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Old 09-13-2013, 12:53 AM   #1
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Default Yeast Starter Calculations: Zainesheff Vs. Troester

I've been making yeast starters and using http://yeastcalc.com/ for a while now, always trusting the Jamil and Chris White calculations. Recently Kai posted a write up on his blog http://braukaiser.com/blog/blog/2012...-yeast-growth/ talking about the original calculations were possibly derived and how his cell counts showed the growth curve being different.

Not owning a hemacytometer, I follow the suggestions of these calculators on where the pitch rate should be.

Has anyone verified the methods?

Is Jamil a recipe for over pitching or Kai going to lead to under?

Interesting to hear everyone's comments.

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Old 09-13-2013, 01:20 AM   #2
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I'm having the same "trouble" as well... I want to believe Kia's write up because I hate making multi-step starters and buying DME! With his calculations you can almost get a good pitch rate for any 5 gallon batch of beer with a stir plate and a 2L starter. I'm interested in what others have to say as well. His write up makes sense..

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Old 09-13-2013, 01:36 AM   #3
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Last weekend I put together a Schwarzbier, a lager of modest size. The difference that really struck me was the Jamil stir plat method would of had me making approximately 4 Liters of starter and Kai was only 2.5L

To me this is a huge difference in starter size and surprised me.

Funny enough I split the difference.

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Old 09-13-2013, 01:57 AM   #4
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I sat in on Kai's presentation at this year's NHC and, while he has a lot of good research behind his numbers, he admitted that he's made his experimental observations using only one strain of yeast. While he's made a lot of very good and very valid measurements thus far, I think its a long way still until he approaches the amount of experimental data that Jamil had to draw on for his calculations.

Basically, Jamil's numbers seem to represent a good generalization across all strains and all pitching rates, while Kai's seem far more specific for various pitching rates and for a specific strain - wish I could remember which one off the top of my head, but his website should list it.

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Old 09-13-2013, 03:33 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Satisfaction
Funny enough I split the difference.
Lol this is what I usually do.

Although, with all the awards Jamil has collected its hard to believe that he's doing something wrong. But then again, he has always preached that its way harder to mess up your beer by over pitching, so he could be over pitching and just not experiencing any negative effects other than the trouble of creating larger starters.
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Old 09-13-2013, 04:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stratslinger View Post
wish I could remember which one off the top of my head, but his website should list it.
Ale or lager strain? If ale, it might be the 1007. He seems to use that a lot.
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Old 09-13-2013, 04:47 AM   #7
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My thought is someone should brew up a 10 gallon batch and split it, pitch one at the Zainisheff rate and the other at Troester. See what you get. I'm not volunteering though! Plus, if one batch did turn out better it still wouldn't prove true for every strain and every style. Ahh yet another unsolvable debate!!

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Old 09-13-2013, 01:37 PM   #8
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It was an ale strain -1007 does seem to ring a bell, but don't take that for gospel without checking his site.

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Old 09-13-2013, 02:17 PM   #9
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I'll be honest. I haven't actually used a calculator for a starter size in some time for my beers. BUT.... this is ever since I have moved to slants and grow a 3 step starter for each beer:

  • first step off slant is 20 ml or so
  • second one is about 150 - 200 approx
  • third is in my 2 lt flask at about 1.7 liters

Each step is (roughly) an order of magnitude so the freshness of my yeast is tops, I usually start this process 3-4 days prior to brewing and I do this for all Ales under 1.070 or so, and have noticed great results, clean fermentations appropriate for each given strain used.

I am sure there is a wider range of "forgiveness" for pitching rates, and I am positive it does have an impact on the overall flavor of the beer, but if you have tight temperature ranges and good oxygenation procedures I am willing to guess that the differences in flavor between Jamil and Kai's methods would be subtle and hard for most brewers to discern
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Old 09-13-2013, 02:29 PM   #10
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WY2042 he says. lager strain.

Very practical experiment. I very much appreciate his recognition of how an agitated vs. non-agitated culture behave differently and how that has to be accounted for specially. His normalization of the data based on a growth per extract ratio makes a lot of sense also.

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