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Old 01-21-2012, 10:59 PM   #121
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Problem is, I started brewing my own because all the grocery store beer in Salt Lake sucks.
At least you have Squatters, Beerhive, and Redrock....
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:07 PM   #122
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At least you have Squatters, Beerhive, and Redrock....
+1 to the Beerhive.
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Old 01-22-2012, 12:47 AM   #123
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I don't always have time to make a starter... More specifically I don't plan brewing far enough in advance. In these situations I will either use dry yeast or spend another 7 bucks for a second vial.

While you can make good tasting beer without a starter and even white labs questions the typical calculation used in determining pitch rate, it will never HURT to make a starter.

If you don't use one and like your beer then that's great. But if you strive for better beer then suck it up and make a starter or use dry.

This is getting as ridiculous as people who still deny that smoking can cause cancer.

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Old 01-22-2012, 06:07 AM   #124
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Those two studies that you cite only use a 4 fold range of yeast concentration with the lowest pitching rate being .63 million cells/mL per degree Plato. That is not woefully underpitched. I wouldn't expect a drastic difference with those numbers. Basically they use Two slightly underpitched and two slightly overpitched. With regards to overpitching, it is pretty well established that severe overpitching also produces off flavors and changes the character of the beer. That is why people are advocating pitching the correct amount, not more, not less. With regards to Duvel and Westmalle, it is also not surprising that some Belgian producers underpitch since stressing the yeast gets them to throw more esters and other compounds desirable in a Belgian beer.
I really don't have the time to get into this deeply, but I wanted to make a few points:

1. There's a lot of directives here that are very dogmatic about how the beer-making process should occur. I understand structure and a sound foundation is important for a beginner, but as a scientist, I also understand that despite several millennia of fermentation experience, we still have surprisingly very little knowledge concerning what is happening in a fermenting wort. The science, to date, is simply not strong enough to support a single directive as "the right way." If scientists don't agree on what "correct" process is and exactly how changes in the process affect taste than neither will HBTers.

2. The reason I mention Duvel and Westmalle is simply that there is a wide-range of flavor profiles in the beer universe. As international beer tastes become more heterogeneous, beer cultures exhibit a greater degree of cross-fertilization, and the market expects a continuous innovation in beer flavors, personally, I'd prefer not to be so dogmatic about "correct" process. For those who aim to coax specific flavors from yeast to create a yeast-forward beer, they should not necessarily see experimentation with yeast pitch rates, fermentation temperatures, and wort oxygenation as anathema. One should also keep in mind that "best practice" for growing yeast in the lab is not necessary equivalent to the "best practice" for getting the flavors you want from said yeast.

3. A lot of the current homebrew dogma, particularly that seen in the US, comes down a line of brewers who sought to make beers with as clean and neutral yeast profiles as possible. As seen from the recently popularity of saisons, sours, and "farmhouse-style" ales in the US, not everyone is interested in exclusively brewing the old yeast-neutral styles. Thus, one should not see that there's only one single correct process when dealing with yeast. It's going to be beer-dependent. If you go back to White Labs' presentation that I think was referenced earlier in this thread, blind tasters preferred different pitch rates depending on the beer style being brewed. If I remember correctly, for the Hefeweizen, for example, the bling tasters preferred the underpitched samples. For amber ale, they preferred pitch rates several times that of the Hefeweizen.

All that being said, I do use starters. Then again, I'm not using commercial yeasts so I don't have a choice. I have a handful of house yeast strains, a couple I've isolated myself. I also have a microscope so I can be consistent in pitching the cell number I want so it's possible to repeat successful experiments. My initial pitch into the starter is much smaller than that proscribed here, and my final pitch into the wort also tends to be much smaller than that proscribed here. However, I like esters and aromatics, and I brew beer styles that put those aspects at the forefront. I don't have attenuation issues, fermentation stalling, or "off flavors."
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Old 01-22-2012, 08:57 AM   #125
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I really don't have the time to get into this deeply, but I wanted to make a few points:

1. There's a lot of directives here that are very dogmatic about how the beer-making process should occur. I understand structure and a sound foundation is important for a beginner, but as a scientist, I also understand that despite several millennia of fermentation experience, we still have surprisingly very little knowledge concerning what is happening in a fermenting wort. The science, to date, is simply not strong enough to support a single directive as "the right way." If scientists don't agree on what "correct" process is and exactly how changes in the process affect taste than neither will HBTers.

