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Old 11-28-2010, 02:24 AM   #1
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Default Starter Without DME

I always make my starters with DME (10:1) but I am currently low. Has anyone ever made a starter with something other than DME/LME? If one were pitching their entire starter, I can see where this would make a difference, but I use a stir plate and think it shouldn't matter since I am decanting off the liquid (just not sure it affects the health of the yeast in any way I am not considering). All I have is brown and white sugar to use to supplement my remaining DME.

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Old 11-28-2010, 02:30 AM   #2
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If you make a starter with only simple sugars the yeast that grow will be unable to metabolize maltose after only 3-4 generations (multiplications in your starter...many more than that will occur). As they multiply the newly budded cells will be formed in an environment where they only need to manufacture the enzymes necessary to metabolize sucrose, and they will never develop the ability to create the enzymes needed for maltose. This will result in very poor results in your beer.

Listen to the yeast starter episode of Brew Strong for more info. You could probably get away with a mix of mostly DME and a small percentage of sugars, but I would strongly advise against using mainly simple sugars in your starter. Your yeast wont be able to tackle the maltose in your wort.

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Old 11-28-2010, 02:33 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by strat_thru_marshall View Post
If you make a starter with only simple sugars the yeast that grow will be unable to metabolize maltose after only 3-4 generations. As they multiply the newly budded cells will be formed in an environment where they only need to manufacture the enzymes necessary to metabolize sucrose, and they will never develop the ability to create the enzymes needed for maltose. This will result in very poor results in your beer.

Listen to the yeast starter episode of Brew Strong for more info.
I agree wholeheartedly...BUT for sh!ts and giggles, how much DME do you have, what yeast are you culturing, and what recipe are you making?
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Old 11-28-2010, 02:42 AM   #4
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I am trying to make a 2L starter of WLP838 for a bock and I only have 140g of DME. It is my first lager after 13 years of ales, so I am a bit more concerned about having tons of healthy yeast as compared to all of the ales I have made (where I may have just pitched a smack pack in a pinch instead of messing with a starter if I were low on DME).

I had a gut feeling there might be an issue with using simple sugars but wasn't quite sure exactly sure what the implications were.

Thanks guys.

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Old 11-28-2010, 02:48 AM   #5
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You might be better off doing a warm start and then stepping down the temp. Just wait until the very first signs of fermentation and then step the temp down over the next several hours.

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Old 11-28-2010, 02:55 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcat Brewmeister View Post
I am trying to make a 2L starter of WLP838 for a bock and I only have 140g of DME. It is my first lager after 13 years of ales, so I am a bit more concerned about having tons of healthy yeast as compared to all of the ales I have made (where I may have just pitched a smack pack in a pinch instead of messing with a starter if I were low on DME).

I had a gut feeling there might be an issue with using simple sugars but wasn't quite sure exactly sure what the implications were.

Thanks guys.
I am making some assumptions here, but go with it...

140g DME = about 5oz. When I bottle, 5oz of dextrose is approximately 1 cup. Palmer's starter recipe is .5 qt water and .5 cup DME.

If DME and dextrose fill app. the same volume, you should be able to make a 1 qt starter. That should be sufficient with a stir plate. If you were too far below 1030 you could supplement with a small amount of sugar. I have also heard of people making starters with Goya Malta from the grocery store in a pinch. That added to your DME would be batter than simple sugars

Hope that helps
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Old 11-28-2010, 03:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TANSTAAFB View Post
I am making some assumptions here, but go with it...

140g DME = about 5oz. When I bottle, 5oz of dextrose is approximately 1 cup. Palmer's starter recipe is .5 qt water and .5 cup DME.

If DME and dextrose fill app. the same volume, you should be able to make a 1 qt starter. That should be sufficient with a stir plate. If you were too far below 1030 you could supplement with a small amount of sugar. I have also heard of people making starters with Goya Malta from the grocery store in a pinch. That added to your DME would be batter than simple sugars

Hope that helps
A 1qt starter is nowhere near enough yeast growth for a bock. Your original plan of a 2L starter on a stirplate is what you need for a big lager like this.
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Old 11-28-2010, 03:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TANSTAAFB View Post
I am making some assumptions here, but go with it...

140g DME = about 5oz. When I bottle, 5oz of dextrose is approximately 1 cup. Palmer's starter recipe is .5 qt water and .5 cup DME.

If DME and dextrose fill app. the same volume, you should be able to make a 1 qt starter. That should be sufficient with a stir plate. If you were too far below 1030 you could supplement with a small amount of sugar. I have also heard of people making starters with Goya Malta from the grocery store in a pinch. That added to your DME would be batter than simple sugars

Hope that helps
I have always gone 10:1 (can't remember where I read that it was optimal) and metric works well for that (1000ml solution of water and DME where the DME was 100g). It is the only time I use metric in brewing. I think the starter that results is around 1.035.

I have just figured out a solution to this. I have some spare grain and I can make a mini-mash for a 2L starter.
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Old 11-29-2010, 12:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearcat Brewmeister View Post
I have just figured out a solution to this. I have some spare grain and I can make a mini-mash for a 2L starter.
That's what i was going to suggest. I stopped using DME for starters due to its cost. Now, i follow two routes - collect an extra 0.5 to 1gal of final runnings of a brews to save for starters and freeze for later use, or to actually conduct a mini-mash in the oven with ~10oz two-row. A mini-mash works beautifully, at the expense of only and extra 30min of wait/sparge time.
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