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Old 08-31-2014, 01:05 PM   #11
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Another question...
Let's say I want to make wort today, cool it, and store it in the fridge with the intent to use it in a few days for a starter. Are there any issues with that?


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It'd be fine, if you bring it to a boil and cool it first. It definitely would need to boil before adding yeast, as you want to kill all the microbes in there before adding the yeast.

I often freeze leftover wort, in big pitchers, but it's not so much a time savings over using DME- I do it because it's free. The thing is, without canning it to make it completely sanitary, it needs to boil before freezing just for a bit, then be cooled and frozen. Then, once thawed, it really should be brought up to a boil again just to ensure there aren't any microbes to compete with the yeast. It's probably easier to just buy and use DME for starters for most people, unless the wort is canned in a pressure canner.
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Old 08-31-2014, 05:23 PM   #12
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If you pour the boiling temp wort into a 2 quart canning jar, screw the lid on, and turn it over to sanitize the inside of the lid (being really careful, of course!), it's plenty safe to store that jar in the fridge for a few days. It's not safe to store it at room temperature for long, though.
It would seem to me that if you boil the wort and pour the boiling wort into a sterilized mason jar, invert it to further sterilize everything in the jar with the airtight lid screwed on nice and tight, why wouldn't it be safe to then store it at room temperature? Don't we store all manner of foodstuffs for months on end that have been processed the same way?

But then maybe I'm missing something here. If I am I would appreciate a little further explanation.
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Old 08-31-2014, 05:55 PM   #13
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This topic is discussed many times over on homebrew forums and can be cured with some simple searching...

One word - botulism.

Wort is a low-acid food. Which means it is hospitable to organisms growing in it. The only way to stop all organisms (including botulism) is to raise the temperature to 240F and pressure can the stuff.

That is why you should not do the boil and store method as it is risky. Maybe a small risk, but a deadly risk.

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Old 08-31-2014, 06:20 PM   #14
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It would seem to me that if you boil the wort and pour the boiling wort into a sterilized mason jar, invert it to further sterilize everything in the jar with the airtight lid screwed on nice and tight, why wouldn't it be safe to then store it at room temperature? Don't we store all manner of foodstuffs for months on end that have been processed the same way?



But then maybe I'm missing something here. If I am I would appreciate a little further explanation.

If you were going to the trouble of sanitizing the mason jar, why not sterilize EVERYTHING (meaning to pressure cook and can the starter wort).

The real problem with the method you listed is the possibility for contamination. You would be reducing the risk, but not coming close to eliminating it... It might work just fine, it might not. It's definitely not going to give you consistent and reliable results.



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Old 08-31-2014, 06:24 PM   #15
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Again fwiw, I prepare a few gallons of 1.040 starter wort (with either dme or if I'm feeling really ambitious a small mash), skip the boil, put it into mason jars, load them in the pressure cooker and let it go at ~20psi for 20 minutes. Let that cool overnight, and I have lots of starter ready to go.

I prepare my yeast from slants, so typically I'll get the pressure cooker back out and sterilize my first two steps before I start, then use the canned wort once I get up to the 1l step.


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Old 08-31-2014, 06:41 PM   #16
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It's probably easier to just buy and use DME for starters for most people, unless the wort is canned in a pressure canner.
+1

In my opinion, DME is "instant" starter wort prepared in advance. Just add water, and yeast (which you would add anyway), and you're done.

500 gram bag of DME sound about right for a 3-4 litre starter? I've got a 5 litre erlenmeyer flask now and just waiting to do my stir plate build.
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Old 08-31-2014, 06:50 PM   #17
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500 gram bag of DME sound about right for a 3-4 litre starter? I've got a 5 litre erlenmeyer flask now and just waiting to do my stir plate build.

The general rule of thumb is 100g of dme to 1l of water. That *should get you in the 1040 ball park.



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Old 08-31-2014, 06:56 PM   #18
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Haven't the Aussie no-chill folks been doing just fine boiling and storing wort for months at a time in a HDPE cube before pitching yeast?

Sure, pressure canning would remove almost all risk, especially for long-term storage. But is it over-kill for using within a month or so?

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Old 08-31-2014, 07:07 PM   #19
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Haven't the Aussie no-chill folks been doing just fine boiling and storing wort for months at a time in a HDPE cube before pitching yeast?

Sure, pressure canning would remove almost all risk, especially for long-term storage. But is it over-kill for using within a month or so?

Might be overkill, but for me, I do it for the passion, and the yeast side is just as, if not more so, important than brewing technique...

And is rather remove as much chance of infection as possible during these steps, since I'll be pitching it into $30-$50 worth of other ingredients, and consuming 4 or more hours of my active time and several weeks time for fermenting and packaging...


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