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03/11/08 06:57 PM  
Yeast; starters and oak
Okay 2 questions

1. I have a Belgian pale ale (the second runnings from a recent westy clone) that was basically flavorless. I added some oak chips and a little chardonnay thinking that that might bring it around. Well ten days later and it is still pretty lifeless. Nevertheless, there is a very nice abbey ale II yeast cake under what was a about a 1045 wort. Is the yeast still okay after sitting in there with oak for ten days-two weeks?

2. Is there any reason that one couldn't keep a starter on a stir plate, pitch part of the starter on brew day, then add additional wort from the last of the mash and just keep a colony of perpetually growing yeast in that beaker? I know yeast get tired when they ferment batches of beer, but is that because of the volume and higher alcohol content or do they just eventually stop doing well over time too?

Al B
03/11/08 09:50 PM  
Re: Yeast; starters and oak

1. The yeast will be fine as long as its not 80-90F (and I know it ain't up there where you are).

2. I assume the additional wort has been boiled to sterilize, so yes.....however there will be a point to where the yeast cell population consumes all the nutrients during oxygenation and begins to utilize the glycogen stored up within the cells - which will be needed for the best performance of fermentation (no off flavors, attenuation, excess esters, etc.). This can happen rather quickly, otherwise you'll have to prep starters every day for continuous feeding and continuous brewing (well, worse things could happen).

Also, the second runnings may be low in amino acids - and thats bad for propagation. Do we need to open Camp Al B for microbial kinetic programming? ;)

Yeast get tired during fermentation/respiration due to depletion of glycogen reserves (population of pitch and health dependent), alcohol to a lesser degree.

I like yer stamina in these 2nd running projects, I never bothered after drinkin a small beer once...........once.

Al B

03/12/08 07:16 AM  
Re: Yeast; starters and oak

I should have noted that I also added fresh yeast nutrients to the (boiled) fresh wort.

Stamina, yeah thats it. I actually just thought i'd give it a whirl. this little pale ale that I have on the abbey ale II culture is pretty thin and watery, but I always have a hard time telling what it will be like before its carbonated. I think I may just go ahead and keg it. Worst case, I give it away.

My question in the first case was more about whether oak chips in the primary do any damage to yeast, but it sounds like they dont.

Al B
03/12/08 07:20 AM  
Re: Yeast; starters and oak
I don't see oak chips being detrimental to yeast.
03/12/08 01:34 PM  
Re: Yeast; starters and oak
Not detrimental but unless you santized them, definitely not totally sanitary. You are taking a low risk of contamination if you ferment something else on this yeast cake.
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