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Old 11-14-2011, 10:12 PM   #1
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Default Starter Size?

Hey everyone, I plan on brewing midwest's schwartzwald black lager kit this weekend. Its estimated OG is 1.045-1.048. I am planning on using Wyeast 2124 (bohemian lager). My problem is, I only have about a 1/4 lb DME left over. Is that enough to make a decent starter? The fermentation will be done at about 60 degrees F (i guess you could call it a pseudo lager)

I dont really have a LHBS to buy more DME and dont really want to rush an online order out.

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Old 11-14-2011, 10:19 PM   #2
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It's way small. 1/4 pound of DME will only get you about a 1 - 1.5 liter starter, about 25% of what would be ideal for 5 gal of 1.048 lager.
If I were you, I'd wait till I had all my ingredients together to do it right.

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Old 11-14-2011, 11:24 PM   #3
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There is a rule of thumb of always stepping up x10. So you want 2L into 20L. This yields a pitch rate of about 10 million cells per milliliter, fairly standard for a 1.048 lager. Defiantly aerate it well. The high temp makes it more like an ale anyway so even a 1.5L starter will make for a strong fermentation.

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Old 11-15-2011, 12:17 AM   #4
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Don't know if this will help, but from the Wyeast site:

"Usage

The Activator™ package contains a minimum of 100 billion cells in a yeast slurry.. The Activator™ is designed to directly inoculate 5 gallons of standard strength ale wort (1.034-1.060 SG) with professional pitching rates. For lagers, we recommend inoculating the wort at warm temperatures (68-70°F/ 20-21°C), waiting for signs of fermentation, and then adjusting to the desired temperature. Alternatively, for pitching into cold conditions (34-58°F/ 1-14°C) or higher gravity wort, we recommend increasing this pitching rate. This can be achieved by pitching additional Activator™ packages or by making a starter culture. Please see the Pitch Rate section for additional information."

Also, if you are using a stir plate a 1/4lb (113grams) of DME with a 1000ml (10:1 recommended ratio for starters) of water and 1 yeast pack of 100billion will get you a wort starter of 370 billion which is the recommended pitch rate (according to BeerSmith)

According to beer smith, you'll need 2 packs of yeast with no stir plate and 5 packages with no starter.

That kind of all doesn't make sense, since the makers of this yeast say you can use one vial of yeast and start your ferm temp a little warm.

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Old 11-15-2011, 12:37 AM   #5
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Wyeast has much better lager info for the pros. Fermenting at 60 it a hybrid at best.
http://www.wyeastlab.com/comm_b_lager.cfm
http://www.wyeastlab.com/com-pitch-rates.cfm

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Old 11-15-2011, 12:30 PM   #6
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When would I go about inoculating my starter? 12 hours before I brew or more like 24?

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Old 11-15-2011, 01:30 PM   #7
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The longer, the better. If it's done early, you can chill, dump the wort, and just add the yeast slurry. I usually do it a few days early just to make sure. An overnight chill is good enough to drop the yeast out of suspension. Of course that is on a stir plate, so if you're just shaking it once in a while, you'll need a few days.

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Old 11-15-2011, 01:40 PM   #8
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Wyeast says it should be finished by 18 hours. You don't need it to finish. Yeast will bud in 2 to 6 hours. Your not going to get them to bud more than once with that size starter. Pitching it while it's still active results in the shortest lag times.

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Old 11-15-2011, 03:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malticulous View Post
Pitching it while it's still active results in the shortest lag times.
If the cell count is high enough, is that right? If underpitched, there will still be a lag time even if they are at their most active state? I guess I'm assuming he has enough DME to make a large enough starter.
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Old 11-15-2011, 03:46 PM   #10
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There is lag time regardless. The difference is they don't have to come back out of dormancy.

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