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Old 09-27-2012, 03:50 PM   #1
Desp
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Default Yeast starter timeline and stepping up

I'm going to be brewing a Barley Wine on Friday. OG 1.094. According to Yeast Calc I need 334b cells to pitch.

A 1L starter, stepped up again with another 1L will get me 356b so I should be right on the money, my question is on how to properly step up.

I have a stir plate and I brewed a 1L starter last night. When I go to add the other liter of wort, do I have to decant the starter first or can I add it to what's there, if I have to decant what's the minimum amount of time it needs to ferment out for before cold crashing, and how long does it take to cold crash fully, without having to worry about throwing out good yeast?

I'm planning on brewing tomorrow night and I'd like to be able to decant before pitching, so I figure I need to let it crash cool for at least 8 hours right? If I can boil some more wort now (It's been 14 hours) and add to it, I should have enough time, if I have to decant this first I may not.

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Old 09-27-2012, 07:07 PM   #2
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To do the job properly you need to let the first litre ferment out completely... meaning 24-36 hours. Then cold crash for 24 hours. Then decant off as much liquid off the top as you can. Then add your fresh wort to the yeast cake and again let it ferment out...or at the least, this time pitch near the end of ferementation.

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Old 09-27-2012, 07:16 PM   #3
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To do the job properly you need to let the first litre ferment out completely... meaning 24-36 hours. Then cold crash for 24 hours. Then decant off as much liquid off the top as you can. Then add your fresh wort to the yeast cake and again let it ferment out...or at the least, this time pitch near the end of ferementation.
So it takes 24-36 hours to completely ferment with a stir plate? Why do I keep seeing 16 hours?
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Old 09-27-2012, 08:22 PM   #4
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It could ferment out in 16 hours... It could even ferment faster or considerably longer depending on the circumstances. 24-36 hours is recommended time to be safe. If you cold crashed as early as 16, that will not be fatal and might even be fully fermented, but you might not get the full cell count if its not done doing its job. If you are pinched for time and saw signs of fermentation within a few hours of making the starter, you are probably good to go.

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Old 09-28-2012, 01:25 PM   #5
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You don't need to decant the first step if your pressed for time, but when you mix up the DME for your second step you should make the gravity a little higher to compensate for dilution from the liter of spent wort in the first step.

If you mix up another liter of wort at a gravity of about 1.065, it should dilute out to around 1.037. (assuming the first liter was mixed up at 1.037 and fermented out to 1.010)

As far as fermentation time goes, temperature plays a big role in speeding things up. If you can ferment your starter at around 90 degrees it will definitely be done inside of 24 hrs.

As for decanting, 8 hours might not be enough time in the fridge, depending on the floccability of the yeast. It usually takes at least 24 hrs to get the majority of the yeast to drop out of suspension, unless you are using something like WLP002, in which case it will drop out in a matter of hours.

Good luck

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