Author Topic: Yeast Starter Pitch Going Nuts  (Read 1452 times)

Offline wamille

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Yeast Starter Pitch Going Nuts
« on: April 24, 2016, 11:21:31 PM »
I pitched a 96 ounce generated glob of active yeast starter into a 1.072 OG wort under 24 hours ago.  The yeast is going nuts already.  I'm not used to such crazy yeast activity this soon... I also normally go with ease of use and pitch two packs of dry yeast seeing fermentation begin (slowly) about 24 hours later.  I'm worried I might have an infection, but not using big yeast starters, I'm not sure if I should be concerned.  Thoughts?

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Yeast Starter Pitch Going Nuts
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2016, 11:29:29 PM »
Probably just a healthy starter working it's magic. Recently several of my beers have been rolling along about 12 hours after pitching, healthy yeast make an incredible difference.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline crakers540

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Re: Yeast Starter Pitch Going Nuts
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2016, 12:18:51 AM »
Agreed.  I have had "blooping" start within 6 hours of pitching a large amount of an active starter culture. Sometimes, within 24 hours, I have had beer/foam coming up through my air-lock. Better than waiting several days and realizing your fermentation is "Stuck", and rush out to buy additional yeast.......

Offline wamille

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Re: Yeast Starter Pitch Going Nuts
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2016, 01:21:51 AM »
Yeah, the air lock is overflowing.  I am amazed.  Regarding the air lock.  I used to put vodka directly into the air lock, but now I leave it empty for the first three days to allow a little oxygen to come into the fermenter.  The air lock still has a cap.  Thoughts about this practice?

Offline Hickory

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Re: Yeast Starter Pitch Going Nuts
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2016, 03:06:40 AM »
Yeah, the air lock is overflowing.  I am amazed.  Regarding the air lock.  I used to put vodka directly into the air lock, but now I leave it empty for the first three days to allow a little oxygen to come into the fermenter.  The air lock still has a cap.  Thoughts about this practice?

Why would you want oxygen to come into the fermenter the first three days? From my understanding you shouldn't need any more oxygen after oxygenating before pitching your yeast. But I could be missing something.

Offline blair.streit

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Re: Yeast Starter Pitch Going Nuts
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2016, 03:18:58 AM »
Yeah, the air lock is overflowing.  I am amazed.  Regarding the air lock.  I used to put vodka directly into the air lock, but now I leave it empty for the first three days to allow a little oxygen to come into the fermenter.  The air lock still has a cap.  Thoughts about this practice?
Pretty quickly you'll have positive pressure coming out as the yeast begin producing CO2. Even before you see bubbles, CO2 is building up in the solution, so oxygen will not really make it into your beer that way in the early stages of fermentation. Leaving the airlock off or using a blowoff tube at that stage can reduce head pressure and prevent foam-overs though.

The airlock is more important as fermentation starts slowing down. At that point it can prevent contaminants or insects from getting into your beer.

Offline wamille

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Re: Yeast Starter Pitch Going Nuts
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2016, 04:12:21 AM »
I've always wondered about open fermentation.  I took a tour of Arcadia Brewing's facility in Battle Creek, Michigan and they use open fermentation.  At the time, I didn't really have questions about the concerns about infection... assumed the facility was super clean.  I was thinking the respiration cycle is roughly 72 hours and my yeast needed all the oxygen it could get during that period.  Anyway, just me thinking out load.

Offline blair.streit

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Re: Yeast Starter Pitch Going Nuts
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2016, 11:38:00 AM »
I've always wondered about open fermentation.  I took a tour of Arcadia Brewing's facility in Battle Creek, Michigan and they use open fermentation.  At the time, I didn't really have questions about the concerns about infection... assumed the facility was super clean.  I was thinking the respiration cycle is roughly 72 hours and my yeast needed all the oxygen it could get during that period.  Anyway, just me thinking out load.
Most of the places I know of that do open fermentations these days are trying to capture native yeast and other organisms for lambic style fermentation.

I know there are "clean" breweries that use open fermentation too, but I don't know enough about their controls, pitching rates or desired product to comment on how or why they do it that way.

As for me, I add the airlock after active fermentation slows because sometimes the fruit flies become interested in my beer. Since I have a few cables sneaking through the seals on my chest freezer I don't want to give them any opportunity to get in there. I worked too hard for this. If the fruit flies are thirsty they can make their own damned beer ;-)

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Yeast Starter Pitch Going Nuts
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2016, 12:30:30 PM »
Yeah, the air lock is overflowing.  I am amazed.  Regarding the air lock.  I used to put vodka directly into the air lock, but now I leave it empty for the first three days to allow a little oxygen to come into the fermenter.  The air lock still has a cap.  Thoughts about this practice?

I personally, would not do this. I understand that as active fermentation takes off, CO2 will push out, but who knows what temp swings (if any) are going on where you are fermenting which could lead to pulling things into your fermenter (cap on airlock or not). I do not believe this is a good practice.

If you want to go with airlock, then just use some sanitized foil over the top to reduce pressure. That way you are sure that nothing can get into your fermenter. I am sure you will be fine, but I would not make it a habit as it could come back to bite you in the ass. Just my .02.

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Yeast Starter Pitch Going Nuts
« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2016, 01:34:14 AM »
I personally, would not do this. I understand that as active fermentation takes off, CO2 will push out, but who knows what temp swings (if any) are going on where you are fermenting which could lead to pulling things into your fermenter (cap on airlock or not). I do not believe this is a good practice.

