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Old 04-22-2013, 08:23 PM   #1
Js137
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Default Large starter vs. steps

I am making a 10 gallon batch of Ale with starting SG of 1.076. I should've purchased at least two White Labs vials, but only ordered 1. I need to brew by this weekend and don't want to pay extreme shipping charges to get another vial here so I have to try to make do.

I am considering a couple of options:
1. Make a large DME "beer" in my system (around 4 gallons) which I will add oxygen with a stone and ferment in my conical. Give a few days to settle down (2-3) and then use drain off the "beer" and add the fresh wort directly onto the previous yeast cake.

2. Simply make a standard 2000ml starter and pitch during high Krausening.

3. Make a 2000 ml starter and step it up by adding more DME every 12-18 hours or so. I have never attempted this. In the past I would always step up my starter by letting fermentation finish, cool in the fridge, decant and then add fresh DME, but I am in a bit of time crunch now.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

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Old 04-22-2013, 08:38 PM   #2
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I'd do number 1, provided your yeast is reasonably fresh. Yeast calc has that coming out to be about the right pitch rate. 17 liter 1.037 starter of <1 month old yeast with no shaking gets you 521 billion yeasties.
http://www.yeastcalc.com

Number 2 would probably end up with 10 gallons of beer that could be better.

Number 3 would be hard, I think. I think the growth rate goes down substantially when you're doing step ups and have to constrain the volume. You'd probably do more harm than good.

Thats my 2 cents.

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Old 04-22-2013, 08:56 PM   #3
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Thanks, I appreciate the feedback. Should I size between no shaking and intermittent shaking since I do have the ability to add oxygen with a stone to the starter wort? My guess is that wouldn't be as effective as intermittent shaking, but might be better than no shaking.

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Old 04-22-2013, 09:29 PM   #4
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Yeah, probably. I think if you're in the ballpark so you don't need to stress too much. I'd just oxygenate well at the start and relax.

Cool thing is that if this works out, next time, you can make a real 1.037 beer that you can drink!

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Old 04-22-2013, 09:46 PM   #5
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That would be right around the alcohol content that is legally allowed to be sold here in Utah (4% ABV by law)!

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Old 04-22-2013, 09:51 PM   #6
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According to Yeastcalc and using a stir plate you need 523B cells for proper pitch rate and this can be handled by doing 2) 2L starters so if you have time you can make 1 starter, crash, decant and make a second 2L starter and it should get you what you need. this is assuming a fresh vial of yeast with an April date.

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Old 04-22-2013, 10:01 PM   #7
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Duboman - do you see any problems with making a gigantic starter to achieve the same cell count at Yeastcalc? (option #1)

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Old 04-23-2013, 04:40 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by duboman View Post
According to Yeastcalc and using a stir plate you need 523B cells for proper pitch rate and this can be handled by doing 2) 2L starters so if you have time you can make 1 starter, crash, decant and make a second 2L starter and it should get you what you need. this is assuming a fresh vial of yeast with an April date.
This is what I do all the time. I buy one yeast and step it up. 2l starter Monday, run on stir plate 24 hrs. put in fridge over night, decant and add 2l on Wednesday, stir plate 24 hrs, fridge Friday over night, decant at the start of my brewday and let warm to room temp.
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Old 04-23-2013, 01:30 PM   #9
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Duboman - do you see any problems with making a gigantic starter to achieve the same cell count at Yeastcalc? (option #1)
As long as you are making a wort that is between 1.035-1.040 so as not to stress out the yeast it should be okay but the idea behind making a starter is to grow up an optimally healthy colony, healthy being the key word. Essentially your volume is creating an under pitched starter so if you have the time IMO doing the 2 step starter is ideal for the healthiest yeast to pitch.
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:12 PM   #10
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Makes sense. In the future I will do 2 steps. This time I will make a crazy large starter with a gravity or between 1.035-1.040 to not stress the yeast.

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