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How long can wort stand before pitching?

Title says it all. How long can wort sit before pitching the yeast? I need to wait about 24 hours before pitching. Would it be good to put it on the kegetator to inhibit and growth of bacteria?

Anytime after the mash drops under 140f it will start to sour.

Anytime boiled wort drops under 140f any/all gram positive(lacto/pedi) bacteria amongst other yeast/bacteria/spores present if any will start to build until the yeast out competes for sugar/ resources and starts dropping the PH. The key “safe zone” temps are the same as foodstuffs above 3-4 PH. They need autoclaving/ pressure cooking for sterilization for long term storage such as starter wort, food stuffs etc… or in our case as it is not needed to go sterile for wort that will be pitched soon, we only need to keep it over 140f or under 40f to properly inhibit growth until you can bring it back up to pitching temp in 24 hours or so.

So yes. 8)

I recently posed this same question to a NB customer service rep – I was brewing an Altbier which needed to ferment at 60* and was only able to chill the wort to around 65. When I asked if I could wait to pitch the yeast the next day after chilling it in my Johnson-controlled refrigerator, his answer was that wort could sit for up to a week before pitching, assuming your sanitation practices are up to snuff. That being said, I wouldn’t sweat waiting 24 hours to pitch.

I have as many others left a small sample of boiled wort out in the open many times just to see how many days it took to become infected/moldy and therefore test my sanitation practices. Which was on average fully enbloomed with fermentation and/or mold within 3-7 days. Also you would see the high incidents of mold/s in the air around us everyday if you have ever streaked a plate of yeast. As many times unless you can practice full aseptic technique under a hood the plate will have molds in spots and you have to pick pure colonies that have no molds by them.

Also you must see the stark difference here Dan, before I even mention it.
I will never drink the “experiment/s” listed above or myself be willing to endanger the final set of aromatic/ flavor components in my full batch that is a hard worked endeavor that can be in jeopardy/ or altered in any slight deviation from my intended target/s if left to RDWHAHB set of methodology/thinking in this regard. If you feel its enough for your time spent so be it. But I wouldn’t want to be the one to actually advocate it.

I guess over/ above “minor” bacteria inconvenient interference. I actually worry most about the health wreckers such as botulism and molds as my major point on this topic. Again it starts to become more of an issue after a week or two. But still.

[quote=“ITsPossible”]I have as many others left a small sample of boiled wort out in the open many times just to see how many days it took to become infected/moldy and therefore test my sanitation practices. Which was on average fully enbloomed with fermentation and/or mold within 3-7 days. Also you would see the high incidents of mold/s in the air around us everyday if you have ever streaked a plate of yeast. As many times unless you can practice full aseptic technique under a hood the plate will have molds in spots and you have to pick pure colonies that have no molds by them.

Also you must see the stark difference here Dan, before I even mention it.
I will never drink the “experiment/s” listed above or myself be willing to endanger the final set of aromatic/ flavor components in my full batch that is a hard worked endeavor that can be in jeopardy/ or altered in any slight deviation from my intended target/s if left to RDWHAHB set of methodology/thinking in this regard. If you feel its enough for your time spent so be it. But I wouldn’t want to be the one to actually advocate it.

I guess over/ above “minor” bacteria inconvenient interference. I actually worry most about the health wreckers such as botulism and molds as my major point on this topic. Again it starts to become more of an issue after a week or two. But still.[/quote]
Points well taken, ITsPossible. I think the customer rep’s response (as well as mine) was not so much to advocate for waiting that long (pitching sooner is always better, of course), but to illustrate that in a sealed, sanitary environment, a 24 hour lapse between cooling and pitching was nothing to worry about.

