19 June 2007

Ok folks, listen up

You need to understand a thing or two about yeast, whether it's your first batch or 100th.

First off, those little packs of dry yeast that come with the kit? IT'S NOT ENOUGH YEAST FOR A 5 GALLON BATCH.

Secondly, those little smack packs and yeast tubes full of liquid yeast that say "pitchable"? IT'S NOT ENOUGH YEAST FOR A 5 GALLON BATCH. Historically and predictably repetitively, homebrewers do not pitch enough yeast.

Third, yeast need OXYGEN. Swirling/shaking the fermenter isn't doing shit except putting you at risk for a back injury or dropping the carboy, shattering it, sending wort and shards of glass everywhere. You need to aerate or oxygenate, even if you pitch the correct amount of yeast. Yeast use oxygen to reproduce and create healthy, pliable cell walls. Do you ever see a professional brewer swirling a cylindroconical fermenter? Me either.

Lastly, if you're going to forego the above advice, save us all the trouble and bandwidth and don't post the "I never make a starter and my beer turns out great", "my beer didn't ferment completely", "it's been 4 days and no airlock activity" or "this has some wierd flavors" mainstays in the internet forums.

Do yourself a favor: read this. Then read it again. Then think about your yeast propagation procedures. Bookmark it for future reference. Then go here and plan out how much yeast you need. Pitch the calculated amount.

What's that you say? Fermentation didn't take 3 days to start? Fermentation didn't take 4 weeks to get to FG? Hit your FG? No off flavors? That's what pitching the right amount of yeast will do for you.

REMEMBER! Brewers make WORT; yeast makes BEER. Take care of them, they'll take care of you.

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