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Old 08-01-2012, 04:41 PM   #1
smittygouv30
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Default 4L yeast starter

Hello,

I'm preparing for my brew day this weekend and would like to make the yeast starter tonight. This is my first time making a lager and am shocked at how much more yeast they recommend to pitch. I purchased only 1 vial of white labs german X yeast. Brew smith tells me i'm going to need a 6L yeast starter to accumulate the number of yeast cells needed. I have two 2L flasks and a dual fan stir plate. I'm gonna have to improvise. I'm thinking I'll do two batches of 3 liters worth of wort. That'll give them each 48 hours.

My question is, Is it ok to split the vial and pour half into each 2 L flasks with 1.5 L of wort? I'll let them multiply decant and do the same thing again on Friday. I'm hoping this should get me close to the number recommended.

Any problems with this?

Corey

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Old 08-01-2012, 05:55 PM   #2
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No problem here, this is the way i would do it

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Old 08-01-2012, 06:50 PM   #3
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If I'm understanding you correctly you will make your first starter cool and decant and pitch into a second starter to get a total of 6 liters of starter. The problem with this is that the yeast won't multiply like it did in the first starter. It will actually produce way less yeast than the first one so you will still be underpitching. I've faced this same problem and decided to make a starter in a spare 5 gallon carboy, aerate the crap out of it and pitch my yeast. Because I don't have a stir plate that big I need to make an even bigger starter to get the correct yeast pitch. So instead of a 6 liter starter I might need to make a 10 liter starter without the stir plate.

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Old 08-01-2012, 06:58 PM   #4
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Go.to yeastcalc.com and enter the info for the batch and then see what size starters you would need if you did a two step starter. I've done this with two <2L starters where i would have otherwise needed a starter of at least 6L for a single step. Just be sure to chill/cold crash and decant between starters. You might need an extra day for this.

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Old 08-01-2012, 07:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnoldk2 View Post
If I'm understanding you correctly you will make your first starter cool and decant and pitch into a second starter to get a total of 6 liters of starter. The problem with this is that the yeast won't multiply like it did in the first starter. It will actually produce way less yeast than the first one so you will still be underpitching. I've faced this same problem and decided to make a starter in a spare 5 gallon carboy, aerate the crap out of it and pitch my yeast. Because I don't have a stir plate that big I need to make an even bigger starter to get the correct yeast pitch. So instead of a 6 liter starter I might need to make a 10 liter starter without the stir plate.
Interesting. Beersmith tells me I can turn 1 vial into the recommended cells with 1 6L starter. Are you saying that two 3L starters is not equivalent to one 6L (the first 3L batch completed, cooled, decanted, and then pitched to the second batch of 3L)? I'm not questioning you i'm just asking if i'm understanding correctly.

Corey
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
Go.to yeastcalc.com and enter the info for the batch and then see what size starters you would need if you did a two step starter. I've done this with two <2L starters where i would have otherwise needed a starter of at least 6L for a single step. Just be sure to chill/cold crash and decant between starters. You might need an extra day for this.
Oh sweet thanks for the link. I have never seen this before.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smittygouv30

Interesting. Beersmith tells me I can turn 1 vial into the recommended cells with 1 6L starter. Are you saying that two 3L starters is not equivalent to one 6L (the first 3L batch completed, cooled, decanted, and then pitched to the second batch of 3L)? I'm not questioning you i'm just asking if i'm understanding correctly.

Corey
Yes, that is what I'm saying. I know it sounds weird that 3+3 does not equal 6. I read the yeast book by chris white and he goes into explaining why but seriously that is way over my head. I'm an engineer not a biochemist.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by arnoldk2 View Post
Yes, that is what I'm saying. I know it sounds weird that 3+3 does not equal 6. I read the yeast book by chris white and he goes into explaining why but seriously that is way over my head. I'm an engineer not a biochemist.
Actually, from reliable sources (yeastcalc.com for one and Yeast for another) you'll get MORE yeast from two smaller starters. Especially with a stirplate and by stepping the starter.
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie

Actually, from reliable sources (yeastcalc.com for one and Yeast for another) you'll get MORE yeast from two smaller starters. Especially with a stirplate and by stepping the starter.
I'm just saying what I read you could be right but the way I understood chris white that wasn't the case
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Old 08-01-2012, 07:23 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnoldk2 View Post
Yes, that is what I'm saying. I know it sounds weird that 3+3 does not equal 6. I read the yeast book by chris white and he goes into explaining why but seriously that is way over my head. I'm an engineer not a biochemist.
Gotcha, thanks again for the reply. Looking at yeastcalc.com you both are right. for some reason a 6L starter will give me 300 billion cells, lower than what i'm looking for. But two 3L starters will give me around 600. The part that is tricky is that the doubling rate significantly lowers in the second step. (from 5.4 to 1.7)

According to the site it does look like two 3L starters should work out to about the right amount of cells I need to pitch.
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