How many sachets is too many?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Schwizel, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. Schwizel

    Schwizel New Member

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    My homebrew club is making a barrel aged RIS coming in at 1.110 OG. We want to use the same yeast for consistency and decided on Safale S-04. By all the yeast calculators and doing the cell count math, it will take 4 packets for a 5.5 gallon batch. I have used 2 packets, but no one in the club has pitched 4 packets at once. That's a whole lot a yeast for one time, I'm a little weary about that much at once. Does anyone out there have experience in this? Would re-oxygenating or adding nutrients a few days in benefit the fermentation? Any advice?

    Cheers!
     
  2. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it will be an issue. Dry yeast is pretty hardy stuff.
     
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  3. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    Depending on how you calculate the amount of yeast in a dry pack. 100 billion is on the light side, the common 220 billion assumption is on the high side. If you count 100 billion in a packet, then 4 packs are necessary to hit .75 pitch, 220 billion and 2 packs makes the pitch.

    I would say that say the amount of yeast in 11 grams of S04 is close to 170-180 billion cells, just an educated guess based on different opinions on the subject. The other thing about brewing really big beers is the pitch rate should be elevated and it should be aerated to prevent the beer from becoming rocket fuel. The early stages of fermentation is where most of the problems start. In hindsight 3-4 packs would have bought a little bit of beer insurance by giving you @ 1.0 million cells/plato/mL pitch, but if it takes off, then let it go. I wouldn't aerate after 24 hours from pitch unless you had to go into salvage mode.
     
  4. Mark Farrall

    Mark Farrall Well-Known Member

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    Some people suggest doing a split yeast pitch, adding more at day 2-3. Haven't got round to trying that myself yet.

    And Palmer recommends re-oxygenating just before high krausen in How To Brew. Nutrients wouldn't hurt if you are going to add more oxygen. I gave my last batch a decent shake on day 2 last time and I got better attenuation than previously, but that could just be coincedence.
     
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  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Four equals about 500 billion cells.... Probably about right for that size of a beer. I'd oxygenate, then oxygenate again 12-18 hours later. You're right, it's a lot of yeast. You could probably get by with three sachets if you rehydrate (let the flames begin....).

    That should give you a cleaner beer at that high of a pitch rate.
     
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  6. ChicoBrewer

    ChicoBrewer Well-Known Member

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    For the ris I did I made a starter out of two S-05s and set it spinning for 24 hrs. I oxygenated with pure O2 for 45 seconds. Took off quick and attenuated pretty well. I might give it more O2 next time . . .
     
  7. 4Bentley

    4Bentley Active Member

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    Can someone help me with budgeting numbers? The spec sheet uses a minimum of 6 billion cells per gram, or 66 billion per packet. I have been using this number for planning, but the numbers above are higher. I have been using 3 packets for my brews. Perhaps I can cut that back to two.

    Thanks,
     
  8. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    Usually over pitching is better than under pitching. If the calculations call for 4 packets, then I'd use 4. Or make a starter. For really high gravity beers, adding a second aeration after 12 hours will help get the beer to fully attenuate. But you don't want to wait too long to do the second aeration or you can get oxidized beer.
     
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  9. Schwizel

    Schwizel New Member

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    Great, thanks for the help everyone! I'll pitch 4 packets, oxygenate well, and add more O2 12 hours later.
     
  10. Schwizel

    Schwizel New Member

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    I usually re-hydrate but in the name of consistency, the club decided to pitch directly. The only variables will be brewing systems and amounts of ingredients needed in order to reach the same numbers. I know it's a well argued subject. To hydrate or not to hydrate...........

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  11. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    My understanding of the >6 billion cells per gram spec. is that it is the minimum cell count on the use by date. To estimate the beginning cell count I use 10B cells/gram, which generally gives me about the same as a fresh pack of Wyeast or White Labs. My pitch rates are calculated at .75 and 1.5 for ales and lagers respectively, and bumped up for high gravity brews.

    I use dry yeast exclusively and do starters after rehydrating. I boil ~100ml of water to rehydrate the yeast and the balance of the volume for starter wort, cool to room temperature and mix the two together. After spinning to completion, usually about 24 hrs., the starters are refrigerated for a day or two, depending on my schedule. Fermentation generally kicks off somewhere between 6 and 16 hours. As a rule I get faster and cleaner fermentations than I did with liquid yeast starters.
     
  12. 4Bentley

    4Bentley Active Member

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    Thank you. I'll use 10 billion for my next batch which will be two packs. It could also explain why they have been quicker to start and quicker to finish.
     
  13. Jeff Summerlin

    Jeff Summerlin New Member

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    So, it's been a few weeks...how did this end? Thanks!

    (Full disclosure, I have an interest in doing a High Gravity brew, like Dragon's Milk, so this is good knowledge to have...And I never rehydrate, but I also never do large batches. I do add Yeast Nutrient in every batch, but I don't oxygenate from a tank - just pass the wort through a sieve to get good agitation. I've pitched 1 sachet in 2.75 gallons of beer that turned out at 8.51% but you don't usually get poisoned yeast until you venture into double digit territory.)
     
  14. Schwizel

    Schwizel New Member

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    Well Jeff, I pitched all four packets of dry yeast into 5.5 gallons of 1.001 wort without rehydrating, and it turned out great. It was bubbling away the next time I looked at it about 10 hours after pitching. On day 5 I raised the temp from 65f to 68f to ensure complete fermentation. I think it was 5 or 6 days later it reached its FG of 1.021. I used yeast nutrient and pure O2, which I would recommend for something of 1.065 or higher. I have had trouble with just agitation with a few batches that were above that, but if you get full attenuation normally, you would know your system and procedure better than I. I have yet to do a 2.75 gallon batch. I use a giant whisk most of the time for under 1.065 and have never had a problem with that.

    But as far as rehydrating, I may never rehydrate again. I always have and it's a lot easier not to. It was nice not worrying about infecting one less thing. Good luck with your Dragon's Milk! It's a delightful beer.

    Cheers
     
  15. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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  16. Schwizel

    Schwizel New Member

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    Haha, nice catch! 1.101 OG.
     

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