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-   -   First Yeast Starter question (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/first-yeast-starter-question-245892/)

bmickey 05-16-2011 07:12 PM

I have read a good bit on this but still am confused. I am brewing 2, 6 gallon batches of SG 1.069 IPA tomorrow. I purchased 2 WL WLP001 yeast vials, let them warm to 70 degrees slowly, mixed/made an 8 cups water with 1 cup of DME(boiled for 10 minutes, cooled to 70 and pitched the yeast). I did the starter on Sunday night.

My intention is to brew tomorrow both 6 gallon batches and then shake up the erlenmyer flask and pitch half of the starter in one and the other half into the other carboy.

Does this sound good? I wasn't planning on decanting the liquid off, should I? I basically am following what I think I read from white labs website on starters.

MalFet 05-16-2011 07:26 PM

You're on the right track, but that sounds like a mighty small starter for so much beer. You really want to use either the Mr. Malty or wyeast calculators to do this properly.

DeRoux's Broux 05-16-2011 07:27 PM

from White Lab's Website FAQ's section:

While a starter is not always necessary, White Labs recommends making a starter if the Original Gravity is over 1.060, if the yeast is past its "Best Before" date, if you are pitching lager yeast at temperatures below 65F, or if a faster start is desired.
In a medium sauce pan, add 2 pints of water and 1/2 cup Dried Malt Extract (DME). Mix well and boil the solution for about 10 minutes to sterilize. Cover and cool the pan to room temperature in an ice bath. This will give you a wort of approximately 1.040 OG. Keeping the Original Gravity low is important because you want to keep the yeast in its growth phase, rather than its fermentation phase. The fermentation phase will create alcohol which can be toxic to yeast in high concentrations.
Pour the wort into a sanitized glass container (flask, growler, etc.) and pitch the vial of yeast. Cover the top of the container with a sanitized piece of aluminum foil so that it is flush with the container, but will still allow CO2 to escape. Vigorously shake or swirl the container to get as much oxygen dissolved in the solution as possible. Allow the starter to sit at room temperature for 12-24 hours, occasionally shaking it to keep the solution aerated.
You probably won’t see any visible activity, but the yeast is busy taking up the oxygen and sugars in the solution and growing new cells. After the yeast has consumed all of the nutrients and oxygen, it will form a milky white layer on the bottom of the container. If you are not planning on pitching the yeast right away, you can store it in the refrigerator with the foil still in place. When you are ready to brew, decant off most of the clear liquid from the top, being careful not to disturb the yeast layer below. Once the yeast and your wort are at approximately the same (room) temperature, rouse the starter yeast into suspension and pitch the entire quantity into your fermenter.
Typical Starter Volumes for 5 gallons:
To activate the yeast: 1 pint (with 1/4 cup DME)
To revitalize yeast past its Best Before Date: 2 pints (with 1/2 cup DME)
To brew a high gravity beer: 2 pints (with 1/2 cup DME)
To brew a lager beer, starting fermentation 50-55F: 4 pints (with 1 cup DME)

DeRoux's Broux 05-16-2011 07:28 PM

i agree....may want to make a larger starter...

Airborneguy 05-16-2011 07:30 PM

Besides the need for a larger starter, unless you are really careful to ensure how much goes into each batch, you run the risk of not adding enough yeast just by splitting it up on the spot. Be careful to ensure that half goes into each.

ThePearsonFam 05-16-2011 07:48 PM


according to Mr Matly;

12gal of a 1069 ale will need 2 vials in 5.2L of starter. That's based on the 'intermittent shaking' setting.

bmickey 05-16-2011 07:49 PM

DeRoux, that is correct, that was what I was attempting to follow!

It seems the starter White Labs recommends on their site is much smaller than Mr. Malty the way I read it. Does Mr. Malty assume you are decanting the liquid and just pitching the slurry?

The size starter I have done I am hoping will suffice! I figure it should definitely be better than the vial with no starter. Lol, where is the confused symbol!

UnderDogs 05-16-2011 07:56 PM

You're going to get a lot of different responses but after trying to find the right answer over and over and over and over..... the best response I have received was:

100g of DME to 1000mL of water

At that point if you need a larger one just do the 1:10 ratio on your own. Because of this I went out and bought a $15 digital scale and haven't been disappointed since.

ThePearsonFam 05-16-2011 10:48 PM

man, I need a good scale. Glad father's day is coming up

bmickey 05-18-2011 08:59 PM

Both batches are fermenting ok thus far from the single starter! I just hope they reach the FG I am looking for! If not then is my only option to purchase more Wlp001 and pitch and/or another starter?

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