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Old 09-29-2009, 09:03 PM   #1
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Default Wayward Starter - help needed

OK, so i jumped the gun a bit and started my yeast starter for my DIPA a full week before brew day. I'm not really sure what i was thinking, but I do know that i want to step up this starter.

The OG is going to be around 1.076 and mr. malty told me that i need about 1.25 L starter.

So, off I go researching the steps. And after complete info overload, I fall back on Palmer's advice and boil 2 cups of water, adding 1/2 cup of DME. I cool and add to 1L ehrlenmeyer flask and pitch yeast (which is poofed up wyeast propagator pack at room temp). then cover with sanitized foil.

Nice yeast activities. Now i start winging it. After two days, I boil up two more cups of wort and add fresh wort. I have no stir plate, but have been swirling, etc. The yeast look fine and healthy, but i don't think i'm really stepping this thing up.

So, i have a 64 oz. growler that i can move this starter to, but i'm not sure what step to take next. Do i need to cool and decant and then pour in a new batch of wort?

I am bringing this to you folks because I have seen soooooo many ways to do yeast starters on the internet and am getting confused. Sorry this is long-winded, too.

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Old 09-30-2009, 01:55 AM   #2
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Looks like your process is right. Keep feeding it wort and the yeast will continue to grow, so nothing to worry about there. If you are looking for a 1.25 liters, add wort until you hit that mark. There is nothing wrong with cooling and then decanting and pitching the decanted yeast into a growler to feed them some more.

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Old 09-30-2009, 04:06 AM   #3
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I second Ed. You have done great.

Here's a rule of thumb I use that will help: If your OG is 1.075, take the 75 part and divide by 5. This give you your ideal pitch rate in millions of cells per ml (for you, 15 mil / ml)

NOw, there is a pitch rate calc at www.wyeastlabs.com that will give you numbers on a 2 step starter. I find it indispensable. For you, the ideal would have been to use a 0.25 gal starter, then stepped it up again with 0.25 gal. If you did use a stir plate (or shook very often), you'd end up with 13+ mil cells.

The volumes you are using will result in 8 mil cells which is not ideal for a 5gal batch. I must add, however, that I have under-pitched many times and it was still great beer.

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Old 09-30-2009, 11:49 AM   #4
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Thanks for the responses guys. I will feed it some more tonight and take it from there.

Ed, I know that you're probably tired of hearing it, but I ordered the Bee Cave Pale Ale from Brewmasters and was extremely pleased in every aspect of my order. Thanks!

And passedpawn, thanks for the good words, i'll bookmark this page and reference it next time i brew.

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