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Old 01-30-2010, 12:59 AM   #1
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Default Mr Malty Pitching Rate and Expired Yeast

Hey Guys,

I like to make starters and pitch the appropriate amount of yeast when I brew. I think this is something we can agree on.

However, I find it hard to believe I need 9 packs and a 7L starter on a stir plate.

Specs:
1.072 ale
10g Batch
1098 yeast pkgd. on 5/9/09

Any help on how much of a starter I should be making here?

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Old 01-30-2010, 04:20 AM   #2
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The biggest problem as I see it is that you don't really know how much viable yeast is still left in the pack. You need roughly 15 billion cells per degree Plato so that comes out to around 270 billion. If even 50% of the yeast is still good then that is roughly 50 billion cells so you will need to step it up at least a couple of times. Have you considered just getting a nice fresh pack and going from there as it would be safer?

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Old 01-30-2010, 08:28 AM   #3
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Yeah, I've used some older yeast in the last year and looked at Mr Malty and thought it was just full of ****. I guess he's just using a theoretical model of how viable the yeast is and just running math based on that. I had some yeast that was not *really* old, but well past the six month mark and Mr Malty gave me some crazy recommendations on starters. I popped the pack, it swelled, then I just made a 3 step starter getting the total to 4 liters *because* I was worried about viability. Decanted off the liquid, pitched and the beer took off, so no worries. I could've probably just made a 2 liter starter, using 20/20 hindsight.

I think basically if you use older yeast and see a nice active starter, then if you make a decently large starter you don't need to worry. If it's a high gravity beer combined with old yeast, I'd likely make a pretty big starter in multiple steps, though.

JUST noticed you said Wyeast 1098. That's the yeast I used old. I made the beer in November and the yeast was from Feburary or March and the yeast was fine. I think some strains are more temperamental but 1098 isn't one of them. For me, it's always been a workhorse.

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Old 01-30-2010, 10:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MattHollingsworth View Post
Yeah, I've used some older yeast in the last year and looked at Mr Malty and thought it was just full of ****. I guess he's just using a theoretical model of how viable the yeast is and just running math based on that.
From what I understand, Jamil and Wyeast actually collaborated on a yeast viability counting experiment to find out how many viable cells were left in packages over time and that's where the numbers come from. He has yeast packs over 4 months old listed as 10% viable.

I'm not 100% certain, but I think he even helped Wyeast make/program their yeast calculator. Regardless, at the Wyeast talk I was at, the rep mentioned the calculators, saying he thinks everyone should be making starters and actually recommended Mr Malty's over theirs.
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Old 01-30-2010, 01:32 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by SPLASTiK View Post
From what I understand, Jamil and Wyeast actually collaborated on a yeast viability counting experiment to find out how many viable cells were left in packages over time and that's where the numbers come from. He has yeast packs over 4 months old listed as 10% viable.

I'm not 100% certain, but I think he even helped Wyeast make/program their yeast calculator. Regardless, at the Wyeast talk I was at, the rep mentioned the calculators, saying he thinks everyone should be making starters and actually recommended Mr Malty's over theirs.
That's all fine. And I DO use the calculator. But I think when the date gets further out, it's just not that useful. For instance, if it's that dated, I personally use a stepped starter. First step might not be good enough, but then when you get to that second or third step, you don't need to be worrying about making 9 liter starters. That's just not right in my experience.

From what I understand from hearing on Jamil's show, he didn't collaborate with them, he just told them what he was doing and they said it was accurate. I'm not saying it's mathematically inaccurate from a point of theory. I think it assumes a worst case scenario on viability. I've never even heard of anyone making some of the gigantic starters his calculator recommends when the yeast is very old though. In my experience, even for very large beers and even using dated yeast, using a multi step starter, I've *never* had to use more than a 4 liter starter in over 100 batches.
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Old 01-30-2010, 01:49 PM   #6
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Thanks for the help guys, I am shooting for about 480billion or so, since it's 10gal. I have time and a 5l flask on my side.

Matt, are your 4l for a 5gal batch? Before anyone said anything I was planning on a 4step 7.5gal starter. Sound good?

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Old 01-30-2010, 02:13 PM   #7
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Thanks for the help guys, I am shooting for about 480billion or so, since it's 10gal. I have time and a 5l flask on my side.

Matt, are your 4l for a 5gal batch? Before anyone said anything I was planning on a 4step 7.5gal starter. Sound good?
Yeah, my batches are smaller, they're around 5.5 gallons. Is that a typo, the 7.5 gallon starter? Did you mean 7.5 liter? I think 7.5 liter would be more than enough.

Of course, you will decant the liquid off, right? I would never pour that much starter into the beer...
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Old 01-30-2010, 02:18 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by MattHollingsworth View Post
Yeah, my batches are smaller, they're around 5.5 gallons. Is that a typo, the 7.5 gallon starter? Did you mean 7.5 liter? I think 7.5 liter would be more than enough.

Of course, you will decant the liquid off, right? I would never pour that much starter into the beer...
Yeah, 7.5l. It's early here and I was chugging apa's last night.

I have a week and a day, I should have plenty of time to decant.

Thanks for all the help.
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Old 01-30-2010, 02:34 PM   #9
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Yeah, 7.5l. It's early here and I was chugging apa's last night.

I have a week and a day, I should have plenty of time to decant.

Thanks for all the help.
Glad to help. In the long run, I think I tend to err on the side of making too large of a starter (which I think 7.5 liters probably is) but for me the size of the massive, massive starters the calculator says are needed seems ridiculous to me. If the yeast is healthy, in my experience, generally a 10 to 1 ratio is fine, ie 2 liter starter, 20 liter beer. And like I said, when stepping the starter up multiple times after that first step the yeast is catching up. At least that's my experience.

Anyway, happy brewing. Cheers. And hello to Bend, Oregon. I was there once long ago when I lived in PDX to make a pilgrimage to Deschutes (Around 2000?).
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Old 01-30-2010, 09:18 PM   #10
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Anyway, happy brewing. Cheers. And hello to Bend, Oregon. I was there once long ago when I lived in PDX to make a pilgrimage to Deschutes (Around 2000?).
Hello to Croatia...never quite made it that far...just the Czech and Hungary...maybe next time!
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