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Old 09-22-2009, 08:24 PM   #1
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Default I have Small Flask Syndrome - need to boost my cell count.

OK, so I want to use a starter for my Two Hearted Clone this upcoming weekend with WLP051. I made myself a stir plate last night using a busted power supply from a computer, (the powersupply case worked great as a stir plate case, and the powersupply's fan still worked great...).

Thing is, I only have a 1 L flask. I bought it yesterday without doing enough research . I read that you want at least 1 L of starter, (Mr. Malty says 1.28 liters for my OG/volume/etc.).

So can I do this:

  1. Boil 0.5L of water with 3.5-4 oz of DME and some nutrient
  2. Top up with 0.25 L of water to 0.75 L.
  3. Pitch Yeast
  4. Stir for a day.
  5. Crash cool and decant.
  6. Add a second dose of 1.035-1.040 SG wort/nutrient (boiled in a pot or something), on top of the cake.
  7. Stir for another day.
  8. Crash cool and decant.
  9. Add a third dose of 1.035-1.040 SG wort/nutrient (boiled in a pot or something), on top of the cake.
  10. Stir for another day.
  11. Crash cool and decant.
  12. Pitch into beer.

Seems like this would have the effect of boosting my cell count up nice and high, n'est pas?
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:16 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by shortyjacobs View Post
OK, so I want to use a starter for my Two Hearted Clone this upcoming weekend with WLP051. I made myself a stir plate last night using a busted power supply from a computer, (the powersupply case worked great as a stir plate case, and the powersupply's fan still worked great...).

Thing is, I only have a 1 L flask. I bought it yesterday without doing enough research . I read that you want at least 1 L of starter, (Mr. Malty says 1.28 liters for my OG/volume/etc.).

So can I do this:
  1. Boil 0.5L of water with 3.5-4 oz of DME and some nutrient
  2. Top up with 0.25 L of water to 0.75 L.
  3. Pitch Yeast
  4. Stir for a day.
  5. Crash cool and decant.
  6. Add a second dose of 1.035-1.040 SG wort/nutrient (boiled in a pot or something), on top of the cake.
  7. Stir for another day.
  8. Crash cool and decant.
  9. Add a third dose of 1.035-1.040 SG wort/nutrient (boiled in a pot or something), on top of the cake.
  10. Stir for another day.
  11. Crash cool and decant.
  12. Pitch into beer.

Seems like this would have the effect of boosting my cell count up nice and high, n'est pas?
Nope it won't boost your cell count. Yeast reach a maximum concentration per volume in a starter (around 100-150B cells per liter) and stop growing after that. You need to get a bigger flask.

1L off the stir plate is underpitching slightly for an IPA but you can get away with it if you aerate well.
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Old 09-22-2009, 10:30 PM   #3
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I also only have a 1 liter flask, but what I do when I need a big starter is to stir plate a 1 liter starter in my flask, when that is done, I step it up in an empty 1 gallon glass apple juice jug. When its in the jug, I just swirl it as often as possible. It's not elegant, but it works!

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Old 09-22-2009, 10:52 PM   #4
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I also only have a 1 liter flask, but what I do when I need a big starter is to stir plate a 1 liter starter in my flask, when that is done, I step it up in an empty 1 gallon glass apple juice jug. When its in the jug, I just swirl it as often as possible. It's not elegant, but it works!
That works too. Should give you ~320M cells in the 1gal starter if you have pure O2 which is the same you would get from 2L on the stir plate.
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:49 AM   #5
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Nope it won't boost your cell count. Yeast reach a maximum concentration per volume in a starter (around 100-150B cells per liter) and stop growing after that. You need to get a bigger flask.
Lazy little bastards.

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I also only have a 1 liter flask, but what I do when I need a big starter is to stir plate a 1 liter starter in my flask, when that is done, I step it up in an empty 1 gallon glass apple juice jug. When its in the jug, I just swirl it as often as possible. It's not elegant, but it works!
Good idea. I also have a 1 gallon jug....(from Dr. Pepper, I believe)...I guess I can go old school.

Or maybe I'll see if it works on my stirplate!


Thanks for the input guys!
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Old 09-23-2009, 01:59 AM   #6
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Nope it won't boost your cell count. Yeast reach a maximum concentration per volume in a starter (around 100-150B cells per liter) and stop growing after that. You need to get a bigger flask.

1L off the stir plate is underpitching slightly for an IPA but you can get away with it if you aerate well.
Woah, wait, so I just rethought that.....the activators and white labs vials have 100B cells in them already....so that means a 1L starter potentially does NOTHING?

Shoot. Anyone wanna buy a 1L flask?
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Old 09-23-2009, 02:23 AM   #7
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OK, one more thing....White Labs vial says 1-2 pint starter.....that's 500 mL to 1000 mL.....so why do they say that?

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Old 09-23-2009, 04:01 AM   #8
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Woah, wait, so I just rethought that.....the activators and white labs vials have 100B cells in them already....so that means a 1L starter potentially does NOTHING?

Shoot. Anyone wanna buy a 1L flask?
According to Jamil:

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The minimum starter size for significant yeast growth from a vial or pack of yeast is 1 liter. One vial or pack into 1 liter results in approximately a 50% increase in cell mass.
http://www.mrmalty.com/starter_faq.htm
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