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-   -   Building up a Starter? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/building-up-starter-373143/)

Jsbeckton 12-10-2012 01:40 AM

Building up a Starter?
So I am making 10 gallon lager on Saturday, Beersmith suggests I make a 6L starter. I use a stir plate and the max I can get is about 1.5L. So my question is can I do three or four 1.5L starters, decanting each time, over the next 6 days as an equivalent or does it need to be 6L at once?


SpeedYellow 12-10-2012 01:56 AM

Use yeastcalc instead since it's good with stepped starters. You'll find that generally, If it says 6L, you can do a two step starter and only use about 3L. IOW, a 1L followed by a 2L will get you close to just one big 6L. just a rule of thumb.

In the long term, you'll really need a bigger vessel. A $5 4L growler from the LHBS is pretty effective.

SterlingHopper 12-10-2012 02:14 AM

SpeedYellow means http://yeastcalc.com/

Jsbeckton 12-10-2012 02:22 PM

Yeah, I have a 1G growler but trying to make use of the stir plate. Maybe I will split it and just put 2L on the plate and the rest in the growler then combine what I have at the end.

SpeedYellow 12-10-2012 04:02 PM

Have you actually tried just tossing your growler onto the stir plate? Mine works fine. The bottom of my growler is a horrible shape yet it works.

BBL_Brewer 12-10-2012 04:18 PM

I don't know what your intended OG is, but you probably need somewhere in the neighborhood of 600-700 billion cells. Three 1.5L steps on a stir plate should get you close.

Jsbeckton 12-10-2012 04:26 PM


Originally Posted by SpeedYellow (Post 4668236)
Have you actually tried just tossing your growler onto the stir plate? Mine works fine. The bottom of my growler is a horrible shape yet it works.

Hmm, guess I had just assumed that it wouldn't work but haven't actually tried. Good idea!

Jsbeckton 12-11-2012 10:56 AM

Well I couldn't get the 1" stir bar to sit with my growler due to convex bottom but I was able to get a 4L vase going. The only problem is that I can't go higher than about 1/4-1/3 speed on my stir plate or it kicks off. So it keeps everything is suspension but I don't get the funnel of air going to the bottom due to the weaker vortex. Actually given the volume I am not sure if I could get that column of air at full speed anyways. I did aerate to make up for that the best that I could.

Will this have a significant impact on yeast production?

SpeedYellow 12-11-2012 12:41 PM

I could be wrong, but I doubt the main benefit from a stir plate comes from getting the vortex all the way down to the bottom, but rather (a) keeping the yeast in suspension, and (b) helping the air exchange past your loosely-covered foil cap. I think you'd have to ask Jamil & White how exactly they did their famous stir plate tests in their book Yeast.

Like you, I prefer using the vortex as an aeration method in my flask. And I too can't get the aerating vortex in my 4L growler. So I use the aquarium pump with stone method.

Jsbeckton 12-11-2012 04:33 PM

Yeah, must be working just fine because the foil was lifted from a heavy krausen this morning. Not bad for a lager yeast.

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