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Old 10-29-2013, 11:28 PM   #1
lhommedieu
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Default Question - First Time Using a Yeast Starter

According to Mr. Malty's Pitching Rate Calculator, the viability rating for my Wyeast 1098 British Ale liquid yeast is only 55%, so I'm going to need to pitch slightly more than 2L of starter. I won't have the opportunity to visit my home brew store until this Friday, and at any rate I think that I bought the last packet of 1098 liquid yeast.

The problem is that I've only got a 2L Flask, and this is my first time making a yeast starter -so I'm a little confused about what to do next.

Should I boil up 2L of water and DME in my Erlenmeyer flask, pour the hot liquid into another container, allow it to cool to the proper temperature , and then put in the liquid yeast and allow the yeast to grow for 18-24 hours?

Or is it possible to bring less liquid (e.g. 1200 ml or so) to boil, cool, put in the yeast, and give the starter more time to produce more yeast cells? It's Tuesday evening, and I'd like to start brewing on Saturday morning.

The next time that I do this, I'll know to check the date on the pack and buy more than one if necessary!

Best,

Steve

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Old 10-29-2013, 11:47 PM   #2
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We need to know a little more about your brew. What is the OG of your beer? Do you have a stir plate?

I would make a smaller starter like you suggested. 1200-1500ml. Then after 24 or so hours make another starter at 2000ml. That way you will for sure have the appropriate amount of healthy new cells to pitch. You will need to let it settle for a bit so you can decant the spent liquid.

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Old 10-30-2013, 12:07 AM   #3
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OG = 1.043.

I don't have a stir plate.

Best,

Steve

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Old 10-30-2013, 12:11 AM   #4
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Forget the flask. Find a big glass or plastic container. Cook your DME in a kettle. Cool it to pitching temperature. Pour it into your big container and shake it when you walk by. Go to Yeastcalc for the particulars on making a yeast starter with the intermittent shaking method.

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Old 10-30-2013, 01:05 AM   #5
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I have a couple of growlers that will fit the bill. Should I sanitize a growler, along with a funnel, with Starsan before I put the cooled wort into the growler? Then add the yeast and cover loosely with sanitized aluminum foil?

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Old 10-30-2013, 01:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lhommedieu View Post
I have a couple of growlers that will fit the bill. Should I sanitize a growler, along with a funnel, with Starsan before I put the cooled wort into the growler? Then add the yeast and cover loosely with sanitized aluminum foil?
That is the way. Sanitizing everything that will touch the wort after the boil.

Use a sanitized growler, pour in the wort, add the yeast, cover with a piece of sanitized foil. Every time you pass by, give it a swirl. Give it a couple of days of fermentation then chill for 12 - 24 hours until the yeast has settled and the beer on top is pretty clear. Decant the liquid leaving a little to swirl up the yeast cake. Pitch in your new brew.
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:17 AM   #7
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Yes

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Old 10-30-2013, 03:22 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by lhommedieu View Post
I have a couple of growlers that will fit the bill. Should I sanitize a growler, along with a funnel, with Starsan before I put the cooled wort into the growler? Then add the yeast and cover loosely with sanitized aluminum foil?
When the yeast becomes active in your starter it will form an instant krausen each time you shake it, adding oxygen, untill it is done fermenting.
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:18 PM   #9
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When the yeast becomes active in your starter it will form an instant krausen each time you shake it, adding oxygen, untill it is done fermenting.
Thanks, everyone, for your advice. I split my 2L of DME between 2 64 oz. growlers, covered them loosely with sanitized foil, and then shook them periodically since Wednesday night. I got instant krausen each time that I shook them, but now, on Friday afternoon, I'm not getting instant krausen - so I assume that it's done fermenting.

I'm brewing on Sunday; should I cold-crash the yeast starter now, or should I make another (1200 L?) batch of DME and add it tonight, and cold crash on Saturday night?

Best,

Steve
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Old 11-01-2013, 08:29 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by lhommedieu View Post
Thanks, everyone, for your advice. I split my 2L of DME between 2 64 oz. growlers, covered them loosely with sanitized foil, and then shook them periodically since Wednesday night. I got instant krausen each time that I shook them, but now, on Friday afternoon, I'm not getting instant krausen - so I assume that it's done fermenting.

I'm brewing on Sunday; should I cold-crash the yeast starter now, or should I make another (1200 L?) batch of DME and add it tonight, and cold crash on Saturday night?

Best,

Steve
Did your 2 liter starter give you the number of yeast required for the estimated OG of your brew considering the yeast production date? If it did refrigerate the starters. On brew day pour off most of the wort. Let the remainder of the starter warm to room temperature. When you are ready to pitch, swirl it up and pour it in through a sanitized funnel.
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