:cheers:

Yes and no

As you have not technically made sterile broth, just pasteurized it and also have not included a totally aseptic sealed environment.
Meaning you had chances of many things making their way into the wort out of free fall itself until you banged the lid/bung shut even then especially in a refrigerator/ cooler that has very high moisture you will have higher indecent of molds in ambient until you can actually pitch. Myself/ you or the OPs environment are going to be totally different from one another as you might have a hospital clean house/garage etc… and mine is in between and the OP has a drafty/moldy/ dusty basement. So this is why I say follow the rules of safe foodstuff handling.

Look at it like chicken/poultry. You pasteurize/ kill bacteria by cooking to an internal temp of 140f and then either eat asap or chill to under 40f until it can be reheated or used in cold salads etc… Would you really eat chicken that is 24-48 hours old if left at room temp in a sealed jar/ bowl over 38-40f??

You have a valid point as illustrated by my mention of open air tests. But before three days what level of infection was happening before I/others visually saw full ferment thus altering those flavor/ aroma principles I mentioned. I am just throwing down a better safe then sorry mantra especially when it comes to mycotoxins or safe foodstuffs in general. The temps have been set in stone via 100’s of years of research which has shown to inhibit these spoilers of any type, why not just take all the advantages you have?

[quote=“ITsPossible”]Yes and no

As you have not technically made sterile broth, just pasteurized it and also have not included a totally aseptic sealed environment.
Meaning you had chances of many things making their way into the wort out of free fall itself until you banged the lid/bung shut even then especially in a refrigerator/ cooler that has very high moisture you will have higher indecent of molds in ambient until you can actually pitch. Myself/ you or the OPs environment are going to be totally different from one another as you might have a hospital clean house/garage etc… and mine is in between and the OP has a drafty/moldy/ dusty basement. So this is why I say follow the rules of safe foodstuff handling.

Look at it like chicken/poultry. You pasteurize/ kill bacteria by cooking to an internal temp of 140f and then either eat asap or chill to under 40f until it can be reheated or used in cold salads etc… Would you really eat chicken that is 24-48 hours old if left at room temp in a sealed jar/ bowl over 38-40f??

You have a valid point as illustrated by my mention of open air tests. But before three days what level of infection was happening before I/others visually saw full ferment thus altering those flavor/ aroma principles I mentioned. I am just throwing down a better safe then sorry mantra especially when it comes to mycotoxins or safe foodstuffs in general. The temps have been set in stone via 100’s of years of research which has shown to inhibit these spoilers of any type, why not just take all the advantages you have?[/quote]
Reading you loud and clear. At the end of the day, though, my own experience still leads me to agree with the NB rep in suggesting to the OP that, given good sanitation practices, waiting 24 hours to pitch is not something to be overly concerned with.

Vive la difference! 8)

This sounds good to me. I don’t an on going a week just a day because I need to use some of the work to make a starter to get my old wyeast packs going.

[quote=“Dan S”] waiting 24 hours to pitch is not something to be overly concerned with.

Vive la difference! 8) [/quote]

Here I made a slight change to a proclamation in your statement and the advise you advocate just so that we are clear.

I advocate adhesion to food safety standards followed the world over as wort is a perfect medium for gram positive/negative bacteria, molds other etc… will swarm to a wort as its perfect for their needs and yourself and some dude at a LHBS suggest winging it as its non critical. Gotcha loud and clear. Maybe 1000’s of years after all of our descendants are gone and buried, a future populace of homebrewers will find a middle ground. :stuck_out_tongue:
EDIT… OK, OK, OK 24 hours is not going to forsure, absolutely ruin the beer, but it may get slightly tainted… :expressionless: I will leave that aspect alone with that being said.

But I will jump into a quick rant I have touched on before and you sparked off again Dan with these comments.
This type of lax stuff gets really old. I could simply say we agree to disagree, but if yourself and many others in this mode of brewing do some google fu, you will find the vast majority of brewing educators and authors of text ranging from Siebel, Weihenstephaner, MBAA, other scientific journals to BYO/ Zymurgy magazines of today’s era show the science never changes and its the standards followed by commercial brewers, but a grouping of people simply find ways of convoluting it to fit their fashion of what they think should work instead. Which is fine if you use it in peace at your own risk, but to advocate broad brush strokes that proclaim “your way” or “bare minimum is good enough” the most beneficial for the masses is wrong as it effects newer brewers that should be learning the science first and then deciding what their own personal middle ground is.

