wyeast 1187 ringwood

Share your experiences of using brewing yeast.
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PeeBee
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Re: wyeast 1187 ringwood

Post by PeeBee » Wed Apr 08, 2020 12:08 pm

"McMullan" woke this thread up at just the wrong time! I'd got a brew organised and a 1187 pack on the verge of "best before" (six months old). Panic! So I check my contingency; a six month old pack of "London III"!

So I opt for a two stage starter (22L batch). Even though it's a Wyeast "smack pack" I'd never trust them to be used without a starter even if only a week old. So Step One; create 400ml starter. 24 hours on a stir plate - nothing. 48 hours on the stir plate - nothing. I boil up a new starter to cool and get the "London III" out of fridge to warm up. 60 hours, starter still appears to be dead, switch off stir plate and prepare to use "contingency". But half hour later there are bubbles rising from the "dead" yeast. A double check, and yes its revived! It's pitched into Step Two, back on the stir plate, after 24 hours, going strong, chill and get ready to brew next day.

What is "Nothing"? This is where I deviate from normal practice and was slammed for mentioning it last time. So, never wanting to miss out on getting beaten up, I'm going to repeat it! With a bit more explanation. Yeast goes through a "lag" phase where it builds up numbers and then gets on with the "fermentation" phase. Sugar is consumed in both phases, Although the amount of sugar used in "lag" might be difficult to measure. But there is some cross-over of "phases" and some yeast will be fermenting before lag phase is complete. A starter is all about "lag" phase, or building up the numbers. And I check "lag" phase is under way by ... measuring the SG.

This waiting for the SG to drop is what has got me slammed in the past. It's wrong, I should do what many others do; have faith in the instructions and just pitch in the starter anyway. So I can watch it fail or take an enormous amount of time to start.

The beer has started within 10 hours of pitching the starter of "dodgy" yeast. The "London III" is back in the fridge, past its "best before", but will get used.

So my advise is always pitch a starter (if using liquid yeast). And don't pitch that starter until it shows a significant drop in gravity (5-25+ points).

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Re: wyeast 1187 ringwood

Post by f00b4r » Wed Apr 08, 2020 9:57 pm

McMullan wrote:
mozza wrote:
Sat Mar 21, 2020 8:37 pm
My favourite strain for anything English. Such a complex yeast.
It's definitely one of my favourites. Always seem to go back to it after not using it for a while.
Care to tell PeeBee and others in the board your much better way to attempt to revive older yeast packs with low viability and the reasons why it is better to be done that way?
Your method resulted in my ferments becoming much better in every aspect.

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Re: wyeast 1187 ringwood

Post by PeeBee » Thu Apr 09, 2020 10:00 am

f00b4r wrote:
Wed Apr 08, 2020 9:57 pm
McMullan wrote: It's definitely one of my favourites. Always seem to go back to it after not using it for a while.
... Care to tell PeeBee and others in the board your much better way to attempt to revive older yeast packs with low viability and the reasons why it is better to be done that way? ...
Eee ... I hope he does tell! I'm well aware my approach may not be the best and I for one will be quick to take up a better way. But my way works and is far better than pure faith. The biggest (practical) problem with my method is I'm really expecting folk to use a refractometer for SG readings as a hydrometer will be difficult to use in this situation, and risky.

The last time I mentioned this the antagonist (I don't remember names) offered no alternative; this time promises to be far more instructional?


My beer is reading 1.030 this morning, down from 1.047. Crikey, this yeast is s-l-o-w! However, I'm using a "Tilt" hydrometer to monitor fermentation and if this yeast is particularly heavy cropping (first time I've used it) the Tilt might be getting all gummed up? They do that! Temperature has been bumped up a degree to 20C; maybe that will improve things.

(EDIT: Just manually checked and Tilt about matches manual refractometer reading (adjusted) at 1.029. So the yeast is s-l-o-w! After a bit of experience with Tilts I do expect them to over-read near end of fermentation by at least two points and purposely allow for that with calibration: I.e. Water which should be calibrated to 1.000 - and does read as this normally - is calibrated to read 0.998 instead).

