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Big beer fermentation questions

Hey guys. Friday night I brewed a stout that had an OG of 1.090. I pitched it at 68F with two fully swollen smack packs of wyeast 1272. Within 12 hours I had the most vigorous fermentation on my hands Ive seen to date (I’ve been brewing about a year) and my fermenter was sitting at 71 or 72 degrees. Today (sunday) the fermentation has slowed significantly but is still going pretty steadily. My question is regarding pitch amount. A lot of people would say this was an underpitch yeast wise but so far this seems to be fermenting just fine. This is my highest gravity beer to date so Im second guessing myself. Just looking for some advice from one of the many more experienced brewers on here. Thanks and brew on!

-OverHopped

Second guessing now? To late. RDWHAHB! You had a fast start. That’s a good thing.

IMO more importantly would be to keep the temps down. Being a stout, the roasted malts may make up for that issue.

[quote=“Overhopped”]Hey guys. Friday night I brewed a stout that had an OG of 1.090. I pitched it at 68F with two fully swollen smack packs of wyeast 1272. Within 12 hours I had the most vigorous fermentation on my hands Ive seen to date (I’ve been brewing about a year) and my fermenter was sitting at 71 or 72 degrees. Today (sunday) the fermentation has slowed significantly but is still going pretty steadily. My question is regarding pitch amount. A lot of people would say this was an underpitch yeast wise but so far this seems to be fermenting just fine. This is my highest gravity beer to date so Im second guessing myself. Just looking for some advice from one of the many more experienced brewers on here. Thanks and brew on!

-OverHopped[/quote]

I’ll let others with more knowledge on the subject comment on whether or not you pitched the correct amount of yeast. I tend to kind of ‘wing it’ in that regard myself.

My first observation is that your wort was still a bit warm when you pitched.

I like to pitch at about 62 degrees and place my carboy into a swamp cooler to keep it in the low to mid 60s for the first few days. Your 71-72 is right at the top of the recommended temperature tolerance for 1272 risking some flunky flavors in the finished beer.

But…yea…what Nighthawk said! :cheers:

I think many of the calculators tend to overestimate just how much you need. I never did a 1.090, but I had a 1.079 work out fine with a single dry-yeast pack.

I would never buy 2 packs for one batch. Starters are easy enough, even without flasks and stir plates. It’s just like making a really small batch of beer without hops or other flavor additions. Difference is, at the end of fermentation, instead of transferring the beer and dumpling the sludge, you dump the beer and pitch the sludge. In 24-48 hours you can get 2-3 packs worth of yeast from a single pack. Starters for liquid yeast are easy enough, I generally don’t bother with the calculators and just do it.

1lb of DME costs less then 1 smack pack, and is enough to make several starters.

Flasks are cool, but pickle jars or mason jars will serve too.
Stir plates add geek-cred and speed the process, but the occasional swirl by hand gets the job done too.

For your next big, (or even medium) beer try a starter. You’ve got nothing to lose except the worry.

Thanks a lot guys i dont feel so bad now.

This beer has a thick krausen that hasnt fallen yet at day 7…seens pretty healthy to me

Krausen fell today. I checked the gravity and it was 1.022. I think that yeast did just fine thats about 74% attentuation. I racked over to a secondary for clearing purposes and to free up my primary as this beer is definitely spending a few weeks in the secondary. I plan on bottling in about 2 weeks and letting them age for a few months (or as long ask can resist.) BTW this is an Imperial Stout flavored with oatmeal, chocolate and orange peel. I also used nontypical hops for the style (columbus & centennial) so this should prove to be a unique righteous beer!

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