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Old 06-17-2010, 06:55 PM   #1
ericmunley
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Default Yeast and Yeast Starter Question

I am brewing a Black IPA for my friend's wedding. Here is a link to the kit I ordered.

I made the mistake of activating the slap pack and putting it in the refrigerator instead of in a warm place, but the bag still expanded.

Also, I am not sure whether I need a yeast starter or not. The OG is 1.075.

My questions are as follows:
-Did I ruin the Wyeast slap pack of yeast by refrigerating it and should I buy a new one?
-Do I need a yeast starter for this brew? If so, I cannot find the beaker most people use at any shops near me. Can I either get away without using a starter or use something besides the beaker for the starter?

I apologize for the post length, and as always...all responses are greatly appreciated.

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Old 06-17-2010, 07:05 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ericmunley View Post
-Did I ruin the Wyeast slap pack of yeast by refrigerating it and should I buy a new one?
-Do I need a yeast starter for this brew? If so, I cannot find the beaker most people use at any shops near me. Can I either get away without using a starter or use something besides the beaker for the starter?
The yeast should be fine. All a swollen smack pack indicates is that you have viable yeast - since it expanded, they're in decent shape.

I would say that at 1.075 you absolutely need a starter, or a second pack of yeast (three packs would be even better). Any vessel that can be sanitized will work. You'll probably want something that's about a gallon in volume, since your starter will be about 3 L. A one-gallon glass jug like the ones you get with cheap wine is perfect; a milk jug would be acceptable.

Boil 300 g (10 oz) of DME in 3 L of water, chill it down in the sink, pour it into the jug, add the yeast, and cover the jug loosely with foil. Shake it up as often as possible, and after 2-3 days it should be finished fermenting. At that point you can move it to the refrigerator, then once the yeast settles out, pour off most of the liquid. Swirl up the rest of the yeast on brew day and pitch into the beer.
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Old 06-17-2010, 07:17 PM   #3
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Check out the yeast pitching calculator on Mrmalty.com It will tell you what size starter to make.

For a 5 gal batch of 1.075 wort your gonna need a big one.

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Old 06-17-2010, 08:44 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by a10t2 View Post
The yeast should be fine. All a swollen smack pack indicates is that you have viable yeast - since it expanded, they're in decent shape.

I would say that at 1.075 you absolutely need a starter, or a second pack of yeast (three packs would be even better). Any vessel that can be sanitized will work. You'll probably want something that's about a gallon in volume, since your starter will be about 3 L. A one-gallon glass jug like the ones you get with cheap wine is perfect; a milk jug would be acceptable.

Boil 300 g (10 oz) of DME in 3 L of water, chill it down in the sink, pour it into the jug, add the yeast, and cover the jug loosely with foil. Shake it up as often as possible, and after 2-3 days it should be finished fermenting. At that point you can move it to the refrigerator, then once the yeast settles out, pour off most of the liquid. Swirl up the rest of the yeast on brew day and pitch into the beer.
I really appreciate the help. Do you refrigerate the starter after?
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Old 06-17-2010, 09:05 PM   #5
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I usually try to plan my starter for a day or two before brew day (3 if the starter pack is a couple of months old). If you don't have time for the starter I'd buy one or two more smack packs and pitch them all. If you use the one that is in the fridge to pitch I would also take it out a few hours before to help equal out the temp difference between the yeast and the wort. I found a dude on Ebay that sells stir plates for $39.00 - he makes them himself and also sells the high temp flask for extra. This has been a great investment and has worked great. Its called the StirStarter if you do a search for it on ebay.

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Old 06-17-2010, 10:10 PM   #6
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If you play around with Mr Malty's calculator http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html you will get a feeling for how much difference there is between the various methods of oxygenateing your starter. For grins put in a high gravity lager to see big differences. +1 to NOT using an airlock on your starter. Just cover with foil or use foam stopper.

GT

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