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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Brewing Forum --> Brewing Discussion --> Overpitching / Underpitching

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Charter Member
Eden Prairie, MN
301 Posts

What is the effect of overpitching / underpitching on ester production?

It seems the conventional wisdom -- at least on /r/homebrewing -- is ‎that underpitching results in more esters, and vice versa.

But in "IPA", Mitch Steele says the opposite. Something about large amount of yeast taking up acetyl-CoA . And Neva Parker, in her Fermentation Mythbusters presentation at a NHC, has a slide that shows the same relationship as Steele.

Posted 34 days ago.

Charter Member
Somerville, MA
155 Posts

That's a good question. I've always subscribed to the "conventional" wisdom about under-pitching. One time I made a hefeweizen and made sure to underpitch the yeast in order to help draw out more of the banana flavor esters. It was quite banana-y, but I haven't made that same recipe with a healthy pitch of yeast to see if the underpitching itself made the difference. That might make a good xBmt to try; I've been itching to make another hefeweizen recently.

Posted 34 days ago.

Charter Member
Birmingham, AL
2480 Posts

I've read on this, and it seems that the conventional wisdom is pretty spot on.  I have read that a massive overpitch can lead to as many attenuation problems as an underpitch, which I thought was interesting. 

The big ide effect I see to overpitching is bland beer with a thinner body.

Posted 34 days ago.

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