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Old 01-08-2011, 02:16 PM   #1
BrewAlchemy
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Default yeast starter confusion

Ok, so i have recently purchased the erlenmeyer flasks and stir plate to start making yeast starters. I just am a little confused on the end stages. From what i understand it seems that once the starter is done they recommend to cool it down in a refridgerator so you can seperate the yeast and wort to make it easier to decant the wort. Once you decant the wort, leave starter at room temperature to warm it back up so its not shocked when pitched into your batch. I was just confused cause it seemed to me alot of temperature fluctuations in or to prep to yeast. Wont these jumps in temp range affect the yeast overall flavor contributions and viability? Do most people when their starter is done just dump the entire starter into the batch and not worry about the small quanitity if wort in the starter? I have heard both techniques, can i get some feedback.

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Old 01-08-2011, 02:54 PM   #2
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Some will say not to pitch the whole thing and always decant the wort. I have done it all of the ways you describe with no problems.

I only put it in the fridge if I'm not going to use it for a couple of days after it's done. Otherwise if there is a nice yeast cake on the bottom I will decant at room temp just before pitching.

I did this lastnight with a 1 qt starter and the airlock was releasing CO2 at the 5 hour mark. Krausen this morning

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Old 01-08-2011, 02:59 PM   #3
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I would never dump a full starter in my wort, but that's me(pour some off and taste it first). I also recently started cold pitching and have had quicker and more explosive starts. I refrigerate 1.5-2 days before brewing, pour off all but a few ounces, swirl and pitch immediately.

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Old 01-08-2011, 03:03 PM   #4
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Jamil Z says that if the size of the starter is over 5% of the batch size, then he recommends cooling and decanting the wort. I can't remember if that was when using a stir plate or not. With a stir plate, you'll get much more oxygen in the starter (than with intermittent shaking), and would have more reason to decant the beer off. I also can't remember which podcast that was in either. Sorry I can't be of more help.

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Old 01-11-2011, 06:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jescholler View Post
Jamil Z says that if the size of the starter is over 5% of the batch size, then he recommends cooling and decanting the wort. I can't remember if that was when using a stir plate or not. With a stir plate, you'll get much more oxygen in the starter (than with intermittent shaking), and would have more reason to decant the beer off. I also can't remember which podcast that was in either. Sorry I can't be of more help.
This is pretty much what I do. If it's a real big starter and/or a real light beer, I crash the starter and decant before pitching. If I don't feel it will hurt the beer, I leave it on the stir plate 12-24 hours and then dump the whole thing into the fermenter.
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:51 PM   #6
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I crash it 1-2 days before brewing. On brew day I will decant it, add some wort from the current boiling batch (cooled down of course) to the decanted starter. By the time I am doing with the boil and cooling, there is usually a little krausen going already and the yeasties are ready to go.

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Old 01-11-2011, 07:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coypoo View Post
I crash it 1-2 days before brewing. On brew day I will decant it, add some wort from the current boiling batch (cooled down of course) to the decanted starter. By the time I am doing with the boil and cooling, there is usually a little krausen going already and the yeasties are ready to go.
I like this idea a lot. I usually only decide "it's time to brew!" 1-2 days in advance but on the rare chance I actually plan it out I am totally stealing this.

Also cheers fellow Coloradan
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coypoo View Post
I crash it 1-2 days before brewing. On brew day I will decant it, add some wort from the current boiling batch (cooled down of course) to the decanted starter. By the time I am doing with the boil and cooling, there is usually a little krausen going already and the yeasties are ready to go.
This sounds like a great idea. So, if you crash for 1-2 days, do you make the starter 1-2 days before that? So you make the starter about 4 days prior to brewing, let it sit for 2 days, crash for 2 days, then brew?
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:20 PM   #9
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Thanks, i like seeing everyone's takes on doing their own starters.

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Old 01-12-2011, 01:29 PM   #10
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I'm a brewing noob but here's what I did:

  • Made yeast starter 4-days before brew day
  • After 2-days at room temp, and a lot of shaking of the flask by hand, place yeast starter in refrigerator
  • A few hours before pitching, remove starter from fridge to allow it to warm up to room temp.
  • Right before pitching: decant most of the spent wort from the yeast starter flask then pitch the yeast
The above worked fine for me...
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