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-   -   first starter, does this sound about right? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/first-starter-does-sound-about-right-370105/)

Odin_Brews 11-26-2012 01:13 PM

first starter, does this sound about right?
Toward the end of the week Id like to brew Yooper's Cali Common with wyeast 2112 smack pack, manufacture date 9th August. Because of the older package date Im getting some really large starters calculated.

Im figuring to do a two step starter; 2L at 1.040 cool and decant, then 2L again and pitch.

Sound about right? Ive used dry yeast up till now so Id like a bit of confirmation that Im getting this right.


CUBrewing 11-26-2012 02:26 PM

Well with your second step only being 2l again you went get much more cell growth you would be better served upping from the 2l to 4l or so to get more cells.

Odin_Brews 11-26-2012 04:59 PM

Well, I kind of already have a 2L vessel I picked up for making starters and I don't really want to find fridge space for decanting 4L. Though I get the point of stepping bigger to keep growth rates high.

Now that I think about it if the container is 2L I should probably cut it back to 1.8 and leave a bit of headspace for krausen eh?

WoodlandBrew 11-26-2012 05:07 PM

It looks like both YeastCalc and Mr. Malty use the same viability by date calculation of 0.7% per day for vials. IME these are conservative estimates. If the yeast has been in the fridge the whole time you are likely closer to 40-50% viability.

However, because viability is unknown a multi stage starter is a more accurate way to produce the yeast cells you need because each stage is less dependant on the initial pitch.

Odin_Brews 11-27-2012 02:50 PM

The viability overtime drops like Felix Baumgartner! Wild! Anyway, I think Ill roll with 2 stage 1.8 L starters, even if I have at least 30% viability that will give me the cells I need. I really dig the options with yeastcalc to give more than one stage on your starter.

Odin_Brews 11-28-2012 03:28 PM

hmmm...not looking so good, it's been 24 hours and I haven't seen a thing, the yeast just settle to the bottom and then I shake em up again. I confirmed with a hydrometer that Im still at 1.040.

Give it a few more days before I toss it? Supposing the yeast is dead could I use the wort for a different starter by decanting it off? And if it springs to life should I presume pretty awful viability and up my starter size to compensate?

Thanks and Cheers!

WoodlandBrew 11-28-2012 03:44 PM

Bummer it's not starting. I've had that happen trying to get something from the dregs of a commercial beer. It's disappointing.

Both your ideas sound like good ones. If the yeast is dead there is no harm in pitching the next yeast right on top of it. The dead yeast cells will be nutrition for the new year cells. You could even boil it to make sure any bacteria that may have been with the yeast is dead.

Odin_Brews 11-28-2012 04:07 PM

It is a bummer, here we were talking about getting better than predicted viability and....

So you mean I can just throw the next yeast in on top without bothering to cool/decant, no need to seperate the dead yeast from the new one? It might be important to note the next yeast will be a different one, London ESB, I only bought the one cali-common yeast assuming it would take off.

WoodlandBrew 11-28-2012 04:32 PM


Originally Posted by Odin_Brews (Post 4629214)
It is a bummer, here we were talking about getting better than predicted viability and....

yeah, really sorry about that. :-/ I've seen much higher viability that predicted on my slurries and heard numorus accounts of starting old yeast. I'm not sure when you are planning on brewing, but maybe give it another day or two if you can. You might still be in the lag phase. Sugar doesn't go down until the growth phase.

Chriss White describing the phases:

Odin_Brews 11-28-2012 05:28 PM

I think Ill plan my brew day pending the time frame of having the yeast to do the job rather than forcing the poor little guys into a wort they're not ready for. THanks for all the info and responses, you are quite the yeast enthusiast I see!

Im going to give this starter another 24 - 48 hours to show signs of life. If it does then my second step is going to be larger than previously thought. If it's just done, then Im going to throw in the ESB and hope it had better condtions since packaging.

If I get bored with all that then I can always brew up something in the meantime with a dry yeast, maybe a nice red IPA but with a touch of roasted barley this time around...mmmmm.....gotta love brewing beer! and more importantly a woman who lets you take over enough of the house so you can always have options on a brew day if that starter is taking its sweet time!


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