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Old 09-06-2012, 09:56 PM   #1
JayInJersey
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Default Building up a starter: Can I spilt 1 smackpack?

Ok here's the goal:
Get a 4l starter for my 11G batch
(BSmith suggests I use a 4l starter for this lager)


Problem:
I have 2 2l flasks but only one Smackpack

My thought:
Take the single Smackpack, split it between the two flasks and build them up next to each other (I have 2 stirplates) instead of build up one...and then start building up the other.


My main concern...is there enough in 1/2 a Smack to build up one? (Granted I'd start it around 1l and work from there instead of trying to build up the whole 2l in one shot)

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Old 09-06-2012, 11:03 PM   #2
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You got more than enough yeast in a smack pack to split it and make starters. Hell you can add a tablespoon of yeast and build on that. With a stir plate u can produce a lot of yeast very fast.

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Old 09-06-2012, 11:35 PM   #3
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You are going to step that thing up like a sonuvagun. 4L of saturated starter is OUTRAGEOUSLY underpitched for a lager of any size. Check out mrmalty.com for the yeast pitching rate calculator. IF you have perfectly viable yeast (produced this week- you don't) AND you're starting with two smack packs (you're not) AND your beer is only 1.040 (is it?) you STILL would need 11L of starter, that's almost 3 gallons, for your 11 gallon batch. You definitely can split up your smack pack, but you are going to have to step it up a BUNCH to get enough yeast to use.

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Old 09-07-2012, 12:48 AM   #4
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I use a two gallon bucket and lid from Lowes for my third step on big starters. I have done 6.6L starters in these buckets on my DIY stirplate without a problem. All of Encore's white buckets are food grade, according to their FAQ.

According to YeastCalc, a two step starter (Two side by side 2L's for step one and one 6.6L in one of these buckets for step two) would fill your needs on a 1.070 beer, if the yeast is fairly fresh. You would need a third starter step for older yeast.

Good Luck.

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Last edited by CGish; 09-07-2012 at 12:52 AM. Reason: correction
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daksin View Post
You are going to step that thing up like a sonuvagun. 4L of saturated starter is OUTRAGEOUSLY underpitched for a lager of any size. Check out mrmalty.com for the yeast pitching rate calculator. IF you have perfectly viable yeast (produced this week- you don't) AND you're starting with two smack packs (you're not) AND your beer is only 1.040 (is it?) you STILL would need 11L of starter, that's almost 3 gallons, for your 11 gallon batch. You definitely can split up your smack pack, but you are going to have to step it up a BUNCH to get enough yeast to use.
That just doesn't sound right. I put this into Beersmith and it came out to about 4l, just like he says. You're suggesting 1.5 gallons of starter for a 5 gallon batch??? That's outrageous.
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Old 09-07-2012, 12:56 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGish
I use a two gallon bucket and lid from Lowes for my third step on big starters. I have done 6.6L starters in these buckets on my DIY stirplate without a problem. All of Encore's white buckets are food grade, according to their FAQ.

According to YeastCalc, a two step starter (Two side by side 2.2L's for step one and one 6.6L in one of these buckets for step two) would fill your needs on a 1.070 beer, if the yeast is fairly fresh. You would need a third starter step for older yeast.

Good Luck.
Hey what size stir bar do you use in those buckets? Oh and I didn't realize that the OP was doing a 10 gallon batch.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:08 AM   #7
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... what size stir bar do you use in those buckets?
The 1" bar I use in my flasks. I know I should have a longer one for the bucket, but I get a nice whirlpool with the small bar.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:12 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
That just doesn't sound right. I put this into Beersmith and it came out to about 4l, just like he says. You're suggesting 1.5 gallons of starter for a 5 gallon batch??? That's outrageous.
Not that outrageous since 4l is just over 1 gallon and with lagers pitching on the higher side is avisable. Just cold crash and decant off most of the liquid from the starter.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CGish

The 1" bar I use in my flasks. I know I should have a longer one for the bucket, but I get a nice whirlpool with the small bar.
Cool am going to have to give that a try!! Thanks for the idea.
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Old 09-07-2012, 01:58 AM   #10
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Cool am going to have to give that a try!! Thanks for the idea.
Here is a picture of my DIY stir plate, created out of used computer parts. I use the 1.5" blocks for stability with the bucket. The bucket sags a little at the bottom middle when it is full, so I have to put 1/8" shims under the 1.5" blocks so it is high enough not to crush the screen down into the fan - redneck, but it works!
diystirplate.jpg  
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Last edited by CGish; 09-07-2012 at 01:59 AM. Reason: corrections
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