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Old 08-02-2012, 05:26 PM   #1
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Default What do you do with the "Starter Beer"?

I was wondering what everyone did with the decanted "Starter Beer"? After they pitched the yeast from the starter.


Anyone try to bottle it and drink it?

Maybe Mix it in with a different batch of beer to blend it?

Feed it to the Alligators in the sewers?

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Old 08-02-2012, 05:30 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Stan
I was wondering what everyone did with the decanted "Starter Beer"? After they pitched the yeast from the starter.

Anyone try to bottle it and drink it?

Maybe Mix it in with a different batch of beer to blend it?

Feed it to the Alligators in the sewers?
Mine seeds my septic tank - given I use a stir plate, oxidized, hopless, 2row only beer isn't something that fits into any style I drink! That said, I just stated pressure canning starters so I can add cooked corn flavored to the mix!
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:32 PM   #3
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I've made malt vinegar, by adding some of my mother culture. It came out "ok" but I probably won't do it again.

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Old 08-02-2012, 05:48 PM   #4
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Maybe Mix it in with a different batch of beer to blend it?
That's classic!

I tasted it once..... not the best idea I've ever had. I dump it down the drain, it's kind of a 'first step' on the morning of a brew day.
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:08 PM   #5
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I've only made a few starters so far, but I pitch the whole thing!
Actually, my starters may not be true starters, per se.
For the few 5 gallon batches I've made over the last several months that had a high OG, I basically just smacked the Wyeast pack the day before, pitched it into about a quart of low gravity wort (just some boiled DME and water), put it in a growler with foil over the top and let it run for about 24 hours before pitching into the full batch the next day. Just swirl it up and dump it all in there. Seems to have worked fine so far. The yeast definitely get some work done over those 24 hours as it gets fizzy and smells yeasty.
It's such a low volume that I doubt it changes the beer much, and I figure I'm just adding more of the same (water, malt) to the full batch.
The only times I've needed blow off tubes were after making starters this way (as opposed to just pitching the contents of the smack pack or dry yeast envelope). So it definitely gets them going, I guess.

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Old 08-02-2012, 06:11 PM   #6
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Since it doesn't have any hops in it, often it is sourish tasting, or oxydized if it's been on a stir plate or shaken a lot, or it is simply yeasty, in other words, although we call it a "starter beer" it really isn't all that pleasant to want to drink, or smell for that matter.

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Old 08-02-2012, 06:25 PM   #7
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I like the alligator idea; the yeast should help treat their fleas. You could use it as the liquid portion of bread dough, or water some plants.

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Old 08-02-2012, 07:07 PM   #8
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Why not add some hops and make a table beer out of your starters?
I've cold crashed starters (with ~5-10IBUs) and decanted the beer into 2 liter bottles and added sugar to prime and turned out drinkable beer. Not my best, but suitable for drinking. Granted, I don't use a stir plate, only intermittent shaking, so perhaps less oxidation. Also, I've made 2 gallon starters in the carboy, cold crashed and decanted that beer and racked my next 1.100+/- batch onto the cake.

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Old 08-02-2012, 07:15 PM   #9
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I toss the spent starter wort before making a slurry from the yeast and a small amount of starter wort that remains (1/8-1/4" above the yeast cake). I want my BEER to taste exactly as I design it, and I don't want to have to offset some nasty spent starter flavors. I've been using either my 2L or 3L flask for the starters, so not really enough to do much with otherwise.

I might start using them to feed plants. Or maybe put it into a jar to go to the family compost heap (along with spent grain) once I've moved. If I'm lucky, I might even start a compost heap/bin where I move to.

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Old 08-02-2012, 10:18 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ersheff View Post
I've only made a few starters so far, but I pitch the whole thing!
Actually, my starters may not be true starters, per se.
For the few 5 gallon batches I've made over the last several months that had a high OG, I basically just smacked the Wyeast pack the day before, pitched it into about a quart of low gravity wort (just some boiled DME and water), put it in a growler with foil over the top and let it run for about 24 hours before pitching into the full batch the next day. Just swirl it up and dump it all in there. Seems to have worked fine so far. The yeast definitely get some work done over those 24 hours as it gets fizzy and smells yeasty.
It's such a low volume that I doubt it changes the beer much, and I figure I'm just adding more of the same (water, malt) to the full batch.
The only times I've needed blow off tubes were after making starters this way (as opposed to just pitching the contents of the smack pack or dry yeast envelope). So it definitely gets them going, I guess.
I do this as well at the suggestion of another HBT member and no ill effects to my beer to date. Guinness is allegedly 3% soured beer and Mosher indicates this is a desired complexity. Maybe not appropriate for all styles but also doubt it affects it that much.
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