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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Corn Sugar for Starter?
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Old 06-02-2010, 06:20 AM   #1
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Default Corn Sugar for Starter?

I know, everyone uses DME for starters but, can a person use corn sugar for a starter? It is close to 100% fermentable and would seem to add little to no off flavors to a given beer. Also, would it be off limits for doing any kind of yeast washing?

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Old 06-02-2010, 07:18 AM   #2
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Nope. Don't do that.

The point of a starter is to propagate yeast and get them primed to consume maltose not dextrose.

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Old 06-02-2010, 07:24 AM   #3
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I've done it in the past, not on purpose, but I've done it.

Dextrose, maltose.....tomAto, tomato.

The yeast want sugar and they want to reproduce and probably dont care where it came from.

Just like me I want booze, be it PBR or Johnny Blue, and you can guarantee it will have the same effect.

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Old 06-02-2010, 07:36 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Displaced MassHole View Post
I've done it in the past, not on purpose, but I've done it.

Dextrose, maltose.....tomAto, tomato.

The yeast want sugar and they want to reproduce and probably dont care where it came from.

Just like me I want booze, be it PBR or Johnny Blue, and you can guarantee it will have the same effect.
TomaAto, tomato? Sounds like you're saying dextrose and maltose are the same thing.

philrose is right, you want to grow a culture of yeast that can efficiently metabolise maltose. If you use a dextrose starter, it's not going to make a HUGE difference if you're just using a couple of hundred grams in a couple of litres to give you a bigger amount of yeast to pitch, but if you're making more and splitting it between several batches, it could make a substantial difference.

I think any gain that you get by a high pitching rate (i.e. from using a starter) will be largely offset by the poor quality of the next generation of yeast if you use pure dextrose for your starter.
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Old 06-02-2010, 03:42 PM   #5
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The yeast need more than just sugar to multiple. Extract has the necessary nutrients, pure sugar does not.

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Old 06-02-2010, 06:53 PM   #6
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simple sugars are too easily consumed. When your yeast are used to eating the dextrose, fresh wort you worked all afternoon on are going to be less appealing.

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Old 06-02-2010, 07:07 PM   #7
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According to Palmer, yeast produce certain sets of enzymes for certain types of sugars. Thus, you want your starter sugar profile to be similar to your wort's sugar profile. If it isn't, though, you should let the starter fully ferment and chill the yeast to get it to go dormant:

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A key condition to this recommendation is that the composition of the starter wort and the main wort must be very similar if the starter is pitched at or near peak activity. Why? Because the yeast in the starter wort have produced a specific set of enzymes for that wort's sugar profile. If those yeast are then pitched to a different wort, with a different relative percentage of sugars, the yeast will be impaired and the fermentation may be affected. Kind of like trying to change boats in mid-stream. This is especially true for starter worts made from extract that includes refined sugars. Yeast that has been eating sucrose, glucose/dextrose, or fructose will quit making the enzyme that allows it to eat maltose - the main sugar of brewer's wort.

If you make your starter using a malt extract that includes refined sugar, it is better to wait until the yeast have finished fermenting and settled out before pitching to the main wort. Why? Because towards the end of fermentation, yeast build up their glycogen and trehalose reserves; kind of like a bear storing fat for the winter. Glycogen and trehalose are two carbohydrates that act as food reserves for the yeast cell. Yeast slowly feed off these reserves when other food is not present, and use this food extensively to fuel the synthesis of essential lipids, sterols, and unsaturated fatty acids when pitched to an oxygenated wort. (Yeast will rapidly deplete their glycogen reserves when exposed to oxygen.) While glycogen can be likened to the fat that a bear stores for winter, the other component, trehalose, acts more like the bear's heavy fur coat. Trehalose seems to get built up on both the inside and outside of the cell membrane, and is generally believed to make the membrane structure more robust and more resistant to environmental stresses. By allowing the yeast starter fermentation to go to completion, these reserves are built up, and upon pitching, the yeast starts out with a ready fuel supply and a clean slate to better adapt it to the new wort. As noted earlier, though, these same reserves are used by the yeast while in hibernation, so if the yeast are left too long before pitching, the reserves may be depleted and should be replenished with a fresh starter wort fermentation before use.
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Old 06-02-2010, 10:54 PM   #8
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Thanks, those are the answers I needed. I guess I'll just have to keep some extra DME on hand when I'm washing or starting yeast. This forum is the best, everyone wants to help.

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Old 06-02-2010, 11:11 PM   #9
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Don't forget that your starter should be reasonably low gravity, so using DME is still pretty economical for, say, a 2L starter.

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Old 06-02-2010, 11:17 PM   #10
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see also http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/dex...tarter-178140/

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