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Old 09-16-2009, 08:55 PM   #1
jesutton3
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Default Stepping up Starter

I'm planning on brewing a Belgian Golden Strong with Wyeast 1388. I'm currently working on my starter and have some questions. I made a normal 1L starter Tuesday. Since my OG target is 1.088 and Mr. Malty suggests a roughly 2L starter what should I go with for my second step? I have plenty of extra light DME. How many oz of DME should I put into 1L of water?

The first starter was started Tuesday morning. If I crash the first starter overnight and pitch it in the second starter Thursday morning will I have enough time to brew Friday evening?

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Old 09-16-2009, 09:05 PM   #2
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You'll need around 6oz of DME to do a 2 liter starter. What you'll want to do is crash the one as you stated. Mix your 6oz of DME into 2 liters (quarts if it's easier) and boil for 15 minutes. After you've cooled it, decant your original starter and pour the yeast cake into the new starter. OR, you can just make a 1L starter with a quart of water and 3 oz. of DME, then pour it in your current starter. Either method will work to give you a two liter starter. If you've got plenty of extract, go with the first method. It's a little more clean in my opinion.

You can toss the starter in if you brew friday night. It shouldn't be a problem.

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Old 09-16-2009, 09:50 PM   #3
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Since I already have a 1L starter going can I make another 1L that's stronger than normal? Wouldn't that make a cumulative 2L starter?

Or does it not work that way?

If I can should I put 3 oz of DME in the new 1L or should I bump it up to 4 or 5 or 6 oz in the new 1L?

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Old 09-16-2009, 09:51 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suthrncomfrt1884 View Post
You'll need around 6oz of DME to do a 2 liter starter. What you'll want to do is crash the one as you stated. Mix your 6oz of DME into 2 liters (quarts if it's easier) and boil for 15 minutes. After you've cooled it, decant your original starter and pour the yeast cake into the new starter. OR, you can just make a 1L starter with a quart of water and 3 oz. of DME, then pour it in your current starter. Either method will work to give you a two liter starter. If you've got plenty of extract, go with the first method. It's a little more clean in my opinion.

You can toss the starter in if you brew friday night. It shouldn't be a problem.
I agree except that usually crash and decant the starter before pitching into the wort. I don't really want several liters of oxidized starter wort into my main brew. Especially something like a Belgian Golden Strong where there is not a lot to hide behind. if it were a stout or an IPA I'd just pitch the entire starter; but not with this style...
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:04 PM   #5
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Good call. I forgot to mention that. I just thought it was common knowledge for people to decant.

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Old 09-16-2009, 11:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesutton3 View Post
Since I already have a 1L starter going can I make another 1L that's stronger than normal? Wouldn't that make a cumulative 2L starter?

Or does it not work that way?

If I can should I put 3 oz of DME in the new 1L or should I bump it up to 4 or 5 or 6 oz in the new 1L?
You don't need to make a stronger starter. If you've already got one going, then you just need to toss another 3oz 1L (boiled of course) in there and stir it up gently. The problem is...once your first starter is finished, it's officially beer. By pouring something else into it, you risk oxydizing it. If you're careful, it shouldn't hurt too much. But, as said above, make sure you crash cool and decant your starter before pitching into your actual wort.
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Old 09-17-2009, 01:46 AM   #7
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If I'm not mistaken, oxidation is not a concern with a starter as you're not really trying to make finished beer, but make as many yeast cells as possible. You actually want as much oxygen in the wort as possible.

What's funny is that I was going to ask this same question.

Mike

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Old 09-17-2009, 02:13 AM   #8
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Here's a question: What if you only have a 1000ml erlynmeyer? If I were to make a 1L starter as I normally do, chill, decant, and then add more wort to bring it up to 1000ml again, would I essentially be creating the same amount of yeast as a 2L starter? I personally don't see why it wouldn't work this way, someone please tell me I'm crazy!

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Old 09-17-2009, 03:09 AM   #9
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Here's a question: What if you only have a 1000ml erlynmeyer? If I were to make a 1L starter as I normally do, chill, decant, and then add more wort to bring it up to 1000ml again, would I essentially be creating the same amount of yeast as a 2L starter? I personally don't see why it wouldn't work this way, someone please tell me I'm crazy!
It sounds doable, but here would be my concern with this....

Let's say you've got 100 billion cells in your current starter. You decant and add 1L instead of 2. Now you've got 100 billion cells fighting for half the amount of food. I think they'd just work quicker, and not more productively. I'm not sure how to explain it since I'm no scientist. I suppose some experimentation is in order.
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Old 09-17-2009, 04:04 AM   #10
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Below is an explanation of the method I use to step up starters when the flask volume is limited:

Assume I'm making an 11 gallon batch of 1.050 lager and I have 1 vial of White Labs yeast. Mr. Malty tells me I need:

Cells needed = 771 billion

To get 771 billion cells, Mr. Malty recommends pitching 2 vials into a 6.8L stirplate starter(SPS), or 3 vials into a 4L SPS, or 4 vials into a 2.75L SPS. My largest flask is 4L, so I'm limited to about 3-3.5L of starter. So, the only feasible option is pitching 4 vials into 2.75L. I only have 1 vial of yeast, so that doesn't help me BUT it does tell me that if I pitch 400 billion cells into a 2.75L starter, I will get my desired cell count. So, now I know I need to step my 1 vial up to 4 vials/400 billion cells.

To determine how to get 400 billion cells you just need to enter a theoretical batch that requires 400 billion cells. For example, Lager/1.050/5.7gal. It doesn't matter what you enter, the starter will be the same if the cells required is the same. Try Ale/1.090/6.6gal, the starter is identical. It recommends either 1 vials into a 3.7L SPS, or 2 vials into a 1.5L SPS.

The 3.7L volume is still a little too much for my flask, so I go through the same exercise again. I want to step up my 1 vial to 2 vials/200 billions cells. I enter Lager/1.050/2.9gal. Mr. Malty tells me I can get 200 billion cells with 1 vial in a 1L SPS.

So, this is what I do:

1.) Pitch 1 vial into 1 L for a yield of ~200 billion cells.
2.) Chill, decant.
3.) Add 1.5L of sterile wort to decanted yeast, yielding ~400 billion cells.
4.) Chill, decant.
5.) Add 2.75L of sterile wort to decanted yeast, yielding ~770 billion cells.
6.) Chill, decant.
7.) Pitch to 11 gallons of 1.050 wort.

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