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Old 01-13-2011, 02:22 PM   #1
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Default Lager Yeast Starter/Mr Malty Help

Planning a lager brew next Wednesday. I want to give myself plenty of time to grow the starter. I built a stir plate yesterday and should have my stir bar tomorrow. Mr. Malty is saying a 1.050 lager needs a stir plate starter of 3.7 quarts. It also says that I need 2 viles to start the starter with. I only have one vile.....so how should I go about this. Grow my one vile into two viles first and then make the 3.7 quart starter? How much starter does it take to double a vile? 3.7 quarts is 3.5 liters...so do I need a 4L flask to pull this off or do I have to grow it in multiple stages? With all of the wasted DME going into this I might as well by another vile...? Thanks

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Old 01-13-2011, 03:07 PM   #2
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if you use the growth factor slider at the bottom you can set it to use less vials. for 1 vial you need a 10.77L starter. However, you said you have a stirplate, and if you switch it to stirplate instead of simple starter, you only need 4.04L with 1 vial

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Old 01-13-2011, 03:11 PM   #3
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Make a 2 L (2 quart is very close) on day one with 2 cups DME. Allow to ferment for 24-36 hours. Then place starter in refrigerator for 2 days. After those 2 days, carefully pour off the liquid on top of the yeast cake. Allow to warm up to room temperature. Then make another 2 qts of wort with 2 cups of DME. Pour this onto the yeast cake from the first starter. Allow to ferment for 24-36 hours. Refrigerate for 2 days, decant, allow to warm to pitching temp and pitch!

This video explains it well: http://billybrew.com/stepping-up-a-yeast-starter

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Old 01-13-2011, 03:14 PM   #4
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A vial is roughly 100 billion cells. To make 200 billion (2 vials) use a 1 liter starter on a stir plate. This assumes that the vial is super fresh and 100% viable. If it's a month old then you should increase to 1.2 liters. If it's 2 months old go to 1.9 liters. If it's 3 months old then go with 3 liters. If it's more then 3 months old make a small (1L) starter to get it healthy the another (1L) starter to grow that to 200 billion.

between steps you will need to allow the starter to fully ferment out, crash cool it over night in the fridge and decant off the fermented liquid.

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Old 01-13-2011, 03:15 PM   #5
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Make a 1qt starter on your stir plate. Chill and decant that after 48 hours. Then make a 2qt starter and add that to your yeast and let that fire up in your primary fermenter at your desired fermentation temps. When you brew, just rack your entire batch onto that starter and you'll be fine.

Today is Thursday, if you want to brew Wed you should get going.

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Old 01-13-2011, 03:18 PM   #6
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Depends on how big your existing flask is (also depends on the viability of the yeast in the vials, you didn't mention that part). Sometimes you have to just do the best you can and say a prayer to the yeast gods (like I'm doing below).

I'm making a 1.051 lager this weekend but only have a 2L flask and an old vial of yeast. I made a 1.8L stirplate starter on Monday, put that in the fridge yesterday, today I'll decant and add another 1.8L of wort and let that ferment. Tomorrow night I'll put that in the fridge and decant/pitch the following afternoon. And I'll still be underpitching. I'll use pure O2 through a stone to aerate both starters and the actual beer so hopefully it will be enough. Make sure to aerate the starter(s) and batch really well and aerate as cold as possible.

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Old 01-14-2011, 03:36 AM   #7
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Looks like I better get to it. My stir bar actually came today so I gonna start the starter tomorrow morning. Plan is to make a 2qt starter ferment for 2-3 days (I can check the gravity with spectrometer to see when it hits an FG). Put in fridge until yeast settles out. Then repeat the 2qt starter again. I may have to push my brew day back a couple days to make sure I have enough time....thanks for all the advise.

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Old 01-14-2011, 09:57 PM   #8
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It really doesn't need to ferment longer than 24-36 hours... and most of the time just the 24 hours. Some guys will cold crash for just 24 hours as well, but I like to give that 48 hours.

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