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Old 08-12-2009, 06:32 PM   #1
Noleafclover
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Default 2 quick starter questions

I have two quick questions on starters... I read the info on Mr. Malty's site, but didn't find an answer to these questions.

I'm preparing this starter for barleywine, so I figure I need to have a cell count in the 400 billion range.

The equipment I was hoping to use for this are two 64 oz (1/2 gallon) glass growlers. My plan was to make a 2 quart starter using 6 oz of DME in 2 quarts of water and 1 vial of WLP001. Then tomorrow prepare another 6 oz of DME in 2 quarts of water, decant the wort from the first starter, and pour in the newly prepared wort. Does this provide an adequate cell count for a typical Barleywine? I would do the steps that call for preparing a 1 liter starter and then pitching it into a 4 liter starter, but I don't have a container to house a 4 liter starter (my equip is too big or too small).

Alternatively I thought about preparing two separate starters as I have two vials of WLP001, but I'd prefer to just use one.

My second question has to do with covering the top of the growler. I have a drilled stopper that fits into the top of the growler and could put an airlock on it, but I thought I read somewhere that it's best to put foil on top and not to use an airlock. Thoughts?

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Old 08-12-2009, 06:57 PM   #2
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Yes only use foil, no airlock.

If I remember correctly the amount of space in the container has an effect on the amount of yeast that can grow in that space. I don't think that you can reach your total 400 billion in a single 1/2 gallon growler, however, if you used both growlers and did the step up then you should be close.

I think you could use 1 vial for the 2 separately prepared starters as well, might take a little longer, but I think it would work fine.

Are you using a stirplate?

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Old 08-12-2009, 07:28 PM   #3
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I am not using a stir plate. I was planning on shaking it every couple of hours.

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Old 08-12-2009, 11:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noleafclover View Post
I am not using a stir plate. I was planning on shaking it every couple of hours.
Vigorous shaking isn't necessary, just a good swirl to transfer the gas. The more often the better.

If you are going to make starters a "good-habit", I would highly suggest fashioning a stir-plate.

Here is a link to a great thread: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f51/my-s...nthony%27s+diy

I built this stirplate in about an hour, and it works magnificently. Best $30 I've spent so far. I can actually prepare a starter and then walk away from it for anywhere from 12-48+ hours, and not have to take the time to swirl/shake it.

Brew on!
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Old 08-12-2009, 11:50 PM   #5
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Yeah rather than decanting the first 64 oz starter and then putting more DME into the same 64 oz growler to further grow the yeast colony I think you would be better off decanting the liquid, then splitting the yeast slurry between the two 64 oz containers and adding another 6 oz or so DME to both. I think as another poster mentioned you limit the colony size by adding more DME to the same size vessel as you already started in the first time around. In re-using the same 64 oz vessel, the yeast would effectively evaluate the food supply from the new DME and pretty much figure the colony was about the right size to handle it and go about making beer.

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Old 08-13-2009, 01:13 AM   #6
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Thanks for the tips, I'll give it a whirl. Thanks for the buildout idea too. I've visited Northern Brewer and Midwest and saw the cost of a stir plate and thought "Maybe next month...."

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