We target a pitch rate of between 7-10 million cells/mL for our yeast products. The pitch rate is strain-dependent. We are always happy to customize pro pitch rates and ensure you get the amount of yeast you want. For homebrew pouches, we target between 130-200 billion cells depending on strain.
Our Lactobacillus cultures are sized to drop the pH to below 3.5 within 24 hours. Our Brettanomyces and sour blend products are packaged at a pitch rate suitable for secondary fermentation. We can customize Brettanomyces pitch rates for pro brewers as well.
Sometimes our fermentation medium contains a small amount of residual fermentable sugars, which can cause yeast jugs/pouches to bloat. This also can happen when the yeast experiences temperature swings. As long as the pitch is not expired, it should still perform as normal.
Sulfur is typically made by yeast as a response to a low nutrient environment. A byproduct of yeast having to work harder to synthesize amino acids is the production of sulfury smells. We recommend adequate wort nutrition and oxygenation, and can help advise you on nutrition needs of specific strains.
Brett for primary fermentation must be used fresh. The culture shows a long lag time if it is stored for too long. We recommend brewers make a starter or feed the culture with fresh wort 48-72 hours prior to pitching, and to pitch the culture when it is actively fermenting. Brett shows a much longer lag time than Saccharomyces. A typical Brett primary fermentation will lag for 48-72 hours and drop 1-2ºP per day during fermentation.
All of our kveik cultures are sourced from their origin as directly as possible. Our kveik cultures are selected from the original farm cultures and are sold as blends of pure yeast isolates. Our kveik cultures do not contain bacteria, but some original farm cultures do.
Kveik yeasts seem to be very tolerant to underpitching. As a result, it is possible to split a fresh pouch of kveik between several batches of beer. Pro brewers can order custom pitch rates of kveik if they would like to experiment.
Our yeast cultures are checked for viability at the time they are harvested from the propagator. We use erythrosin B to stain dead cells and target >95% viability. Vitality is measured using a small-scale fermentation, and monitoring gravity change over time.
We propagate our yeast in a base which includes malt extract and molasses. Our medium formulation is intended to produce yeast that remains healthy for a long time, versus aiming for the palest yeast possible. We have not found our yeast products to impact beer colour at standard dosage rates.
There are many approaches to dry hopping and yeast recovery. If dry hopping mid-ferment, we recommend cropping thin slurry from the fermentor prior to dry hopping. If dry hopping at the end of ferment, we recommend cropping some but not all of the yeast prior to dry hopping.
Some of the yeasts we offer are not heavily flocculent. These include Saison yeasts, Wit yeasts and Cerberus. To crop these yeasts efficiently, we recommend cold crashing for at least three days and then harvesting the crashed yeast from the bottom of the fermentor. We are actively working to offer more flocculent versions of these yeasts to make life easier for brewers.
We could ramble on for ages. First, make sure you are pitching enough yeast. We recommend pitching the yeast at slightly lower temperature than your set fermentation temperature. The temperature can be raised once 50% attenuation is achieved, and the beer should not be cold crashed until a forced diacetyl test has been passed.
We recommend using a closed vessel for Lactobacillus souring, for example a conical fermentor or Corny keg. It can be helpful to purge the initial wort with CO2. We recommend using a temperature between 30-40ºC for most common Lactobacillus strains. Lacto can be cropped and reused between batches.
We know that time is money in the brewery, so pro pitches are packaged and shipped as fresh as possible. We recommend using your pitch as soon as possible, before the “Use By” date on the label.
We believe in providing brewers with the correct amount of yeast for their fermentations. As a result, we package and sell yeast by cell count instead of by litres. If you are used to ordering yeast by the litre, we will work with you to determine your yeast requirement by cell count, so you truly know how much yeast you’re getting.
For homebrew pouches, we typically set a shelf life of four months past the packaging date indicated on the label. This is shorter than some other yeast labs, but we believe that the yeast used by every brewer should be as fresh as possible. If the yeast is older than two months, we strongly recommend making a starter for best results.
Our standard pitch rate provided is suitable for the primary fermentation of standard gravity beers (<1.065 SG). However, for high gravity beers or when the yeast is close to or past the expiry date, we do recommend making a yeast starter.
We do not currently have the ability to sell homebrew pitches in-person out of Escarpment Labs facilities.
The cell count for Brett pitches is targeted at between a secondary and primary pitch rate. If you are pitching the Brett in secondary, you can just add the pouch directly to your fermentor. If you are doing a primary ferment, we encourage you to make a starter. Our Lactobacillus pitch rate is optimized to sour 20L/5gal wort in 24 hours. Sour blends like Belgian Sour Blend are optimized to secondary ferment 20L/5gal wort.
Looking for more?
Contact us for pricelists, submission instructions or details.