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Old 01-29-2009, 09:15 PM   #1
Brew-ta-sauraus
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Default Yeast Starter stepping up issues

I have read severla yeast starter threads on this forum all full of great info. In practice I am having problems. I dump a vile of White labs ale yeast into my flask and add 400 to 600 mL of wort with a yeast nutrient in it. Place the flask on a stir plate at room temp and let sit a couple of days. After this first session I can see the yeast has mulitplied becasue when I turn off the stir plate and the yeast falls out of suspension there is considerably more yeast coating the bottom. So at this point I add another 400mL of fresh wort with yeast nutrient. I turn back on the stir plate and let her rock out for 24 more hours. When I check again I don't see a big accumulation of more yeast. Looks like the same amount as when the first session finished. So I step it up again with another 400mL of fresh wort for another 24-48 hours. Again no noticible large accumulation of yeast. What am I doing wrong?

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Old 01-29-2009, 09:56 PM   #2
Joe Camel
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try adding your two small additions as one big one. You yeast are likely getting very active, running out of sugar, then converting their reserves for dormancy rather than reproduction. With the larger step up, you might get a couple of generations of growth before the food supply runs out.

The other possibility is that you are getting more growth but know that is purely subjective unless you own a microscope and hemocytometer to perform cell counts.

Cheers

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Old 01-29-2009, 09:58 PM   #3
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Are you putting an air-lock on the flask, or just loosely putting some sanitized aluminum foil or foam over the top? Shaking up the new wort before adding it?

I could see a problem if you are not allowing the C02 a way out AND letting some O2 in. Yeast need 02 to reproduce, if they don't have it, the yeast you have is probably just waking up and fermenting the added wort. If the wort you add was just boiled and cooled it will have very little dissolved O2 in it and again...the yeast will probably just ferment but not reproduce.

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Old 01-30-2009, 01:44 AM   #4
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I agree with Joe Camel. I think you should step your 400ml starter up with an additional 1600ml for you second step.

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Old 01-30-2009, 12:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T-Hops View Post
I agree with Joe Camel. I think you should step your 400ml starter up with an additional 1600ml for you second step.
+1, step up at least 1:4.
I step up from 5ml of frozen yeast -> 100 ml-> 1L fo ales and 100 ml-> 0.5L-> 2L for lagers
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Old 01-30-2009, 02:49 PM   #6
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dont fear the O2!

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