HOMEBREW Digest #219 Thu 03 August 1989
FORUM ON BEER, HOMEBREWING, AND RELATED ISSUES
Rob Gardner, Digest Coordinator
re:Pitching Rates (Darryl Richman)
Stout (Marc San Soucie)
Date: 2 Aug 89 08:33:00 EST
From: henchal at wrair-emh1.army.mil
Subject: yeast culturing
I thought that I might share my yeast cultivation methods with you.
I am a microbiologist by training and have been culturing my own
yeast for about 1 year. There is no question that liquid yeasts
improve the quality of your homebrew.
To use use liquid yeast properly, you should first prepare the
starter medium. By far the easiest thing to do is to set aside one
or two quarts of wort every time you brew. While the wort is still
very hot, transfer to a suitable sanitized container and place in
the refrigerator until you are ready to use it. I usually make and
can wort for this purpose. I boil 1 can (3.3 lb) of M/F light
extract in 4 gallons of water with 0.5 oz of hops for 30 minutes.
I then transfer the wort to clean 1 quart canning jars, put on
canning lids, and can in boiling water for 15 minutes. Now I have
yeast starter medium whenever I need it.
To begin a yeast culture, transfer 1 qt of starter to a
sanitized 1 gallon jug (the kind that cider comes in) and put a
stopper on it with a fermentation lock. (The common jug takes a #6
or 8 stopper, I think). Transfer aseptically 30-40 mls of the
yeast stock culture (this is one Wyeast liquid culture that has
been previously started in the manner described by the
manufacturer) to the 1 quart of wort. Place the jug in a warm dark
place. These cultures are usually ready to use 18-24 hours later.
With regard to pitching rates, professional brewers pitch enough
yeast to reach a final concentration of about 10 million cells per
ml. The relationship is about 1:10 (1 part of starter for 10 parts
of wort). You will need 1 qt of starter/5 gallons of ale wort or
2 quarts of starter/5 gallons of lager wort. I always get a nice
cover on my fermentations within 18-24 hours (not days) using this
If you want to prepare a number of stock cultures for future
use, pour about 1/4 cup of yeast into sanitized 1 pt containers
(with lids, not locks). Add about 10 ml (this is about 2-3
tablespoons I think) of sanitized glycerin or glycerol USP grade.
To sanitize the glcerine before use, put the glycerine in a heat-
resistent (pyrex) jar or container (canning jar?) and put in a
boiling water bath for 20 minutes. Let cool before use (Put the
lid on loosely or you will never get it off). Freeze the yeast
culture quickly. Concentrations (v/v) of glycerine 10-20% will
preserve your yeast cultures frozen for 6 months to 2 years
depending upon your conditions. To use frozen cultures, thaw
quickly and set in a warm place for a couple of hours. If you you
do not sense that the culture is completely active (by the release
of gas when you crack the lid), you can activate the culture by
puting in an equal volume of wort, mixing and continuing the
incubation until you detect yeast activity. Do not use any yeast
culture that has a sour smell. An active yeast culture should
smell fruity (like green apples).
To Florian Bell: Hey Flo...Did I hear you correctly when you said
that the temperature in your neighborhood is in the high sixties
MOST of the year. Are you talking daytime temperatures? How cold
Any folks that have any questions concerning yeast culturing can
contact me at 1-202-576-3012 (0730-1630 Eastern) or 1-301-869-0894
(1730-2100 Eastern), or send me an E-mail.
Erik A. Henchal
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Date: Wed, 2 Aug 89 07:19:06 PDT
From: Darryl Richman <darryl at ism780c.isc.com>
Subject: re:Pitching Rates
From: "Allen J. Hainer"
" What is the recommended pitching concentration? How fast does a liquid
"yeast package reach this concentration? I always thought that yeast reached
"a particular concentration and leveled off, can only a few ounces of
"starter solution reach a high enough yeast concentration so that it results
"in the "recommended" concentration when added to 5 gallons of wort?
Yeast does grow to about 10 million cells/ml and then levels off. The
liquid yeast pouches are too small to provide enough yeast to reach
this level without a significant lag period. Professional brewers grow
yeast in volumes that increase about 20 fold at each step. So for a 5
gallon batch, you ought to be pitching about a quart starter. For this
to be the correct rate, your quart needs to have reached the 10^7
level, which is at high krausen.
The right way to handle the foil pouches is to make a starter. It
isn't very difficult and you need only plan your brew a few days
ahead. Here are two methods:
--- Quick and Dirty ---
If you are going to brew on the weekend, pop the pouch on Thursday
morning before going to work. That evening, boil 2 cups of dry extract
in half a gallon of water with a couple pellets of hops. Treat it as
if you were making a full batch of beer--boil it an hour or so. Add
water if it gets too low. Turn off the heat and let it settled for a
few minutes. Get a wine jug and run hot water over and in it, so that
it won't be shocked and break. Slowly pour your still hot wort into
the bottle, leaving behind as much of the trub and hops as you can.
