Author Topic: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster  (Read 4853 times)

Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #30 on: September 19, 2020, 07:04:54 pm »
To open up another can of worms, the practice of pitching cooler and letting the fermentation come up to temperature is also mostly homebrewing dogma that was popularized by Jamie Zainasheff.  I challenge anyone to go on a homebrewing forum call BS on that one.  I pitch a few degrees higher than fermentation temperature and let the fermentation come down in temperature. Why? Because it shortens lag time and speeds up exponential growth, both of which are good if one has solid wort and the proper yeast strain for the job at hand.  I exposed the fallacy of starting ales cooler and letting them come up to fermentation temperature to prevent the overproduction of unwanted compounds in the "Factors Affecting Metabolic Production" section of my blog entry entitled "Have You Seen Ester?" (https://www.experimentalbrew.com/blogs/saccharomyces/have-you-seen-ester).  While a fast exponential growth phase does often result in a higher level of metabolites, wort composition and yeast genetics have a greater impact on ester and higher alcohol production. 

With the above said, I am not going to attempt to slay the "pitch cooler" dragon.  I am happy with attempting to make stir plates an optional piece of equipment. New brewers usually have finite resources.  The last thing that new brewers need to do is spend good money on a piece of equipment that was not designed for cell culture when there are cheaper alternatives that work as just as well, if not better.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2020, 01:05:38 pm by Saccharomyces »

Offline denny

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Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #31 on: September 19, 2020, 07:29:27 pm »
Like "close enough is good enough" for yeast, I've found the same true with temp.  My preference is to go a bit cooler.  If I'm a bit warmer, no big deal.
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Offline EnkAMania

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Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #32 on: September 19, 2020, 07:38:16 pm »
I pitch above and bring down simply because it is a lot easier on my system to lower temp than it is to raise it.
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Offline BrewBama

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Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #33 on: September 19, 2020, 09:01:24 pm »
I pitch at target +/- 5*F.


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Offline denny

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Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #34 on: September 19, 2020, 09:03:19 pm »
I pitch at target +/- 5*F.


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I have a similar range. I have to admit it's gotten a bit broader since I started using glycol chiller conical.  I can adjust temp pretty quickly with them so it's less of an issue to get it to pitch temp before the wort goes into the fermenter.
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Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #35 on: September 19, 2020, 11:06:11 pm »
Like "close enough is good enough" for yeast, I've found the same true with temp.  My preference is to go a bit cooler.  If I'm a bit warmer, no big deal.

I concur! There have been times where I accidentally chilled my wort below fermentation temp when I was using a counterflow chiller in the winter (the public water supply here gets pretty darn cold in the dead of winter).  However, like you, I have not experienced a big difference pitching +/- a few degrees, which leads me to believe that pitching low and letting the fermentation rise is just more amateur brewing dogma.  Now, pitching at 75F is an entirely different subject, that is, unless a culture does well at 75F.  That is why it is critical to pitch the culture that meets the job at hand.  If the fermentation is going to be warm, pitch a culture that can get the job done without throwing a ton of metabolic trash.  I like how the Belgians learned to brew with the seasons until the advent of mechanical refrigeration. 
« Last Edit: September 20, 2020, 01:07:09 pm by Saccharomyces »

Offline chezteth

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Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #36 on: September 20, 2020, 01:01:06 am »
I have made lagers with SNS many times.  One pack is enough.  When you talk about using more, you are falling into the cell count trap.

Brandon,

I will add to Denny’s comment by saying that yeast cell counts have been overblown in the amateur brewing community. I blame this phenomenon on the heavy use of brewing software. The yeast biomass grows exponentially at a rate of 2^n, where the symbol “^” denotes raised to the power of and n is the number of replication periods. Under optimal conditions the replication period is around 90 minutes. We usually use yeast below optimal growth temperature, which lengthens the replication period, but drive this information, the difference between 200B cells and 400B cells is one replication period. The difference between 200B cells and 800B cells is two replication periods. What matters is yeast cell health going into the fermentation and the amount of dissolve O2 in the wort.

