Experiment Pitching Rate and Oxygenation

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Esters are an important component of the aroma of German wheat beers. Common home brewing knowledge lists pitching rate and level of oxigenation as important factors that effect the level of esters that are produced during fermentation. While it is commonly believed among home breweres that lower pitching rates result in higher ester levels, the literature reports that increased pitching rates lead to higher levels of esters. This experiment is designed to evaluate the affect of oxygen levels and yeast pitching rate on the ester production.


Esters are formed through a condensation reaction between an alcohol and an acid [Wikipedia]. In brewing, 2 major processes exist in which esters are formed. During intra cellular ester formation, the yeast's metabolism produces esters through enzymatic reactions. But esters can also be formed by a simple condensation reaction between an organic acid and an acohol. But due to the slow reaction rate, this form of esterformation doesn't play a role in primary fermentation and produces significant results only after extended aging (12+ weeks) [Engan 1974, Narziss 1983 via Hermann 2005]. This ester formation during aging is responsible for the dark fruit notes of aged beers. But more interesting for the brewer is the ester production during the primary fermentation.

Materials and Methods

Results and Discussion



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