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Old 05-12-2009, 11:51 AM   #1
OrlandoHomeBrewer
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Default Yeast Starter

I am planning on brewing tomorrow afternoon/evening. I pulled my Wyeast out of the fridge and noticed it is a Propagator and not an Activator. I haven't done a starter before. I have read the instructions and it seems simple enough.

I know it is recommended but do I have to do it? I don't have any DME. My LHBS carries it in 3 lb bag (which is WAY more than I need). Is this something that grocery stores carry (Publix, Whole Foods, etc.) in smaller quantities? Could I use something else as a substitute?

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Old 05-12-2009, 12:08 PM   #2
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I'd highly recommend it. The Propogator doesn't have a high enough cell count to pitch & forget. I would pop for the DME, or at least a different pack of yeast (Activator). Do you have grain on hand? You could also make your own extract by mashing a small amount of grain (0.5-1lb) in the oven for a starter.

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Old 05-12-2009, 12:37 PM   #3
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Just the grain for the kit. I think I will do as you suggested, stop by the LHBS and get a pack of activator and pitch it along with the propagator.

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Old 05-12-2009, 12:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrlandoHomeBrewer View Post
I am planning on brewing tomorrow afternoon/evening. I pulled my Wyeast out of the fridge and noticed it is a Propagator and not an Activator. I haven't done a starter before. I have read the instructions and it seems simple enough.

I know it is recommended but do I have to do it? I don't have any DME. My LHBS carries it in 3 lb bag (which is WAY more than I need). Is this something that grocery stores carry (Publix, Whole Foods, etc.) in smaller quantities? Could I use something else as a substitute?
Do you have to make a starter - NO!
Should you make a starter - YES!

Are you brewing all grain or with extract?

If all grain. Mash .5 lb base grain in 1 qt water @ 150 for 1 hr, remove grain, boil, cool, shake wort, and pitch yeast.

If extract, take 1/2 cup of the extract from your kit, mix with one pint of water, boil, cool, shake wort, and pitch yeast.

I swirl my starter every time I walk past it (so does Mrs. Jass) because I do not have a stir plate. After you have brewed and the wort is at pitching temp., swirl solution to re-suspend the yeast and pour into wort.

Here's a link to Palmer's instructions.

Good luck and Cheers
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Old 05-12-2009, 12:55 PM   #5
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I would personally go to your LHBS and pick up that 3lb bag of DME. Although this is more than you'll need for this particular starter, I would assume that you'll be using liquid yeast again in the future and will need to make another starter. The DME won't go bad anytime soon and you're only really using it to grow the yeast. I'll decant off of the yeast in the starter before pitching as well. IMO, I wouldn't take any DME from your kit in order to make the starter. Robbing from Peter to pay Paul...

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Old 05-12-2009, 09:46 PM   #6
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Thanks! I will keep you posted on the outcome.

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Old 05-16-2009, 03:00 AM   #7
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Results so far...

I wound up being pressed for time and just pitched the propagator at 65 degrees. It took just over 24 hours to come to life but when it did, it has been popping the airlock very well. I realize it may take longer for my batch to ferment but it is good to know you don't have to use a starter if you are pressed for time (and your yeast package is nice and swollen).

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Old 05-17-2009, 02:00 AM   #8
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Right. You're figuring it out what RDWHAHB really means, now. As long as beer is made, the gods are happy.

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