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Old 01-04-2013, 02:37 PM   #1
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Default Stepping Up A Starter?

Happy New Year to all, I have a 1 liter starter on stir plate now, it has been going for 24 hours and has formed krusen. I usually leave it go for three days and then put it in the refrigerator to let yeast settle out, then step up with another liter of wort, let that go for three days, put back in refrigerator, let yeast settle then pitch. I got a late start with this latest one, can I just add another 1liter of wort to existing one,let it go for three day's then pitch?

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Old 01-04-2013, 02:53 PM   #2
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That's what I do... If it will fit!

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Old 01-04-2013, 03:14 PM   #3
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That's what I do... If it will fit!
Bink, thank's for the reply, it will fit, using 4 liter jug. Just didn't want to stress yeast.
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Old 01-04-2013, 03:19 PM   #4
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Not to steal your thread but are you saying to step up the starter you just boil another liter of dme wort, cool it and pitch it on top of the first liter? I want to make a big enough starter for a lager some how but only have a 2liter flask.

Thanks

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Old 01-04-2013, 03:26 PM   #5
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Use yeastcalc.com to figure out what size to make the starter steps. I always let it finish, chill, decant, then add more fresh starter wort onto the cake...

BTW, the only time I've needed to go 2 days with a starter, on the stirplate, is with OLD yeast. I'm talking about 4+ month old yeast. The second step is typically done in under 24 hours (normally in the 12-18 range) and is ready to chill down/cold crash. Going three days for a second (or third) step means you're just spinning the wort after the yeast has finished doing all it can/will. If you plan on brewing several days from now (sounds like next week some time) and the yeast you pitched isn't very old (6-10+ months) then you should be able to cold crash after 24-48 hours on the stirplate. Go a day in the fridge (24 hours), decant and pour fresh starter wort on top. 18-24 hours later, it should be complete and ready to cold crash...

Do you add any nutrient to your starter worts? I find even a little helps in a huge way. I normally add 1/4 tsp to the starter (before adding the DME) for up to 3L starters. Get a good vortex going on the stirplate and it should be finished quickly. Also, don't use an airlock in the flask (if you are). Either a foam stopper or sanitized piece of aluminum foil will do just fine. You want an actual gas exchange to happen. If you are using an airlock, that could explain why your starter growth has been retarded to the extent that it takes 3x (or more) longer to complete.

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Old 01-04-2013, 03:38 PM   #6
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To OP: Why do you bother doing these step ups if you have the room? You are losing out on yeast. Go to yeastcalc.com and see how many yeast you get from stepping up a starter rather than just starting out with 2 liters to begin with.

EDIT: Actually, nevermind. It is true assuming there is no extra oxygen coming in. But the advantage of a step up is that you can shake it once you add the new wort to introduce more oxygen. So in reality, you actually will get slightly more yeast with a step up if you use intermittent shaking or stir plates, etc.

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Old 01-04-2013, 03:45 PM   #7
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+1 to Golddiggie. Agreed.

I do 24 on the plate / 24 in the fridge, per step. Super easy to remember & execute.

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Old 01-04-2013, 03:51 PM   #8
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You aren't "stepping up" the starter if you are using 1 liter each time. You end up with essentially the same amount of yeast after the second step, so there's no point to doing it at all. If your goal is to produce twice the amount of yeast in a single 1 liter flask, you ought to be decanting and saving the first batch of yeast in some other container, then taking a small portion of it and making another 1 liter starter, then combining those two.

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Old 01-04-2013, 04:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weirdboy View Post
You aren't "stepping up" the starter if you are using 1 liter each time. You end up with essentially the same amount of yeast after the second step, so there's no point to doing it at all. If your goal is to produce twice the amount of yeast in a single 1 liter flask, you ought to be decanting and saving the first batch of yeast in some other container, then taking a small portion of it and making another 1 liter starter, then combining those two.
Actually, that's how you should NOT step up a starter. I just looked at the Yeast book to confirm. You make the first starter amount, pitch the yeast, chill/cold crash when done, then add fresh starter to the cake. Do NOT pull off the yeast slurry and put only part into the new starter.

For additional steps, even of the same size, your growth factor may be less, but you really only care about getting to the target cell count. Most of the time, I'll make the steps so that they are increasing, and the final step volume easily fits in the flask I'll be using.
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Old 01-04-2013, 04:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weirdboy View Post
You aren't "stepping up" the starter if you are using 1 liter each time. You end up with essentially the same amount of yeast after the second step, so there's no point to doing it at all.
If you add another liter of yeast food, they're going to multiply and create more cells. Sure, you'd create more cells with a bigger starter, but you'd still boost your total cell count.
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