GigaYeast - Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How long is the Gold Pitch good for? R. Every Gold Pitch is marked with a “produced on” date. Our research shows that storing at 4 C (39 F) and pitching to 5 gallons of wort at 17 Plato or less within 3 months of the produced-on date is optimal. We recommend making a starter for beers bigger than 17 P or for Gold Pitches older than 3 months. We don’t recommend using the Gold Pitch after 6 months past the produced-on date. Q. What should I do if I’m not observing any visible signs of fermentation? R. Classic, visible signs of healthy fermentation are Krausen and active movement in the wort. If after 48 hours there are no visible signs of fermentation we recommend taking a gravity reading to confirm the wort is not attenuating because even if a brewer does not see these signs, the wort may still be fermenting. If the wort gravity is showing even small signs of attenuation your beer will likely turn out fine. If there is no detectable drop in gravity check wort temp and if necessary warm the beer and rouse the yeast by gently swirling the fermenter. If after 72 hours there are still no signs of fermentation you should consider pitching additional yeast. Q. My GigaYeast gold pitch is puffed up! Is it OK to brew with? How can I test and make sure it is safe to add to my wort? R. If the pouch puffs up as it is warming up on the day of pitching, that is okay. We do not recommend using Gold Pitches that have been swollen for a long time. Q. My GigaYeast Gold Pitch arrived a little puffy? What should I do? R. Occasionally a GoldPitch will swell over time in cold storage. Swelling is the result of CO2 produced by healthy yeast as a result of metabolizing residual sugar. Although we have measures in place to prevent this it still occurs in a small number of units. CO2 production per say is not a sign of unhealthy yeast -- quite the opposite. Unfortunately prolonged exposure to excessive CO2 pressure does damage yeast and over time may lead to reduced activity. In most cases we find swollen GoldPitches still ferment perfectly fine. If you decide to use a swollen GoldPitch we recommend making a starter and monitoring it for visible activity/growth to insure the yeast is healthy. Q. How do I make a starter? R. Coming soon! Q. I have an old refrigerated Gold Pitch. How would I verify if it is still usable or not? R. For storage time and shelf life see FAQ 1. The most effective way to validate a Gold Pitch is to make a starter and verify the starter becomes turbid within 48 hrs. Slow growth may indicate a problem. If the starter takes up to 5 days to become turbid it may still be fine. To check your starter, decant a small amount into a spoon and smell/taste the starter. Don’t expect it to taste like beer. What you are looking for are obvious off flavours that indicate contamination such as sourness, strong phenolics or barnyard like aromas. Q. What is the correct pitching rate for GigaYeast? R. We recommend pitching one Gold Pitch to five gallons of wort. If it is a high gravity brew (17 Plato or higher), a lager starting below 18 C (65 F), or three months past the produced-on date, we recommend a starter or a double pitch. Q. Is it worse to over pitch or under pitch? R. Under pitching can lead to stuck fermentation and increases the risk of contamination. Over pitching is very unlikely to cause serious issues, but may decrease esters and other yeast character. Q. What are the major differences between liquid and dry yeast? R. Coming soon! Q. Should I add Yeast Nutrient? R. Although wort typically contains all the essential nutrients, yeast nutrient is an affordable way to ensure the health of the yeast and the consistency of the fermentation. Yeast nutrient is particularly important in high gravity wort and wort containing a high percentage of adjuncts or made from grist with a high percentage of unmalted grain. Q. What should I do to make sure I give GigaYeast the best chance for a healthy fermentation? R. Following a few simple rules will help give you the best chance for a robust fermentation. Use Gold Pitches within the recommended time frame and for the correct amount of wort (See FAQ1). Aerate well either by shaking your wort vigorously for several seconds or using a sintered air stone and an air source. Add Yeast Nutrient to your wort. On brew day make sure to warm the Gold Pitch all the way up to room temperature and thoroughly re-suspend before pitching to wort at the correct fermentation temperature. Inadequate re-suspension of yeast before pitching and low temperatures are leading causes of fermentation problems. Q. How can I harvest and re-pitch GigaYeast? R. Coming Soon!