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Old 10-03-2008, 03:44 PM   #1
bernerbrau
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Default To make a yeast starter or not to make a yeast starter...?

Got all my ingredients for Emperor's Bane Imperial India Pale Ale; tonight I wash the equipment for my brew day tomorrow morning.

I have two packets of US-05 dry yeast for the fermentation. Now, typically I make a yeast starter in a sanitized mason jar with a bit of the DME I have set aside, which I then pitch after chilling and pouring the wort into the fermenter. I do this because while I was researching my first batch ever, one of the websites I viewed recommended it over pitching dry so I incorporated it into my brew routine; the beer turned out well, so I haven't changed it.

Now, the Safale packets instruct you to sprinkle the yeast directly into the wort. Because of this, I'm wondering, is there any serious advantage to a yeast starter? Will I see any detrimental effects to fermentation if I just pitch the dry yeast directly?

Unless someone gives me a good reason to stick to the starter in the next 20 hours, I'm planning on going ahead without the starter this time, in particular because I always feel like it's a sanitation compromise using tap water and unboiled DME, and the sanitized tablespoon always gets so much DME stuck to it that I just have to throw out.

What do you think? Yeast starter or no?

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Old 10-03-2008, 03:45 PM   #2
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Definitely don't make a starter with dry yeast. You can just sprinkle it in, but you really should just rehydrate the yeast in boiled then cooled water before pitching.

I'm really confused why you would be using unboiled DME and the bit about it sticking to your spoon. When you make a starter you should definitely boil your water/DME before using it. If you have a container that can be heated directly its best to do it in the container so it also gets sanitized by the heat/steam.

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Old 10-03-2008, 03:50 PM   #3
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For dry yeast I just boil a cup of water, let it cool to pitching temp and sprinkle in the yeast, just to proof it. There are plenty of cells in a single packet of dry yeast to get fermentation going quickly.

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Old 10-03-2008, 03:53 PM   #4
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Agreed. Dry yeast does not need a starter. I don't even rehydrate and have had good attenuation. Just make sure to get lots of O2 in the wort there before pitching.

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Old 10-03-2008, 06:02 PM   #5
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I've only used dry yeast in my first batch, and that was quite a while back, so take this answer with that in mind. However, I understand that rehydrating yeast before pitching carries some danger. It's an osmotic pressure thing. Brewing yeasts are selected to live in wort and beer, not water, so putting the yeast in pure water is something like putting a salt water fish in fresh water. No bueno.

Actually, I've heard that rehydrating has some advantages, if you do it just right. Do it wrong, and you're better off not rehydrating.

I've never really confirmed either, but I would stick with the manufacturer's instruction to add the yeast directly to the wort unless you really know what you are doing.


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Old 10-03-2008, 06:15 PM   #6
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water for rehydrating is used because wort has toxins in it that until the yeast are properly hydrated will be passed through thier cell walls. After they are hydrated these toxins won't get passed. The crucial thing is time, the yeast must be pitched 15 minutes after hydrating or the problems associated with yeast in water arrise. (According to Sigrid Lallemand)

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Old 10-03-2008, 07:06 PM   #7
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I've never made a starter. I have always used dry yeast and have just poured it right in, or have used the 'smack packs' or the white labs vials and poured them directly into the wort, and have had no problems whatsoever.

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Old 10-03-2008, 08:32 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bernerbits View Post

Unless someone gives me a good reason to stick to the starter in the next 20 hours, I'm planning on going ahead without the starter this time, in particular because I always feel like it's a sanitation compromise using tap water and unboiled DME, and the sanitized tablespoon always gets so much DME stuck to it that I just have to throw out.

What do you think? Yeast starter or no?
Liquid yeast starter ,Yes . Dry ,no starter. When I started I just pitched the yeast onto the wort and never had a problem but now I rehydrate just makes me feel better I guess.

You should never make a starter with just plain tap water and DME without boiling it. Boil 10-15 minutes cool in an ice bath then pitch the liquid yeast
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Old 10-03-2008, 09:37 PM   #9
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I stand corrected on my yeast starter methods. I guess since a lot of people were OK with using unboiled tap water for topping off and siphon starting, I figured using tap water for hydrating would be OK as well. In any case none of my batches so far have turned out badly, but if I do a starter again I will boil and cool first (or hell, scoop up some boiling wort into a mason jar and stick it in the fridge until it cools).

I'm still kind of torn between rehydrating or not. The manufacturer's website (http://www.fermentis.com/FO/EN/pdf/SafaleUS05.pdf) says to rehydrate for 15-30 minutes to make a cream and to stir gently for an additional 30 minutes before pitching, or to sprinkle directly while stirring the wort to distribute the yeast evenly and avoid clumping.

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