Author Topic: The way you use your yeast...  (Read 7490 times)

Offline denny

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Re: The way you use your yeast...
« Reply #30 on: September 25, 2015, 10:00:30 PM »
My only issue with the shaken not stirred method that Mark uses is the amount of starter wort going into the fermenter. I understand it's not nasty wort like that from a stir plate or constantly aerated starter, but it's still a large amount going into a 5 gallon batch.

I limited mine to a qt.  My OCD side says that's still too much, but we'll see.
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Offline denny

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Re: The way you use your yeast...
« Reply #31 on: September 25, 2015, 10:04:42 PM »
I think you need to know your strain and what over pitching is for that strain. See the comment I made on the Brewpub using 022 Essex.

Agreed.  But Dr. Cone's info seems to be diametrically opposed to what you usually hear.  Is there some other way to interpret this? (boldface by me)

http://www.danstaryeast.com/articles/yeast-growth

   Ester and other flavor component production or synthesis is a complex subject because there are so many variables taking place at the same time. You are right, ester production is related to yeast growth but not in the way you might think. The key element to yeast growth and ester production is acyl Co-A. It is necessary for both yeast growth and ester production. When it is busy with yeast growth, during the early part of the fermentation, it is not available for ester production. Ester production is directly related to biomass production. Everything that increases biomass production (intensive aeration, sufficient amount of unsaturated fatty acids, stirring) decreases ester production. The more biomass that is produced the more Co-enzyme A is used and therefore not available for ester production. Anything that inhibits or slows down yeast growth usually causes an increase in ester production: low nutrient, low O2. It has been noted that a drop in available O2 from 8 ppm down to 3 ppm can cause a four fold increase in esters.

Stirring in normal gravity decreases ester production. Stirring in high gravity increases ester production. CO2 pressure in early fermentation decreases ester production. Taller fermenters produce less esters than short fermenters. High temperature early in fermentation decreases ester production. High temperature later in fermentation increases ester production. Low pitching rate can result in less esters.

There are other flavor components such as higher alcohol that have there own set of variables. Stirring increases production of higher alcohols. CO2 pressure does not effect the production of alcohol. Amino acid levels in the wort effect the production of higher alcohols. Most of the higher alcohol is produced during the growth phase (exponential phase) of the yeast. I am sure that there are many other variables. I am also sure that there are beer makers that have experienced the very opposite with each of the variables.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2015, 10:06:46 PM by denny »
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: The way you use your yeast...
« Reply #32 on: September 25, 2015, 10:30:50 PM »
I made beer pitching dry 05 and it made the most exciting beer I have ever made, because it was the first beer I had ever made and I was very easily excited.

Then I made beer with a smack pack, then shaken starters, then stirplates. The best in that chain of events was the stirplate starters, but I was also learning and improving other issues simultaneously.  Like temp control, etc.

Lately I have been oxygenating my starters, precanned wort with nutrients, and then shaking a little too. Best yeast starters so far, by far.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: The way you use your yeast...
« Reply #33 on: September 26, 2015, 12:30:25 AM »
I think you need to know your strain and what over pitching is for that strain. See the comment I made on the Brewpub using 022 Essex.

Agreed.  But Dr. Cone's info seems to be diametrically opposed to what you usually hear.  Is there some other way to interpret this? (boldface by me)

http://www.danstaryeast.com/articles/yeast-growth

   Ester and other flavor component production or synthesis is a complex subject because there are so many variables taking place at the same time. You are right, ester production is related to yeast growth but not in the way you might think. The key element to yeast growth and ester production is acyl Co-A. It is necessary for both yeast growth and ester production. When it is busy with yeast growth, during the early part of the fermentation, it is not available for ester production. Ester production is directly related to biomass production. Everything that increases biomass production (intensive aeration, sufficient amount of unsaturated fatty acids, stirring) decreases ester production. The more biomass that is produced the more Co-enzyme A is used and therefore not available for ester production. Anything that inhibits or slows down yeast growth usually causes an increase in ester production: low nutrient, low O2. It has been noted that a drop in available O2 from 8 ppm down to 3 ppm can cause a four fold increase in esters.

Stirring in normal gravity decreases ester production. Stirring in high gravity increases ester production. CO2 pressure in early fermentation decreases ester production. Taller fermenters produce less esters than short fermenters. High temperature early in fermentation decreases ester production. High temperature later in fermentation increases ester production. Low pitching rate can result in less esters.

There are other flavor components such as higher alcohol that have there own set of variables. Stirring increases production of higher alcohols. CO2 pressure does not effect the production of alcohol. Amino acid levels in the wort effect the production of higher alcohols. Most of the higher alcohol is produced during the growth phase (exponential phase) of the yeast. I am sure that there are many other variables. I am also sure that there are beer makers that have experienced the very opposite with each of the variables.

Chris White was at the LHBS, a few years back for big brew. When I mentioned Dr. Cone I could detect a expression on his face that said he did not agree, he said try under pitching for more esters, especially for British styles IIRC.

