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Old 09-15-2010, 04:42 PM   #1
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Default Yeast Starter - Right size container

I'm planning to purchase at least one erlenmeyer flask for yeast starters. It appears that it's best to use a flask that will provide some extra head space - about 25-30% of the flask.

Is there any problem using a flask that is too big for a starter? Example - a 2 liter starter in a 5L flask?

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Old 09-15-2010, 05:58 PM   #2
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I wouldn't see a problem w/ too big of a starter flask. I have a 2000 ml and make 1000-1500 ml starters. If it's too small you will need to really watch it for boil overs.

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Old 09-15-2010, 06:32 PM   #3
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If you can only get one size, go big. Small ones tend to be pretty cheap, though. Worst case, you can use a bomber for smaller sizes.

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Old 09-15-2010, 07:32 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Leadster View Post
I'm planning to purchase at least one erlenmeyer flask for yeast starters. It appears that it's best to use a flask that will provide some extra head space - about 25-30% of the flask.

Is there any problem using a flask that is too big for a starter? Example - a 2 liter starter in a 5L flask?
You're fine. I heard from a brewer who works in a micro-bio lab that a starter without at least 50% headspace is wasting your time. I started doing my starters in gallon jugs instead of half-gallon growlers and there was a marked difference in yeast reproduction/activity.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:32 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leadster View Post
I'm planning to purchase at least one erlenmeyer flask for yeast starters. It appears that it's best to use a flask that will provide some extra head space - about 25-30% of the flask.

Is there any problem using a flask that is too big for a starter? Example - a 2 liter starter in a 5L flask?
Go big if you haven't bought yet. I have 1L flasks, which are fine for medium gravity brews. I use a drop or two of fermcap in the starter to prevent boil over.

For high gravity or lagers, I use a $4 PETE jar.

Unless you want to boil the starter in the flask, gallon glass bottles are about $5 and would work great on a stir plate.
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Old 02-07-2011, 08:36 PM   #6
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The only downside is you might have a hard time if your stir plate can't move the stir bar in the volume of liquid you have. This happened to a buddy of mine, but he was able to ramp up the voltage to get it to move by swapping the power supply.

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Old 02-07-2011, 08:50 PM   #7
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Yeah I have to play with my stirplate's power supply with every starter because of the differences in liquid level.

I have a 2L and 1L but now I'm wishing I had skipped both those and gone with 5L from the beginning.

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Old 02-07-2011, 09:20 PM   #8
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If you do lagers or plan on bigger batches (10 gallon or very high OG beers) get yourself a nice 4 or 5L flask.

I have 250, 500, 1L, 2L and 5L. I use the 250ml - 2L flasks for stepping up from frozen cultures and the 5L for fresh smackpacks or WL vials...

5L is borderline too small for my bigger batches (14-15 gallons) if they are high OG or hybrid/lagers.

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Old 01-11-2012, 03:59 PM   #9
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If you do lagers or plan on bigger batches (10 gallon or very high OG beers) get yourself a nice 4 or 5L flask.

I have 250, 500, 1L, 2L and 5L. I use the 250ml - 2L flasks for stepping up from frozen cultures and the 5L for fresh smackpacks or WL vials...

5L is borderline too small for my bigger batches (14-15 gallons) if they are high OG or hybrid/lagers.
What's your procedure on stepping it up. Do you pour all of one into the next, or do you chill and decant?
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:09 PM   #10
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i'd say the bigger the flask, the better. i have a 2L erlenmeyer that i can do ~1.5L starters in, for the bigger starters, i use a gallon jug. shoulda bought the 5000ml flask instead of the 2000ml.

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