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Old 11-13-2012, 09:04 AM   #1
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Default Insane 5L starter?

I have been reading and listening to podcasts regarding yeast starters. I want to do a few big beers and was recommended a 5L erlenmyer flask. This thing is huge!!! Much bigger than I ha imagined.

Ignoring the process, do you actually put one vial into 5L of wort to make a 5L starter?

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Old 11-13-2012, 09:54 AM   #2
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I haven't made a starter that big but I would think you'd want to step up to 5L I would start with 1 vial in a 2L starter. Let that go a couple days then decant and pitch that yeast into a 5L starter. Just my opinion as I said I have no experience with making a starter that size.

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Old 11-13-2012, 11:01 AM   #3
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Thanks. I heard Jamil Z. saying up to 6L was ok. But that just sounds crazy.

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Old 11-13-2012, 11:19 AM   #4
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My only concern with the 5 L starter is the potential for the kräusen to go crazy on you. In my experience, if my wort is down in the relatively wide part of the flask them no foam problems. If its up closer to the neck like 5 L in a 5 L Erlenmeyer would be, then you may have some issues. I've had it push my foam stoppers right out of the flask. When I need big starters I usually step the yeast up with two smaller volume starters. yeastcalc.com has a nifty program that will calculate your steps for you.

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Old 11-13-2012, 12:01 PM   #5
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yes, you can do a 5L starter from one pack. definitely use yeastcalc to determine what your best strategy is, you can see the growth difference between a single 5L starter or stepping up with 2 smaller ones, and make your decision based on that. but big lagers for example will require two consecutive 5L steps from one yeast pack.
i have a similar 5L erlenmeyer and the actual capacity (as you can see in your pic) is well over 5L, so you really can stir 5L in it without fear of it foaming over. if you're not stirring then it could go over the top.

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Old 11-13-2012, 12:16 PM   #6
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One vial of yeast (100 billion cells) is good for up to 4 gallons (15 liters) of 1.035 wort so you should have no problem with 5 liters.

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Old 11-13-2012, 12:29 PM   #7
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A stir plate would really knock down the volume of starter needed...

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Old 11-13-2012, 05:20 PM   #8
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You could also make a ~2.5L starter and then decant and put the slurry into another container. Leave some of the slurry in the flask and pour another ~2.5 L of chilled wort on top of it for starter #2. Not very scientific but you'd probably come out with about the right number of yeast cells.

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Old 11-13-2012, 08:51 PM   #9
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I've been wanting to get a big erlenmeyer for a while now. You're just making me jealous. You should have no problem doing a single step starter as long as you're using one of the calculators. Careful about blowoff, though.

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Old 11-13-2012, 11:16 PM   #10
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Cool. Thanks all for your help.

The flask was actually reasonably cheap $40 AU. I have the bits to make a stir plate now too, also cheap. I'll give it a go. I want to make a Pliny the elder clone from NHC recipes next.

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