Friday, April 15, 2011

Split A Yeast Pack In Half For Mr. Beer Batches

Whenever I brew Ale recipes I like to split a single tube, or package, of yeast into two 2.13 gallon Mr. Beer fermenters. And I do this without worrying if that will be enough yeast to properly ferment all of the beer. I've been doing this for over a year now with perfect results, pitching half the packaged amount of yeast works perfectly for Mr. Beer sized batches. Yeast companies package and sell their homebrewer products based on 5 gallon batches, the typical size used by most brewers at home.

Split A Single WLP005 Yeast Tube Into Two
I also look at this as a great way of keeping yeast costs under control while continually pitching fresh yeast. I cool my wort down to the yeast's lower end of it's optimal temperature range and then maintain that temperature throughout the primary fermentation which usually lasts between 1-2 weeks.

Very Active Primary Fermentation Using WLP005

Once the activity inside the keg has stopped for a few days I'll raise the temperature 2-3 degrees and allow another day or two before racking to a secondary fermenter for cold crashing. The last brew I made was my all grain Screwy's Pale Ale where I pitched a single 11g package of Safale S-05 into two Mr. Beer fermenters. The brew before that was my all grain Extra Screwy Bitters where I pitched a single tube of WLP005 into two Mr. Beer fermenters. In both cases the fermentations took off quickly and finished up with a low final gravity.

Final Gravity Reading When Racking To Secondary
Splitting a dry yeast package is straightforward and easy to do. I boil about a cup of filtered water for 10-15 minutes and let it cool down to 90F and pour it into a small sanitized bowl. I pour in the dry yeast and let it sit for 20 minutes, during this time the yeast will slowly begin to rehydrate. Stir this yeast mixture every 5-10 minutes until it becomes creamy in texture and it's ready to pitch.

Rehydrating Dry Yeast Before Splitting It In Two
Once the yeast is nice and creamy fill two small sanitized cups evenly with the rehydrated yeast mixture and you're now ready to pitch. I've prepared my yeast up o 2 hours ahead of time and have had perfect fermentations every time. During the time it takes to rehydrate the dry yeast the temperature of the mixture will fall to room temperature, just right for pitching into your cool wort.

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