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Old 07-13-2012, 01:57 AM   #1
jonnyj
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Default Yeast Starter with Mini-Mash

So I have a question for some of you more experienced yeast propagators out there.

I am planning on brewing this Sat or Sun, and was going to make two 5gal batches of different Saisons. I know that you want a gravity of 1.030-1.040, but instead of using DME, are there any potenetial issues with doing a mini-mash of my recipe? My grain bill is 90% Pilsner, with the remainder being CaraMunich, CaraFoam and Flaked Wheat. The reason I ask is that I have a whole extra batch worth of grains that are already crushed and have been sitting in the fridge for the last week.

My plan is to create 1/2gal starters by using about 0.75lb of the grain bill (the wheat and Carafoam and Caramunich are already mixed in with the Pils). By my calculations, this should produce a wort of 1.040. Once I get the starter into high krausen, I plan on pitching the entire 1/2gal to a slightly scaled down recipe (to produce 4.5gal of wort for the main beer).

Anyone see any problems or issues with this? Thanks in advance.

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Old 07-13-2012, 03:53 AM   #2
Hex23
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I don't see any problem with that. I know that some people make their starters from grain. I think starters are supposed to be all barley, but at 90+% that's certainly close enough. With that volume of grain you could use a BIAB method to make it easier to mash. If you're going to do smaller starter batches, don't forget to account for some boil-off evaporation. Or if you have a whole batch of extra grain you could make a larger amount of wort, then pressure can the remainder it for later use. I do that and it is very handy.

Any particular reason you will only make 4.5 gallons of wort for the main beer? I realize that you'd end up with a total volume of 5G into the fermenter. But unless you're have space issues, you might as well make it a total 5.5 gallons to account for trub loss and get about 5 gallons into bottle.

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Old 07-13-2012, 04:06 AM   #3
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I would save the wort but I dont have a pressure cooker. And space can be an issue (I've had an airlock blown out a time or two before)...I am gong to try a blow off hose, so maybe a 5.5gal would be the perfect test.

Thanks for the help.

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Old 07-13-2012, 04:15 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyj View Post
I would save the wort but I dont have a pressure cooker
I've never done it, but some people freeze the wort. I don't know how long it would last frozen?
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Old 07-13-2012, 09:19 PM   #5
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You could use the extra wort to farm more yeast for future brews. Just pick up 1-2 one gallon growlers, with some rubber stoppers and airlocks. Or you can do the tin foil caps. But when I farm yeast for long term storage I always like to be extra clean, so I use airlocks.

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Old 07-13-2012, 09:47 PM   #6
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I thought about that since I do have 4 one gal jugs and airlocks. I'd have to store them for about a month tho...to do so I'd have to decant the beer and just refridgerate the remaining yeast cake?

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