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Jun 08, 2022 View:

Dry Pitch Yeast

How many folks out there Dry Pitch their yeast?


Reply:

I was taught to do so when I first started. We were making a lautered single malt and it worked just fine. I also pulled it off with rum. When it came time years later to make grain in mashes like rye and bourbon, it didn't work. I think the yeast would get stranded high and dry on the slight grain cap and didn't get going. Now making a starter (hydrating, feeding) is my favorite part of mashing, so I don't see ever going back to dry pitching even with clear worts. It gives the yeast a nice head start.


Reply:

We dry pitch with all of our mashes, so far no issues.  However, in previous career I worked at a fuel ethanol plant.  We would propagate the yeast for at least 4 hours, usually 6.  After the 4 to 6 hours we would then send to the fermenter (that was usually just starting to fill).  We would only send yeast without propagation if something went wrong during the propagation period.  I would quadruple the yeast recipe, still started really slow and usually ended up hurting yield in the end.  


Reply:

We dry pitch with no issues.  We pitch the yeast and nutrient in the mash tun with the agitator running after crash cooling the mash and then pump over to the fermenter. This insures the yeast/nutrient gets blended into the mash. The fermentations take-off within a couple hours.


Reply:

We always rehydrate the yeast with bottled water.  Dried yeast are like raisins and you want to turn them back into grapes; if you use distilled water they will over-inflate, if you use wort/wine they will under-inflate. Either of these situations can negatively effect budding/growth.  Not to argue with success, but you could probably use less yeast if you properly hydrate as compared to dry pitching.


Reply:

We do all types of shit depending on what we’re doing, dry pitch, propagate, slurry pitch, kettle start, etc.  We’re very keyed into our yeasts behaviors it’s needs wants and wishes and most importantly it’s generational differences and we like how it behaves in certain ways depending on our goal. My advice would be dry pitching is fine if your mash PH is in the ideal zone for your yeast, you have a grist ratio that isn’t too dry, you are pitching hot (90-97 f for me personally with our strains) while you’re still cooling to lower temp to start ferm. One thing you can do too is dry pitch and give it a sprinkle on top, just make sure it’s not RO water, and if your city water coming in is high in iron hardness or other violent undesirables then not that either, if it’s not it’s probably perfect.