I rarely put anything in my airlocks other than the center piece before positive pressure begins these days (I often skip adding a liquid altogether).  Wild microflora does not crawl into a fermentation vessel.  It rides on house dust.  An airlock with the center piece and the cap is more than enough protection against house dust.  I incubate slants with the caps loose in a plastic container where the top does not seal air tight.  I also open ferment.  The goal is to keep dust from settling in the fermentation vessel before positive pressure begins.  From that point forward until fermentation stops, one can remove the airlock and bung altogether, and the batch will not get infected.







Offline brewinhard

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Re: Yeast Starter Pitch Going Nuts
« Reply #10 on: April 26, 2016, 05:49:08 PM »
I personally, would not do this. I understand that as active fermentation takes off, CO2 will push out, but who knows what temp swings (if any) are going on where you are fermenting which could lead to pulling things into your fermenter (cap on airlock or not). I do not believe this is a good practice.

I rarely put anything in my airlocks other than the center piece before positive pressure begins these days (I often skip adding a liquid altogether).  Wild microflora does not crawl into a fermentation vessel.  It rides on house dust.  An airlock with the center piece and the cap is more than enough protection against house dust.  I incubate slants with the caps loose in a plastic container where the top does not seal air tight.  I also open ferment.  The goal is to keep dust from settling in the fermentation vessel before positive pressure begins.  From that point forward until fermentation stops, one can remove the airlock and bung altogether, and the batch will not get infected.



Good point. If a 3-piece airlock is used then one would be safe.  But, is there not a chance, prior to fermentation producing positive pressure, that if one uses an S-shaped airlock a temperature drop in the wort could lead to negative pressure suckback of air/dust from outside the fermenter into the wort?

Offline blair.streit

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Re: Yeast Starter Pitch Going Nuts
« Reply #11 on: April 26, 2016, 07:43:12 PM »
I personally, would not do this. I understand that as active fermentation takes off, CO2 will push out, but who knows what temp swings (if any) are going on where you are fermenting which could lead to pulling things into your fermenter (cap on airlock or not). I do not believe this is a good practice.

I rarely put anything in my airlocks other than the center piece before positive pressure begins these days (I often skip adding a liquid altogether).  Wild microflora does not crawl into a fermentation vessel.  It rides on house dust.  An airlock with the center piece and the cap is more than enough protection against house dust.  I incubate slants with the caps loose in a plastic container where the top does not seal air tight.  I also open ferment.  The goal is to keep dust from settling in the fermentation vessel before positive pressure begins.  From that point forward until fermentation stops, one can remove the airlock and bung altogether, and the batch will not get infected.

Good point. If a 3-piece airlock is used then one would be safe.  But, is there not a chance, prior to fermentation producing positive pressure, that if one uses an S-shaped airlock a temperature drop in the wort could lead to negative pressure suckback of air/dust from outside the fermenter into the wort?
I'm with you there. That's actually one of the reasons I switched to using 3 piece airlocks.

Offline Phil_M

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Re: Yeast Starter Pitch Going Nuts
« Reply #12 on: April 26, 2016, 08:03:14 PM »
I don't see how a 3-piece airlock buys you anything vs. a S-type. Both are have holes, what's so special about one design that (when dry) air can't get into the fermentation chamber?

I've been putting a piece of foil over the carboy opening, much like what Saccharomyces outlined above. No issues so far.
Corn is a fine adjunct in beer.

And don't buy stale beer.

Offline blair.streit

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Re: Yeast Starter Pitch Going Nuts
« Reply #13 on: April 26, 2016, 08:13:02 PM »
I don't see how a 3-piece airlock buys you anything vs. a S-type. Both are have holes, what's so special about one design that (when dry) air can't get into the fermentation chamber?

I've been putting a piece of foil over the carboy opening, much like what Saccharomyces outlined above. No issues so far.
Sorry, I probably wasn't clear. I switched as I felt the 3 piece made it less likely that dust could get in if it's dry.

I guess with the design of the S type it's still well protected from falling dust, but I find it less likely that when I go from "dry" to "wet" that I'll accidentally "float" something further up into the airlock.

As for foil, I'm using a SS Brew Bucket so I need something that goes into a stopper. However, in a pinch I've used foil to cover the stopper hole. I always use foil on my Erlenmeyer.

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Yeast Starter Pitch Going Nuts
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2016, 01:12:57 AM »
I was thinking the respiration cycle is roughly 72 hours and my yeast needed all the oxygen it could get during that period.  Anyway, just me thinking out load.

There is no true respiration cycle with brewing yeast cultures because they are Crabtree positive.  All reproduction is fermentative.  What the yeast cells do is shunt O2 and a percentage of the carbon in the wort to the respiratory metabolic pathway for the biosynthesis of ergosterol and unsaturated fatty acids.  The yeast culture in the photo shown above is a Yorkshire square strain (NCYC 1333) that has an O2 demand that is so high that it cannot be fully met with pure O2 saturated wort.  Very high O2 demand is characteristic of Yorkshire strains, which is why they aerate actively fermenting wort with a shower head looking device known as a fish tail in Yorkshire breweries.  You can see a fish tail in action in this video: https://youtu.be/KJmLNj14C_w?t=12s