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Old 08-29-2008, 04:19 AM   #1
Ceedubya
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Default conflicting advice

I know there is a lot of info here regarding starters, and I have researched a lot of it, but some of it can be a bit confusing.

I am also getting conflicting advice from both of what I consider viable sources.

After a several year hiatus from brewing, I am trying to brew an Oktoberfest Lagar using an extract recipe with specialty grains to boot.

I am wanting to build a starter, and have had some issues: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/stuck-starter-77775/


I think I know what happened there, and I'm pretty sure that the starter is not pitch worthy.

Anyway, I have more of the liquid yeast, and want to start over. So, I will build a much bigger starter to begin with, pitch the yeast, and let run for a couple of days before brew day.

BUT, I have one person telling me to bring the yeast to room temp, get the starter within a few degrees of the yeast and pitch. Let it run at room temp, 65 to 70 degrees for a couple of days, and then brew and pitch at that temp.

Another source is convinced that the last starter I built was fine since it showed action unitil I put in the lagering fridge. He believes the fast chill shocked the yeast. So his advice is to leave the yeast in the lager fridge, chill the starter to this temp, 50-55 degrees, pitch and build the starter at this temp.

Reasearch here, and other places, has shown me both as a possibility. Its a little confusing.

Is one better than the other for developing healthy yeast? Which would YOU do?

And as a second, when I do brew, at what temp will I want to pitch the starter, and do I want to leave it out for awhile before bringing it down to lagar temps?

Its funny, cause the last batch I did before I quit for awhile was 4 years ago, it was a lagar and turned out great. I don't remember any of these issues, but I also don't think I used a starter. As a matter of fact, when digging through the back room to find all my stuff this week I actually found a 6'r of this stuff still in the bottle leftover, and in a cardboard box under a bunch of storage stuff. It shouldn't have ever been in any temp extremes, so I thought I should give it a try! It was GREAT! a little much carbonation, but man it tasted great, considering it was 4 years old!

Thanks for any, and all advice! I am very glad I found this site

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Old 08-29-2008, 04:20 AM   #2
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I just brewed an Oktoberfest last weekend. What I do for my lagers is that I make a 1 gallon starter at room temp, and then the night before I brew, I put the starter in the fridge to crash out the yeast. Then I decant off the spent wort and pitch the yeast at the bottom.

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Old 08-29-2008, 04:32 AM   #3
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Thanks Prof,

No problems "shocking" the yeast by putting it in the fridge? Do you let it completly ferment before you put it in the fridge?

Oh, and how much water/LME do you use, and how long to boil?


Sorry, for all the questions, but just new to the whole starter thing, and am getting so much info its a little confusing.

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Old 08-29-2008, 04:39 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Professor Frink View Post
I just brewed an Oktoberfest last weekend. What I do for my lagers is that I make a 1 gallon starter at room temp, and then the night before I brew, I put the starter in the fridge to crash out the yeast. Then I decant off the spent wort and pitch the yeast at the bottom.
I do basically the same thing, except I get my starter size from Mr Malty, go to "pitching rate calculator" if interested. And I always pitch at or very near fermentation temp.
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Old 08-29-2008, 04:43 AM   #5
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I type slow... if you wait until it's done fermenting, then "shocking" the yeast shouldn't be a problem, they're going to sleep anyway. And the prefered starter gravity is around 1.040, about 1lb per gallon of LME will get you close enough at 1.036, with DME it will be about 1.044.

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Old 08-29-2008, 04:43 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by BarleyWater View Post
I do basically the same thing, except I get my starter size from Mr Malty, go to "pitching rate calculator" if interested. And I always pitch at or very near fermentation temp.
So, you are saying to pitch at lagar fermentation temps? so the 50-55 range? then let it run from there? how long will a starter take to complete at these temps?

See, this is the confusing part to me. maybe its hard to completely mess it up, but I just want to do it as right as I can.
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Old 08-29-2008, 04:44 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by BarleyWater View Post
I type slow... if you wait until it's done fermenting, then "shocking" the yeast shouldn't be a problem, they're going to sleep anyway. And the prefered starter gravity is around 1.040, about 1lb per gallon of LME will get you close enough at 1.036, with DME it will be about 1.044.
Thanks! Now THAT is some helpful advice glad I picke up that extra LME today!
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Old 08-29-2008, 04:46 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Ceedubya View Post
So, you are saying to pitch at lagar fermentation temps? so the 50-55 range? then let it run from there? how long will a starter take to complete at these temps?

See, this is the confusing part to me. maybe its hard to completely mess it up, but I just want to do it as right as I can.
Make the starter at room temp just the same as any other starter, then cool it down when it's done and decant as above. When pitching (adding to the wort), pitch at lager fermentation temps, around 50.
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Old 08-29-2008, 04:55 AM   #9
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Sounds like you and the proffesor are on the same page as friend one. Thats three votes for starter at room temp.

Thanks to all for the help, I will be sure to post the final results.

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Old 08-29-2008, 10:58 AM   #10
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The rule of thumb is to make the starter at room temp if you are going to chill and decant off the beer.

I chill my wort and pitch a couple degrees below my fermentation temp.

I've made lager starters at the same temp as the final beer but it takes much longer for the yeast to multiply.

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