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Old 07-28-2013, 04:44 PM   #1
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Default Yeast starter with dry yeast

I am brewing Bavarian Dunkel with saflager w 34/70 yeast. Can I do a yeast starter and stir plate the same way with liquid yeast? I just wondering if there were any thoughts on this.

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Old 07-28-2013, 08:38 PM   #2
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For a lager, I'd just rehydrate and pitch two packs. No starter.

If you just have one pack, rehydrate it first before pitching into the starter wort. That helps you begin with more live cells in the wort. Aerate the heck out of the starter wort before pitching (either with O2 or by putting it in a big sanitized jar and shaking it vigorously a few times).
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Old 07-28-2013, 08:54 PM   #3
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Dried yeast were packaged at a specific stage in their life cycle to ensure they wake up with full energy reserves ready to multiply and eat sugar. By making a starter you get more yeast, but you may not pitch them at their optimum vitality.
BigFloyd has given the current best practice: rehydrate 2 packs and pitch.

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Old 07-29-2013, 02:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leithoa View Post
Dried yeast were packaged at a specific stage in their life cycle to ensure they wake up with full energy reserves ready to multiply and eat sugar. By making a starter you get more yeast, but you may not pitch them at their optimum vitality.
BigFloyd has given the current best practice: rehydrate 2 packs and pitch.
Even worse, by pitching dry yeast straight into wort (even starter wort), you kill up to 1/2 the cells before they have a chance to reproduce. You then have to work to build the cell count back up just to get to where you began.

This has to do with the dry yeast needing to rebuild their protective cell walls. The rebuilding takes about 15-20 minutes and happens best in warm (95-105*F), sterilized (by boiling) tap water (not distilled).
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:28 AM   #5
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Another thing to remember is that with dry yeast you do not need to aerate the wort.

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Old 07-29-2013, 11:28 AM   #6
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You can make a starter from a pack of dry yeast. Just rehydrate before pitching the yeast into the starter. I did this about a month ago as I had a dry yeast pack that was close to the 2 year mark and didnt realize it until about 48 hours before I was going to brew. I had starter activity within about 2 hrs. About a 3 hour lag after pitching the starter into the wort.

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Old 07-29-2013, 06:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el_caro View Post
Another thing to remember is that with dry yeast you do not need to aerate the wort.
True. I always oxygenate (with O2) when using liquid yeast, but not if I'm simply rehydrating and pitching dry yeast.
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Old 07-29-2013, 07:24 PM   #8
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Any recommendations on how to rehydrate the yeast?

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Old 07-29-2013, 07:53 PM   #9
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The packaging should specify, but if it doesn't: place the yeast in a few ounces of warm (90) degree water about 15 min prior to pitching. Some people add yeast nutrient or a tiny bit of sugar. You just have to be careful that there isn't too much dissolved in the water otherwise it stresses the yeast.

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Old 07-29-2013, 08:34 PM   #10
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Any recommendations on how to rehydrate the yeast?
Rehydrate using these steps (for an 11g pack):

1) When you are about to start your boil, put 1 cup water (not distilled) in a Pyrex cup in the microwave. Boil it for about 6 minutes down to about 1/2 cup.

2) Cover the cup with a piece of sanitized foil (sprayed with Star-San). Set it aside to cool to about 95-100*F.

3) Once the water has cooled, sanitize the yeast packet and cut open with sanitized scissors.

4) Sprinkle it on the water (do not stir yet), cover and let sit 15 minutes.

5) Stir well, cover, and let sit 5 more minutes.

6) Hopefully by now, you have your wort chilled (about 62-64*F for a typical ale) and ready for the yeast.

7) The yeast slurry needs to be "attemperated" before you pitch it in the wort. That means you have to add small amounts of the cooler wort into the yeast slurry, stir and let it sit a few minutes. You'll probably have to do this a few times to get it to within 10*F of the wort temperature. Once it's within 10*F, pitch away.

Dry yeast has its own nutrients. I would not add sugar, yeast nutrients or anything else to the tap water.
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