2. The reason I mention Duvel and Westmalle is simply that there is a wide-range of flavor profiles in the beer universe. As international beer tastes become more heterogeneous, beer cultures exhibit a greater degree of cross-fertilization, and the market expects a continuous innovation in beer flavors, personally, I'd prefer not to be so dogmatic about "correct" process. For those who aim to coax specific flavors from yeast to create a yeast-forward beer, they should not necessarily see experimentation with yeast pitch rates, fermentation temperatures, and wort oxygenation as anathema. One should also keep in mind that "best practice" for growing yeast in the lab is not necessary equivalent to the "best practice" for getting the flavors you want from said yeast.

3. A lot of the current homebrew dogma, particularly that seen in the US, comes down a line of brewers who sought to make beers with as clean and neutral yeast profiles as possible. As seen from the recently popularity of saisons, sours, and "farmhouse-style" ales in the US, not everyone is interested in exclusively brewing the old yeast-neutral styles. Thus, one should not see that there's only one single correct process when dealing with yeast. It's going to be beer-dependent. If you go back to White Labs' presentation that I think was referenced earlier in this thread, blind tasters preferred different pitch rates depending on the beer style being brewed. If I remember correctly, for the Hefeweizen, for example, the bling tasters preferred the underpitched samples. For amber ale, they preferred pitch rates several times that of the Hefeweizen.

All that being said, I do use starters. Then again, I'm not using commercial yeasts so I don't have a choice. I have a handful of house yeast strains, a couple I've isolated myself. I also have a microscope so I can be consistent in pitching the cell number I want so it's possible to repeat successful experiments. My initial pitch into the starter is much smaller than that proscribed here, and my final pitch into the wort also tends to be much smaller than that proscribed here. However, I like esters and aromatics, and I brew beer styles that put those aspects at the forefront. I don't have attenuation issues, fermentation stalling, or "off flavors."
the questions regarding yeast pitching rate are rarely regarding yeast-character driven styles, so your points on that are irrelevant.

your use of the word "dogma" is liberal and highly questionable. I have a bachelor of science in electrical engineering, and i wouldn't be so egotistical as to claim I am a scientist... However, I feel I can differentiate between relatively reliably controlled and executed experimentation, and an amalgam of anecdotes.

as far as "blind tasters", who cares whether your beer succeeds in the pepsi challenge. I doubt few of us could make a beer that would survive a blind taste test challenge of uneducated palates vs a mass market lager. so who cares? the average palate doesn't choose flavorful beer as evidenced by the ginormous dominance of fizzy yellow beer. that simply isn't relevant to me and my homebrewing practices.

if you want to experiment with flavors, I commend you. But as I implied before, experimentation relies upon proper control. And if you want to control for yeast character, we have some established and well-supported methods. If you don't want to control for yeast character, I'm sure as a "scientist" you'd agree that the results of the experimentation in flavor will be difficult if not completely impossible to reproduce. Making the "experimentation" nothing more than an enjoyable 5 gallon one-off.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:51 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by Glossolalia View Post
I really don't have the time to get into this deeply, but I wanted to make a few points:

1. There's a lot of directives here that are very dogmatic about how the beer-making process should occur. I understand structure and a sound foundation is important for a beginner, but as a scientist, I also understand that despite several millennia of fermentation experience, we still have surprisingly very little knowledge concerning what is happening in a fermenting wort. The science, to date, is simply not strong enough to support a single directive as "the right way." If scientists don't agree on what "correct" process is and exactly how changes in the process affect taste than neither will HBTers.

2. The reason I mention Duvel and Westmalle is simply that there is a wide-range of flavor profiles in the beer universe. As international beer tastes become more heterogeneous, beer cultures exhibit a greater degree of cross-fertilization, and the market expects a continuous innovation in beer flavors, personally, I'd prefer not to be so dogmatic about "correct" process. For those who aim to coax specific flavors from yeast to create a yeast-forward beer, they should not necessarily see experimentation with yeast pitch rates, fermentation temperatures, and wort oxygenation as anathema. One should also keep in mind that "best practice" for growing yeast in the lab is not necessary equivalent to the "best practice" for getting the flavors you want from said yeast.

