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Old 05-14-2010, 10:24 PM   #1
yournotpeter
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Default Yeast Starter - For cell growth or to wake them up?

I've been making yeast starters for a while now with great success. Typically I have been following the recipes in Jamil's Brewing Classic Styles and if it calls for 2 packages of liquid yeast, I've been typically making a yeast starter with one vial of White Labs and about a 1/2 pound of DME. According to Jamil, this amount of DME will double the amount of yeast, giving me my two vials, in essence.

I have been washing my yeast now and I'm curious as to the role of the yeast starter with washed yeast. I don't necessarily need to double the yeast because I have plenty of washed yeast. By the time I brew again, my yeast will have been washed and in the fridge for roughly 3 weeks. I guess I'm thinking that I don't need to reproduce any yeast, just wake them up. If I'm just waking yeast up, how much DME should I be using? If I'm able to save at all on DME (less than a 1/2 pound), that makes washing yeast extra extra cost effective.

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Old 05-15-2010, 12:34 AM   #2
Schnitzengiggle
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The role of a yeast starter is to make sure they are viable, and get the yeast ready to do their job (gobble sugars!)

Would you rather pitch yeast into your wort knowing that it is alive and active ready to ferment your wort, or take chances on some washed yeast that you have no idea what the cell count, or viability of it is?

So while you may have a nice amount of yeast, regardless of how great your washing process is, you more than likely have a little trub and definitely some dead yeast cells.

You can save yourself some money by making a starter every time and use a smaller amount of yeast. Liquid yeast definitley costs more than 1lb of DME, and all it takes to make a 1L starter is ~6oz.

If you feel you have plenty of washed yeast then just allow that to warm up to pitching temps before you pitch it, but I am from the school of thought that a yeast starter, unless pitching onto a cake, is a must with washed/reused yeast.

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Old 05-15-2010, 01:23 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schnitzengiggle View Post

If you feel you have plenty of washed yeast then just allow that to warm up to pitching temps before you pitch it, but I am from the school of thought that a yeast starter, unless pitching onto a cake, is a must with washed/reused yeast.
Thanks...and I should clarify - I definitely intend on making a starter, regardless of the amount of yeast I have. I guess my question is should I just use 1 vial worth of washed yeast for the starter and let the starter basically make the second vial (the recipe calls for 2 vials) or use 2 vials worth of washed yeast? If I do that, how much DME do I need?
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Old 05-15-2010, 02:36 AM   #4
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Starters are for healthy yeast first, then appropriate cell count just second. That's why it's crucial to be keen on sanitation and temperature with starters.

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