Massively underpitched ale

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grooves
Posts: 319
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:34 am
Model: 20 litres (2015)
Location: UK

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I brewed last Sunday from stepped up revived frozen yeast. I pitched a small vial of 4ml of yeast slurry to (edit: forgot the write about the first step so step 4ml ->100ml -> 1l -> 1l) 100ml of starter and then after 24h pitched the into 1l of starter, and then after 24h crashed and poured off 80%, and pitched the remainder into 1l of new starter for about 48h - as I could only brew a day later than planned (hangover).

The brew went well and again I poured off 80% and pitched the rest into the wort - only then I had a chance to do a yeast count under the microscope - I did a x20 dilution as I was expecting loads of cells - but there were hardly any, and I calculated my pitch to be only ~ 20 billion! I was expecting 10 times that.

Anyway it's now Saturday and it's still fermenting strongly, but has only gone from 1.047 to 1.024... I saw quite a bit of what I took to be bacteria under the microscope too - but the beer tastes fine, so now it's just a case of if it can ferment out and what the final taste will be like. Anyone else managed to mess up the amount of yeast as much as this?
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grooves
Posts: 319
Joined: Thu Feb 18, 2016 10:34 am
Model: 20 litres (2015)
Location: UK

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Well after 17 days it has settled out at 1.012 for attenuation of 74% - bang in the middle of the published range of 72-78%. WLP051 is known to be a slow fermentor but it's obviously taken ages due to the underpitch. The aroma is a bit wine musty, sharp and a bit yeasty, but it's pretty tasty. I'll crash and fine with gelatine for a couple of days and then keg. I'll not sure how stable this beer will be, so I'll have to guzzle it during this lockdown...
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