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Old 07-13-2008, 02:55 PM   #1
JLC030
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Default Yeast Starter Kit

I am about to brew my first batch and have been looking at yeast starter kits on morebeer.com, mainly because I dont have any DME or yeast nutrient and I wouldnt mind having a flask(even though I could use several other vessels). The question is what size flask should I get 500, 1000, 2000 ml? I dont plan on doing any brewing over 5-6 gallons in the newxt few years(I have a feeling that will be a factor) Thanks in advance

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Old 07-13-2008, 02:59 PM   #2
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For 5g brews, I make a 1L starter which requires a 2L flask. I wouldn't go smaller than that.

-a.

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Old 07-13-2008, 03:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf View Post
For 5g brews, I make a 1L starter which requires a 2L flask. I wouldn't go smaller than that.

-a.
ajf is correct. I'd start with 2000ml.

The others are good for stepping up starters from yeast culturing. I have 50 & 500ml. I culture certain strains from tiny samples of yeast.
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
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For 5g brews, I make a 1L starter which requires a 2L flask. I wouldn't go smaller than that.
I don't understand. Do you mean 1L of slurry out of a 2L wort? Or that you get such krausen or vortex out of a 1L wort that you need another L of headspace?

So far I have been going
test tube culture -->
50ml -->
250ml -->
1000ml (or sometimes even just 500ml) -->
pitch

All on the stirplate (no sediment/slurry, all suspended). The 500/100ml stirplate wort pitch at full krausen seems to be gobs faster than pitching a smackpack or something, although theoretically I'm certainly underpitching.
When I say 1000ml I mean the fully suspended yeasty wort is up to the 1000ml mark on the flask.

Maybe I should stirplate up to the 2L, then let it sit still in the 2L and only pitch the slurry from that.

Pls chime in with advice; I am not expert in ranching or starters.
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Old 07-14-2008, 05:47 PM   #5
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I think you have it right 2L for a 1L starter. You can always go bigger if you krausen isn't a problem. Some people use ferm drops to keep this krausen minimal. There is times where you want a larger starter especially if the cell count needs to be higher like on a big beer.

In my opinion the extra space is a comfort factor. Easy swirling, easy to add DME, less likely of getting a boil over....

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Old 07-14-2008, 06:33 PM   #6
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Ok, this may seem pretty cheap and dirty, but you don't need to buy any fancy stirplates or flasks. They are way overpriced and not nearly as functional as the alternative...Step one: Go out to your nearest brewpub and buy a half gallon growler of their house specialty. Step two: get bombed on the contents of said growler Step three: wash and sanitize the growler including the lid. This is now your yeast starter vessel. Pour your 1-2 liters of starter wort into the growler, pitch your yeast, close it up tight, and shake the everlivin sh_t out of it. Unscrew the cap halfway to vent it and you're golden. Recap, shake, and vent the thing every couple of hours if you can, but its not really all that necessary. I've used this procedure for all of my brews with excellent results for a couple of years now.

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Old 07-14-2008, 07:22 PM   #7
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+1 on the growler . I have several of them and I am now using the 3 qt bottles from the apple juice that went into my Apfelwein.

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Old 07-14-2008, 10:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fratermus View Post
I don't understand. Do you mean 1L of slurry out of a 2L wort? Or that you get such krausen or vortex out of a 1L wort that you need another L of headspace?

So far I have been going
test tube culture -->
50ml -->
250ml -->
1000ml (or sometimes even just 500ml) -->
pitch
What I mean is that I make a starter containing 1L wort which I boil in the flask. When it's cooled, I pitch 1 vial White Labs or the equivalent of Wyeast, and then pitch the whole starter into the primary about 20 hours later.

I use the flask, because the stir plate does not work with a growler (and I wouldn't like to boil in a growler).
I use a 2L flask because boiling 1L wort in anything less is extremely difficult. If you don't biol in the flask, you could get by with a smaller flask, but the choices given by the OP wer 500 ml, 1L or 2L. 2L is the only one that could possibly hold a 1L starter.

-a
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Old 07-14-2008, 10:59 PM   #9
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I have a 1000ml a 2000ml and a 4000ml and if I was to start over again and just do 5 gallons of ale I would buy the 2000ml.

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Old 07-14-2008, 11:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajf View Post
I use a 2L flask because boiling 1L wort in anything less is extremely difficult. If you don't biol in the flask, you could get by with a smaller flask, but the choices given by the OP wer 500 ml, 1L or 2L. 2L is the only one that could possibly hold a 1L starter.
Thanks for the clarification.

I sterilize my starter wort in mason jars in bulk, ahead of time. I then will sterilize flasks, metal funnel and stoppers the day before and open the canner up just before I pour the sterile wort into the flask.

So in my case there is no boiling in the flask, and the stirplate seems to keep the krausen under control (pops the bubbles?). At least in this specific situation it appears possible that a 1L flask can hold a 1L starter. I do not think it would be easy or desirable to boil 1L of wort in a 1L bottle; e flasks do seem to boil over rather easily.
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