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Old 06-30-2012, 06:18 PM   #1
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Default grain wort starter

I'm new to this whole thing, kinda just experimenting and learning from error and talking to people who have done the same

can you brew a wort, pich the yeast, allow to ferment for a few days, and then add more wort?

There is a reason I ask. I have a small pot, 4 gallons, allowing me to make about 2.5 gallons of wort. I like using grains, because they are cheeper and tastier, but just can't really handle all grain brews.

I'm expecting some demand for a triple batch soon, so an 18 gallons of brewing. I'm thinking of first making an all grain wort, with 2 kilos, to use as a starter. Pitching the yeast in the 2.5 gallons wort, in my primary bucket. Then after 2 or 3 days,, brewing the remainder of wort with LME. I will then devide the wort sarter between 3 vessels, and mix the LME wort with it.

If I do this, would it be best to add at the peak of the first few days, when the yeast is roaring. Should I wait for the yeast to slow down. Or should I just not do this at all.

THanks!!

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Old 06-30-2012, 06:33 PM   #2
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Just speculating here, but I'd be concerned about oxidizing the original wort with each batch you add to it (either that or lack of O2 for fermentation).

If you're really determined about mixing a bunch of batches it would be better to let each batch ferment out and then mix them together.

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Old 06-30-2012, 06:42 PM   #3
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You can certainly do this, and it is a fairly standard industrial practice as well. Large fermentation tanks are "cheap" capacity upgrades compared to adding larger mash tuns or brew kettles, and the brewing process is much shorter than fermentation.

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Old 06-30-2012, 06:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BPS531 View Post
You can certainly do this, and it is a fairly standard industrial practice as well. Large fermentation tanks are "cheap" capacity upgrades compared to adding larger mash tuns or brew kettles, and the brewing process is much shorter than fermentation.
Now that you mention it, I do know a local brewery with a 30 bbl conical and a 15 bbl kettle. However, I'm almost positive that they add the second batch one day after the original while fermentation is still active. Not sure what the effect of waiting until fermentation is complete would have on the beer.
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Old 06-30-2012, 09:07 PM   #5
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To limit oxydation, I can syphon the new brew into the old. You think it would be best to do this as early as possible in the fermentation process? The only question I have is, what would probably happen, say, if I didn't do it right away and waited until the initial burst of fermentation was over, or mixed the batches in the middle of peak yeast activity. Does the shift in gravity,reduction in ABV, or other changes, stress the yeasts/produce esters, or would it just creat a more ideal environment, full of food and less toxic, allowing the yeats to accelerate what they do? I'm going to try it, like I said, 18 gallon batch coming up, need to figure out some way of doing it in my 4 gallon pot.

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Old 06-30-2012, 09:21 PM   #6
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How about this:

Make your small batch, cool it down to pitching temperatures, pitch the yeast

then ...

Make the next all grain batch, cool it, and add it right into your fermentor.

This is a long brew day.
Or ... better yet ...
Buy a 5 gallon pot for $19.95 from the Chrismass Tree shop

I make 5 gallon All Grain batches on my stovetop with 2 5 gallon pots

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Old 06-30-2012, 09:21 PM   #7
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Again, this is speculation as I have no experience doing it myself. My comment regarding oxidation is based on the fact that your new wort will often have a lot of dissolved oxygen in it (or at least you typically want it to). For normal batches, if there isn't any dissolved oxygen then you won't have healthy fermentation.

That being said, yeast use oxygen to reproduce. If your first batch is healthy and the yeast reproduce in great numbers, there might be enough cells to continue fermentation on your second batch. It's for this reason that I'd think it's ideal to add additional wort during high krausen. If you wait until they are "finished," I don't think the fermentation will continue as vigorously and may never attenuate as expected.

I'm curious to hear the opinion of someone with more expertise.

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Old 06-30-2012, 11:38 PM   #8
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Thanks folks. I'm on a serious budget, but will eventually get a second pot, aiming for a 5 gallon, so that collectively(in the 4 gallon I currently use, plus the 5 gallon I will get) I can boil 6 gallons at any one time without fear of overflow. Then I will be in a much better position to do all grain brewing, without spending half a day in the kitchen.

I'm organizing a sort of co-op, with friends and members of the community, so I'm just looking for ways to increase overall production in a cost effective(time and money) way.

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