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Old 01-20-2012, 03:42 AM   #1
Griff777
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Default alternative yeast starter method working well for me

I just finished my seventh five gallon batch since resuming my brewing hobby.

All my brews so far are all grain kits. None have OG of over 1.065, so this method I am proposing may not work for higher gravity worts.

Rather than use a yeast starter, I hydrate and make a quick starter as follows. Right after the hot break, and adding first hop dose, I dip a sanitized pyrex two quart pitcher into the wort and take about a quart and a half of wort. I cover immediately with plastic wrap, then cool to 70 degrees. I cool it in the freezer or lately just set it on the first step of my swimming pool to cool it. When cooled, I use a little whisk to aerate, then add my yeast. Dry yeast, or lately a mason jar with washed yeast from a previous brew. Recover, and let sit while you go tend to the boil.

After the boil, I cool the wort, siphon to primary pale or carboy, then use an agitator with my drill to aerate the wort inside the primary fermenter. I move the fermenter to my location(bathtub or cool area of utility room) and pour in my yeast starter. In just the hour that passes, the dry yeast is hydrated and starting to ferment, same with the wyeast washed sample.

In every case, fermentation is steadily on it's way within six hours.

I like this method because often I will have a brew day come up and don't have the time to start a starter day(s) in advance. I do take out the washed yeast sample, in the mason jar, a day or two in advance and let it warm to room temp.

I like buying gadgets, and the stir plate looks cool, but I think it's all unneccessary as my results have been stellar.

All my brews are ales so far, but I see no reason why this wouldn't work for any brews. Maybe on high gravity worts I may let the starter go for an extra hour before adding to fermenter, just to increase the cell count even higher before intoducing.

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Old 01-20-2012, 10:31 AM   #2
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I like to give my starters more time than you are allotting them with this. Plus your starter OG could be too high with this version.

Try this. After you are done collecting your wort I sometimes have a little liquid left in the MLT so I will drain that off into a sealable container for my next batch of beer.
If there is not enough liquid left in mash just add a gallon of water in let is sit for like 20 minutes and drain it off.
Put the liquid in fridge until 3 days before a brew...then I do the starter just by pulling it out of fridge boil for 10-15 minutes, chill and pitch yeast.

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Old 01-20-2012, 11:40 AM   #3
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Yeah, I'm afraid there is probably no appreciable increase in cell count. This is really just hydrating the yeast. Plus, the other poster is right that this would be far too high gravity for a starter. Look for around 1.035.

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Old 01-20-2012, 11:48 AM   #4
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You also don't want to rehydrate dry yeast in wort. While the yeast are taking in the water, they are briefly unable to regulate the permeability of their cell wall. I think I read that adding directly to wort cuts your viability by half or more.

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Old 01-20-2012, 02:38 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoedBrew View Post
I like to give my starters more time than you are allotting them with this. Plus your starter OG could be too high with this version.

Try this. After you are done collecting your wort I sometimes have a little liquid left in the MLT so I will drain that off into a sealable container for my next batch of beer.
If there is not enough liquid left in mash just add a gallon of water in let is sit for like 20 minutes and drain it off.
Put the liquid in fridge until 3 days before a brew...then I do the starter just by pulling it out of fridge boil for 10-15 minutes, chill and pitch yeast.
Hmmmm, that is not a bad idea. I wonder how long that "starter wort" would remain good if kept in a sanitized container in the fridge? I guess you could still boil it before pitching your yeast...
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Old 01-20-2012, 02:54 PM   #6
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I welcome your comments, as I thought there would be some reason others are not doing this. However, my results have been a quick starting fermentation, and the beers taste great. The yeast seem happy.

Is there some compelling reason not to do it this way?

Isn't the end goal being met?

Am I imparting some "off flavor" or other issue by doing this?

I am open minded to changing, it's just that my results have been totally satisfactory. The yeasts I have done this with are Safale 05, wyeast 1056, and Safale 23(lager)

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Old 01-20-2012, 02:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KoedBrew
I like to give my starters more time than you are allotting them with this. Plus your starter OG could be too high with this version.

Try this. After you are done collecting your wort I sometimes have a little liquid left in the MLT so I will drain that off into a sealable container for my next batch of beer.
If there is not enough liquid left in mash just add a gallon of water in let is sit for like 20 minutes and drain it off.
Put the liquid in fridge until 3 days before a brew...then I do the starter just by pulling it out of fridge boil for 10-15 minutes, chill and pitch yeast.
Thats exactly what I do. I don't even bother reboiling. It was boiled already and sitting in a sanitized mason jar. Sure, I probably should, but it's been working just fine without reboiling.

I brewed monday, and whatever wort abd trub was left, I put in a 2 qt mason jar and set it in the fridge. Last night, I drank a Brooklyn sorachi ace which is bottle conditioned, so I used my saved wort to harvest the yeast.

A stir pkate, while not totally necessary, does work wonders for starters. 24 hours on the plate gives you a ton more yeast than occasional shaking. I built mine for less than ten bucks, so it was a no brainer.
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Old 01-20-2012, 03:07 PM   #8
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Well, this is not a "starter". It is re-hydrating dried yeast.

Starters are for liquid yeast and take at least 12 hours. mrmalty.com has a lot of starter information.

One poster stated that the yeast cell walls cannot properly tolerate the chemistry of the wort. I have also read this.

I do not use dry yeast anymore. I want the broader selection that liquid yeast allows. But, it seems to me that using water at the proper temperature would be just as easy.

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Old 01-20-2012, 03:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Griff777 View Post
I welcome your comments, as I thought there would be some reason others are not doing this. However, my results have been a quick starting fermentation, and the beers taste great. The yeast seem happy.

Is there some compelling reason not to do it this way?

Isn't the end goal being met?

Am I imparting some "off flavor" or other issue by doing this?

I am open minded to changing, it's just that my results have been totally satisfactory. The yeasts I have done this with are Safale 05, wyeast 1056, and Safale 23(lager)
If it works and you like the beer, keep at it and have fun. I'd copy you but I don't have a pool anymore!
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Old 01-20-2012, 06:14 PM   #10
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I would + 1 the hydration comments and add that I think that what you are seeing is the effect of very good areation. I know that when I started areating my starter and wort, well, I could not believe the improvement in the utlization/performance of the yeast. Try making a "traditional" starter 24 +or- hours ahead on your next batch, keep everything else the same and see what the effect is. If it changes nothing, particularly no off flavor from stressed yeast....just keep doing what you are doing. If it works....

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