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Old 03-23-2011, 07:00 PM   #1
SeanHaley
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Default Making large amounts of yeast

I've read up on making yeast starters for big beers and such, but my question is. If I wanted to make several 5 gal batches of the same beer at the same time from a single smack pack. Could I make a yeast starter, after it ferments decant the liquid and add new wort. Would this make double the original?
Im looking to make 3 batches at a time but want to avoid having to buy three or more packs everytime I brew.

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Old 03-23-2011, 07:18 PM   #2
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You will need to make progressively bigger starters. Yeast can reach critical mass/density and will need more space and sugar to continue to populate.

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Old 03-23-2011, 08:10 PM   #3
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3 batches off one pack is ambitious. You can make a 1 liter starter, decant the wort, then add 2 liters of new wort. That would basically quadruple the original cell count but I still wouldn't use it for 15 gallons. I'd make a 1 liter starter first, then brew 5 gallons of beer and pitch the starter. Once that's done fermenting, brew the other two batches splitting the first batch's yeast cakes between them.

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Old 03-23-2011, 10:03 PM   #4
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Thanks guys thats what i needed to know. One other quick question then. I read alot of conficting info on the amount of starter i would need. The beers Im getting ready to brew are in the area of 1.100+. Im using Wyeast 1099 in a smack pack. Reading on their web site this is about the top as far as ABV for this yeast. What would be the optimal starter size? The yeast calulator im using says 3 packs and make 4.5 liter starter. That seems like alot.

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Old 03-23-2011, 10:38 PM   #5
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Maybe it seems like a lot, but I don't think 3 packs in a 4.5L starter is anywhere near enough for 15G of 1.100+....

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Old 03-23-2011, 11:03 PM   #6
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Im sorry. I should have clarified better. Its three 5 gallon batches. Im starting the first as im typing this. I would make a starter for the first, let ferment, then use the yeast from the first to make the second. Since its such high gravity I wanted a starter that would be big enough to handle it.

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Old 03-24-2011, 12:06 AM   #7
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Are you talking about making 3 consecutive high gravity beers? If so, you may have problems with the yeast. It is not recommended that you even harvest yeast from high gravity beers because they are so stressed out.

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Old 03-24-2011, 12:43 AM   #8
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Yes, Oh really? I thought they were stressed if underpitched. I did not know that was the case. Thanks. Will it be ok for lower gravity beer?

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Old 03-24-2011, 10:38 PM   #9
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There's a lot of ways yeast can get stressed. Underpitching is certainly one of them. High gravity/alcohol is another. Start with low gravity and work your way up to higher gravity. The generally rule is not to harvest anything over 1.060 I believe. I go to 1.070 with no ill effects so far.

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Old 03-25-2011, 03:31 PM   #10
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Sean, I think that if you make a single 2L starter using 1 cup of DME and 1 vial from White Labs and a stir plate then you will have enough to split among 3 5-gallon batches. I make 15g batches using a single 2L starter and it seems to be the perfect pitching amount.

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