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Old 01-27-2012, 01:28 AM   #1
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Default Is there anything different in making a yeast starter from washed lager yeast?

Is there anything different in making a yeast starter from washed lager yeast? Since lager yeast ferment at much colder temps I was woundering if I should be doing anything different in making a yeast starter from washed lager yeast. If I do keep it at room temp then should I alter how long it will be on the stir plate? Should I not let this go at room temp but colder?

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Old 01-27-2012, 12:35 PM   #2
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All yeast like warm temps better. The reason you ferment different yeasts (including ales) at varying temperatures is to control the flavors it creates, but the yeast would be "happier" at room temps. Make it just like a regular starter in every way, but make sure you crash and decant, as there will be flavors in your starter you don't want in the finished beer.
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Old 01-27-2012, 01:50 PM   #3
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You can make your lager starter at room temp if you need to propogate quickly. If time is not a factor, I would do it at fermentation temperature. I've done it both ways and been satisfied with the outcome. Growth is a lot faster at warmer temperatures.

Like the poster above said, for lagers you are typically looking at a MUCH bigger starter than for ales. So you definitely want to let the starter ferment all the way out, then chill it in a fridge, decant the liquid, and pitch only the yeast at or near the same temp as your lager wort.

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Old 01-27-2012, 02:06 PM   #4
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Here is a little bit for Mr. Malty.com,

Quote:
It is best to keep your starter around the general temperature you're going to pitch, if you're going to pitch the complete starter into the beer. According to Dr. Clayton Cone, one of the foremost experts on yeast, the yeast should be within 15F of the wort they're being pitched into. Neva Parker, the Laboratory Manger at White Labs, suggests a maximum swing of 10F and ideally 5F.
Pretty much everything agrees with this, except maybe How to Brew. If there is a general consensus of how to grow them in the brewery it is to ferment them at the same temp, in the same wort, and pitch it still active.

Then there is also this, (I think it came form White Labs but he used it without any references.)
Quote:
The general consensus on pitching rates is that you want to pitch around 1 million cells of viable yeast, for every milliliter of wort, for every degree plato. A little less for an ale, a little more for a lager.
But then he goes right to pitching 50% more for lagers, and sites Fix. The consensus I've found is 10 million/ml into 12P wort, more like .8 million per degree plato per milliliter of wort for lager (I can site at least four top authors), and is much closer to what he shows for ale or hybrid.
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Old 01-28-2012, 01:13 PM   #5
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I know I need much more yeast for lagers than ales so I plan on stepping up this starter at least two more times. The amount of yeast from washing my first lager batch yielded much less than when I have washed ales in the past. So my plan is to let the yeast starter go for 36 hours (using a stir plate) at 500 ml then chill and decant. Then repeat this for 1 Liter and then 2 liters.

Is 36 hours too long or too short for lager yeast to have enough time to ferment all the way out for a starter?

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Old 01-28-2012, 01:37 PM   #6
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Time is temperature and pitch rate dependent. One reason I don't like to store harvested yeast long is you cant really tell how many viable yeast you have or it's vitality.

Wyeast's calculator will figure two steps but you will have to guess how much sediment will give you 100 billion cells like an activator pack. I'd step it up at high kraeusen, there is not much yeast growth after that.
http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_pitchrate.cfm

There is an excellent article with much better information on yeast and pitch rates than mrmalty has here.
http://www.maltosefalcons.com/tech/y...-and-practices

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Old 01-28-2012, 02:38 PM   #7
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I agree with the idea of trying to not store washed yeast too long prior to using in order to ensure viability. I usually reuse the yeast within a few weeks of washing but could not do that with this lager because my lagering fridge will only hold one carboy so I have to let this lager complete its thing before moving on to brewing the next. I am hoping to recover enough viable yeast from the 5 gallon batch in order to do a second 5 gallon batch since lagers take so much yeast.

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