Author Topic: Pitch Rate  (Read 1031 times)

Offline Werks21

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Pitch Rate
« on: October 15, 2015, 06:57:17 AM »
I have never calculated how may yeast cells I was pitching per liter before. I have had a calculator do that for me a bunch and then followed the recommendations, which has worked well but I have never decided to pitch X million cells per ml of wort. Not on my own. I have found information on pitching rates but there is just too much out there to know what is what. Or maybe I’m over thinking it. One big problem for me is “Fresh” vs repitch. Does anyone have guidelines that they have arrived at after weighing multiple reputable sources against their own experience and knowledge? I just don’t have enough to go on to be know which numbers are right. I am concerned with this detail because I have a split batch experiment going on and would like to have a relatively exacting starting point as well as understanding of proper pitching rates going forward.
Jonathan W.
Snohomish WA

RPIScotty

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Re: Pitch Rate
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2015, 08:51:49 AM »
You should check out the recent threads here detailing the "Shaken, Not Stirred" starter method. Besides explaining a great type of starter, there is loads of information about yeast that may answer a ton of questions for you.

"New Starter Procedure Trial" is a good place to start.


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Offline Werks21

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Re: Pitch Rate
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2015, 04:46:54 PM »
Scotty
Thaks, I am all over this board. I familiar with Shaken not stired starter and have read through most of the starter procedure trial thread.

It still seems like such a small amount of yeast, but if there is increased health and vigor, then that may make all the difference.

Why does a 1 to 19 step seem like a small amount of yeast?  Because some other brewer said that one has to pitch X number of cells per degree Plato per milliliter of wort?   What is the basis for that metric?  What were the environmental conditions under which the metric was developed?  How clean was the brewery? What was the average age of the cells? What amount of hydrostatic pressure were the cells subjected to previously? Without this data, the suggested pitching rates are not very useful in a home brewery.

Commercial pitching rates take into account the high microbial loads encountered in commercial breweries as well as the fact that a large percentage of the pitched cells have been through more than one fermentation, not to mention have had to endure significant hydrostatic pressure in tall cylindroconical fermentation vessels. Young yeast cells are like young humans when it comes to the ability to reproduce.  A 1L starter contains at least 50% new cells, and the old cells were grown under conditions designed to preserve health.  In essence, a starter is a totally different beast.

As I have stated many times, what determines if a fermentation will proceed successfully are the health of the cells going into the fermentation, dissolved O2, and the amount of carbon (and nitrogen) available to the cells.  If we pitch a small amount of cells that are in poor health into poorly aerated wort, we can expect less than stellar results.  If we pitch a normal amount of cells into high gravity wort, we can expect less than stellar results because the effects of high alcohol and high osmotic pressure coupled with lower O2 solubility wreak havoc on the cells and reproduction.


The first paragraph of marks response illustrates my question and concern here.

The information I am interested in very specifically is pitch rates, in number of cells per volume of wort. The information available from reputable sources is not the same across the board and does not always address Fresh pitch vs repitch.
That is what I started this thread to discuss in detail.


Jonathan W.
Snohomish WA

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Re: Pitch Rate
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2015, 05:09:38 PM »
There is no one correct pitching rate, and chasing one is a fool's errand.  One should pitch for performance, and the only way to gather that information is to experiment in one's brew house.  I guarantee you that any pitching rate between 3 and 10 billion cells per liter will produce a drinkable beer.  The difference will lie in the desired metabolic byproducts.  Beer without metabolic byproducts is bland tasting.

Offline Werks21

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Re: Pitch Rate
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2015, 02:08:13 AM »
I understand and agree with the fact that ideal pitching rates depend on many things and that experimentation is required. What I’m looking for is the best possible jumping off point for experimentation. Perhaps I am over thinking it. Perhaps I am not communicating as effectively as I thought I was. Or maybe it’s some combination thereof. Any way, at this point I will probably just use a calculator as a starting point.
Jonathan W.
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Re: Pitch Rate
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2015, 03:17:52 AM »
Yeast calculators are very conservative.

Offline Werks21

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Re: Pitch Rate
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2015, 05:48:25 AM »
I will keep that in mind.
Jonathan W.
Snohomish WA

Offline jtoots

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Re: Pitch Rate
« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2015, 11:58:39 AM »
Any way, at this point I will probably just use a calculator as a starting point.

