Author Topic: Can I leave wort overnight in fermenter before pitching yeast?  (Read 3382 times)

Offline Joe_Beer

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 310
Brewed my first stove-top extract kit this morning. Went OK. I got a little mixed up with the directions on chilling. The recipe said to chill the wort to 130F and then dump into the fermenter with a couple gallons of top-off water. I guess the idea was the top-off would chill it down further. I santized a thermometer and checked the temp, it was down to 120 (I think this took close to 30 mins) so sanitized the fermenter and dumped it in. Checked the temp in the fermenter and it was 90F. Hrm... From what I understand, the Safele-05 really does best pitched no higher than 70F so I stuck the fermenter in my kegerator to chill. I sanitized the thermometer again and stuck it through the airlock hole and then wrapped a a piece of sanitized plastic around the hole to keep stuff out.  I think I'm going to need to leave it in the kegerator for a few hours before it's down to temp. Any harm in pulling it out and letting it go room temp until tomorrow to pitch the yeast? I only have room for on keg in my kegerator and I had to pull out the half barrel to put the fermenter in. I'd rather not let the 1/2 barrel warm too much.

UPDATE:
Just wanted to post an update to this.  I kegged this batch this morning (13th day in the fermenter). Gravity hasn't changed in five days. It smelled and tasted great!  That nasty looking trub even smelled wonderful. I was really surprised how "fresh" the beer smelled and tasted.  It reminded me of baked bread vs. store-bought. Such a stark comparison in flavor and aroma. Despite things going off the rails a bit during the entire process, it all still turned out! Thank you all for all the guidance on my various threads.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2020, 07:37:32 am by Joe_Beer »

Online dmtaylor

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 4517
  • Lord Idiot the Lazy
    • YEAST MASTER Perma-Living
Re: Can I leave wort overnight in fermenter before pitching yeast?
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2020, 07:24:57 am »
I often don't pitch yeast until the next morning.  It works well if you have a hard time cooling it down before bed.  No problem.
Dave

The world will become a much more pleasant place to live when each and every one of us realizes that we are all idiots.

Offline Joe_Beer

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 310
Re: Can I leave wort overnight in fermenter before pitching yeast?
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2020, 08:06:23 am »
Thanks for the experiential insight. Good to know!
I boiled the top-off water a couple days ago and left it in the kettle. Took it nearly two days to get to room temp  :o. If leaving the wort for a day (or more) without yeast would bungle the ferment I'd probably just leave it in the kegerator otherwise.

Offline BrewBama

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 5274
Re: Can I leave wort overnight in fermenter before pitching yeast?
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2020, 08:13:42 am »
Another vote for waiting. Until I began using my current cooling technique I often had to wait until the next morning to pitch yeast because my old fermentation fridge would struggle to get me into pitching temp range. 

No problem in waiting overnight for it to cool but I prefer my current method of recirculating ice water thru my immersion chiller which works like a champ so I can pitch right away.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Offline Andy Farke

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 370
  • Homebrewing Paleontologist
    • Andy's Brewing Blog
Re: Can I leave wort overnight in fermenter before pitching yeast?
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2020, 09:22:48 am »
To echo other commenters, I often pitch the next morning (especially for lagers, occasionally for ales). I figure the minor risk of contamination is outweighed by the major advantages of pitching under 70 degrees (or under 50 degrees, if I'm doing a lager).
____________________________
Andy Farke, Homebrewer and Paleontologist
Website: http://www.andybrews.com
Twitter: @andyfarke
Facebook: Farke Brewing

Offline Joe_Beer

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 310
Re: Can I leave wort overnight in fermenter before pitching yeast?
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2020, 10:02:41 am »
Really appreciate the speedy replies. I've read so much about "Hurry quick chill it within an hour!!!!" that I wasn't so sure about leaving it sit. It was cooled to 70.5F after 2.5 hours in the kegerator so took it out and pitched.  It's at 71 right now which is what the temp in my basement is.  Fingers crossed  ;)

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 25628
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Can I leave wort overnight in fermenter before pitching yeast?
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2020, 10:37:41 am »
You can even do no chill.....contrary to what you may have heard, it works great.

https://www.experimentalbrew.com/podcast/brew-files-episode-80-chill-out-or-dont
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline Steve Ruch

