From the HBD Archive
Subject: Re: Liquid Yeast
Date: 1989-02-01 16:08:55 GMT

> I have a question about [liquid] yeast... At the
> top of the instructions, they said that the packet would require one to
> five days before the culture would be ready to pitch, and they went on
> to say that it would take one day plus one day per month since the date
> shown on the package (it showed Jan. 3, 1989). Later in the instruc-
> tions, they said to wait until the package had expanded to at least one
> inch thick....

> What happened is this: at about 1:00pm I broke the nutrient packet, and
> I started boiling the wort, etc. at about the same time figuring that I
> would let the stuff in the carboy cool down overnight before I pitched
> the yeast (the package said at least one day to culture the yeast...).
> About 11:00pm that night, I went into the kitchen, and the yeast package
> was ballooned to about two inches thick. I was afraid if I let it sit
> there overnight that it would blow up, so I pitched the yeast right
> then. The carboy was cool to my touch (cool enough to pitch the yeast),
> so I figured the worst that could happen is that it would take a little
> longer for the fermentation to start.

> Did I do the right thing? Should I have let the yeast sit overnight, or
> would it have made a mess all over my counter? Any other do's and
> don'ts about using liquid yeast?

Yes, you're fine. I have found that Wyeast cultures, especially the ale
cultures, typically swell up sooner than the package indicates they will.
I put these things into a starter jug several days before the brewing
session to get a vigorous fermentation going. (I use sterile canned wort
for starters; see Dave Miller's zymurgy article last year.)

I suggest using a sterilized thermometer before pitching. 110 def F will
kill yeast. I force cool my wort; this is absolutely required when
brewing from grain. When using extract it's not nearly as important
but you do risk infection while the wort is sitting.

- Len Reed

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