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Old 03-04-2010, 04:30 PM   #1
erykmynn
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Default Tricky Harvest - What to do?

A week ago, I was trying to harvest the WLP005 I had used to brew an english bitter. I had a really hard time separating the yeast from the trub.

This was one of our first all-grain beers and for whatever reason, there was a lot of trub in this beer. The WLP005 is highly flocculation, so I think it was sticking to the trub quite a bit and being difficult to wash out. It took a couple tries, but I eventually got a couple of thin yeast layers that got pitched into a starter a couple days later. (1 qt @ ~1.041) It was a little slow to start, but in retrospect the growth cycle was about the same as the original generation out of the tube.

Now the starter is in the fridge, and there is maybe a half-centimeter or quarter inch of yeast on the bottom. I'm guessing the "thick slurry" is 1.5+ oz 50 ml or so. That would put me too low for repitching according to the Mr Malty calculator. (1.060 for the next beer)

Then again, it doesn't account for the fact these yeasties are not just harvested, but regrown in a starter... If I assume I could bump the harvest date up to the day I stuck it in the fridge, I could just barely be in the ballpark.

BTW, we checked out the starter wort this morning, and it seems fully fermented and the flavors left behind seem normal.

So I'm brewing Fri. or Sat. and I'm thinking I either pitch as-is with my finger crossed, step it up with a 1.5 qt @1.060 starter, or beg you-know-who to swing by the homebrew store since they all close before I can get home.

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Old 03-04-2010, 05:16 PM   #2
maida7
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I don't think a 1 quart starter can produce enough yeast for a 5 gallon 1.060 batch. According to the calculator you need a 2.43 liter starter. ALL starters should be 1.040. Making the starter higher gravity will stress the yeast.

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Old 03-04-2010, 05:26 PM   #3
erykmynn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maida7 View Post
I don't think a 1 quart starter can produce enough yeast for a 5 gallon 1.060 batch. According to the calculator you need a 2.43 liter starter. ALL starters should be 1.040. Making the starter higher gravity will stress the yeast.
I thought I heard somewhere you could "ramp them up" to higher gravities in the starter. But you're right, everything else I've seen says to stay close to 1.040

So if I set it to intermittent shaking (which is my method), it recommends 1.5 qt. Though that is for fresh yeast packs, but I guess since these guys were just growing nice and happy it might not be too far off... 2 qt might give me some margin of error.

I guess my real concern is am I messing with them too much, or do I still need them to give a little more boost.
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Old 03-04-2010, 05:34 PM   #4
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I would do the 1.5 qt starter with intermittent shaking

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