Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Is My Starter Ready?
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 11-30-2012, 02:14 PM   #1
JordanThomas
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Posts: 889
Liked 82 Times on 77 Posts
Likes Given: 426

Default Is My Starter Ready?

Hey everyone,

I made my first starter on Wednesday night, and we are brewing a 1.068 dubbel on Saturday.

The vial we bought (WLP500) has a good by date of 2/23/2013.

I put 3 cups of water in with 1/2 cup of DME in a pan, boiled, cooled and pitched the yeast into a 2000ml flash. I know it's usually standard to do 2 cups, but our stir bar wasn't effective in such a large flask without a little extra water.

My first question is, will the extra water effect the starter? I plan on decanting after a cold crash, so I hope it doesn't matter.

There is a nice 3/4" thick yeast cake at the bottom of the 2L flask.

Second question... do I need to step this up (add more DME), or is this enough healthy yeast? If not, how much extra DME should I add? I've tried to use yeastcalc and mr malty, but as is the case with many, it confuses me a bit, and I'd like some reassurances from the wonderful community

Thanks!

__________________
JordanThomas is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-30-2012, 02:24 PM   #2
progmac
Sponsor
HBT_SPONSOR.png
Vendor Ads 
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Cincy, OH
Posts: 1,810
Liked 227 Times on 186 Posts
Likes Given: 303

Default

okay let's look at http://yeastcalc.com/

you need 247 billion yeast cells. if you plug in your yeast manufacture date of 10/23 and plug in .75 quarts and intermittantly shake your starter, you'll end up with 135 billion cells. not enough. another .75 quarts gives you 191 billion cells. still not optimal, but close and personally i'd feel very comfortable with it at that point.

so what i'm recommending is add another 1/2 cup dme to another 3 cups water and add that to your starter. skip crashing and pitch tomorrow while the yeast is still really active and you'll be in great shape.

i'm assuming you get about 6 ounces by weight per cup of DME

__________________
progmac is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-30-2012, 02:27 PM   #3
SeattleMatt
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: bothell, washington
Posts: 55
Default

You'll be fine. The extra water will just lower the gravity of your starter. This is better than having a gravity over 1.040. Since you plan on decanting, you won't thin your wort out either. As far as stepping up, I wouldn't bother. You might be on the edge of not enough yeast but I think a lot of people (including me most of the time) over pitch.

__________________
SeattleMatt is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-30-2012, 02:30 PM   #4
duboman
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Glenview, IL
Posts: 6,142
Liked 472 Times on 438 Posts
Likes Given: 210

Default

All is good but I will recommend you begin weighing out your DME instead of measuring by cup. It is just more precise and you can measure at a 10:1 ratio, ie: 100grams DME to 1L of water or 200grams to 2L, etc....This will produce a consistent 1.040 gravity wort which is ideal.

As for the required cell count for your beer, go to www.yeastcalc.com plug in the numbers including the date of your yeast and it will allow you to calculate the proper sized starter as well as additional steps required to achieve the proper pitch rate.

__________________
Nothing Left to do but smile and drink beer.....

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the "art" of beer since 2010
duboman is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-30-2012, 03:18 PM   #5
JordanThomas
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Posts: 889
Liked 82 Times on 77 Posts
Likes Given: 426

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by progmac View Post
okay let's look at http://yeastcalc.com/

you need 247 billion yeast cells. if you plug in your yeast manufacture date of 10/23 and plug in .75 quarts and intermittantly shake your starter, you'll end up with 135 billion cells. not enough. another .75 quarts gives you 191 billion cells. still not optimal, but close and personally i'd feel very comfortable with it at that point.

so what i'm recommending is add another 1/2 cup dme to another 3 cups water and add that to your starter. skip crashing and pitch tomorrow while the yeast is still really active and you'll be in great shape.

i'm assuming you get about 6 ounces by weight per cup of DME
Well I used a stirplate, so I should have a bit more than that. I really think based on what you've all said, that I'll just let it go.

Thanks!
__________________
JordanThomas is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-30-2012, 04:11 PM   #6
revco
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Missoula, Montana
Posts: 225
Liked 24 Times on 19 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Meh, I'm of the opinion that any yeast starter is better than no yeast starter. Once you pitch, the yeast will do their thing and more is better than less, to a point.