There may be an ester production that is bi-modal for ester production, high for low pitch rates, just right for recommended, high for high pitch rates. That is speculation on my part, but it might explain the two camps on this subject. Yeast strain is probably a big knob too.

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Offline brewday

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Re: The way you use your yeast...
« Reply #34 on: September 26, 2015, 02:43:35 AM »
I get around this by popping it in the fridge and decanting or doing the "native starter" method with wort from the batch as my batches aren't at pitching temp until later in the day or the next morning anyway. Just take a liter off the batch, cool with ice bath, pitch yeast, shake, pitch whole thing 8-10 hours later when the main wort is cool in the fermenter. Easy peasy. This method actually seems to take off faster than traditional "shaken, not stirred."

I'm all-in on the native/self/indigenous/draflaussen starter method after the last 6 or 7 batches.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: The way you use your yeast...
« Reply #35 on: September 26, 2015, 12:42:20 PM »
My only issue with the shaken not stirred method that Mark uses is the amount of starter wort going into the fermenter. I understand it's not nasty wort like that from a stir plate or constantly aerated starter, but it's still a large amount going into a 5 gallon batch.

I limited mine to a qt.  My OCD side says that's still too much, but we'll see.
Right, what makes this work is both the smaller starter size, and pitching it at high krausen so you aren't pitching spent/oxidized wort. I have been using this successfully in my lagers for the past few batches and I think the only change I need to make is to make my starters even smaller. I'm not getting off flavors from the starter wort, but I'm on the fence about whether I'm getting less base malt character from dilution with DME. I've been making 2 quart starters for 3 gallons of 1.050's lagers. I'm thinking of going to just over a quart or maybe just going with the drauflassen method.
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Offline dilluh98

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Re: The way you use your yeast...
« Reply #36 on: September 26, 2015, 02:03:06 PM »
Self starter/drauflassen is also one less thing you have to prepare and boil...

Offline Thirsty_Monk

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Re: The way you use your yeast...
« Reply #37 on: September 26, 2015, 02:28:36 PM »

I also remember a podcast (Jamil and Tasty McDole or something?) saying that when you the pitch the proper amount of yeast or even a little less, the yeast go through a growth phase that actually contributes a flavor that beer drinkers find pleasing.  Overpitching pushes the yeast past that point and they don't produce that flavor.  That may be a load of huey but it came from people I place on a higher level so I'm hoping there is some truth to that.

Dr. Cone's theory is kinda the opposite.  He says that the same enzyme, acetyl co-A, is used for both yeast growth and ester production.  If it's doing one, it's not doing the other.  So, by pitching less yeast (NOT underpitching) you are actually producing fewer esters.

May be this is a strain related because I went thru 42 yeast generations and I did not noticed that over pitching would create more esters.
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Offline denny

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Re: The way you use your yeast...
« Reply #38 on: September 26, 2015, 05:44:40 PM »
Chris White was at the LHBS, a few years back for big brew. When I mentioned Dr. Cone I could detect a expression on his face that said he did not agree, he said try under pitching for more esters, especially for British styles IIRC.

There may be an ester production that is bi-modal for ester production, high for low pitch rates, just right for recommended, high for high pitch rates. That is speculation on my part, but it might explain the two camps on this subject. Yeast strain is probably a big knob too.

It would have been nice of Chris actually had a reason rather than an eye roll.  So, I guess it comes down to who ya gonna believe?  Both men have doctorates and both run large yeast companies.  I don't see one person's credentials being more valid than the others.  I can say that my own experience, with the strains I use, has been that making sure not to overpitch has resulted in better tasting beer.  I think...I'm pretty sure....but I haven't side by side tested it....yet.
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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: The way you use your yeast...
« Reply #39 on: September 27, 2015, 01:31:54 AM »
Chris White was at the LHBS, a few years back for big brew. When I mentioned Dr. Cone I could detect a expression on his face that said he did not agree, he said try under pitching for more esters, especially for British styles IIRC.

There may be an ester production that is bi-modal for ester production, high for low pitch rates, just right for recommended, high for high pitch rates. That is speculation on my part, but it might explain the two camps on this subject. Yeast strain is probably a big knob too.

It would have been nice of Chris actually had a reason rather than an eye roll.  So, I guess it comes down to who ya gonna believe?  Both men have doctorates and both run large yeast companies.  I don't see one person's credentials being more valid than the others.  I can say that my own experience, with the strains I use, has been that making sure not to overpitch has resulted in better tasting beer.  I think...I'm pretty sure....but I haven't side by side tested it....yet.
I'm not a scientist. Nor am I whatcha call educated. But, in situations other than brewing, I've seen what a scientist says conflict with what a very credible eye witness says. I've found that there are folks who deeply believe the scientist, who wasn't there, and whom they do not know. And conversely,  there are folks who are more likely to believe the credible eye witness and doubt the scientist. Blindly following authority smells too much like a priesthood-like situation for me. But taking what authority says and proving it by your own personal observations, rock solid.

