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Old 09-22-2012, 12:41 AM   #1
tboyer
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Default Making a starter

OK, here's one of those really stupid questions. I guess this should go in techniques; I don't really know.

I've been brewing a long, long time. And the one thing that always causes me pain is making a yeast starter.

Books make it easy. Just add 10% malt to your erlenmeyer flask, and boil it. So I put in 1500ml water; 150g malt; bring it to a boil, and... boiling malt water all over the table.

OK. Get a big pot. Measure out 1500ml; bring it to a boil, add the malt, and... boiling malt water all over the table.

Right. So, bring 1500ml water to boil in the flask. Take it off the heat. carefully pour the malt into the flask, and... 75g in the flask, all gummed up at the top; 75g on the table.

All right, then. Bring to boil; take off heat; put funnel in flask; put malt in funnel... 5g malt in flask; 145g packed like a rock in the funnel.

And so on. Anyone have a nice, simple, boilover-proof, wife-friendly technique?

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Old 09-22-2012, 12:44 AM   #2
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I make 2-3 qt. starters ia 6 qt. pot. Bring the water to a boil, take ite off the heat and add the DME. Stir it in and put it back on the burner. Add a couple drops of Fermcap if you have some. Works for me......

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Old 09-22-2012, 12:51 AM   #3
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Yeah I just make mine in a normal stock pot, cool it, then dump it in the sanitized flask. I dont even use a funnel.

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Old 09-22-2012, 12:54 AM   #4
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I use a gal. glass jug instead of a flask. Only costs a couple bucks and you can make bigger starters.

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Old 09-22-2012, 01:16 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Denny View Post
I use a gal. glass jug instead of a flask. Only costs a couple bucks and you can make bigger starters.
Don't boil in the gal glass jug though. My procedure is to warm the water in a pot to around 160, dump in the dme, stir to keep from sticking on the bottom. Bring to a boil. Take into account that you will have more boil off with a pot than a flask because you have more surface area. So do the 10-1 ratio but add a little more water.
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iaefebs View Post
Don't boil in the gal glass jug though. My procedure is to warm the water in a pot to around 160, dump in the dme, stir to keep from sticking on the bottom. Bring to a boil. Take into account that you will have more boil off with a pot than a flask because you have more surface area. So do the 10-1 ratio but add a little more water.
No, of course not! I boil in the pot, cool in a sink full of water, and then xfer to the jug.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:59 PM   #7
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Thanks, guys! Appreciate the suggestions, and maybe next time I'll have less cleaning up to do...

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Old 09-24-2012, 11:33 PM   #8
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I add the DME in around 170*F, get a couple of hot pads, stir/shake it up pretty well, drop in 1-2 drops of FermCapS (foam control) bring it to a boil and then keep the flame as low as possible to maintain the boil. Generally don't have a mess to clean up...but boiling the starter in a flask, in a kettle with water in it (a 5 gallon kettle works great for this) will at least contain the boil over should you have one. You can also pack the kettle with ice when you're done, helping to cool it down quickly. Borosilicate is supposed to be able to go from one extreme temperature to another, but I still wait on the ice until the starter has gotten far away from boiling temps. Filling the kettle with water from the sink after boiling the starter is a good way to do this - then top off with ice.

FermCapS - http://morebeer.com/view_product/154..._FermCapS_1_oz

Cheers!

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Old 09-25-2012, 01:44 AM   #9
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I just use a very large stock pot to boil for a 1L starter, starting with 1.3L and ~108-110g DME. Keeping a squirt bottle handy and my hand on the burner control. Let it cool a bit after a 10 min boil then into a half gallon growler. Bung and air lock it. Fool proof. On my fourth generation on one yeast strain.

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Old 10-22-2012, 11:02 PM   #10
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2-3 cups of water in a large pot, bring to boil. Add 1 cup DME and boil for 15 minutes. Then throw it in the fridge or freezer to cool. Once it's cool enough, you can throw it in your Erlenmeyer Flask and pitch your yeast. 12-24 hours later it will be good to go.

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