A healthy and strong fermentation is the best way to ensure your efforts as a brewer will result in a quality batch of beer. To ensure your fermentation performs optimally, Inland Island offers the highest pitch rate in the industry by delivering you 750,000 cells / mL of wort / degree plato. We hear brewers often complain about sluggish fermentations after pitching lab grown cells from our competition. This is usually because most yeast propagation companies do not deliver enough cells to ferment the wort their customers have produced. Under pitching yeast can lead to sluggish starts, under attenuation, fermentation stalls, and off flavors. For these reasons and many others, we feel that a proper cell count is of paramount importance to yeast pitching.
What is the proper cell concentration for my yeast pitch?
750,000 cells per milliliter of wort per degree Plato of wort is the recommended cell concentration for ales. 1,200,000 cells per milliliter of wort per degree Plato of wort is the recommended cell concentration for lagers. Inland Island Yeast Laboratories grows all their pitches custom for the desired size and wort gravity of our customers based on these numbers. If buying your yeast from Inland Island, you can always be confident you are pitching the correct amount of cells for your fermentation. If you are not currently an Inland Island customer, we strongly encourage you to check with your current supplier to determine you are receiving the correct amount of cells!
Determining how much yeast is needed to pitch on your next brew day involves more than a microscope and hemocytometer. You first need to get a sample from your slurry that will be ‘representative’ of the entire batch. You then need to determine a logical dilution rate and perform your dilutions in a consistent manner every time. Next, cell counting should be done the same way every time by everyone involved. At Inland Island, we strongly suggest writing up Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to ensure everyone is on the same page.
Finally, you need to have a solid understanding of the math involved. Assuming a 10bbl brewery that needs a pitch to ferment a 15 Plato ale wort (or 1.058 SG), you would need the following quantity of cells:
Total # of Cells Needed = (10 bbls) x (15 Plato) x (750,000 Cells) x (31 gallons/bbl) x (3781 mLs/gallon) = 1.32E13 Cells
You will then need to back calculate to determine the volume or weight of slurry necessary to achieve this quantity of cells.
Inland Island Online Yeast Pitch Calculator
We’ve built an online version of our yeast pitching calculator. Enter your measurements and observations in the yellow cells and the rest will be calculated for you!