Honestly the best advice NB should have given you would have been to pitch at 65F and let it continue to fall the few points as that was the non critical point to take away, not advocating that you wait to pitch an ALt 24 hours later due to this non issue. He actually turned an apples situation into a bowl of oranges.

To continue on the train of thought regarding a bowl of wormy oranges.

He advocates up to a week huh? That is both a disservice to the homebrewing community and general customer service to spew stuff like this especially from an “authority” position. He is expressing his personal viewpoint on this subject whereas he is in a position where he is expected to give the facts only and to not elaborate how he feels it should go down. I am sure his new employers would agree.

[quote=“ITsPossible”]

He advocates up to a week huh? That is both a disservice to the homebrewing community and general customer service to spew stuff like this especially from an “authority” position.[/quote]

The same crew that sells 1 gallon fermenters for 1 gallon batches. :roll:

Food safety rules are all about risk mitigation.
Ignoring the rules does not guarantee problems; following the rules does not guarantee NO problems.

Granted, you can swing the probabilities to your advantage so easily and significantly that it seems foolish not to follow guidelines, but remember, modern guidelines are a relatively recent invention in the scale of human history. I’d be curious what the infection rate would be if you made standard 5-gallon batches with properly cleaned equipment but didn’t actually sanitize with something like starsan. 1 in 5? 1 in 10? Many brewers go years without infection, so sanitizing clearly swings the odds in our favor. We could also build laboratory-grade clean rooms and brew wearing sterile disposable gowns; but we don’t, even though those techniques are well proven too. Are we being “lax” because we drew the line where we did? A biopharm lab employee might think so.

I’ll agree with the NB guy that with proper sanitization an unpitched wort COULD go a week; but it’s also possible that a batch could be unsalvagable much sooner. Every moment the wort remains unpitched, is a chance for something other than your chosen yeast to start growing.

I wouldn’t necessarily worry about 24 hours, but It’s definitely taking on risk that would make it NOT a best practice. If you HAVE to do it, it probably won’t bite you, but don’t push the luck if you don’t have to.

[quote=“ITsPossible”]
He advocates up to a week huh? That is both a disservice to the homebrewing community and general customer service to spew stuff like this especially from an “authority” position. He is expressing his personal viewpoint on this subject whereas he is in a position where he is expected to give the facts only and to not elaborate how he feels it should go down. I am sure his new employers would agree.[/quote]
I think that to say he was advocating waiting up to a week to pitch would be a real misrepresentation of his message. The basis of his comment was that, if in a pinch, a person could possibly get away with up to a week’s lag time between cooling and pitching (something I’ve tried to make clear in my previous comments). As far as NB’s customer service is concerned, I can go on record as saying that, over the years, I’ve received only very accurate and helpful information from them.

All that being said, I’m not sure that I have much more to add to this topic. I’ll sign off by wishing you well and the OP the best of luck with his batch of beer.

I’ve waited 24 hours to pitch before with no apparent ill effect. I’d be nervous about going much longer than that. Wort is a great growth medium and sooner or later something is going to take off.

Although you’d probably be fine, if you have the means to chill it rapidly to a safer temp you may as well use it.

[quote=“ITsPossible”]

Would you really eat chicken that is 24-48 hours old if left at room temp in a sealed jar/ bowl over 38-40f??

Um, I’ve done it with a packed lunch carried to work, up to 12 hours later…Granted, it was from the night before, from the fridge, and had one of those scrawny a$$ ice gel packs in there, to keep it “cool”, if you will… Many times, and I’m still kickin’!

But, I get your point! :cheers:

Me too, but I cook my chicken to 165! :smiley:

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