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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Yeast cell counts
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Old 08-13-2010, 08:32 PM   #1
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Default Yeast cell counts

Jamil had this on mrmalty.com:

Pitching a Wyeast Activator pack gives the following results within 12 to 18 hours:

1 liter starter = about 150 billion cells
2 liter starter = about 200 billion cells
1 liter starter, then pitched into 4 liter starter = 400 billion cells

Anyone know what the numbers would be for a Wyeast Propagator?

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Old 08-13-2010, 11:35 PM   #2
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From wyeast's site faq:

6. Do I need to make a starter for an Activator?

No. The Activator is designed to deliver professional pitch rates (6 million cells/ ml.) when directly added to 5 gallons of wort. ( <1.060 at 70 degrees). However, if a package is slow to swell, suspected of being mishandled, or if the date is approaching the six month shelf life it is a good idea to build the culture up with a starter. High gravity or low temperature fermentations require higher pitch rates. This can be achieved with inoculating with additional packages or making a starter.

Edit: I should have done the math just in case, the packs have this listed on them:

The Activator™ has a minimum of 100 billion cells of pure, ready-to-pitch yeast, plus an internal nutrient packet. The Activator™ is designed to inoculate five gallons of wort (up to 1.060 SG) providing the pitching rate recommended by professional brewers.

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Old 08-14-2010, 12:07 AM   #3
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That doesn't answer his question at all. The Propagator packs have way less cells - I think 1/3 - than an Activator. I don't know enough about yeast reproduction to say exactly what you'll need to do to get from 33 billion cells up to wherever you're going, but I don't think 18 hours is enough time to do it in.

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Old 08-14-2010, 12:10 AM   #4
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Sorry bad headache today... totally misread... from wyeast's site on the PROPAGATOR.
The Propagator™ package contains a minimum of 25 billion cells in a yeast slurry. This volume is not adequate for direct pitching into 5 gallons of wort and requires a 1-2 L propagation step prior to brewing

both of which took me 3 seconds on wyeast's site...

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Old 08-14-2010, 12:31 AM   #5
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Very true. I imagine he was looking for more pointed information, but didn't give us anything else to go on.

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Old 08-14-2010, 03:49 AM   #6
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Sorry about the confusion - thought the questions were clear. What would a Propagator grow to if pitched into a 1 liter starter? A 2 liter starter? A 1 liter starter that was then re-pitched ("Stepped up") into a 4 liter starter?

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Old 08-14-2010, 11:30 AM   #7
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Set the viability to 25% in the PRC (don't calculate by date) to see how big a starter you need.
If you want answers to how much you will get if you have 1 liter or 2 liter starters, you need to play with the numbers in the calculator (usually enough just to play with OG)

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