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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Need yeast starter suggestions
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Old 07-20-2012, 04:56 PM   #1
mjrinkenbaugh
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Default Need yeast starter suggestions

Howdy all!

I'm starting on my first "big beer" this weekend. I want to boil tomorrow evening and I'm going to start a yeast starter in about an hour. I'm doing an IPA hoping for about 10%. I'm using an ingredient kit with extra LME to boost the ABV. I have a 1 gallon jug that I want to make the starter in and I purchased 1 lb. of light DME to make the starter with. Any suggestions for this? I thought about boiling maybe 1/2-3/4 gallon of water with 1 cup or 1.5 cups of DME, letting it go for 24 hours, chilling it off so the yeast will settle at the bottom, pouring some of the wort out, swirling the slurry back up into the little bit of remaining wort and pitching the 1/4 gallon or so of yeast slurry...

...thoughts??

THANKS!
Mike

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Old 07-20-2012, 05:01 PM   #2
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You've got a pretty good idea of what you're dong. I usually do 250g in a pint of water then add a pint of ice. It makes a strong starter wort. It converts to 8.8oz of dme in a quart of water. I'm pretty sure you'd be damn close to that with a cup and a half but I'd suggest using a scale. It's much more accurate. I do ten gallon batches but with a starter only need to use 2 yeast packs.

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Old 07-20-2012, 05:04 PM   #3
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You will definitely need a starter for a 10% beer. A large one at that. I would make something thats at least a 3 quart starter. For that you will need 1.75 cups DME in 3 quarts of water to get ~ 1.0375 OG. If you wanted to push the envelope in your starger jug, add 0.9 gallons of water and 2.1 cups DME for the same gravity. For both of these options you may need longer than 24 hours to get a decanted yeast starter. Probably 48 hours, which would push your boil to Sunday. You will need to put it in the fridge overnight if you want much of the yeast to drop out of suspension for the decant.

Two tips to help out your starter and big IPA. Try to aerate the starter every time you walk by (or better yet use a stirring plate). Use yeast nutrient in the starter and boil. You don't want a stuck ferment in a big IPA.

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Old 07-20-2012, 05:46 PM   #4
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Since you're brewing this weekend and it's already Friday, I don't think you'd have enough time to get a good enough yeast reproduction to chill and let it settle. My recommendation would be to go with 1 cup DME into 2L water, or 1.5 cups DME into 3L water and pitch. Then like solbes said aerate as much as possible, brew, and pitch the whole starter.

I've had a few times where I've made starters only 24hrs before brewing and just pitched the whole thing and it has turned out great.

Good luck with the brew, that's a big IPA, hope it turns out! Care to share the recipe?

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Old 07-20-2012, 05:48 PM   #5
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Thanks for the quick replies! I've got about .8 gallons of water left in a gallon jug (I've always bought water at the store instead of using tap water). I think I'll use all of the .8 and around 2 cups of the DME. I may decide to pitch to whole starter instead of just the slurry... who knows. I'd just really like to boil tomorrow night. I've got some yeast energizer that I'll use... good idea there too probably.

Thanks for the tips!

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Old 07-20-2012, 05:51 PM   #6
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Slow, I saw your reply after I posted my final plan. Makes me feel good about what I'm gonna do.

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Old 07-20-2012, 05:54 PM   #7
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I did an 11.5% christmas beer with the starter and volumes I outlined. It's the one on the left.

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Old 07-20-2012, 05:55 PM   #8
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Whoa!

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Old 07-20-2012, 06:03 PM   #9
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How big a beer and how many yeast packs do you have? and how old is your yeast?

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Old 07-20-2012, 07:21 PM   #10
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Ok so here's another question on the same topic. I just finished the yeast starter... maybe I estimated the amount of water I had wrong... maybe I didn't measure my DME accurately enough, but when I checked the gravity before I pitched the yeast into the starter batch, it read 1.028. Quite low. I didn't add every last bit of the second cup of DME because I thought my first cup was a bit heavy, but I thought I would be closer to 1.040. I'm estimating my OG to be around 1.095. I did add 1/2 tsp. of yeast nutrient, so I think that will help. What do you all think? Will I still be ok? I'm thinking that maybe I should run out and grab another pack of yeast to add to my big wort, just to make sure. I've just read over and over about how important tons of healthy yeast are in a beer like this.

Thanks in advance!

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