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Old 12-28-2007, 01:08 PM   #1
Dycokac
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Default Ramping a yeast starter (revisited)

Okay, making my second yeast starter ever, and i'm making it for the 8-8-08 RIS.

I've read: http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter6-5.html and the yeast starter bit on the wiki, and what i'm unclear on is how soon to add the next bit of malt to the starter for stepping it up/ramping it up (noticed 2 terminoliges here)

I have a krauzen on my starter, made it yesterday morning, did 2 cups of water and 1 cup of DME boiled for 10 minutes.

Should I wait till tomorrow to add more malt, or boil up another batch this morning?

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Old 12-28-2007, 01:18 PM   #2
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I have never hesitated to step up a starter at any point, as long as it's at least visibly active (tan with yeast, krausen evident, etc), and it's always worked out fine.

However, this is what I was told by a representative of Wyeast labs:

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Yeast growth and fermentation follow the same growth curve. Yeast does not go through a growth phase prior to the onset of fermentation so it is best to allow your start to fully finish before stepping on to ensure a maximum count.
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Old 12-28-2007, 02:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dycokac
I have a krauzen on my starter, made it yesterday morning, did 2 cups of water and 1 cup of DME boiled for 10 minutes.

Should I wait till tomorrow to add more malt, or boil up another batch this morning?

Well, that's alot more DME than I use in my starter. I use 1/2 cup DME to two cups water, for an OG of 1.040 or so. So, your starter is big to begin with.

I usually make my starter and when it's done, add another mix of fresh wort. I might do this twice for a big beer. You might not want to step it up very quickly since you made such a high OG starter- you want to grow yeast, not stress it more.
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Old 12-28-2007, 02:58 PM   #4
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I wait until fermentation has completed on the original starter before stepping up which is usually around 3 days. I'll then add the additional wort and stir gently to rouse the yeast a bit.

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Old 12-28-2007, 04:23 PM   #5
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I thought i read someplace to try and get your starter's gravity around where the gravity of the brew you were pitching onto was at. I took a guess which was probably higher, but that's where i was going. I'll ramp it right now.

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Old 12-28-2007, 04:42 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dycokac
I thought i read someplace to try and get your starter's gravity around where the gravity of the brew you were pitching onto was at. I took a guess which was probably higher, but that's where i was going. I'll ramp it right now.
I don't know where that advice came from but it is wrong. You want to create the maximum number of the healthiest yeast you can. A lower gravity starter will allow you to do that. Anything that is resulting in more than about 4.5-5% alcohol is stressing your yeast.

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Old 12-28-2007, 05:02 PM   #7
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My advice would be to brew a medium-low gravity beer and pitch onto the cake left over. But that's just me.

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