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1627
Re: Can I leave wort overnight in fermenter before pitching yeast?
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2020, 11:40:31 am »
Brewed my first stove-top extract kit this morning. Went OK. I got a little mixed up with the directions on chilling. The recipe said to chill the wort to 130F and then dump into the fermenter with a couple gallons of top-off water. I guess the idea was the top-off would chill it down further. I santized a thermometer and checked the temp, it was down to 120 (I think this took close to 30 mins) so sanitized the fermenter and dumped it in. Checked the temp in the fermenter and it was 90F. Hrm... From what I understand, the Safele-05 really does best pitched no higher than 70F so I stuck the fermenter in my kegerator to chill. I sanitized the thermometer again and stuck it through the airlock hole and then wrapped a a piece of sanitized plastic around the hole to keep stuff out.  I think I'm going to need to leave it in the kegerator for a few hours before it's down to temp. Any harm in pulling it out and letting it go room temp until tomorrow to pitch the yeast? I only have room for on keg in my kegerator and I had to pull out the half barrel to put the fermenter in. I'd rather not let the 1/2 barrel warm too much.
What temperature was your top up water?
I love to go swimmin'
with hairy old women

Offline Joe_Beer

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 310
Re: Can I leave wort overnight in fermenter before pitching yeast?
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2020, 03:36:28 am »
What temperature was your top up water?

I would guess room temp. I had boiled it beforehand and just moved the kettle, lid and all, straight to the basement for a couple days.

Offline Slowbrew

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2813
  • The Slowly Losing IT Brewery in Urbandale, IA
Re: Can I leave wort overnight in fermenter before pitching yeast?
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2020, 04:49:15 am »
+1 to leaving it overnight.

When I did extract and partial boils I wold put my water for topping off in the freezer before I started heating my boil kettle.  That would get it quite cold (not frozen) by the time I needed to chill the wort.  It saved a good amount of time.  Just an idea for you.

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline Kestrel Brewing

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: Can I leave wort overnight in fermenter before pitching yeast?
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2020, 04:40:56 pm »
Another option for quick cooling next time:
Get one of those big ass no splash funnels and a bag of ice from your local liquor store or supermarket. Run a hose from the boil kettle and clip it to the edge of the funnel so that liquid can still flow. Fill the funnel with ice and then release your wort into the funnel. Replenish with ice as it melts. Most commercial ice is made with RO water for clarity. The ice will cool the wort, you won't need as much water to top off, and the agitation of splashing around in the funnel increases your aeration. I've been doing this for about 7 years. Works like a charm. I usually get down to 90ยบ after topping up to 5 gal. I choose to pitch "hot" so I am usually pitching within 5 minutes of shutting off the burner.

Offline Fire Rooster

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 644
Re: Can I leave wort overnight in fermenter before pitching yeast?
« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2020, 03:08:47 pm »
Based on this thread, I'm trying no chill on a batch tomorrow morning.
Watched 1/2 dozen or so videos on utube.  One gent suggested leaving
it in the brew pot to cool.  His thoughts was pouring wort in a HDPE "Hot Cube"
would only introduced oxygen.  Leaving it in the brew pot that slow boiled for
an hour with hot steam, already sanitized everything and has lower oxygen.

The speidel HDPE fermenter has a stated max temperature of 140 F.
Basement floor is about 62 F. 20 lbs of ice is bought on brew day
, maybe no longer.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2020, 02:44:32 am by Fire Rooster »

Offline Bilsch

  • Assistant Brewer
  • ***
  • Posts: 232
Re: Can I leave wort overnight in fermenter before pitching yeast?
« Reply #12 on: July 17, 2020, 12:49:34 am »
The reason you want to get your wort cooled quickly and pitch is not only because of contamination issues but mostly about oxidation. Every moment it sits below boiling temperatures, where oxygen is once again soluble in the liquid, is doing damage to your hop and malt flavor. Can you leave your wort sit overnight? Sure. Is it favorable to making the best beer you can? Sadly no.

Offline goose

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1122
Re: Can I leave wort overnight in fermenter before pitching yeast?
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2020, 07:16:49 am »
The reason you want to get your wort cooled quickly and pitch is not only because of contamination issues but mostly about oxidation. Every moment it sits below boiling temperatures, where oxygen is once again soluble in the liquid, is doing damage to your hop and malt flavor. Can you leave your wort sit overnight? Sure. Is it favorable to making the best beer you can? Sadly no.

I tend to agree with this.  Yes, you can leave it overnight but every time I think about that I remember one of my friends who owned a homebrew shop. He brewed a batch of beer on the day of one of our beer club meetings.  He left the beer in the ktttle to cool with a lid over it and chilled it when we got back from the meeting.  I picked up some bugs while we were gone and ruined the entire batch.  For this reason, I always pitch right after cooling.  The old saying is that it is a race between the yeast and the bacteria and you always want the yeast to win.

Just my .02
Goose Steingass
Wooster, OH
Society of Akron Area Zymurgists (SAAZ)
Wayne County Brew Club
Mansfield Brew Club
BJCP Certified
AHA Governing Committee Member

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 25628
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Can I leave wort overnight in fermenter before pitching yeast?
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2020, 08:20:43 am »
The proof is in the tasting.  I have yet to taste a no chill beer that has oxidation issues or was any different than one that was chilled.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell