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Old 11-05-2012, 08:54 PM   #1
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Default Can I store and use unboiled wort for a starter?

I ended up with too much wort in my kettle so I ran off about a gallon into a small kettle that I covered and put in my fridge. I normally make starters with DME, but I'm thinking that I can just boil this 'unboiled' wort and make a starter with it.

BUT - i'm worried the wort might spoil or something or maybe will have an off flavor from sitting in the fridge.

I know Granite State Breweries ship unboiled wort to their local brew houses and do the boil and hops and fermentation in the local breweries. Therefore, this is obviously possible to do.

I'm wondering if any of you have done this? If it works well, i'll probably do it frequently.

Your thoughts are appreciated. We are in a never ending quest to cut costs and yeast costs are the worst imo.

Thanks.
Matt

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Old 11-05-2012, 08:59 PM   #2
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If the wort is 1.040 or so then yes you can save it. If it will be short term, the fridge is fine. Long term you can actually freeze it, then thaw and boil when ready and then pitch the yeast.

If it is a stronger wort then you should dilute it down. You ideally do not want to make a starter out of strong wort. The idea being that you want to grow a nice healthy crop of unstressed yeast.

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Old 11-05-2012, 09:02 PM   #3
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Why not heat it to above 160F for a few minutes to pasteurize it...just a little added safety.

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Old 11-05-2012, 09:04 PM   #4
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I agree with duboman on this one!

Of course you could really cut costs by slanting and culturing your own yeasts! With a minimum of expense and a little reading you could cut your yeast costs to practically nothing!

Just saying!

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Old 11-05-2012, 09:07 PM   #5
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ah... 160F... that is a great idea.

Diluting it will actually even work better so I can stretch it even further. the OG is around 62. Any idea how I would figure out how to get it to 40? Perhaps add 25% water?? If I have a gallon of wort at 1.062 and I add just over a quart of H2O, that should get me close enough to 1.040 right?

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Old 11-05-2012, 09:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bierzwinski View Post
ah... 160F... that is a great idea.

Diluting it will actually even work better so I can stretch it even further. the OG is around 62. Any idea how I would figure out how to get it to 40? Perhaps add 25% water?? If I have a gallon of wort at 1.062 and I add just over a quart of H2O, that should get me close enough to 1.040 right?
That sounds about right. In addition, if you make a larger starter than you actually need you can harvest yeast directly from the starter and save that. If I remember right there was just an on line article in How To Brew magazine on this.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:10 PM   #7
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I would do every thing that the above post says, but what I do is actually take the wort and bring it to a boil then put it inside a sanitized 1/2 milk jug and then but it in the freezer. I think that bringing it to a boil is key to it keeping longer.

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Old 11-05-2012, 09:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bierzwinski View Post
ah... 160F... that is a great idea.

Diluting it will actually even work better so I can stretch it even further. the OG is around 62. Any idea how I would figure out how to get it to 40? Perhaps add 25% water?? If I have a gallon of wort at 1.062 and I add just over a quart of H2O, that should get me close enough to 1.040 right?
Since water is 1.000, it's easy to do a little math to dilute it to 1.040.

I'd definitely bring it to a quick boil before chilling in the fridge. If you're using it right away, then a short stay in the fridge is fine. Otherwise, what I've done is boil it up really quick, cool, then put it in the freezer in a tupperware pitcher for use later on.
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Old 11-05-2012, 09:12 PM   #9
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well looks like several people said that already sorry for being repetitive

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Old 11-05-2012, 09:18 PM   #10
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Thanks guys. this all sounds easy enough. We were too busy with the rest of the brew to boil that right then. It has been in the fridge since Sat. around 3pm. I'm assuming I could just boil it tonight and put it back in the fridge until I get to it next week. Would you agree with that?

@KevinW - I'm working on not buying yeast anymore. It is a matter of laziness for me. But what I do now is make multiple starters with one vial of Whitelabs and keep one starter to make others with.

I didn't know an OG of 1.040 was that important. How important is that really? If the wort is at a higher OG, won't I get more yeast out of it since there is more food for it to use to replicate?

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