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Old 12-01-2009, 06:10 PM   #1
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Default High Gravity yeast Starter

Real quick, i just found this forum and am quite excited to be able to contribute what little i know. I started homebrewing about a year ago, ive made 12 beers - the best was my first beer last year a christmas ale. I added nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon to the boil. This year i am trying to replicate it. ( i lacked judicious notes that time, every other beer i took detailed notes)

starting gravity 1.080, 19% BRIX - 10.5% PA

I added a liquid English Ale yeast from wyeast (the test tube). I let it go for 4 days and no klausen.. So i bought a high gravity Belgian Tripel liquid yeast and i want to make a starter.

Question: I started a High gravity Winter Ale 7 days ago. I have a test tube of liquid beligum trippel ale yeast.

I googled and read some from my homebrew books about starting a starter.

Just wanted some tips here: Pretty much take my beaker - add 2 oz Dry malt extract to 400 ML of water - bring to boil - cool to temp and pitch yeast.

The questions i have are: How long do i let the starter sit and ferment before pitching? Do i let it ferment for days? hours? are we just letting the yeast aerate and replicate? I wouldnt think we would want to let it completely ferment as the yeast might die right?

So do i just let it go maybe 24 hours while the yeast replicate - and then do i pour the entire contents into the WINTER ALE i started? or just the yeast slurry in the bottom?

Thanks in advance!

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Old 12-01-2009, 06:19 PM   #2
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so i should have searched first: found this:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/how-make-yeast-starter-pictorial-76101/

but would i want to add all the excess wort? I dont want the DME in the beer i have going now - think it would alter the taste i have already - not to mention raise the already high gravity of the beer.

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Old 12-01-2009, 06:33 PM   #3
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Since you've already brewed this beer 4 days ago, there is no time to make a starter now, just pitch the yeast ASAP. At this point, I would pitch maybe 2-3 packets of dry yeast or 3-6 vials or smack-packs of liquid yeast, so there is a big enough number of yeast cells in the brew.

Next time before making a big beer, just make a regular beer first and then use the slurry as a yeast starter for your big beer.

For example, if you gonna use an English Ale yeast in your Christmas Beer, first make a batch of English Bitter, and then use the slurry (yeast) from the fermenter to start your Christmas Beer.

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Old 12-01-2009, 07:50 PM   #4
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You can make a starter, and when it gets to high krausen, pitch the whole thing in, it should take about 12 hours. 400mL isn't large enough to do anything, I recommend at least 1.5L. Ideally you should have prepared a 3L starter in advance and chilled/decanted to avoid watering down the beer but it's too late for that now.

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Old 12-01-2009, 07:51 PM   #5
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ahh wow 3 L - i see - thank you very much.

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Old 12-01-2009, 08:14 PM   #6
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For future reference use this calculator for starters. http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

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Old 12-07-2009, 08:47 PM   #7
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when you make the starter from the tutorial, with 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup DME... that only give me around 500 ml of wort... which i add one activator pack of yeast... if i double the wort - do i also have to add another activator pack of yeast - or will one pack of yeast increase with the 1 L of wort i made?

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Old 12-07-2009, 08:50 PM   #8
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Starter size is independent of the # of packs of yeast. You can make up to a 4L starter with one package of yeast. Mr. Malty will recommend using more packs if your yeast is old, but I haven't found it necessary, I have made 2L starters from year old White Labs tubes out of the expired yeast bin at LHBS and had them take off just fine.

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