If you would like to know more about this subject, read my blog entry entitled “Yeast Cultures are Like Nuclear Weapons” (https://www.experimentalbrew.com/blogs/saccharomyces/yeast-cultures-are-nuclear-weapons).
Thanks Denny & Saccharomyces! I appreciate the clarification. I'm looking forward to issuing the SNS method for a lager!

Cheers,
Brandon

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Offline denny

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Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #37 on: September 20, 2020, 02:31:28 pm »
Mark, when you say "unless a culture does well" are you referring to fermentation performance or beer quality?
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Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #38 on: September 20, 2020, 03:27:34 pm »
Mark, when you say "unless a culture does well" are you referring to fermentation performance or beer quality?

It is a reference to not throwing a lot of metabolic trash.  As we have learned, there are strains that do not throw a lot of metabolic trash beyond 75F. Basically, a brewer should pick a strain that will produce the desired result under his/her brewery conditions.  Far too many brewers attempt to trick a yeast strain into performing well under their brewery conditions.  Sure, it can be done, but it requires additional equipment such as a temperature-controlled fermentation chamber.  Unless one lives in area where it is ridiculously hot all of the time, the need for a temperature-controlled fermentation chamber can be eliminated by brewing with the seasons and using yeast cultures that perform well under specific seasonal temperatures.  A good example is Wit beer.  Wit beer was traditionally brewed in the warmer months. Hopefully, the "everything IPA" craze will end and brewers will start brewing with the seasons again (lagers during the cold winter months, ales in the fall and spring, and beers that have been traditionally fermented at warmer temperature like many Belgian styles in warm months). 

Offline denny

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Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #39 on: September 20, 2020, 03:40:18 pm »
I brewed with the seasons for many years.  I now revel in the fact that I d0bbt have to do that and I can brew what I like when I like.  And that includes a LOT of IPA.
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Offline BrewBama

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Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #40 on: September 21, 2020, 12:28:23 pm »
About the only seasonal brewing I do is darker beers for cooler weather. I like Browns, Porters, and Stouts in the cooler months.


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Offline tommymorris

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Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #41 on: September 21, 2020, 01:09:18 pm »
I revel in brewing only what I want also. It’s liberating. I pretty much brew light lagers (mostly Pils and Exports), American Ales (mostly APA but some Ambers and Browns), and an occasional English Pale. That’s pretty much it.

Offline Richard

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Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #42 on: September 21, 2020, 02:57:50 pm »
I live in California and people say we don't have any seasons here, so brewing by the seasons would mean no brewing! It just wouldn't work for me. I don't have an inside space that gets cold enough for lagers in the winter, and I hate Belgian saisons so I wouldn't brew them in the summer. The Norwegian Kveik yeasts provide an interesting alternative to saisons for high-temperature summer fermenting.
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Offline Saccharomyces

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Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #43 on: September 22, 2020, 12:46:56 am »
]Thanks Denny & Saccharomyces! I appreciate the clarification. I'm looking forward to issuing the SNS method for a lager!

Cheers,
Brandon

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My first name is Mark.  Please feel free to use that name.  I had to change my user name from S. cerevisiae to Saccharomyces to spare the forum and AHA headquarters drama created by an ex-neighbor with whom my ex-wife and I were locked in a zoning dispute (my word of advice is that if a neighbor is using his/her property in a non-comforming way and your county does not have strong zoning enforcement, you need to move).

Offline chezteth

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Re: Shaken, not Stirred: The Stir Plate Myth Buster
« Reply #44 on: September 22, 2020, 01:10:20 am »


My first name is Mark.  Please feel free to use that name.  I had to change my user name from S. cerevisiae to Saccharomyces to spare the forum and AHA headquarters drama created by an ex-neighbor with whom my ex-wife and I were locked in a zoning dispute (my word of advice is that if a neighbor is using his/her property in a non-comforming way and your county does not have strong zoning enforcement, you need to move).
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Thanks Mark! I appreciate your extensive knowledge of yeast!