Author Topic: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob  (Read 2399 times)

Offline Linz

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Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
« on: November 19, 2009, 07:11:38 PM »
1. Yesterday I brewed a high OG Tripel (1.098) with a target FG of 1.014. I pitched (1) 100 billion cell packet of Wyeast 1388 Belgian Strong Ale. Fermentation started within 6 hrs, but I am wondering if the amount of yeast is enough for that high of an OG?  Should I add more yeast, and when would I want to do that?

2. The fermentation temp is supposed to be at 79 degrees. I am using a carboy heater, and when I got home the wort was up to ~86 or slightly higher. It was possibly at this temp for about 4-6 hrs, maybe less. I have unplugged the heater and wrapped the carboy in a wet towel to bring down the temp.  Is this amount of time at a temperature that's higher than desirable enough to kill/stunt the yeast or produce any off flavors in the beer?

Offline a10t2

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Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2009, 07:17:58 PM »
1. 100B cells in a 1.098 beer is underpitching pretty substantially. Ideally you'd want about 400B cells. If you've hit active fermentation, though, there isn't really any point in adding more yeast now. Just look into making a starter for next time. http://mrmalty.com

2. The yeast actually LOVE warmer temperatures, but they'll contribute to producing some off-flavors (many of which are the same as those from underpitching). Personally I think even 79°F is too warm, but with Belgians there are several schools of thought on that. The first day or two is the most important time to control temperatures.

So there are a couple strikes against you, but it doesn't necessarily mean there will be a problem with the beer. A little extra time in the primary can't hurt, especially on a beer this big. I'd go at least a month.
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Offline bonjour

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Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2009, 07:38:18 PM »
With that size of beer you should have used a starter.  I'll say don't worry about that forthis beer but remember for the future.

The yeast love the warmer temps, especially belgians.  The higher temps is what helps thro\w the characteristic belgian flavors, fruity and a bit of phenolic that works well in that style.  Saisons are actually brewed at the temps you got to.  The flavors that you are likely to get are most likely the corect flavors for your beer, but at a higher level.  Time will help these to soften a bit.  Again remember for next time.

Fred
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Everything under 1.100 is a 'session' beer ;)

Offline Linz

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Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2009, 07:53:13 PM »
Thanks for your knowledge!  Maybe I got a little slap happy with trying to get our ABV up.  But, it sounds like all is not lost. :-)

Offline bonjour

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Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2009, 07:59:18 PM »
Higher abv beers are going to ferment harder and potentially have a higher temp rise during fermentation.  This is/was the biggest issue with this beer. 

Fred
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Everything under 1.100 is a 'session' beer ;)

Offline majorvices

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Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2009, 05:25:05 AM »
And even with Belgians you do not want to pitch in the upper 70s. That's far too arm for any strain. You are going to have a far better beer keeping the fermentation temps in the mid to high 60s for at least the first few days and then, if you want, ramp the temps up near the end of fermentation to insure attenuation. If you would have pitched at a more "proper" temp, say 66, I doubt you would have had that short of a lag.
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Offline corkybstewart

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Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2009, 08:53:27 AM »
I've had very high OG beers spike at that temp and taste like kerosene, but I found that leaving it in primary a couple of weeks after the beer gets to FG will help clean up those fusels.
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Offline Linz

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Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2009, 12:13:30 PM »
We pitched at about 75-76, I think.  I followed the instructions on the yeast packet.

Offline denny

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Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2009, 12:34:54 PM »
I gotta tell ya, Linz, that in my opinion and that of many others, those instructions are geared toward yeast performance and not beer quality.  Most of us have found through trial and error that pitching in the low-mid 60s for ales makes a far better beer.  2 other things where experience differs from instructions....do NOT pitch lagers in the 70s, then cool them down. It's far better to get lagers (any beer, really) at or below your intended fermentation temp, then let the heat generated by fermentation warm it back up.  And finally, don't believe that a smack pack or vial is directly pitchable into anything over a 1.030 wort, no matter what they try to tell you!  ;)  My experience is that any beer I've made a starter for has turned out better than any beer I haven't made a starter for.  For info on starters, see Jamil's site mrmalty.com
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline ndcube

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Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2009, 01:00:29 PM »
I used that yeast the last week in May for a beer that size and I must have underpitched somehow.  I'll have to check my notes.
Had a lot of fermentables too.  2 lbs of sugar and a long mash in the 140's.

It stalled at around 1.018.  It's still pootin' along though.  Checked it a few weeks ago and it was 1.012.  I'll let it go until it stops.

I think the fact that this strain doesn't floc out is keeping it going slowly.

Offline Linz

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Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2009, 02:19:24 PM »
Wow!  Thanks for the pearls of homebrewing wisdom, everyone. 

Denny, I think I'll be making a starter with the next batch and pitching at lower temps from now on. ;)

I'm having so much fun, feeling adventurous, and loving the new forum!

Offline denny

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Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2009, 02:22:04 PM »
We're all loving the new forum....thanks for all your effort on it!
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline tygo

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Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2009, 08:14:39 PM »
I've been tooling around on the forum looking for a topic on this subject before starting a new one, and I found one!  I thought there was one out there.   :)

I'm planning a Belgian strong golden ale.  Shooting for an OG around 1.095.  I'm planning on using WY 3787 and making a 3 qt starter with a cell count target of about 250B.

My question is should I just pitch that starter and let it run?  I know that will work but should I plan for an additional yeast addition after the initial pitch?  And in general, for high gravity beers when (gravity-wise) do you need to throw in additional yeast additions?

I've also seen reference in some posts about adding oxygen when adding yeast after the initial pitch.  That confuses me a little since my understanding was to keep oxygen out of the beer after the initial aeration.



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Offline a10t2

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Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2009, 10:31:12 PM »
At 1.095 you won't need to do any re-yeasting. 250B cells is a little low though; standard would be about 350B.

If you like on really big beers you can aerate a second time after roughly 12 hours. As long as the yeast are in or just coming out of the "lag phase" it won't have time to oxidize your beer.
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Offline tom

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Re: Yeast pitching for a high OG noob
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2009, 10:31:52 PM »
Making a starter for a big beer (or any beer) is a great idea. How did you decide on a 3L starter? Depending on how you do your starters, check out the yeast pitching calculator at http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html by Jamil Z.

If you pitch adequate, viable yeast, oxygenate well at pitching, and watch your fermentation temperature you should get great beer without needing to add any more yeast.
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