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Old 06-24-2010, 05:10 PM   #1
brewinginct
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Default Cider-Yeast Starter Question - How much cider/volume?

I'm going to be using an ale yeast to make a cider and don't have much experience with making starters in general, so these are pretty basic questions.

I'll be using fresh pasteurized cider from a local farm, which I'm assuming has enough nutrients for the yeast to go to town on.

How much cider should I use in the starter if I am going to be throwing it into a 5 gallon batch? I have some yeast nutrient from a mead I made (it isn't GoFerm), should I use that or are there enough nutrients in the cider already?

I've read that I should shoot for an OG of 1.040; I'm assuming that means that I should dilute the cider until I reach that goal, but is there any harm if I don't dilute and I start with a higher OG?

Is there any reason why I couldn't use a cleaned/sanitized growler with an airlock? How many days should I let the yeast starter sit before I pitch it into the cider?

Lastly, I've heard that when you throw the yeast starter into your primary you should discard the liquid in the starter first. Is this really necessary?

Thanks in advance

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Old 06-26-2010, 12:38 AM   #2
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Dont dilute the cider, starting with a higher OG is fine. Personally, I would bother with a starter. If you use a dry yeast, just sprinkle it lightly over the top of the cider so that it rehydrates evenly

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Old 11-18-2010, 02:04 PM   #3
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I did 3 gallons with a package of champagne yeast, I too just sprinkled it in and gave it a stir. No waiting. You can use a growler with an airlock if you'd like but you'll need a lot of yeast for each one. It's recommended for instance, that you use an entire packet of yeast regardless of whether you're doing 1 gallon or 5 gallons, because the packet has enough bacteria in it to start a colony. When you divide yeast and start with a smaller amount, you're also dividing your opportunity for success. I'll have cider in 1 gallon glass jugs (the ones the juice came in) with airlocks for my secondary.

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Old 11-19-2010, 09:12 PM   #4
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It's recommended for instance, that you use an entire packet of yeast regardless of whether you're doing 1 gallon or 5 gallons, because the packet has enough bacteria in it to start a colony.
Not quite right. The packs have enough yeast for 5 gallons of standard gravity wort/must. You can split 1 packet between 5 separate gallons without any problems. They recommend that once you open a pack you use it and do not try and save it. Once opened it can become contaminated, and for the price of a fresh pack of yeast, it just is not worth it.
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:09 PM   #5
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Starters are not always necessary. However, on every batch I use 2 cups of warm water with corn sugar and a little yeast nutrient. This is not really a starter, but more of a re-hydration of the yeast. I have occasionally used warm cider and nutrient.

If you do this, use either warm water or cider to around 80 - 90 degrees. Let it set for about a hour. You will see foam begin to gather. This is proofing the yeast. Kinda like when you make bread.

If you leave it a little longer, you will also get some additional yeasts as they will multiply. Kinda like a short version of a starter. The early meal along with the re-hydration and the nutrient gives the yeast a better shot of taking off right away.

I've never had a ferment take longer than a couple hours to start.

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Old 11-20-2010, 01:17 AM   #6
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Forget what I said, I must have read that info on a different forum

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Old 11-20-2010, 01:39 AM   #7
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One of my greatest sources of happiness in life is tearing open a bag of dry yeast, dipping a spoon in, and innoculating a gallon batch of fermentable liquid, then wrapping the remaining yeast back up with a rubber band and throwing it in the back of the kitchen cabinet, behind the Communist Chinese 5 Spice and six year old nutmeg.

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Old 11-20-2010, 01:40 AM   #8
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One of my greatest sources of happiness in life is tearing open a bag of dry yeast, dipping a spoon in, and innoculating a gallon batch of fermentable liquid, then wrapping the remaining yeast back up with a rubber band and throwing it in the back of the kitchen cabinet, behind the Communist Chinese 5 Spice and six year old nutmeg.
Hahahahha
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#1 - 5 Gallons Harp Clone All Grain with Wyeast 2007 Lager (~5.5% ABV)

Secondary's:
#1 - 6 Gallons Dry Irish Stout Partial (~4.0 ABV)
#2 - 6 Gallons Brown Sugar Ale All Grain with Nottingham Yeast (~5.0% to 5.2%)

Kegged:
6 Gallons Honey Ale AG

Next:
6 Gallons Brown Sugar Lager

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Old 11-20-2010, 01:41 AM   #9
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Use your yeast nutrient just as you would with a mead. I'm having much success right now with DAP and LDC yeast nutrient in the SNA method. Cider is just as nutrient-deficient as mead.

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Old 11-20-2010, 10:27 AM   #10
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A interesting thing I just noticed. Last night, I started a 5 Liter test batch with S-05 yeast. I made the short version of the starter/re-hydrate solution I mentioned.

I ran out of yeast nutrient, as I used the last bit of it when I made my 5 gallon batch. I went down to the basement to check it out this morning and the airlock had shown that there was some co2 in it, however a very small amount.

Usually, by this time I have a fully engaged ferment going. I'm not sure whether it is because the basement is cold (61 deg) or because I didn't use nutrient.

I'm betting on the nutrient. I've never had a ferment take longer than a couple of hours to get going.

Going to help my father out this morning to get his lawn cut and raked. One of the Brew Shops is near his house. I'm defiantly going to pick up a pack of nutrient.

Regards
Doug

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Primary's:
#1 - 5 Gallons Harp Clone All Grain with Wyeast 2007 Lager (~5.5% ABV)

Secondary's:
#1 - 6 Gallons Dry Irish Stout Partial (~4.0 ABV)
#2 - 6 Gallons Brown Sugar Ale All Grain with Nottingham Yeast (~5.0% to 5.2%)

Kegged:
6 Gallons Honey Ale AG

Next:
6 Gallons Brown Sugar Lager

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