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Old 03-09-2010, 02:11 PM   #1
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Default First Starter and First Lager

Making an Octoberfest this weekend or next. I only ordered 1 vial of yeast not really thinking because I've never done a starter or a lager before.

6G batch at 1.059 Simple Shaking method
Mr. Malty says I need 2.4G Starter!! Is this right? I can take it down to 1G with 2 vials of yeast it says.
I have a pound of DME on hand.
I was planning on using a 1/2G growler for my starter but now am thinking that won't work for a 2.5G starter!!

Advice? I could make a 1/2G starter, let it go a few days, then always decant and pitch that onto another 1/2G of starter wort. But it seems like it's a slow yeast so it maybe quite a while between making the starter and doing anything with it.

Will I be ok just making a 1G starter with my 1 vial of liquid yeast and letting that go 3-4 days, then decant and pitch? I'm planning on lagering over 6 months....

Oh, and I'm assuming the starter needs fermented at the same temp as the beer would. low 50's for the lager strain? Or does the starter need the whole lagering process as well?

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Old 03-09-2010, 02:22 PM   #2
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You can ferment the starter at a warmer temperature. After all, you're reproducing yeast, not making beer. I like to ferment my lager starters close to 60 degrees, since it's convenient for me.

Lagers DO need a big starter. If you start now, you have time to get one going. You can do what you suggested- make a small starter and keep stepping it up. That will work well. Or, if you have a 3 gallon carboy or container, you could make it in that.

For lagers, I like to chill the starter after fermentation and then decant the spent wort. I also find that bringing the wort to 50 degrees and the yeast to 48 degrees (after taking it out of the fridge) gives a nice headstart to the lager and makes a nice smooth lager. You may not even need a diacetyl rest if you pitch enough yeast at fermentation temperature, but it won't hurt to do one anyway.

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Old 03-09-2010, 02:22 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IrregularPulse View Post
Making an Octoberfest this weekend or next. I only ordered 1 vial of yeast not really thinking because I've never done a starter or a lager before.

6G batch at 1.059 Simple Shaking method
Mr. Malty says I need 2.4G Starter!! Is this right? I can take it down to 1G with 2 vials of yeast it says.
I have a pound of DME on hand.
I was planning on using a 1/2G growler for my starter but now am thinking that won't work for a 2.5G starter!!

Advice? I could make a 1/2G starter, let it go a few days, then always decant and pitch that onto another 1/2G of starter wort. But it seems like it's a slow yeast so it maybe quite a while between making the starter and doing anything with it.

Will I be ok just making a 1G starter with my 1 vial of liquid yeast and letting that go 3-4 days, then decant and pitch? I'm planning on lagering over 6 months....

Oh, and I'm assuming the starter needs fermented at the same temp as the beer would. low 50's for the lager strain? Or does the starter need the whole lagering process as well?
If you can get past the bickering;

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/why...t-cake-166221/

a good read with some simple maths.
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Old 03-09-2010, 04:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YooperBrew View Post
You can ferment the starter at a warmer temperature. After all, you're reproducing yeast, not making beer. I like to ferment my lager starters close to 60 degrees, since it's convenient for me.

Lagers DO need a big starter. If you start now, you have time to get one going. You can do what you suggested- make a small starter and keep stepping it up. That will work well. Or, if you have a 3 gallon carboy or container, you could make it in that.

For lagers, I like to chill the starter after fermentation and then decant the spent wort. I also find that bringing the wort to 50 degrees and the yeast to 48 degrees (after taking it out of the fridge) gives a nice headstart to the lager and makes a nice smooth lager. You may not even need a diacetyl rest if you pitch enough yeast at fermentation temperature, but it won't hurt to do one anyway.
My yeast won't be here for a few days. Order should be shipping from brew masters warehouse today. It's usually a 2-3 day shipment. so Thursday or Friday. I guess I'll hold off on brewing this weekend and try planing the following one. That will give me a week to step this thing up. I have 1G carboys. I'll have to find something larger to go to from there. Good to know the temps can be "normal" so I can just ferment the starter at least in the basement instead of kickin' on the fridge for a small jug

Now when it says "2.4G starter" it doesn't mean 2.4G of actual slurry does it? That is the slurry AND wort it's considering?
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:42 PM   #5
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My yeast won't be here for a few days. Order should be shipping from brew masters warehouse today. It's usually a 2-3 day shipment. so Thursday or Friday. I guess I'll hold off on brewing this weekend and try planing the following one. That will give me a week to step this thing up. I have 1G carboys. I'll have to find something larger to go to from there. Good to know the temps can be "normal" so I can just ferment the starter at least in the basement instead of kickin' on the fridge for a small jug

Now when it says "2.4G starter" it doesn't mean 2.4G of actual slurry does it? That is the slurry AND wort it's considering?
Right. If you look at the "repitch from slurry" calculator, it'll give you a better idea of the amount of yeast you should have, volume wise.
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Old 03-09-2010, 06:50 PM   #6
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IP,
When yeast ferments above it's 'ideal' range it will do so much faster (just like you see with ale yeasts). So fermenting a lager starter at room temp or even 60* F should go very fast. And unless each step is really big (like 10x the previous step), each successive step will go even faster than the step before it.

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Old 03-09-2010, 07:08 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by IrregularPulse View Post
My yeast won't be here for a few days. Order should be shipping from brew masters warehouse today. It's usually a 2-3 day shipment. so Thursday or Friday. I guess I'll hold off on brewing this weekend and try planing the following one. That will give me a week to step this thing up. I have 1G carboys. I'll have to find something larger to go to from there. Good to know the temps can be "normal" so I can just ferment the starter at least in the basement instead of kickin' on the fridge for a small jug

Now when it says "2.4G starter" it doesn't mean 2.4G of actual slurry does it? That is the slurry AND wort it's considering?
You could always give them a call . If its still there Ed may be able to add some more yeast to your order this way you can use a smaller starter.

And yes the total amount of the starter not just the slurry
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Old 03-09-2010, 08:10 PM   #8
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I actaully did speak with Ed today because they're out of Hallertau, but adding a second yeast vial didn't even cross my mind. I suppose I could call him back and add one.

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Old 03-13-2010, 07:52 PM   #9
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Alright got my ingredients with two vials of yeast. I'm thinkg a week is enough time to step up from one vial and I can save the other. Can I just do a 1 G batch and pitch the vial, then in a coupledaus pitch that slurry to a new 1G batch and that would be the same as a 2G starter?

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Old 03-13-2010, 09:09 PM   #10
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Well I boiled up a half gallon of water with 1cup DME. Gonna just pitch both vials into it.

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