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Old 12-09-2011, 10:28 PM   #1
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Default How do you know when a yeast starter is ready?

I read the wiki on yeast starters, it says the starter should be ready in 1-3 days. But how do you know when it is ready? Also, is there any advantage to making a bigger (more volume) starter? Thanks for any help.

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Old 12-09-2011, 10:31 PM   #2
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After Krausen. It will stay OK for two to three days after. Chances are good that you will miss the Krausen, just look for the white yeast on the bottom of the jar/flask and you are good to go. As long as you pitch a cell count that is appropriate to begin with making a bigger starter serves no purpose.

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Old 12-09-2011, 10:33 PM   #3
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If you really want to be sure you can measure the gravity to make sure it fermented out. Its not exactly scientific but I go by color. My starters are usually pretty dark after being made, they get light once they have fermented out and you will be able to see the yeast cake settled to the bottom of the flask. The size of the starter depends on how big of a beer your making Mrmalty.com that calculator can help determine how big of a starter you need.

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Old 12-09-2011, 10:35 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtejedor View Post
If you really want to be sure you can measure the gravity to make sure it fermented out. Its not exactly scientific but I go by color. My starters are usually pretty dark after being made, they get light once they have fermented out and you will be able to see the yeast cake settled to the bottom of the flask. The size of the starter depends on how big of a beer your making Mrmalty.com that calculator can help determine how big of a starter you need.
So, ideally, you want it to be fully fermented out, as if it were just a mini batch of beer?
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Old 12-09-2011, 11:05 PM   #5
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Technically you're not going for fermentation...you're going for growth...there's difference...but yes look for the Krausen to drop and the yeast cake on the bottom.

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Old 12-09-2011, 11:33 PM   #6
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So, ideally, you want it to be fully fermented out, as if it were just a mini batch of beer?
Well yes but I have very rarely measured them. Just when there seemed to be no activity going on in the starter and I just wanted to double check but most of the time you can probably get away without measuring the starter and just going by visual cues.
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Old 12-10-2011, 01:05 AM   #7
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If you use a stir plate it will be done in about 24 hours, even with intermittent shaking it shouldn't take much more time than that.

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Old 12-10-2011, 01:07 AM   #8
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thanks for the help. off topic: this is my first time making a starter and also first time with a smack pack. Is it less necessary to make a starter with a smack pack?

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