1 Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 2:22 PM

What's the longest you've seen on a batch that turned out fine?

I'm using RCCCY on two batches, I expected the latest one to take a little longer, since it was the first time I made an effort to get the wort down into the low 20's, I also cooled my starter in the fridge, maybe in hindsight this was unecessary, the logic was that I didn't want to pitch a high 20's starter into a low 20's wort.

It's been 18 hours since pitching.

The previous one took around 16 hours.

Hopefully I'll be updating with some good news soon.

2 Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 2:26 PM

About 40-44 hours with Wyeast 2001 Urquell lager yeast is the longest I've had. This yeast regularly takes forever to get going but the beers are always fine.

Shortest I've had is somewhere between 8 and 12 hours with both American and English ale strains. These had been chilled to near 0C and pitched at that temp into ~20C wort.

3 Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 2:33 PM

How important is the temperature difference between wort and starter?

Obviously a starter at 1 degree going into a wort at 20 wasn't a problem, maybe it adds to the lag?

What about a starter at 28-30, going into a wort at 20?

I read somewhere that it's better for yeast to go into warmer wort rather than colder wort.

4 Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 3:34 PM

It appears that lag phase was pretty much the same, perhaps even shorter.
I was only judging by activity, or lack thereof in the airlock, and I didn't have the lid on quite tight enough it seems, she's bubbling away now.

I'm so happy my first RCCCY is actually working, I don't really care about the first batch (homebrand) but I'm hoping the 2nd batch (APA kit) goes well.

5 Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 4:01 PM

Yeah, basically warmer yeast going into colder wort isn't good, but the other way around is seemingly no problem.

The lag times noticeably decreased when I began using this technique of pitching fridge temp yeast* into ferment temp wort, at least with ale yeast. No difference was noticed with the 2001 yeast. I currently have a batch in at 12C that was pitched with Wyeast 2042 Danish lager yeast yesterday at 5pm which hasn't shown any visible signs yet either.

The cold pitching idea came from a theory, which seems pretty solid, that when the yeast are chilled down in a fridge they build up reserves of trehalose. When the yeast are allowed to warm up for hours before pitching, they use up this trehalose and the cells become vulnerable to being burst by osmotic pressure from the wort when they are pitched into it. If they're pitched cold, they haven't used these reserves up yet and the survival rate is higher. It's similar to pitching dry vs. re-hydrating the yeast.

Given the lag times, with ale yeast anyway, were reduced by about half with the cold pitching technique, it appears to hold some weight. There was no detrimental effects on the quality of the finished beer either.

*This applies to liquid cultures that I have harvested previously, not dry yeast.



6 Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 4:08 PM

I've seen 36 hours when using MJ Bohemian Lager dry yeast and it turned out bloody awesome. I've used the cold pitch method that Kelsey mentioned on my last 2 ales and they took off in a matter of hours.

7 Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 4:35 PM

Well isn't that interesting?
At face value, it seems counter intuitive since the yeast would slow right down in the fridge, but then it's gets all sciencey and shit…

Honestly, this fascinates me.

I'll be pitching all my yeast either cold or wet from now on.

8 Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 5:28 PM

It does, it actually goes dormant in the fridge. But before it does, it builds up these trehalose reserves. These reserves are what protect it from the wort bursting the cell walls when it's initially pitched.

It's the same reason why it's often recommended to re-hydrate dry yeast for no more than 30 minutes.

9 Posted: Wednesday, January 11, 2017 6:57 PM

It's like a power nap

Last edited by ImaginativeName (Wednesday, January 11, 2017 6:57 PM)