Author Topic: Yeast Pitching Temperature  (Read 5328 times)

Offline dons

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Yeast Pitching Temperature
« on: June 20, 2011, 07:40:54 AM »
I am exclusively an ale brewer.  To this point APAs, with a nod toward heavy hops.

The more I read and learn on these forums, the less I know - or the less of what I thought is true.

Latest is pitching temp.  I have read in the past that 80 is a decent temp for the pitch.  Now, in other
threads I'm seeing it said that nothing should be considered less than 75 and even low 60s is preferable.
My problem is how am I supposed to do that - in a reasonable length of time.  It seems that there should be a
balance between what temps to aim toward versus how long it takes you to get there.  If it takes 2 hours
to get to 62, is it worth it?  I live in Florida and water from my well going through a chiller is not going to
be that cool in the summer when it is 100 out.  Yes, I try to adjunct it with an ice bath, but it still takes
some time.  I canNOT get to 80 in less than about 12 minutes.  I can only imagine how long it might take
to get to 62.  And all this time is going to be leaving me open to contamination, is it not?

How do I get it that cool quickly?  I know there is the two-directional type chiller, but it seems that would even be stressing
in my temperatures.

What does the additional cooling really accomplish?  If I have a good, active yeast with a good starter with
sufficient nutrients, is it worth the additional time it is going to take me to get lower than 80?

Thanks.
Don
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Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Yeast Pitching Temperature
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2011, 07:52:51 AM »
The yeast are going to produce a different flavour profile when pitched into 80 degree wort vs 65 degree wort. You will get a lot more fruity esters and possibly some fuesels at that high a pitch temp. remember as soon as you pitch the yeast and they start metabolizing they will start producing heat of there own.

If you have some form of temp control you can seal the fermenter (air lock or sanitized foil/plastic wrap) and stick it in your chiller and let it sit overnight without significant worries about infection. The aussie homebrew no-chill method involves transfering hot wort into sanitized jerry cans and sealing them up until it cools down to pitching temps and they do not report any problems with that.

so the anser is to chill as far as you can reasonably go with your IC or plate chiller or whatever and then cover the wort and let it chill out overnight until it reaches pitching temp. A good sized pitch of yeast is going to overwhelm any tiny numbers of other organisms that get in and if you are reasonably carefull with sanitation there really won't be that many anyway.
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Offline denny

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Re: Yeast Pitching Temperature
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2011, 08:39:28 AM »
I just sat through Jamil's yeast seminar at NHC.  Getting the pitching temp down was one of the most important points he made.  He pointed out that most off flavors are produced in the first 72 hours of fermentation.  he said the he likes to chill to just below his intended fermentation temp before pitching.  My experience is the same.  Even if it takes you an hour to get to 62, you're far better off than pitching at 80.
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Offline SpanishCastleAle

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Re: Yeast Pitching Temperature
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2011, 09:19:04 AM »
I live in Florida and it takes me a good 25 minutes to get below 80* F.  I use a 50' IC, starting with tap water and switching to a circulated-ice-water bath once @ ~100* F.  Getting it from 80* F down to 62* F takes a lot of effort/time/ice.  I just transfer it once <80* F and then stick the whole carboy in an ice bath (which will be used for temp control during the ferment so it's no extra effort).  It takes a couple of hours to get it down to low 60s but I can do other stuff and then pitch at my liesure.

One other thing to consider is that if you aerate at 80* F you won't get as much O2 into the wort than you would at low 60's F.  I re-aerate once it's cool and the yeast is pitched.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Yeast Pitching Temperature
« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2011, 11:13:52 AM »
For lagers, I chill as much as I can and then stick it in the lagering fridge to get nice and cold before pitching.  The same applies to ales I make in the summer, when the ground water isn't cool enough to get it cold.  I have left full stoppered carboys in the fridge to chill overnight (and sometimes even longer due to yeast problems) and never noticed problems.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Yeast Pitching Temperature
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2011, 11:39:41 AM »
I prefer to chill ales and lagers down to pitching temp as quickly as possible. My ground water ranges from 56 to 68F throughout the year depending on the season. I can typically chill my ales down to pitching temp with ground water in 15 min using a CFC, but resort to frefrigeration for my lagers, after chilling as low as possible with ground water. I haven't experienced any issues using these methods.
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Offline Tristan

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Re: Yeast Pitching Temperature
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2011, 01:50:58 PM »
I'd say whatever way you choose to get it down to a few degrees below fermentation temps for pitching will be way better than pitching super warm.

To cope with wamer hose water in the summer; I chill my wort down to 80-90 degrees with hose water and then switch to a pump that sits in an ice bath.  It takes about 20 minutes total to get the wort down to 62 degrees.  Buying a cheap pump is more than worth it when looking at how much water you will save.  This is the pump I purchased; I believe it was $35 at the time I bought it:

http://www.harborfreight.com/1-4-quarter-hp-115-volt-submersible-water-pump-98342.html
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Offline dons

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Re: Yeast Pitching Temperature
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2011, 02:27:28 PM »
To cope with wamer hose water in the summer; I chill my wort down to 80-90 degrees with hose water and then switch to a pump that sits in an ice bath.  It takes about 20 minutes total to get the wort down to 62 degrees.  Buying a cheap pump is more than worth it when looking at how much water you will save.  This is the pump I purchased; I believe it was $35 at the time I bought it:

Sorry for being dense.  The purpose of the pump is to move the icewater around to encourage quicker cooling??
Thanks.

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Offline zorch

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Re: Yeast Pitching Temperature
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2011, 03:50:38 PM »
To cope with wamer hose water in the summer; I chill my wort down to 80-90 degrees with hose water and then switch to a pump that sits in an ice bath.  It takes about 20 minutes total to get the wort down to 62 degrees.  Buying a cheap pump is more than worth it when looking at how much water you will save.  This is the pump I purchased; I believe it was $35 at the time I bought it:

Sorry for being dense.  The purpose of the pump is to move the icewater around to encourage quicker cooling??
Thanks.




I think what Tristan is describing (and what I also do) is using a small pump to push ice water _through_ the immersion chiller.   

So, the basic procedure I follow is:
- Attach a hose to the chiller (and run the output to my fruit trees) and push tap water through it until I get to about 90 degrees or so.
- Then drop a pump into a bucket full of ice water, attach the output of the pump to the chiller (and run the output from the chiller back to the bucket...) and circulate ice water through the chiller until I hit my desired pitching temp.

This works great for me.  Here in S. California, my tap water in mid-summer is often 75+ degrees, but by running ice water I have chilled lager worts down to 45 degrees in about 40 minutes.    Try and get as much heat out using tap water as you can before swapping to the ice water pump- 90 degrees seems to be a typical temp.

Oh, and I don't see anybody mentioning the value of STIRRING THE WORT while cooling.  Makes a huge difference, at least for me.   My cooling time is easily cut in _half_ if I stir the whole time.  Doesn't have to be a particularly vigorous stirring... Just keep the wort moving.     Even with warm-ish tap water, I will go from 212 to 100 degrees in about 10 minutes (50' of 1/2" copper immersion chiller).

Offline Tristan

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Re: Yeast Pitching Temperature
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2011, 06:26:40 PM »
Exactly!  Sorry I wasn't more detailed!  Stirring with the wort chiller to agitate the water speeds up the cooling by not allowing the wort to be stagnant.  Also, it's nice to make a whirpool towards the end by stirring with the chiller vigorously and then pulling the chiller out to let the trub settle out.
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