A couple things I noticed that might help you improve...you're almost 36 hours+ into the starter, you generally want to try to aim for 12-24 hours, or high krausen. I generally do it the night before brew day. Longer ferments will insure your yeast aren't in the peak of their prime when you pitch. Also, the measurements above (100g to 1L) are a lot more accurate way of doing your starters than cup measurements.

__________________
revco is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-30-2012, 04:12 PM   #7
WoodlandBrew
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
WoodlandBrew's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Malden, MA
Posts: 1,767
Liked 123 Times on 120 Posts
Likes Given: 57

Default

cell growth is limited primarily by sugar in a starter, so the extra water should not effect the growth much. The best way to know is with a cell count, but a slurry that has settled to the bottom of a container is roughly 1 billion cells per milliliter. On your flask what is 3/4" equal to in volume?

__________________

The 2nd edition is now available: Brewing Engineering
Woodland Brewing Research Blog Applied Science for Better Beer.

WoodlandBrew is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 11-30-2012, 05:01 PM   #8
JordanThomas
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Grand Rapids, Michigan
Posts: 889
Liked 82 Times on 77 Posts
Likes Given: 426

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by revco View Post
Meh, I'm of the opinion that any yeast starter is better than no yeast starter. Once you pitch, the yeast will do their thing and more is better than less, to a point.

A couple things I noticed that might help you improve...you're almost 36 hours+ into the starter, you generally want to try to aim for 12-24 hours, or high krausen. I generally do it the night before brew day. Longer ferments will insure your yeast aren't in the peak of their prime when you pitch. Also, the measurements above (100g to 1L) are a lot more accurate way of doing your starters than cup measurements.
While I understand the timing issue, I figured I'd rather be safe and give myself the extra days to make sure the starter was good to go rather than be scrambling. I've read, though, that starters can be good for up to a week. The lag time doesn't really bother me, so long as it ferments well! And yes, I usually measure by weight for my priming sugar, but the pictoral I used was the simple "1/2 cup DME, 2 cups water." So I went that route. Baby steps, I suppose.
__________________
JordanThomas is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-03-2012, 09:41 PM   #9
loubie
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 29
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

My first post!

I completed my first brew a couple of weeks ago- a simple Hefeweizen- found on this site. I used a starter of 1600 ml, which included 10-to-1 DME to water. It worked beautifully. 3 days ago I made my starter for the next brew- a Belgian Tripel- also found the recipe on this site. This starter was made with 2 cups sugar and 4 cups of water (read someplace on here that ratio was used). I followed the same steps I did the first time- boil water and sugar for 10 minutes, bring temp down to 74 degrees, shake the tube of WLP500, then open it and pitch the yeast. I am coming up on 72 hours at 74 degrees with this starter and it doesn't look like anything is happening. I don't see anything on the bottom of the flask. It's just a milky light brown color with only a few bubbles at the edges of the top of the starter. My use by date is also in late February, 2013.

Is 3 days enough time? Is 74 degrees too high? Was the 2-to-4 ratio of sugar to water too much? I forgot to mention, I am using a stir plate, too, like I did the first starter. Please help! Thanks.

__________________
loubie is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 12-03-2012, 10:50 PM   #10
revco
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Missoula, Montana
Posts: 225
Liked 24 Times on 19 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

I think you may have a problem there loubie. Typical ratio would be 100 grams of sugar to a liter, like your first batch. This makes about a 1.040 gravity wort, which is perfect for a yeast starter. If you used 2 cups of sugar, that's almost 400 grams of sugar and 4 cups of water would be darn close to a liter. I suspect your solution may have been too intense for the yeast to get up to speed in that starter, almost twice the typical amount. (Did you get krausen in the flask at all?)

If it were me, I would get a new vial of yeast ASAP and pitch it, especially if you're seeing no activity the day after the 72 hour mark. By the way, dry measurements would be approximately 1 cup of sugar to 4 cups of water, but dry weight is a better and more accurate means of measure.

74 degrees is fine for yeast pitching, but 60's are better. You can get off flavors that high and it can even happen in your starter. The first stages of life for yeast are the most important for temp control.

__________________
revco is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Wort ready to be pitched...yeast starter not so ready Silverbullet Fermentation & Yeast 3 07-05-2012 06:03 PM
Is my starter ready? castlefreak Fermentation & Yeast 2 03-21-2012 04:36 PM
Is my starter ready? mandobud16 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 03-15-2012 06:54 PM
what to do...starter not ready... BSBrewer Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 11 01-21-2011 08:30 PM
Starter ready too soon Cascadian Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 08-09-2009 05:50 PM