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Old 12-05-2012, 12:00 AM   #1
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Default starter question (1056)

I am brewing a batch with
1.07 OG and
1.011 FG -

so 84% attenuation? [(OG-FG)/(OG-1)] x 100.

I am using wyeast 1056 and and trying to decide how big of starter to make. yeastcalc.com tells me I need 266 billion cells, and

if I do a straight 2L starter (pkg date 11/12, using stir plate) - I will end up at 283 billion.

If I start with 1L and step up another 1L , I'll have 339 billion.

The thing that always bothers me, and the thing I probably don't understand about yeast, is they never care about the final gravity or attenuation you're trying to hit. I always seem to do better than the manufacturer's websites approx. attenuation %, especially with a starter. Anyways,any advice - should I step it up or no?

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Old 12-05-2012, 12:47 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doublehaul
I am brewing a batch with
1.07 OG and
1.011 FG -

so 84% attenuation? [(OG-FG)/(OG-1)] x 100.

I am using wyeast 1056 and and trying to decide how big of starter to make. yeastcalc.com tells me I need 266 billion cells, and

if I do a straight 2L starter (pkg date 11/12, using stir plate) - I will end up at 283 billion.

If I start with 1L and step up another 1L , I'll have 339 billion.

The thing that always bothers me, and the thing I probably don't understand about yeast, is they never care about the final gravity or attenuation you're trying to hit. I always seem to do better than the manufacturer's websites approx. attenuation %, especially with a starter. Anyways,any advice - should I step it up or no?
Use the 2L as it is just slightly higher then recommended and IMO expect attenuancy to mere in the higher 70% area.

If you are really confident in the beer being more dry than desired add a little malto dextrin, maybe 4oz

Remember, the actual attenuation is based on the grist and fermentable content. The yeast company is listing nothing more than the capabilities and expectations of the strain in typical beers.

For example, if you brew a darker beer with less fermentable malts or so AG at a higher mash temp you are manipulating the attenuation of the yeast. For a large Belgian you'll add a lot of sugar to raise the attenuation as another example.
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Old 12-05-2012, 01:33 AM   #3
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Its a double IPA so I'm putting corn sugar in at the end of the boil which should boost it

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Old 12-05-2012, 02:05 AM   #4
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Do you have more than one container to do starters or just a single 2L flask?

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Old 12-05-2012, 02:35 AM   #5
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With just a 2L starter with no stirring you should double your cell count. Add a stir plate in there and you get another 50%. An activator gives you about 6 million cells per mL in 5 gallons. With the 2 L starter on a stir plate you'll get 2.5 times the initial cell count yielding ~15 million cells per mL. If you were to go with a 1 L and another 1 L you could potentially yield ~19 million cells per mL (cells per mL coming from the standard of 1 million cells per ml per degree Plato, your beer being 17 Plato). I would caution against using 1 L starters especially as a second step. This is because after the first step you are pitching such a high cell density into the second step that cell growth can be somewhat inhibited. Furthermore, this second step will ferment out rather quickly. This can lead to a lot of yeast in terms of cell count, but their health can be compromised.

Hope that helps

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Old 12-05-2012, 02:40 AM   #6
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Another thing... I can almost guarantee the viability of your activator is higher than what that calculator says. As long as it was stored properly (chilled/not frozen) and didn't experience any extreme conditions during shipping (not usually a problem this time of year) my research has not shown a drop of 5% per week as shown by the online calculator you referenced.

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Old 12-05-2012, 03:54 AM   #7
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i just have a 2l beaker. and i have the yeast in my fridge at 41F. So, a single 2L starter sounds like it would be best?

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Old 12-05-2012, 04:06 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doublehaul View Post
Its a double IPA so I'm putting corn sugar in at the end of the boil which should boost it
1056 will have no trouble hitting 84%, but the truth of the matter is your mash schedule is going to have the final say in where your beer lands.

Corn sugar is a wild card and the % of the fermentables will impact TG as well.


Don't get frustrated with the calculators, get serious about monitoring mash schedule and take notes on the outcome.

My suggestion is to start with a mash temp of 151 and make sure to know what you did to get where you finish.
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Old 12-05-2012, 04:11 AM   #9
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If you have a stir plate use it. If not, agitate every hour if possible. If its not possible to agitate it every hour (as in you're human and have to work) be very careful when agitating after it has sat for awhile as there can be a large build up of suspended CO2. Overall, I would say the 2 L starter is your best option. If its possible I would get the starter going ~36 hours before your brew will be ready to pitch and then pitch the whole thing. 1.070 isn't that huge so the fact you are doing a starter at all will really improve the yeast performance in your beer.

Remember 1.040 is the target for your starter wort. High gravity starters can increase cell growth but overall health can be compromised.

Good luck and have fun

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Old 12-05-2012, 02:24 PM   #10
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jammin - yep i have a stir plate and I was planning on mashing at 151/152! Thanks for the advice

step - Great info. I was planning on Thur - get the starter going on stir plate for 24 hours. Friday - chill in fridge for 24 hours. Saturday - decant and pitch. If I were stepping up in the future what are the ideal step sizes- do you start with a smaller first step then, like .5 L then 1L?, or a smaller second step, or is it kind of dependent on your Original Gravity?

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