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Old 05-12-2007, 09:44 PM   #1
Scrimgouer
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Default How to: Liquid Ale Yeast Starter?

I will be brewing what looks like a nice pale ale recipe in 3 days and am excited about using a starter to get my White Labs California Ale Yeast (WLP001) going. Only Problem is, I can't seem to find a good procedure for prepping a starter. Do you guys/gals have any good suggestions or can you point me towards an easy to find procedure?

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Old 05-12-2007, 09:54 PM   #2
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search yeast starter there are loads of good 411 there. chime back in if you dont find what your looking for
I do a 1200 ml starter
with 6 TBLS of light DME
boil for 10 to 15 min to sanatize
and a shake of yeast energizer once cooled a bit
add 75 degreeF yeast to 75 degree F starter then put on my Yuri-Rage stir plate for about 24 hours with an airlock then pitch
hope that gets you on your way
if you ondt have a stirplate you can just give it a swirl ever so often to keep the yeast in suspention
JJ

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Old 05-12-2007, 10:46 PM   #3
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This is the procedure I used last time, with good results.

http://www.homebrew.com/how_to/advan...html#whitelabs

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Old 05-12-2007, 10:58 PM   #4
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John Palmer has a very good explanation of the procedures in his on-line book. http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter6-5.html

The on-line version of How to Brew is a bit dated and the one thing you should change in what John does in the above link is to make the starter 3 or 4 times larger in volume than what he states, i.e. a quart and a half or 2 quarts vs. one pint.

For even more great information on yeast and yeast starters, check out www.mrmalty.com.

Wayne
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Old 05-15-2007, 03:27 PM   #5
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Thanks to all 3 of you guys! I used an amalgamation of the procedures you guys suggested last night. I used 1.5 qt. water to 4.5 oz. (weight) Muntons Light DME. The OG turned out to be 1.040 exactly! From what I've read this is right in the ballpark of where I need to be, though I haven't done the math myself. I don't have a stir plate and won't be home to mix it today, but I'm brewing tonight so we'll see how this starter performs...

Added yeast nutrients but they don't seem to have disolved.
Any comments?

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Old 05-15-2007, 11:53 PM   #6
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I've made a couple of starters of about a quart, never mixed/stirred except when adding the pitchable yeast. Both have worked out awesomely.

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Old 05-16-2007, 04:58 AM   #7
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I've never used a starter. Although I am an old newbie (3 batches this decade, 20 batches last decade) my LHBS guy said it wasn't needed. My brews seem to ferment just fine. Why go through the extra work? I would gladly do one if I thought there would be a benefit. Any comments?

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Old 05-16-2007, 12:12 PM   #8
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The main benefit is lower lag time and less stressed yeast. Stressed yeast leads to off flavors, and a long lag time can allow infection to take hold. In a lower gravity ale, one pitchable yeast package is probably enough. Still, a starter never hurts and gives you a "leg up" on getting fermentation going.

According to How to Brew by John Palmer, the pitching rate also affects the aroma/character of the beer. Lower pitching rates tend to produce more aromatics and esters than higher pitching rates. I'm not a chemist, but there are also charts for pitching rates in there, too. Really, the basic idea is that yeast first reproduce as much as needed, then get to work on your beer. So, if you make a starter and they reproduce some there, less of that needs to be done when pitched so fermentation can begin.

I almost always make a starter when I used liquid yeast but have had a spur of the moment brew session where I didn't. Still made good beer but I like the insurance a starter provides.

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Old 05-17-2007, 12:19 AM   #9
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I'm not to far off of brewing again (a Kolsch) and I was going to make a starter since I boght a 2L flask. I can put that directly on my stove to boil the water and DME, but can I also run cold water over it to quickly cool it after the boil? Or will that break it?

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Old 05-17-2007, 04:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bugeaterbrewing
John Palmer has a very good explanation of the procedures in his on-line book. http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter6-5.html

Wayne
Bugeater Brewing Company

This link says your starter should be ready for pitching in 6 hrs. That's the sortest starter time I've ever seen. Don't most people let 'er run for at least two days? The Maltose Falcon's article linked above (and some other papers on the subject) makes a pretty convincing argument that you should get your starter going 2 days prior. They also have some data that convinced me to get a stirplate. Accodring to the data, you can get 4.5 times the yeast cells if you use a stirplate and foam stopper versus giving your flask the periodic swish. Based on the reasons Lorena lists above, that makes the $120 investment in a stirplate worth it to me.

BTW: Lorena, glad to see the old avatar back - I don't remember what you recently switched to, but I like this one best...
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