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Old 08-15-2012, 07:06 PM   #1
BuddyWeiser
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Default Minimum Lager Starter Size

After searching for an answer, it appears that generally people use 3-4 liter starters for lagers. I need to know for sure what I can get by with as I may need a bigger starter jar/bottle.

What is the minimum recommended size that you use for a lager starter? Do you have any tips regarding lager starters?

I will be brewing my first lager next weekend using WLP800. I don't have a stir plate.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 08-15-2012, 07:31 PM   #2
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http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:34 PM   #3
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That is awesome! Exactly what I needed.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:44 PM   #4
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I like this one too since it let's you do stepped starters to avoid having to do a big 5L one all at once if you want. The same can be accomplished with MrMalty but this one is just easeir. http://yeastcalc.com/

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Old 08-15-2012, 09:07 PM   #5
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The more the merrier! Thanks Zeekage!

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Old 08-15-2012, 11:06 PM   #6
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I love yeastcalc since my vessels are 1L and 2L....gives me great flexibility in calculating my steps....the biggest problem is planning far enough in advance to get through all the steps!!!

I did make a huge batch of starter wort that I pressure canned in 1/2 gallon Ball jars so when it's time I just pop those open and dump it in the flask with my yeast.....squirt it with O2 and turn on the strir plate.

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Old 08-16-2012, 04:35 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by helibrewer View Post
I did make a huge batch of starter wort that I pressure canned in 1/2 gallon Ball jars so when it's time I just pop those open and dump it in the flask with my yeast.....squirt it with O2 and turn on the strir plate.
That's a good idea!

Last night, I found more information about starter recommendations right in BeerSmith2 (on the Starter page in my recipe). Mrmalty! Yeastcalc! And BeerSmith2! When our powers combine, we get Captain Starter!!!
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Old 08-16-2012, 04:57 PM   #8
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Noonan wrote 8 to 10 million cells per milliliter of healthy yeast are a rule unless experience dictates otherwise. Using Wyeast's calculator that's only a 1 to 2 litter starter. Mr. Malty assumes your yeast is not so healthy.

I've made many 12P (1.048) lagers with 2L starters. Wyeast shows that as being about 12 million/ml. That is really not far off from what it written on Mr. Malty's site.

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Originally Posted by MrMalty.com
The general consensus on pitching rates is that you want to pitch around 1 million cells of viable yeast, for every milliliter of wort, for every degree plato. A little less for an ale, a little more for a lager.
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Old 08-16-2012, 05:17 PM   #9
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When I make lager I make a 2,5 liter starter for 12L of beer. When the 12L is finished a make another batch of 25L using that yeast. This way you wont need large starters like 4-6L.

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Old 08-16-2012, 07:45 PM   #10
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When I started this thread I had only a 0.5L starter. Yesterday, I combined that 0.5L with 2L of fresh wort and a new vial of yeast. Right now my 2.5L starter should be fermenting away @ approx 50 deg F. It is my hope that this will be enough to ferment my whole batch of 22L. On the plus side, I'm doing a Lite American Lager with an est OG of 1.039 and also added yeast nutrients to the starter. I hope this will be enough.

Now I'm wondering if it makes more sense to put the wort into the fridge to chill it down to the same temp as the starter, or let the starter warm up to room temp and pitch around 70 deg F like I have been doing for my ales. My questions are:
(1) Is it reasonably safe to store the wort in the fridge over night for it to chill down to 50 deg F?
and
(2) Is it difficult to chill 5+ gals of just-started-fermenting beer down fast enough to avoid off flavors?

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