+1

lots of overwhelming technical information being discussed here lately.  it's over my head and i'm sticking with what has worked for the time being. i guess the takeaway for me is that i'll take the calculator's information with a bigger dose of salt.

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Re: Pitch Rate
« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2015, 12:38:06 PM »
i guess the takeaway for me is that i'll take the calculator's information with a bigger dose of salt.

Make that a huge dose of salt

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Re: Pitch Rate
« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2015, 12:45:05 PM »
I used to go with that 1b per ml per º thing. Or did I? Because I don't count cells. So unless I count, whats the worry whether its actually .75 or 1 or 1.5 billion per ml per º?

Lately ive been letting the cells do the counting

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Re: Pitch Rate
« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2015, 12:59:26 PM »
This might help, go to the ale and lager sections at the bottom.

http://byo.com/grains/item/1717-yeast-pitching-rates-advance-homebrewing

A local brewpub that makes British influenced ales with WLP-022 will double the pitch rate if they want a cleaner American style ale. The take away is to get to know your yeast's performance and how to make the style of beer with it.
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Re: Pitch Rate
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2015, 01:10:37 PM »
The take away is to get to know your yeast's performance and how to make the style of beer with it.

Excluding all the technical info that's been discussed in the last few weeks, this seems to be the ultimate takeaway and the spirit, on a basic level, of said discussion.

Get to know your yeast.

Offline Werks21

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Re: Pitch Rate
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2015, 06:44:01 PM »
This might help, go to the ale and lager sections at the bottom.

http://byo.com/grains/item/1717-yeast-pitching-rates-advance-homebrewing

A local brewpub that makes British influenced ales with WLP-022 will double the pitch rate if they want a cleaner American style ale. The take away is to get to know your yeast's performance and how to make the style of beer with it.

That is a good in depth write up. Its one of the articles that started to make my head spin and ask who is right and what the correct nominal pitch rate is under new vs repitch conditions.
The bit about doubleing up to get a different style is very interesting. Perhaps I can find a favorite dual purpose yeast...

i guess the takeaway for me is that i'll take the calculator's information with a bigger dose of salt.

Make that a huge dose of salt

Is there some way to roughly quantify this dose of salt? Or is correct salt dosage of yeast calculators best determined through experimentation in ones own brew house?

The take away is to get to know your yeast's performance and how to make the style of beer with it.

Excluding all the technical info that's been discussed in the last few weeks, this seems to be the ultimate takeaway and the spirit, on a basic level, of said discussion.

Get to know your yeast.
I am working on it! Just installed heat in my 1993 custom deluxe model fermidaire and started a old fashioned fermentation log.(Comp notebook)

Lately ive been letting the cells do the counting

Thanks for the perspective/levity Jim, I have been pretty intense about this yeast business lately. I needed the laugh.
Jonathan W.
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Re: Pitch Rate
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2015, 07:42:20 PM »
Its tongue in cheek to an extent. But an element of truth there. Ive been told that beer will ferment with one cell. The trouble is that something else may take hold while you wait for that ~90min doubling rate to go from 1 cell to 1,000,000,000 cells. So if I get ~100 billion from wyeast and get them fired up in a liter, and pitch while they have their thing fired up, I figure in fairly short time they will figure out how many troops they need to do the job. Rather than trying to start with the right amount when I don't know how many I actually have... I let them do the counting.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Pitch Rate
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2015, 08:36:35 PM »
This might help, go to the ale and lager sections at the bottom.

http://byo.com/grains/item/1717-yeast-pitching-rates-advance-homebrewing

A local brewpub that makes British influenced ales with WLP-022 will double the pitch rate if they want a cleaner American style ale. The take away is to get to know your yeast's performance and how to make the style of beer with it.

That is a good in depth write up. Its one of the articles that started to make my head spin and ask who is right and what the correct nominal pitch rate is under new vs repitch conditions.
The bit about doubleing up to get a different style is very interesting. Perhaps I can find a favorite dual purpose yeast...

This goes right back to Mark's statement that there is no one correct pitch rate.  The right pitch depends on the results you're looking for.

The yeast calculators might be a good jumping off point, but you'll need to do some split batches or several consecutive batches with different pitch rates to determine what works for you.
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