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Old 05-31-2008, 03:45 PM   #1
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Default So I made my starter very poorly

So my local brew supply store suggested I make my starter for my california ale yeast with 1 quart of water with 3 table spoon s sugar. This seemed like not much sugar compared to what most suggest so I made it a little heavier, 3 tablespoons sugar, one table spoon brown sugar with 3 cups water which I boiled for about 10 minutes. This is in a half gallon carboy with some yeast nutrient. This seems like a lot lower gravity than most use, can anyone tell me what this gravity would be? Its at 12 hours and doesn't seem to be doing much. Will this be a sufficient starter, I want to brew tomorrow which will put pitching the yeast a little less than 2 days after pitching the starter?

Oh this is my second batch, the first was an extract kit. This is an almost all grain, with a few pounds of extract cause I don't have room to do a full mash for a barley wine.

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Old 05-31-2008, 03:58 PM   #2
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The LHBS suggested making a starter with sugar!?! Thats odd....

Normally you use Dry Malt Extract to make starters, not sugar...that causes a problem. You want the ale yeast to ferment wort, not sugar water. So, you'd acclimate the yeast to simple sugars (like dextrose or sucrose), but then expect them to ferment maltose. You'd be stressing the yeast, instead of giving it a "head start". So, you should not use sugar, and you want your starter wort to be around 1.040. Not too high, because you don't want to stress the yeast. You want to wake up the yeast, and get them reproducing and active.

I'd go get more yeast and a pound of xtra light dme and make a starter with 1/2 cup dme and 2 cups water.

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Old 05-31-2008, 06:23 PM   #3
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I'd stop taking advice from your LHBS right now.

+1 to what Revvy said. a gravity under 1.030 isn't enough, and over 1.045 is too much. that's your range to shoot for. the scientific, reliable way, is to hit 1.040 on every starter.

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Old 05-31-2008, 06:42 PM   #4
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+1 on ignoring your LHBS.
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Old 06-03-2008, 03:14 AM   #5
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yikes! sugar water doesn't have any vitamins/minerals for the yeast! definitely go with DME!

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Old 06-03-2008, 04:39 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malkore View Post
I'd stop taking advice from your LHBS right now.

+1 to what Revvy said. a gravity under 1.030 isn't enough, and over 1.045 is too much. that's your range to shoot for. the scientific, reliable way, is to hit 1.040 on every starter.
i think its 800 ml water to 1 cup DME for 1.040

this is why Erlenmeyer flasks are so cool. very easy to measure out
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Old 06-03-2008, 05:36 AM   #7
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Sugar water + Yeast Nutrient doesnt sound like much of a starter for beer because of the maltose. But could it be a starter for lets say.. Apfelwein? Where its mainly fructose and sucrose?

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Old 06-03-2008, 08:48 AM   #8
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My LHBS told me to originally prime with sugar. All my cider did was foam and tasted like S@%&. Haven't seen that person at the store since.

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Old 06-03-2008, 01:46 PM   #9
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Even though that is a crappy starter, and you know better for next time. I'd still use the yeast, they may get stressed but as long as the beer you are making is not high gravity, I think they'll still take off and make you some good beer, yeast are fairly resilient. Harvest some yeast from this batch though and then make starters propagating up from that.

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Old 06-03-2008, 04:00 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiffybrew View Post
Sugar water + Yeast Nutrient doesnt sound like much of a starter for beer because of the maltose. But could it be a starter for lets say.. Apfelwein? Where its mainly fructose and sucrose?
Actually when I made my apfelwein, I was worried about the sorbate in the juice and noone was around online to answer if sorbate was OK, the guy at MY lhbs suggested I make a starter out of a quart of the applejuice...It took off fine.
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