How to Add Yeast

February 10, 2010

Adding yeast to beer wort or wine must to start the fermentation process is called pitching.

When I first started brewing, I would simply add the yeast to my batch. There is nothing wrong doing it this way, but it is not the optimal way. This is because it is sometimes shocked by temperature and the presence of so much consumable sugar.

The preferred way is a method called rehydrating. Take some water at about 100 degrees and add the yeast, and maybe a little bit of sugar, and then let it sit for fifteen minutes up to four hours. The yeast will begin multiplying a little bit and will create a little bit of foam, which is a good sign they are ready to be pitched into the batch.

The difference between the rehydrating and not is that rehydrating creates healthier yeast, which becomes evident as the batch will start fermenting sooner than if the yeast had not been rehydrated.

That said, there are times that I still don’t rehydrate. For instance, I’ve used Whole Foods unfiltered (unfermented) pasteurized apple cider several times now that I know what the SG and pH is, so I don’t need to take samples, and therefore do not handle any of the pasteurized juice. In an effort to reduce contamination from tap water, I will pitch the yeast without rehydrating it.

The important thing is to follow the directions for the yeast, because they are written to provide you with the most optimal conditions for that kind of yeast. My husband recently started a new beer, and the yeast he was using told him just to pitch it without rehydrating it. He thought this was odd, so he decided to ignore the directions, and he went ahead and rehydrated it. Well, that yeast kind of made these little globs, and when he pitch it, the globs floated on top of his beer wort, looking quite odd and causing him some alarm. I’m sure it will be quite fine, but goes to show that one should follow the directions on the yeast packet when it comes to pitching yeast.

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3 Responses to “How to Add Yeast”


  1. […] either Campden Tablets or powdered potassium metasulfites. It is usually added 24 hours before the yeast is pitched, and then about every 180 days and right before bottling because sulfites do fade […]


  2. […] want to take a risk of losing the batch, especially since the pH is a bit high. Yesterday, I pitched a Montrachet yeast, and I will add yeast nutrient once it gets […]


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