Author Topic: Yeast for a porter  (Read 1051 times)

Offline skyler

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Re: Yeast for a porter
« Reply #30 on: November 09, 2019, 01:07:18 AM »
In my experience, 1450 is moderately to very temperature-sensitive. I adore it in dark ales fermented 62-66F, but find it to be a poor performer much cooler and I have found it to throw out a lot of esters in the 72-74F range. One pack to 2.5 gallons is the correct pitch rate (assuming moderate gravity and a reasonably fresh pack), not some sort of overpitch. The roasty grains masking flaws is highly likely, as some people are more sensitive to yeast-driven flavors than others and some people like esters that others don't. For example, lots of people love WLP007 and I absolutely hate it. Warm, cool, English bitters, porters, and West Coast IPA -- I have hated that yeast in all of them because I find the ester profile weird (and yes, I do like Stone beers, but not that much and I frequently disliked the "one off" beers they had at their facility in Napa when I lived there last year). Likewise, I really like S-04 fermented super cool (58-62F) and I know a lot of people who despise it in any capacity.

Offline Megary

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Re: Yeast for a porter
« Reply #31 on: November 09, 2019, 01:17:12 PM »
I would agree that if 1450 produced any esters/off floavors, it was the dark grains that helped to mask them.  However, I previously used 1450 in a IPA at the same 68 room temp and it was unnoticeable there as well.  Maybe that time it was the hops doing the work of the dark grains and hiding any issues??  Hard to say, but all I've noticed from 1450 at this temp is solid attenuation: 81% with the IPA, 74% with the porter.

I don't doubt you on pitch rate.  Frankly I don't understand pitch rate at all.  I used a calculator once to determine if my liquid yeast was still viable and it told me, based on the date of the package, that all my yeast was already dead!  I smacked the pack, it blew up like a balloon, in it went and fermentation proceeded as usual.   ???  I don't use calculators anymore.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Yeast for a porter
« Reply #32 on: November 09, 2019, 03:05:41 PM »
I don't doubt you on pitch rate.  Frankly I don't understand pitch rate at all.  I used a calculator once to determine if my liquid yeast was still viable and it told me, based on the date of the package, that all my yeast was already dead!  I smacked the pack, it blew up like a balloon, in it went and fermentation proceeded as usual.   ???  I don't use calculators anymore.

IMO all the calculators run conservative on yeast viability which kind of makes sense that you would rather have a calculator undershoot viability and take steps to make sure you pitch healthy yeast than have the calculator overshoot and then you don't pitch enough healthy yeast and end up with fermentation problems.

I believe most of them rely on viability expectations from yeast labs who themselves want to be known as reliable producers of healthy yeasts and conservatively estimate viability. That way shops will stock and sell you fresh product so you get good fermentations and they get happy customers.

A lot of this is strain dependent, too. Some strains are viable and easy to revive even after years in the back of your fridge but others are tough to get to grow and be healthy a little outside of the yeast lab's viability expectations. You'll never go wrong buying fresh yeast but with older yeast you should give yourself a little time cushion to make a starter and grow up the yeast volume if needed.
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Offline denny

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Re: Yeast for a porter
« Reply #33 on: November 09, 2019, 03:51:45 PM »
In my experience, 1450 is moderately to very temperature-sensitive. I adore it in dark ales fermented 62-66F, but find it to be a poor performer much cooler and I have found it to throw out a lot of esters in the 72-74F range. One pack to 2.5 gallons is the correct pitch rate (assuming moderate gravity and a reasonably fresh pack), not some sort of overpitch. The roasty grains masking flaws is highly likely, as some people are more sensitive to yeast-driven flavors than others and some people like esters that others don't. For example, lots of people love WLP007 and I absolutely hate it. Warm, cool, English bitters, porters, and West Coast IPA -- I have hated that yeast in all of them because I find the ester profile weird (and yes, I do like Stone beers, but not that much and I frequently disliked the "one off" beers they had at their facility in Napa when I lived there last year). Likewise, I really like S-04 fermented super cool (58-62F) and I know a lot of people who despise it in any capacity.

FWIW, I often run 1450 in the mid to upper 50s without problems.
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Offline denny

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Re: Yeast for a porter
« Reply #34 on: November 09, 2019, 03:53:20 PM »
I would agree that if 1450 produced any esters/off floavors, it was the dark grains that helped to mask them.  However, I previously used 1450 in a IPA at the same 68 room temp and it was unnoticeable there as well.  Maybe that time it was the hops doing the work of the dark grains and hiding any issues??  Hard to say, but all I've noticed from 1450 at this temp is solid attenuation: 81% with the IPA, 74% with the porter.

