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Old 02-24-2009, 07:22 PM   #1
hukdizzle
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Default Think a starter is neccesary?

Gonna be brewing up Ed's Bee Cave Hefe that has an OG of 1.052 this Saturday. I have a couple of options to me here but really building the start properly isn't one or I would do it without question (12-24 hour build the night before brewing).

Yeast: Wyeast Weihenstephan Activator Pack (100 bil Cell Count). I know the package says to smack and pitch but I hear otherwise on these forums depending on the beer and such. The other option I have is this following:

Make a starter with 50 grams of Light DME and 500ml of Water in an Erlenmeyer the morning of brewing(Around 8:30AM - 9AM) and pitching by 3PM-4PM possibly earlier depending. I have heard that this is not optimal because it does not give the yeast adequate time to reproduce and fall out of suspension.

Since this is such an average sized beer I am thinking that following Wyeast's instructions might be adequate but would like an experienced opinion on this.

Thanks,

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Old 02-24-2009, 07:36 PM   #2
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I think making the starter would be a great idea. I only let them finish off and then decant when they are really big and would effect the flavor of the beer. A 1L starter is not going to effect the flavor of the beer but could grow a healthy pitch of yeast. My preferred method with starters of 2L or less is to make them morning of and pitch them when they are at the height of activity.

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Old 02-24-2009, 07:37 PM   #3
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I would advise that you definitly make a starter. The flavor profile of a hefeweizen depends SO heavily on the ester profile generated by the yeast that I would not want to do anything to upset them (like pitching an inadequate cell count). Could you possibly make the starter earlier in the week, say tomorrow or wednesday? After 24 hours, throw the starter into the fridge until saturday morning. Then decant off the liquid from the yeast cake. Pitch 500 mL of wort in to resuspend the yeast cake at that point and you should be good to go come pitch time.
Good luck,
Matt

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Old 02-24-2009, 07:45 PM   #4
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Unfortunately I cannot make the starter any earlier than that. The only option I have is when I get to my brewing location, go ahead and immediately make the starter (Around 8:30 AM) then commence to brewing. Brewing needs to be done by about 3-4PM so I assume that is the time I will be pitching so roughly a 6 hour growth period for the yeast. I am going to make a 50 Gram DME/500 ML Water wort for the starter and pitch. I also may have the ability to oxygenate the starter wort via diffusion stone and pure oxygen.

The only thing holding me back from making my starter is an adequate glass container to use. I cannot find an Erlenmeyer Flask locally in time, any ideas on what I could use other than that? I was thinking maybe a cheap glass tea pitcher would do the trick, could be large enough to do it but the only issue there is everyone I find is like 10$, looking to spend less if possible.

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Old 02-24-2009, 07:55 PM   #5
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You can use just about anything to make a starter. I have used glass booze bottles, growlers ,plastic apple juice bottles etc . If you can't make a starter you could use 2 smack packs , smack and let sit then pitch.


edit:you need 255 million cells for your beer so Mr.malty say'ssssss.... 2.6 smack packs or 1 smack or vial with 3.45 liter starter

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Old 02-24-2009, 08:08 PM   #6
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Really cool tool, I used it and it says I need a 2.97L starter. Looks like I will be trying to find a Glass Pitcher or maybe even a large Vase possibly to do this in (90 oz pitcher).

Thanks for the help guys. I will try and make this the night before so it has 24 full hours to reproduce. Any Objections?

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Old 02-24-2009, 08:26 PM   #7
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I use one of these and they work just fine. They come in several sizes.


jc050_lg.jpg

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Old 02-24-2009, 08:35 PM   #8
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Badass man, you win. Unfortunately it's not large enough to make the starter that Mr. Malty wants me to make but it's better than nothing for sure. I will probably make a full liter starter (about 33 oz). That should be adequate enough, I will go ahead and let it take off for a full 24 hours then pitch into the wort.

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Old 02-24-2009, 08:50 PM   #9
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Probably not the first to think of it but how about those huge Carlo Rossi jugs, I'd just pour out the wine lol.

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Old 02-24-2009, 11:14 PM   #10
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So it looks like I am going to do a starter on a stirplate the morning of Brewing and let it go on the stirplate for 6 hours then pitch. Looking to do a 1.2L starter is what Mr. Malty Calc says.

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