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Old 12-28-2009, 08:55 PM   #1
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Default Cider Yeast starter question...please help

I'm planning on making 15-20 gallons of hard cider in the next week. I'll be making 5 gal batches back using bottled apple cider(pasturized,no persvatives) and utilizing Red Star Champagne yeast.

I know I could simply "dump" the yeast packet in, But I have a stir plate and would rather become proficient with using it to make starters for all our brewing sessions.

My question is this...Do I use Apple juice,DME or hot water to add the yeast packet to? I appreciate the help in advance and am learning so much from HBT!

O.Nolasco

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Old 12-28-2009, 09:44 PM   #2
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i would use apple juice with some yeast nutrient. aim for a SG of 1.040 or so and aerate the crap out of it to the point of oxidation. repeat till you have enough yeast. then pour off the liquid and pitch the slurry at the bottom of the starter.

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Old 12-28-2009, 09:54 PM   #3
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+1. I did that for a cyser. It worked well and I will do it again with my cider next year. It makes sense for big volumes to make a starter and next fall I will be going very big.

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Old 12-28-2009, 11:11 PM   #4
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Rehydrate with 104 degree tapwater only, first. Anything else used to rehydrate wine yeast is potentially harmful to the yeast, unless it is GoFerm.

After it is rehydrated, you can add a little must to make a starter.

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Old 12-29-2009, 02:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveAllen View Post
Rehydrate with 104 degree tapwater only, first. Anything else used to rehydrate wine yeast is potentially harmful to the yeast, unless it is GoFerm.

After it is rehydrated, you can add a little must to make a starter.
Follow the directions on the packet, which say to add it to 100 degree water.
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Old 12-29-2009, 02:25 AM   #6
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That was suppose to be a "What DaveAllen said" comment.

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Old 12-29-2009, 06:18 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TipsyDragon View Post
i would use apple juice with some yeast nutrient. aim for a SG of 1.040 or so and aerate the crap out of it to the point of oxidation. repeat till you have enough yeast. then pour off the liquid and pitch the slurry at the bottom of the starter.


This is what we were originally thinking of doing. It makes sense to me! Thanks.

DaveAllen-Question.Why would using anything else besides "tap water" be problematic? Most brewers(EdWort included) simply "dump" the yeast packet into the carboy.

Also, I have a Culligan Reverse Osmosis dual carbon filter h2o system to make my tap water drinkable and beer friendly.
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Old 12-29-2009, 07:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Why would using anything else besides "tap water" be problematic? Most brewers(EdWort included) simply "dump" the yeast packet into the carboy.
I don't really think there is too big a problem with dumping the packet right into the starter. It's never done me or the yeast any harm really, but I do prefer to rehydrate my yeast in some water first. I've never used GoFerm. One more thing to buy I don't really need, IMHO.
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Old 12-29-2009, 07:14 AM   #9
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Lalvin, arguably the largest producer of wine yeasts, recommends that dry yeast be rehydrated in 104 degree tap water only, as tap water contains minerals that are essential to the yeast very early. Additionally, early in rehydration, the yeast cells will absorb some substances that are toxic to them early, so tapwater is best. Here is a link to what they say: Rehydration FAQ

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Old 12-29-2009, 07:47 AM   #10
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Read it before. I take everything with a grain of salt, especially when it comes from people who sell me things, even if I respect their expertise.

I agree with what they say for the most part, but I also think that some people underestimate the resilience of some organisms (like yeast). I've never had a long lag phase or stressed yeast myself, no matter how I started my yeast. I agree that a person shouldn't start their yeast in distilled water (duh!) since there are no minerals or dissolved oxygen in it, but find me a genuine logical reason why starting yeast directly in an environment full of food is going to harm the yeast.

Quote:
the yeast cells will absorb some substances that are toxic to them early
what substances? By what the FAQ said, nitrogenous compounds help the yeast early on: The presence of 1/2% yeast extract, yeast hulls, autolyzed yeast or peptone in the rehydration water will give the yeast an added boost that will get it through its lag phase quicker.


So is it sugar? Some mineral or acid?

I mean, a good start is important and I generally always rehydrate my yeast in tap water first, although for the sake of experimentation I've pitched it straight into the fermenter and starters before, and I've had no signs of unhealthy yeast. The lag phase was not unreasonably slower than had I rehydrated the yeast, and there was none of the rhino farting of a stressed yeast going on, nor was there any detectable HS2 in the product. Moreover, I haven't really read anything about yeast metabolism to indicate that pitching dry yeast into a must would harm it in any way, and I like to read a lot of papers and books on microbiology.

Sorry to sound like a dink. I just don't buy it, based on what I've read and what I've observed.
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