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Old 10-22-2010, 08:00 PM   #1
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Default First time Yeast starter, proper way to pitch.

Decided to got the route of yeast starters so I created two yeast starters yesterday using Wyeast Activator Smack Packs, one is an American Ale, the other is a Northwest Ale. For each starter I used 1300ML of water and 1C of Extra light DME boiled for 15 min. First one went down at 1300, the second one followed around 1500

Within 30-45 Min of placing them in my 65 degree basement I saw strong activity and they have been going to town ever since, ready to be pitched for tomorrows brew day.

My question is regarding how to best pitch the starters. I know of two options, pitch the entire contents of the starters or refrigerate them, let the suspended yeast settle out into the yeast cake, pour of the top layer of beer and only use the yeast slurry.

The easiest method if obviously to pitch the entire thing, however I am starting to dislike the idea of tossing in a layer of beer that isn't part of the recipe so if I decide to pitch just the slurry, how do you properly remove the liquid without disturbing the yeast? I assume once the liquid is gone the yeast will pour out like a thick paste/cream?

Thanks!

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Originally Posted by Hammy71 View Post
I'd go with the 2". You can always stir the wort with a sanitized spoon if your worried about hot/cold spots. You will be hitting the 6+" with everything...ask Ron Jeremy!
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Old 10-22-2010, 08:22 PM   #2
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Toss it in the fridge the night before brewday and the yeast will settle out. Then you can decant and pitch.

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Old 10-22-2010, 08:30 PM   #3
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It's really up to you, some decant, or some just swirl it all in. One factor to consider is whether or not the "starter beer," the liguid on top smells sour or not. Often, especially in the summer it may sour in only a few hours. Some folks add a hop pellet as a preservative/preventative measure. The couple of ounces of sour beer wont really affect the taste of your finished product (unless maybe you were brewing an extremely light tasting beer.) It's really up to you.

Another factor is whether or not the yeast is a low flocculating yeast and there may be a lot still in suspension. The "beer" will be cloudy rather than clear-ish. If it's a witbier or hefe yeast for example it might be better just to swirl and pour it all in, you'll get the max number of yeast cells that way.

My starter flask is huge and often I will build up a starter over a few days and end up with 1 1/2 to 2 quarts of "beer" in it. If the yeast has pretty much flocculated I will, if I have time cold crash it like the web pic above, but even if I don't I will carefully pour off all but about 2 cups of the liquid, then swirl the remainder to re-suspend the yeast and dump it in my fermenter.
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