Put some foil over the top and put it in your freezer. In about 2
hours it'll be cold enough to pitch your ballooned foil pouch. At that
point, put an airlock on it and leave it until you brew. On Saturday
you'll have a quart of beer in high krausen and a very short lag
--- The Right Way ---
At your next brew session, make 6 gallons of wort instead of 5. Put
the remainder into 4 quart mason jars and go through a normal boiling
water canning. Do this by putting the tops on the jars and gently
tightening the bands. Put the jars into a pot of boiling water with a
rack on the bottom--don't put the jars directly on the pot--with enough
water to cover them. Wait 15 minutes after the pot comes back to a
boil. Remove the jars and let them cool. The bands will be loose and
the tops sealed. If you can press the lid down, it didn't seal. Once
you have prepared this, you are ready to start 4 batches of beer: open
a jar of wort and pour it into a sanitzed bottle. Add the yeast and
close with an airlock.
As with any other brewing procedure, it always seems to take more effort
to describe it than to do it.
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Date: 2 Aug 89 10:59:54 EDT (Wed)
From: mds at wang.WANG.COM (Marc San Soucie)
James Kolasa writes:
> Also, I'm whipping up my first stout in about a week. Any tips? And for
> that matter, any recipes? I haven't exactly committed myself to any method
I am a devout stout drinker, the more so since most of my beer-drinking
friends prefer amber and golden ales to stouts, leaving me to drink all of
my homebrewed stout. Fine by me. This leaves me free to concoct stouts
to my own tastes exclusively. As a result I have experimented quite a bit
with different kinds of ingredients and combinations, and have come up with
the following general observations. Bear in mind that I use only malt
extracts because I haven't had the time to pick up all-grain brewing yet.
You can make a quite acceptable "stout" from dark malt and hops. Some of
the unique character of an "interesting" stout will be missing, though.
It is best to include one or more of the following adjuncts to give the
stout more flavor and effect.
Roasted Barley is the classic stout ingredient, providing a nice roasted
flavor, creaminess, rich head, and some tartness. Quantities can range from
1/4 - 1 pound, depending on the amount of malt and other ingredients. A full
pound can be intimidating in a thin stout. Roasted barley grains should be
at least cracked before steeping. I have ground them finely on occasion,
with corresponding increase in oomph.
Black Malt is another important adjunct, imparting dark color, a tangy, burnt
flavor, considerable tartness, and a bracing first impact on the tongue.
I have made very nice "stout" from dark malt, black malt, and hops. Without
the roasted barley it is perhaps presumptuous to call it a stout, but not
many people are willing to taste a "Black Ale". I have used anywhere from
1/4 - 1 pound of this also, prepared like the roasted barley. Only grind
this stuff if you know you like its effect.
Chocolate Malt is a nice brown malt adjunct, which has a less aggressive
effect on beer than black malt. Though I have used it occasionally, I find
it a bit too mild-mannered for my stouts, preferring the cha-cha of black.
Crystal Malt, the homebrewer's friend, adds a touch of body and sweetness
even to a stout, though the effect is more subtle than in an amber ale.
I have found myself adding this to a stout in apologetic response to having
ground the tar out of a pound of black malt, though it may have had only
symbolic value in that stout. It can help with the head, as well.
Wheat Malt is another helper adjunct in a stout, adding creaminess and
supporting the head. It can also provide a touch of tartness, of a different
kind than the black malt and roasted barley offer. It makes the stout
behave better for your friends and family.
My very basic stout recipe, from which I always deviate, is:
6-8 pounds of dark malt extract (usually unhopped, but not always)
1/2 - 1 pound roasted barley
1/2 - 1 pound black malt
3-4 ounces strong bittering hops (love that Bullion!)
Some good aromatic hops, or none if you love Bullion
Ale yeast of good pedigree
To this skeleton I add other adjuncts, or remove things if the wind blows
from the south. I think it is worth every stout drinker's while to make one
batch of stout with dark malt and black malt only, just to see how nice
a beer this is. Roasted barley is lovely, but not essential for my taste.
A good strong bittering hops is key, though. Bullion is lovely, as are
Nugget or Chinook. But heck, you can make a great stout with just hopped
There are no appreciable differences in brewing technique between stouts and
other ales, save that there are larger quantities of grain adjuncts involved,
so larger grain bags or more care must be used when worting. Also, beware
the 9-pound batches (3-can), as these tend to blow the covers off plastic
fermenters from time to time.
As others will no doubt tell, there are literally scads (at least two) of
other additives and adjuncts which can be lobbed into a stout without
damaging it, and many provide interesting variations of flavor.
The basic conclusion is that almost (almost) anything works when making a
stout, but matching your own taste preferences is a matter of experimentation.
Be prepared, though, to give up drinking commercial bottled stouts, because
frankly, nothing can match the taste of a homemade.
Marc San Soucie
The John Smallbrewers
mds at wang.wang.com -or- uunet!wang!mds
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End of HOMEBREW Digest #219, 08/03/89
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