So far, in my experience, too little yeast has, or tends to have, more effect on final flavor than too much yeast. But, I have made some beer pitching like two cups of thick slury to a normal gravity wort, and those beers just seemed lackluster. I dont think though that its just as simple as under pitch means more esters, or more yeast means more esters. In my experience, proper oxygenation and fermentation temp has way more effect on esters than pitching cell count. Not because I can quote any authority, its just my eye witness testimony. So, maybe you believe me, maybe you don't. And that's my point. In my book, I only care about what I'm witnessing. Not who I'm quoting about something I've never witnessed. But I also want to learn, and the only way I'll do that is by listening and then proving.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2015, 01:34:55 AM by klickitat jim »

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: The way you use your yeast...
« Reply #40 on: September 27, 2015, 01:46:34 AM »
Chris White was at the LHBS, a few years back for big brew. When I mentioned Dr. Cone I could detect a expression on his face that said he did not agree, he said try under pitching for more esters, especially for British styles IIRC.

There may be an ester production that is bi-modal for ester production, high for low pitch rates, just right for recommended, high for high pitch rates. That is speculation on my part, but it might explain the two camps on this subject. Yeast strain is probably a big knob too.


It would have been nice of Chris actually had a reason rather than an eye roll.  So, I guess it comes down to who ya gonna believe?  Both men have doctorates and both run large yeast companies.  I don't see one person's credentials being more valid than the others.  I can say that my own experience, with the strains I use, has been that making sure not to overpitch has resulted in better tasting beer.  I think...I'm pretty sure....but I haven't side by side tested it....yet.
he did say something about acetyl-CoA production along with the expression. Gave the British Brewers as an example. I think this is an area we could explore as thinking rational home brewers. As I said, the local brewpub found they could make a beer with less esters by doubling the pitch rate. I was surprised when I had a beer they doubled the pitch rate on, it did not taste like Essex yeast.

We are homebrewers, we can figure out what works for us, right?  ;)
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Offline Village Taphouse

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Re: The way you use your yeast...
« Reply #41 on: September 27, 2015, 02:05:53 AM »
I like what klickatat jim is saying and I agree with it.  I also hear you guys when you say that we all know what works in our experiences and for our own tastebuds.  There are certainly a lot of variables.  One person's delicious beer is another person's ester- or phenol-bomb.  We all have different tastebuds and we all have different goals.  I feel like the way I'm doing things at this very moment is producing some great beer.  I always make starters for lagers.  I often pitch just the contents of a Wyeast ale pack for a 1.050 ale.  I reuse yeast 3 or 4 times and then I get a little squeamish thinking that it could mutate or whatever and by that time I should be moving onto a different strain anyway.  I have always had an issue with the "technical and nerdy" part of the hobby getting in the way of the "fun" part of the hobby.  But going through all that work to end up with only moderately good beer is no fun so you're going to have to get your hands dirty to some extent.  Cheers Beerheads.
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Re: The way you use your yeast...
« Reply #42 on: September 27, 2015, 02:25:06 AM »
Brewing is art.  Just like cooking.

I see this analogy made all of the time, but brewing has nothing in common with cooking.  The only culinary art that has anything in common with brewing is baking.

The only art in brewing is making wort, and even that step involves biochemistry.  We make wort.  Yeast cells make beer.  Fermentation is a science, but it is a science with a lot of variables because we are dealing with a living organism.  What brewers refer to as brewing art when referencing fermentation is little more than the scientific method applied to fermentation.  We do not have absolute control over what the yeast cells do after they are pitched, but we can steer a fermentation through observation and adjustment.  That's the scientific method.

Offline Wort-H.O.G.

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Re: The way you use your yeast...
« Reply #43 on: September 27, 2015, 02:28:47 AM »
It was said well earlier - science and art = craft.  Beer is like food. We all like different things, variations, and simply know what pleases and displeases. Yes, there are certain absolutes in brewing....flaws that just make beer taste bad. And then there are fantastic variations of good characteristics that just thrill some, and fail to impress others. In this - neither is right or wrong....just personal preference and that's ok.


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Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: The way you use your yeast...
« Reply #44 on: September 27, 2015, 02:35:09 AM »
Brewing is art.  Just like cooking.

I see this analogy made all of the time, but brewing has nothing in common with cooking.  The only culinary art that has anything in common with brewing is baking.

The only art in brewing is making wort, and even that step involves biochemistry.  We make wort.  Yeast cells make beer.  Fermentation is a science, but it is a science with a lot of variables because we are dealing with a living organism.  What brewers refer to as brewing art when referencing fermentation is little more than the scientific method applied to fermentation.  We do not have absolute control over what the yeast cells do after they are pitched, but we can steer a fermentation through observation and adjustment.  That's the scientific method.
I instructed a young lad that had been to culinary school on how to brew beer. He said it was like baking to him. Everything was weighed and put in. You added yeast and applied the right time and temperature. You tasted the results when finished. In cooking it was more intuitive, and adjustments were made on the fly by tasting and course correcting. It was baking to him.
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