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Re: wyeast 1187 ringwood

Post by PeeBee » Fri Apr 10, 2020 8:57 am

Day 3.3 and SG is 1.022. This stuff is desperately slow. I know some folk put up with tardy fermentation all the time, but not me; I'm not used to a 1.040-50 beer taking longer than 2.5 days. The beer was well oxygenated with pure oxygen (more so than usual, I'd already had some warning). The yeast was built (eventually) to a higher cell count (calculated) than usual (I would normally under-pitch at about 0.60-0.65 million cells / (mL x P°) ) and the temperature has been ramped up as fermentation progresses (now set at 21°C). I can see why people hate this yeast. The final result better have been worth the anxiety.

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Re: wyeast 1187 ringwood

Post by McMullan » Sat Apr 11, 2020 12:57 pm

The lack of activity observed is due to insufficient healthy yeast cells - an under pitch for a yeast culture. A yeast culture should be done within 48-72 hours. A delay observed for days isn’t a lag phase. The lag phase lasts for hours, not days. It’s simply the time it takes yeast cells to express the genes and produce the proteins (enzymes) required to exploit the fresh resources for growth then fermentation, where, in a starter, we want to promote growth rather than fermentation. Under pitching a starter doesn’t promote yeast growth, because the live cells don’t carry on budding indefinitely at a sufficient rate, which is determined mainly by the initial conditions, O2, yeast health and number. An under pitched starter is wasting time and resources, risks avoidable fermentation problems and ends up with erroneous online opinions about some yeast strains. If the yeast head on a Ringwood (or similar) starter isn’t threatening to climb out of the starter vessel, it’s unlikely to perform at its best fermenting beer wort.

Here’s what can be done with out-of-date liquid yeast. (As far as I'm concerned they're out of date long before most of us get them.) It’s essentially the initial steps a commercial wet yeast supplier would follow. Prep a mini starter, 10ml sterile wort (pressure cooked or double boiled) in a small heatproof 30-50ml vial/bottle/jar. Carefully open the yeast pack (or stored jar or whatever) then take a tiny drop of yeast slurry, about a match head size and drop it into the 10ml wort. Bung the rest of the yeast pack in the bin. Culture the mini starter for 48-72 hours before stepping up to 100ml. After another 48-72 hours step up again. I prefer to step up 5x after 100ml, usually 500ml to 2.5L. You’ll end up pitching the healthiest wet starter possible. Hands on prep time is so minimal the ‘inconvenience of it all’ isn’t a valid reason not to pitch the best possible wet yeast starter. Just plan ahead a week to 10 days.

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Re: wyeast 1187 ringwood

Post by McMullan » Sat Apr 11, 2020 2:03 pm

PeeBee wrote:
Fri Apr 10, 2020 8:57 am
Day 3.3 and SG is 1.022. This stuff is desperately slow. I know some folk put up with tardy fermentation all the time, but not me; I'm not used to a 1.040-50 beer taking longer than 2.5 days. The beer was well oxygenated with pure oxygen (more so than usual, I'd already had some warning). The yeast was built (eventually) to a higher cell count (calculated) than usual (I would normally under-pitch at about 0.60-0.65 million cells / (mL x P°) ) and the temperature has been ramped up as fermentation progresses (now set at 21°C). I can see why people hate this yeast. The final result better have been worth the anxiety.
It might well stall at the 'dreaded 1.020', which is more to do with under pitching than anything else. Under pitching is associated with cell condition not just cell numbers. Ringwood should be close to done in 3-5 days. The last few points can be slow, because it drops so readily and doesn't seem to ferment well once settled. The key is to pitch sufficient healthy cells in the first place and, ideally, rouse sufficiently, to get the cells back in the wort, fermenting. Also, with less healthy cells, lots of O2 might be more harmful than beneficial, as it's actually toxic and only promotes growth (to lower O2 loads) of healthy, physiologically functional, cells.

According to online wisdom, we just make a starter of x size, to produce sufficient cells, then bung it in. There's little consideration of yeast condition. This is wrong. Using the method I described earlier allows me to pitch more healthy cells using half the volumes suggested by some online starter calculators. Yeast stored in liquid, at high population density, in a fridge for months are not healthy. Take a tiny amount and start culturing in millilitres not litres. Healthy cells (good budders and good fermenters) soon outnumber unhealthy cells (bad budders and bad fermenters).