I don't doubt you on pitch rate.  Frankly I don't understand pitch rate at all.  I used a calculator once to determine if my liquid yeast was still viable and it told me, based on the date of the package, that all my yeast was already dead!  I smacked the pack, it blew up like a balloon, in it went and fermentation proceeded as usual.   ???  I don't use calculators anymore.

Pitch rate is a canard. Yeast vitality what really matters not exact cell counts.
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Offline BrewBama

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Yeast for a porter
« Reply #35 on: November 09, 2019, 09:28:28 PM »
While yeast health vitality is certainly a high priority, I believe a robust pitch rate of healthy yeast reduces lag time, reduces stress (and possibly the resulting off flavors), and finishes quickly and completely.


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« Last Edit: November 09, 2019, 09:37:00 PM by BrewBama »
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Offline Robert

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Re: Yeast for a porter
« Reply #36 on: November 09, 2019, 10:14:50 PM »
While yeast health vitality is certainly a high priority, I believe a robust pitch rate of healthy yeast reduces lag time, reduces stress (and possibly the resulting off flavors), and finishes quickly and completely.


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Offline Megary

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Re: Yeast for a porter
« Reply #37 on: November 09, 2019, 11:15:13 PM »
Denny and Brew Bama sum up my thoughts on pitching yeast.  The one thing I have come to appreciate about brewing 2.5gal. batches is that even if a properly handled pack of yeast has some dearly departed members, there always seems to be plenty left to do the job.  I won't dismiss cell count/pitch rate - in the extreme, 0 active cells won't ferment anything -  just that I don't think the calculators are particularly accurate. At least not for packaged yeast, for all the reasons reverseapachemaster mentions. Maybe for starters they are more useful?  I'll never know.

Offline denny

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Re: Yeast for a porter
« Reply #38 on: November 10, 2019, 05:34:43 PM »
While yeast health vitality is certainly a high priority, I believe a robust pitch rate of healthy yeast reduces lag time, reduces stress (and possibly the resulting off flavors), and finishes quickly and completely.


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Which is true...you need to pitch an appropriate amount of healthy yeast.  But as long as it's "enough", cell count doesn't matter.
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Offline Robert

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Re: Yeast for a porter
« Reply #39 on: November 10, 2019, 06:17:15 PM »
But "enough" really is a matter of biomass, fundamentally, which is measurable as cell count, even if you are measuring by a proxy like volume instead of actual counts with a hemocytometer.  I think the terminology can mislead homebrewers.  This is aggravated by the proliferation  of calculators that presume to predict actual cell count when they really have no way of doing so, which just makes homebrewers focus on imagined cell counts.  We really need to think in terms of mass of healthy yeast and empirically find a way of judging that that gives consistent results.  For me, volume of slurry is the only thing I can estimate with any consistency.
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Offline Visor

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Re: Yeast for a porter
« Reply #40 on: November 11, 2019, 03:58:47 PM »
   But density of the slurry can vary dramatically, sometimes the harvested yeast has the consistency of warm molasses, sometimes cold peanut butter. I have little doubt that there a buttload more yeast cells per mL in the thicker stuff than the thin stuff. In the absence of some way to accurately test the viability of that yeast, I'm not going to presume to guess at it. I know what usually works for me, but "usually" isn't the same as "always".
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Offline Robert

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Re: Yeast for a porter
« Reply #41 on: November 11, 2019, 04:05:18 PM »
   But density of the slurry can vary dramatically, sometimes the harvested yeast has the consistency of warm molasses, sometimes cold peanut butter. I have little doubt that there a buttload more yeast cells per mL in the thicker stuff than the thin stuff. In the absence of some way to accurately test the viability of that yeast, I'm not going to presume to guess at it.
Well, my system has evolved so that my slurry is allowed to pack down to a consistent consistency ( ) from which I judge the amount needed for pitching (this varies with gravity, temperature, and age of slurry, and maybe intuition.)  It may be somewhat arbitrary, but I'd bet less so than any of the calculators and charts out there, and it's proven to work for me.  So I trust consistent experience over somebody else's assumptions.
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Offline Visor

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Re: Yeast for a porter
« Reply #42 on: November 11, 2019, 04:42:08 PM »
   Yup, where would we be without good ol' SWAGs?
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