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Old 03-21-2012, 06:45 PM   #1
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Default More than 1 vial for starter?

Howdy,

Playing with the Mr. Malty yeast calculator sometimes gives the recommendation for more than 1 vial of liquid yeast for a starter. Other then decreasing the time to maximum number of cells, is there another good reason for this? Why not 1 vial and more time for cell propagation?

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Old 03-21-2012, 08:10 PM   #2
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10 gal batch? OG > 1.070?

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Old 03-21-2012, 08:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Strangelove View Post
Howdy,

Playing with the Mr. Malty yeast calculator sometimes gives the recommendation for more than 1 vial of liquid yeast for a starter. Other then decreasing the time to maximum number of cells, is there another good reason for this? Why not 1 vial and more time for cell propagation?
It takes more than more time to propagate more cells. It takes more sugar. At some point, you just get to where starter size is ridiculous (at least in my opinion), or it requires multiple steps, for the level of reproduction you need with only one vial. Not knocking those as options if you want to go with them.
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:58 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by hopsalot View Post
10 gal batch? OG > 1.070?
It's a barleywine, 6 gallons, OG 1.109. Mr Malty says 1.84 L starter (stirrer) with 2 vials.

My solution is to brew a nice pale ale with the same yeast and then pitch onto the yeast cake. But my real question is, why can't I do the 1.84L starter and just wait a bit longer? Mr Malty says 1 vial = 4.55 liter starter.
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:26 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Strangelove

But my real question is, why can't I do the 1.84L starter and just wait a bit longer?
if I give you a hamburger, are you gonna grow more if I leave you for a week with the burger versus if i leave you for a day with the burger?
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:32 AM   #6
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if I give you a hamburger, are you gonna grow more if I leave you for a week with the burger versus if i leave you for a day with the burger?

What the hell are y'all doing with your burgers down there in LA?

If a 2L starter will support x number of cells, and if we agree that each vial contains < 1/2x, and if we further agree that the cells will reproduce until the conditions no longer allow it, why will one vial not reproduce until it reaches the point where it can't, thus equalling the same number of cells, just more generations of them?
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Old 03-22-2012, 12:47 AM   #7
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You can do a step starter. See: http://www.yeastcalc.com/

I am presently doing a step starter from 10ml of frozen yeast. I did two .25l steps a .5l step and have a final 1.5l step going for brew-day on Friday.

This takes quite a while but conceivably I could do 256 brews from a vial ,and not go past 4 generations, by washing yeast then making 4 new vials to freeze from each batch.

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Old 03-22-2012, 12:57 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Strangelove

What the hell are y'all doing with your burgers down there in LA?

If a 2L starter will support x number of cells, and if we agree that each vial contains < 1/2x, and if we further agree that the cells will reproduce until the conditions no longer allow it, why will one vial not reproduce until it reaches the point where it can't, thus equalling the same number of cells, just more generations of them?
because the amount of food is part of what limits their growth. they don't very to just keep growing if the food isn't there to support the growth.

Say a starter of 2l supports the creation of 100 billion new cells. Then if you pitch 100 billion, you end up with 200 billion. If you pitch 200 bolin, you end up with 300 million. The math isn't that simple, but the general concept is applicable.

EDIT: TO (maybe) clarify a little.... you need to look at it as the starter will support a certain amount of GROWTH, not a certain amount of total cells. Again, this is a simplification, but conceptually valid within normal ranges of starter pitch rates.
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Old 03-22-2012, 01:16 AM   #9
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It has to do with how many viable cells there are to start with, and how much food and oxygen there is to reproduce. The fixed part of the equation is the cells to start and the food (assuming you start with the recommended gravity in the range of 1.030-1.040 on the starter) Remember also that each time a cell buds off it requires more nutrients to replenish itself. So a greater number of cells to begin with, will be able to healthily reproduce into a larger colony than a smaller number of cells that have to bud more often.

If you jack the slider all the way up on the calculator you will see that it can be done with one vial, but then requires 4.49L of starter. You could also make the starter in multiple steps off one vial, which would give you a healthier colony.

If you are looking for an in depth scientific answer then you might want to read Jamil Zainasheff and Chris Whites book on yeast, Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation

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Old 03-22-2012, 01:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strangelove View Post
What the hell are y'all doing with your burgers down there in LA?

If a 2L starter will support x number of cells, and if we agree that each vial contains < 1/2x, and if we further agree that the cells will reproduce until the conditions no longer allow it, why will one vial not reproduce until it reaches the point where it can't, thus equalling the same number of cells, just more generations of them?
Um, did you read what discnjh wrote? MrMalty's calculator is telling you that, roughly, the maximum amount of cells you'll get from a 2 liter starter with one vial isn't going to be enough to do an ideal fermentation of your barleywine. The sugar will run out, so past a certain amount of time (roughly 24 hours I think) you're not getting anymore growth.
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