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Old 09-12-2010, 12:27 PM   #1
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Default Mr. Malty calculator question

I bought a 2000ml flask and a stir plate so that I can make yeast starters for my beer. Although I have been happy with my beers so far I have been apparently under pitching my yeast, in the case of my currently planned brew by a factor of 2/3. Incredibly, making starters has been the hardest technique I have tried to learn since I started brewing. I tend to over complicate things and it appears that yeast starters are no exception. So I went to the Mr. Malty site, punched in my information, and then realized I don't really understand what it is telling me. It shows four results, two of which I need some help with.

# Yeast cells needed - I understand this one, at least in theory. Obviously I can't get out a microscope and start counting yeast cells. But if I know how many cells the yeast manufacturer says I have to start out with, I can then calculate how many more I will need.

# Vials or packs without starter - I use a starter so I can ignore this data.

# Vials or packs with starter - My results say 2. Here's where the confusion starts. I thought the whole idea of a starter was to grow enough yeast from a single tube to give you the proper number of cells to pitch with. Is there a simple way to get the proper amount of yeast from a single tube? I have read a few articles that indicate it can be done, but they all describe a multiple step process. For that much work I'd just rather under pitch or buy another tube of yeast.

# Liters of starter required - I assume that this means that I need to make 1 liter of wort to pitch my starter with, correct? Also, if I only have one tube of yeast instead of the recommended two tubes, does that change the amount of wort needed?

Any and all help on using the Mr. Malty calculator and how to make yeast starters would be greatly appreciated.

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Old 09-12-2010, 01:10 PM   #2
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See that "slider" button? You can slide it down to "use less yeast packs" to see the size starter that is recommended with one pack.

That chart is basicially telling you that you need 3.1 packages of yeast, to get the 233 billion cells needed based on the age of the package. To get that amount, you can use 3.1 packages of yeast or make a starter. If you start with 2 packages of the yeast, you'll need a smaller starter than if you start wtih one package (since you have more cells to begin with). If you slide that button the other way, it'll calculate the starter using less packs.

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Old 09-12-2010, 09:49 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yooper_Brew View Post
See that "slider" button? You can slide it down to "use less yeast packs" to see the size starter that is recommended with one pack.

That chart is basicially telling you that you need 3.1 packages of yeast, to get the 233 billion cells needed based on the age of the package. To get that amount, you can use 3.1 packages of yeast or make a starter. If you start with 2 packages of the yeast, you'll need a smaller starter than if you start wtih one package (since you have more cells to begin with). If you slide that button the other way, it'll calculate the starter using less packs.
Wow, thanks Yooper_Brew! I was hoping that it would be something simple like that. Also, your new avatar is cute as hell too.
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Old 11-04-2010, 09:44 PM   #4
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The Mr. Malty yeast starter calculator thing is on drugs.

It tells me that I need 6.47 liter starter aerated on a stir-plate for my 10.5 gallon batch of 1.048 wort.


I have better pitching rate calculator....

It's a genius system I picked up from a head-brewer. It's called the 4 oz jelly jar system. I take the number of jars I think I need, pour the beer off into a glass and drink. Since I fill my 4-oz jelly jars with cooled wort coming from the boil-tun, I do get some trub and solids. They provide nutrients and all settle out fine. Why pour a starter down the drain when you can have a glass of beer?

I usually use two jars for a 10-gallon British session beer for more flavour or three jars if I want less flavour or less fermentation by-products.

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Old 11-04-2010, 10:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
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The Mr. Malty yeast starter calculator thing is on drugs.

It tells me that I need 6.47 liter starter aerated on a stir-plate for my 10.5 gallon batch of 1.048 wort.
Well, it tells me you need 2.76 liters of starter using the parameters you provided, and that's using only one vial of liquid yeast to start with.

Who's on drugs again?
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Old 11-04-2010, 11:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by tunoffun View Post
Well, it tells me you need 2.76 liters of starter using the parameters you provided, and that's using only one vial of liquid yeast to start with.

Who's on drugs again?
Maybe I am. Or... maybe I've been drinking too many 6 month old starters from out of my yeast fridge.
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