3. A lot of the current homebrew dogma, particularly that seen in the US, comes down a line of brewers who sought to make beers with as clean and neutral yeast profiles as possible. As seen from the recently popularity of saisons, sours, and "farmhouse-style" ales in the US, not everyone is interested in exclusively brewing the old yeast-neutral styles. Thus, one should not see that there's only one single correct process when dealing with yeast. It's going to be beer-dependent. If you go back to White Labs' presentation that I think was referenced earlier in this thread, blind tasters preferred different pitch rates depending on the beer style being brewed. If I remember correctly, for the Hefeweizen, for example, the bling tasters preferred the underpitched samples. For amber ale, they preferred pitch rates several times that of the Hefeweizen.

All that being said, I do use starters. Then again, I'm not using commercial yeasts so I don't have a choice. I have a handful of house yeast strains, a couple I've isolated myself. I also have a microscope so I can be consistent in pitching the cell number I want so it's possible to repeat successful experiments. My initial pitch into the starter is much smaller than that proscribed here, and my final pitch into the wort also tends to be much smaller than that proscribed here. However, I like esters and aromatics, and I brew beer styles that put those aspects at the forefront. I don't have attenuation issues, fermentation stalling, or "off flavors."
I agree that there are a wide range of profiles in the beer universe and that sometimes intentionally underpitching, pitching multiple strains, etc. are used to alter a beer's characteristics. However, in the VAST majority of cases the people the whole "make a proper starter and pitch the correct # of yeast" is aimed at are novice brewers looking to get a clean yeast profile.
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Old 01-22-2012, 02:05 PM   #127
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I'm kinda of a NEWBe here.

soo, after reading so many pages of of this thread,
I choose not to put my option in here About Yeast Starters,

But I will offer this:

With the vast amount of information given out in this thread and many others like it.
I really can not believe It's just 14 pages of 'PURE FIGHTING of WHO'S RIGHT".

I come on HBT to learn from others who definitely know a boatload more than me!!!

I have learned a boatload of knowledge from EVERYBODY on HBT and greatly appreciate it.

#1 thing I have found out that ( I must do) is, gather all of the information ( I )need to make ( MY OWN DECISION ) from all of the different ideas,thoughts and methods, brought in front of me.

Just like I have to do in my daily life, MAKE my own Decisions on MY own, sometimes with the help of others, but ultimately MY decisions !

This thread should be called "YEAST STARTERS..........CLASH of the TITIANS !!

I kinda think I will get flamed for this, But I don't really care. It's just my opinion, just like everybody's been posting theirs.

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Old 01-22-2012, 04:41 PM   #128
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This topic is hilarious. You guys are funny. Here is what happened to me without ever using a starter. Yes some of this is opinion, but the time on the high G and the time on the Lager are facts.

1. My Wheat ales taste great to me and everyone who tried (around 15 people) Along with my smaller batches. (4.5 Gallons at 1.060)
2. My larger batches, (6 Gallons), have funny tastes to them I dont like. They are OK. But I can buy better beer than this. Why bother brewing.
3. I brewed a 6 Gallon 1.071 Lager and it took 5 weeks to get 70% attenuation. (at 55 degrees F)
4. I brewed a 5.5 gallon 1.111 barley wine and it took 6 weeks to get 70% attenuation. (at 70 degrees F) (used Wyeast smack pack, Belgium Stong ale.)

Now that I have completed these experiments without a starter (16 different beers, 3 wheat, 3 lagers and 10 ales), I am now going to do the starters. After about 6 months, we will have something to drink and test. I figure after about 30 beers, I will know what I like best. Either way, THIS IS FUN! And you get to DRINK WHILE HAVING FUN! Which makes it EVEN MORE FUN!

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Old 01-22-2012, 04:58 PM   #129
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#1 thing I have found out that ( I must do) is, gather all of the information ( I )need to make ( MY OWN DECISION ) from all of the different ideas,thoughts and methods, brought in front of me.
THIS ^^^ is the important thing! I did the same thing, which is why I decided to always use a starter.
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Old 01-23-2012, 07:04 PM   #130
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Denny has given us some great recipes and I have great respect for his knowledge and experience. He may make a starter for every batch, but I don’t think he would argue too strongly against my practice.
I'd say that if you're making a beer over 1.030 OG, you should not be direct pitching as vial or smackpack. My experience is that I make better beer by pitching more yeast than either of those has if the beer is over 1.030. To me, that means making a starter.
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