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Re: wyeast 1187 ringwood

Post by PeeBee » Sat Apr 11, 2020 6:14 pm

I won't have to worry about "stall". More like "is it going to stop now?". 1.011 is a bit low in my book, but it is showing signs of plateauing. I'm currently digesting all those ideas I've been fed. O2: I gave it all of sixty seconds, which some folk would laugh at but its doing exactly what I try to avoid now (won't stop), forty seconds is more normal for me.

Thanks.

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Re: wyeast 1187 ringwood

Post by McMullan » Sat Apr 11, 2020 7:34 pm

Glad to hear it. Hope you enjoy the beer. From 1.047 it's likely drop another point or two.

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Re: wyeast 1187 ringwood

Post by guypettigrew » Sat Apr 11, 2020 7:44 pm

Yay, McMullan

Although I don't follow your micro drop procedure for preparing a yeast starter, my experience is always that 2-4 days from pitching is enough. By then the beer is down to about 1/4 of its original gravity and ready for cooling and than kegging.

At this point I want to get the beer off the fermenting yeast, cooled down, cleared of most of the yeast in suspension and into a drinkable state.

So many people choose to leave the beer in the fermenter for a couple of weeks. I've never understood why.

Guy

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Re: wyeast 1187 ringwood

Post by McMullan » Sun Apr 12, 2020 9:15 am

At this point I want to get the beer off the fermenting yeast, cooled down, cleared of most of the yeast in suspension and into a drinkable state.
I agree, Guy. Getting the beer off the yeast as soon as is good practice and can reduce the time to glass. A secondary vessel can act like a 'filter', without sediment bubbling up from the primary yeast cake. Personally, I think the beer tastes better too.

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Re: wyeast 1187 ringwood

Post by PeeBee » Sun Apr 12, 2020 12:33 pm

Fermentation certainly finished, more difficult to see it happen with such a sedate (but exceptionally steady) fermentation.
PedwarDegNawGraph.JPG
(I was a bit late starting this graph, SG was 1.047, so it's missing the first few hours. There is an "anomoly" after 0:00 9th April that is due to lost connectivity for about 8 hours. There are the usual "stuck" anomalies after this, as always seems to be with Tilt hydrometers, but have to tune-in your sight to see them.).

Having had this Tilt hydrometer for over a year, I'm rather pleased that the calibration methods I apply to predict the bizarre behaviour of Tilt hydrometers is working so well (FG from Tilt and a manual refractometer reading agree for once). But this is only the first outing for those techniques, and this is the subject of a different thread.

I'm more used to rapidly accelerating fermentations that hit FG like a bomb and take half the time. Still, I suppose this fermentation (4 days) fits in with McMullan's predictions (3-5 days), but getting there has been an anxious time for me. I'm still picking over the lessons learnt using this yeast.

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Re: wyeast 1187 ringwood

Post by McMullan » Sat May 16, 2020 1:33 pm

PeeBee wrote:
Sun Apr 12, 2020 12:33 pm
I'm more used to rapidly accelerating fermentations that hit FG like a bomb and take half the time. Still, I suppose this fermentation (4 days) fits in with McMullan's predictions (3-5 days), but getting there has been an anxious time for me. I'm still picking over the lessons learnt using this yeast.
I'm really not sure what was supposed to have happened (or didn't) to be so anxious, let alone to be 'picking over the lessons learnt'. It was a fermentation, not a national crisis. Perhaps you should discuss it with this bloke. He seems to know what he's typing about :^o :lol:

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Re: wyeast 1187 ringwood

Post by PeeBee » Sat May 16, 2020 7:25 pm

McMullan wrote:
Sat May 16, 2020 1:33 pm
I'm really not sure what was supposed to have happened (or didn't) to be so anxious, let alone to be 'picking over the lessons learnt'. It was a fermentation, not a national crisis. Perhaps you should discuss it with this bloke. He seems to know what he's typing about :^o :lol:
I couldn't figure out why you were ranting at one of my older (2 month) posts. And then I clicked the link …

Someone is having a larff. And you definitely go in my virtual "bad person" box for a week at least!

And I'm quite happy coping with my insular little anxieties. It beats recent experiences of having to be scraped off the ceiling when a real national crisis occurs.

:wall

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Re: wyeast 1187 ringwood

Post by McMullan » Sat May 16, 2020 7:32 pm

The "bad person" box for a week at least? What a wanker!

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Re: wyeast 1187 ringwood

Post by PeeBee » Sat May 16, 2020 7:41 pm

You know this character? You just tell him from me …

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