sweettuff wrote:Thanks for your replies. Clarification: Whether wash or mash, what is your experience with just putting yeast atop the fully dissolved sugars/grains/etc versus fully mixing them into the batch before sealing? The 'mother-site' is not specific. Thanks. (Or is it just experimental?)
This is one item that is not well "documented" on the parent site (or it is listed but there are 6 references, and they all contradict each other).
I would answer, that this has no real "proper" answer. However, I personally always make a small "starter" for my mash/washes. That is simply, take a small amount of the wort out, FULLY aerate this, and pitch and mix your yeast into this small amount. Then allow this to grow for 6 to 12 hours. This will allow you to get a HUGE yeast colony working. Then, simply dump this starter into your main wash.
1. If you are making a mash, you have a high temp bunch of liquid that is sterile, but must be brought down in temp (also there is not too much dissolved O2 in that mash). Thus, you can take a small amount of the mash, push a LOT of O2 into this, cool it off to proper temp and get your yeast started, while the main batch cools down. Then, you will have to spend less time stirring your main mash batch (thus less chance of getting an infection into that mash).
2. You can get a larger colony going quickly. Much more so than a small satchet of yeast. Thus, the yeast has more chance to dominate, and thus, much less chance of infection.
There are other reasons, but this is enough to answer the question.
There are some yeast packets which do recommend simply sprinkling the dried yeast on top of the wort. I do not do it that way, but you certainly can. My opinion is to try to get as huge of a yeast colony as quickly as possible, and to NOT put in too much yeast in the start (thus keeping the costs down).
Also, I usually try to keep my yeast colonies going over time. Once you have a good yeast bed, simply keep it going. When you have your wash/mash finish up the "primary" ferment, simply siphon it off the lees, and put this semi-finished wash into a different container, and allow it to settle out, prior to siphoning it into the still. Then, you can start a new wash, and put it right into the yeast bed from the wash you just finished primary fermenting. This in my opinion is the "best" way to pitch your yeast (i.e. only pitch it once, and from that point on, simply keep it going).