One of the other benefits of a starter that you probably wont get even with multiple smack packs is the benefit of decreased lag time between pitching and activity.

Offline aplank

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Re: Okay to always pitch 2 packs of liquid yeast?
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2014, 01:52:28 PM »
Thanks, everyone. Very helpful comments. Cheers!

Online HoosierBrew

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Re: Okay to always pitch 2 packs of liquid yeast?
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2014, 02:52:10 PM »
+1 to using a pitching rate calculator like Mr Malty. It'll point you to the right number of packs to use based on wort gravity and yeast age. I've used multiple packs on occasion in the past when I didn't have time to make a starter and didn't want to use one of the dry strains. Good luck !

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Offline archstanton

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Re: Okay to always pitch 2 packs of liquid yeast?
« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2014, 04:10:13 PM »
This is a subject of seemingly endless debate, with no one ever discussing the science involved. Pitching rates are guidelines not hard fast rules. They were also created from commercial breweries with regard to repitching yeast. I don't have my Yeast book with me but as I recall vitality is completely ignored. According to the yeast scientists, with doctorates in microbiology, you can pitch half as much fresh laboratory cultured yeast to get a quality fermentation.  I  have done it both ways and really the results are subjective and inconclusive IME.  The most important thing is to be consistent( as possible as one can), but I have no idea how much yeast I pitched from a starter or a straight pack. There are very different numbers being thrown out there from calculators depending on which person you go with.

As far dry yeast and pitching rates go, that  one is very difficult to ascertain.  Safale 04 and 05 for example have >69 billion cells at packaging according to Fermentis.  The liquid packs have about 100 billion. But the liquid is never enough and must be built up while the dry can just be sprinkled on without rehydrating ( which supposedly kills half the cells) Maybe someone here can help me with the math, cause I can't wrap my head around it.

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Offline 69franx

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Re: Okay to always pitch 2 packs of liquid yeast?
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2014, 05:24:30 PM »
That wont be the last bad pun you see on here, dont worry! ::)
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Re: Okay to always pitch 2 packs of liquid yeast?
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2014, 04:24:47 AM »
For liquid yeast on high gravity beers, you are better off either going with a starter or a pitch of yeast from a prior beer. You don't want to spend several hours laboring over your precious wort just to drop the ball when it comes to the most important aspect of making beer - fermentation - do you?

A lot of people worry they can't make a starter correctly but, if you can't make a half gallon starter wort competently, how are you going to pull off 5 gallons or more?

That said, if you don't want to make starters either use dry yeast of pitch 2 vials of yeast in a 5 gallon "starter beer" pale ale or other low gravity (under 1.050 preferably).

I personally would not roll the dice on a greater than 1.065 beer on a couple of pitches of yeast that may or may not be the amount of yeast you actually need depending on viability. 
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Okay to always pitch 2 packs of liquid yeast?
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2014, 11:49:50 AM »
+1 to Keith's suggestion...and you can always do direct pitching of a low hopped, lighter ABV batch of 2.5 gallons.  That is my SOP for building up lager yeast from the liquid vial or smack pack to step through a few generations and have something to drink from each successive step!
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