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Old 02-05-2012, 10:17 PM   #1
brewser7
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Default Making a starter -Am I doing it right?

I've read the numerous threads about yeast starters and went to Mr. Matly.com and all that but I just want to make sure I'm doing this right since I'm a yeastie virgin.

I washed my yeast on Thursday of last week (10 days ago) and I'm using one of the jars from that for tomorrow's brew day. Some say I can just pitch that and I'll have enough and other say I need a 1L starter. I'm going middle of the road and doing a .5L starter. I went to the LHBS and bought some Extra Light DME. I don't have a scale (ordered one 15 minutes ago) so I did some calculations to get my starter. I'm using 1 pint of water and 2oz DME (per my calculations).

Here is what I've done so far, can you let me know if I'm doing this right.

Boiling DME in water (2oz DME, 1 pint of water)


Put boiled "wort" into next smallest container I had and let it cool.



Once it is cool, I will pour off the beer and put the yeast (below) into container above.



While waiting, I will enjoy some chili.


Is this correct or do I need to make some adjustments. Any and all help is appreciated.

Cheers!

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Old 02-05-2012, 10:24 PM   #2
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Just remember the volume of the starter is with the water and DME combined (i didn't check your math with the 1 pint water and 2 oz DME but I suspect you're diluting the solution a bit too much). Your target is an SG of 1.030 to 1.040. And only 1 day may or may not be enough time for the starter to finish and the yeast to flocculate... so you could just pitch the entire starter (it's a small starter anyway so likely won't alter the taste of the wort). Remember to swirl/shake the starter often to help get rid of CO2 and get more oxygen into solution.

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Old 02-05-2012, 10:27 PM   #3
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I cool mine in the sink with a couple of cold water baths... Much faster/safer than putting it into glass (if it's not pyrex, it's not guaranteed safe for boiling temps) IMO. Once chilled, I transfer it to my [sanitized] flask, pitch the yeast packet (already proofed via the internal 'smack pack'), place on stir plate, add stir bar, install foam stopper and get it spinning. <24 later it's done and ready to get cold crashed for the batch it's going into. With this method, I make my starter on Thursday, for a Saturday brew day.

If you don't have a stir plate, then you can expect the starter to take longer, depending on how you oxygenate/aerate it.

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Old 02-05-2012, 10:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frodo
Just remember the volume of the starter is with the water and DME combined (i didn't check your math with the 1 pint water and 2 oz DME but I suspect you're diluting the solution a bit too much). Your target is an SG of 1.030 to 1.040. And only 1 day may or may not be enough time for the starter to finish and the yeast to flocculate... so you could just pitch the entire starter (it's a small starter anyway so likely won't alter the taste of the wort). Remember to swirl/shake the starter often to help get rid of CO2 and get more oxygen into solution.
I wonder if it would be best to forgo the stater this time and just pitch it without. I can always pitch another jar if necessary.

One thing I didn't understand I guess is the fact you don't pitch the whole starter. That's why I didn't want to do 1L.

I have a lot more reading to do!
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:56 PM   #5
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I think you should do the starter. A 1 pint starter would probably be at "high krausen" tomorrow and like I said isn't a significant volume.

With starters, you can either:
1) make them 2 to 4 days in advance so they can fully ferment, then you put in refrigerator, then decant most of the clear liquid, shake the yeast into suspension in the remaining liquid and pitch, or
2) make them about a day in advance to try to time it right so you can pitch the entire starter at "high krausen" (while they're vigorously fermenting)

If you're brewing tomorrow your choice is #2 above or no starter... I'd go with #2 myself, you have a very little starter you're making and it'd be better than underpitching.

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Old 02-05-2012, 11:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frodo View Post
I think you should do the starter. A 1 pint starter would probably be at "high krausen" tomorrow and like I said isn't a significant volume.

With starters, you can either:
1) make them 2 to 4 days in advance so they can fully ferment, then you put in refrigerator, then decant most of the clear liquid, shake the yeast into suspension in the remaining liquid and pitch, or
2) make them about a day in advance to try to time it right so you can pitch the entire starter at "high krausen" (while they're vigorously fermenting)

If you're brewing tomorrow your choice is #2 above or no starter... I'd go with #2 myself, you have a very little starter you're making and it'd be better than underpitching.
Time frames above are WITHOUT a stir plate. With a stir plate, expect the starter to be complete within 24 hours. If you want to pitch it at 'high krausen' then you're looking at 8-12 hours from when you pitch yeast into it.

Also, the correct ratio of DME to water is 100g to 1000ml (1L)... Easier done if you have a decent scale. Also means that if you only need a 1.8L starter, you can use 180g of DME in it.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:04 AM   #7
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I'm a rebel and eyeball my DME.

bring out the firing squad!

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Old 02-06-2012, 12:57 AM   #8
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Okay, you guys talked me into it. Thanks for the help

This time next week I will have a scale to correctly measure my next starter. Also, I'll start working on a DIY stir plate so hopefully I can do it right from here on out

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Old 02-07-2012, 05:02 AM   #9
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The yeast has been pitched. We'll see how it goes.
:cross fingers:

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Old 02-07-2012, 05:50 AM   #10
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That chili need CHEEEEEESE!!!

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