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Old 06-15-2013, 04:30 AM   #1
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Default Starter newbie - please critique my process

I have two weeks before I'll be brewing 10 gallons of an ordinary bitter with an OG of 1.040. I have one smack pack of London Ale III, production date of March 19. I have a 2l Erlenmeyer flask but no stir plate yet. When I put the calc into Brewer's friend with a 1L starter and then step up to a 2L starter using the agitation method, it comes up about 10 billion cells short. When I put it in as a 2L starter with a 2L step up, it comes out with enough cells. But I seem to remember reading that the step up should be larger than the original starter. Which method should I use?

Second question is, since I only have the one flask, I was going to boil the first starter in the flask, ferment for a day or so, and then cold crash it in the fridge. I would then boil the wort for the step up in a sauce pan, decant the flask and then pour the wort from the sauce pan into the flask. I would ferment again and cold crash again. On brew day, I would decant and split the starter between my two five gallon buckets.

Does this sound right?

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Old 06-15-2013, 12:46 PM   #2
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You got it!

There is nothing wrong with doing a 2L and then stepping up with another 2L either

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Old 06-15-2013, 01:35 PM   #3
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I would use just a portion (10-20%) of the first starter to pitch the second. You will greatly increase your growth. Then you can either decant and combine them back to blend and split or just go ahead with the 1st starter in one bucket and the 2nd in the other. Store the first one in a sanitized mason jar to free up you flask.

Under pitching will greatly increase growth percentage.

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Old 06-15-2013, 04:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quaker
I would use just a portion (10-20%) of the first starter to pitch the second. You will greatly increase your growth. Then you can either decant and combine them back to blend and split or just go ahead with the 1st starter in one bucket and the 2nd in the other. Store the first one in a sanitized mason jar to free up you flask.

Under pitching will greatly increase growth percentage.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding...
Under pitching yeast produces stress on the yeast and defeats the purpose of a starter-to grow up a healthy pitch rate.

Why would you only use a portion of the first starter to begin a second step? I've never heard or read anything that you are recommending and have never had any issues making an initial 2L and stepping up an additional 2L.

In fact for lagers folks will make gallon+ size starters to achieve pitch rate.....
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Old 06-15-2013, 08:48 PM   #5
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Any stress will give you off flavors. That doesn't matter in a starter - especially when decanting.

Watch Neva Parker's video on the Northern Brewer site. Its quite informative (or read the Yeast book, but the video is quicker). You would get more growth going straight into a 4L starter than doing a 2L first and repeating with all those yeast in another 2L. Yeast will reproduce until sensing a limit in resources. The yeast you have at the end of the first 2L will stay healthy and active with a new dose of 2L of wort, but they won't multiply much at all.

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Old 06-15-2013, 10:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quaker
Any stress will give you off flavors. That doesn't matter in a starter - especially when decanting.

Watch Neva Parker's video on the Northern Brewer site. Its quite informative (or read the Yeast book, but the video is quicker). You would get more growth going straight into a 4L starter than doing a 2L first and repeating with all those yeast in another 2L. Yeast will reproduce until sensing a limit in resources. The yeast you have at the end of the first 2L will stay healthy and active with a new dose of 2L of wort, but they won't multiply much at all.
I've read and viewed both, still not following your explanation though.....kind of off with all the information I've absorbed but, no worries, we are all making beer
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