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Old 03-01-2009, 09:11 PM   #1
Chris_in_Utah
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Default Extra wort after the sparge. What to do with it?

When I mashed and sparged my last batch, I came up with about 2 more gallons of wort than will fit in my brew pot. So here is the thing. Is there any significant issue with using the extra runoff to top off the kettle as the wort evaporates?

Chris

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Old 03-01-2009, 09:15 PM   #2
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If your goal is to achieve a certain gravity, then yes. But if you are just trying to make some beer and don't really care what gravity/ABV you will end up with then go ahead. You can just boil longer or not, its homebrew

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Old 03-01-2009, 10:02 PM   #3
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Hell, try to store it in a sterile environment with no yeast and you've got some starter batches.

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Old 03-02-2009, 11:58 AM   #4
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I actually account for some extra, save around 1gal and freeze. Thaw and boil for starters - sometimes adding a little DME to get the right gravity. It's saved a lot of $ on buying DME.

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Old 03-02-2009, 04:28 PM   #5
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now thats a great idea....I have some leftover runnings that I don't want to waste

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Old 03-02-2009, 05:11 PM   #6
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Save that valuable wort for starters!


I do the same thing. During the boil, I add a couple more gallons to the mashtun grist and let it set for awhile. I then put these final "final" runnings into growlers to cool. After it cools, I take a gravity reading and put it into 1 gallon Ziplock bags and freeze. I mark the date, volume, and gravity on the bag and then pull these out, thaw, boil and make a starter. The bigger beer you are making, naturally the bigger (higher gravity) these "final runnings" are. Basically free starters! My gravity on this starter wort this time was 1.030 - perfect. Even if the gravity is lower, you can always boil down some of the volume or as was stated above, add a small amount of DME to get the starter gravity to the desired level.

This will save a TON of money. It takes a LOT of yeast to properly ferment a 25 gallon batch. Which means a BIG starter and a lot of DME.

For example, if I used two vials from whitelabs or two wyeast smackpacks, then created multiple starters (make starter / ferment / settle in fridge / decant / larger starter, repeat). Took almost 3 gallons total starter (and almost 3 lbs. of DME @$13) to get enough yeast.

I also collect yeast from the first generation out of the fermenter to be used in future batches. Also will dump on the yeast cake when possible.

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Old 06-26-2011, 04:46 PM   #7
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Bumping an old thread instead of making a new topic. Still figuring out the efficiency on my new system (and drastically under estimating). Am averaging 1-1.7 gallons of extra wort. If I were to freeze this, about how long would it last? I love the idea of using it for starters, but we only brew about once a month. Will this be ok? Does gravity matter for starters? The seconds runnings are surprisingly higher in gravity than I thought they would be (AG newbie). Thanks!

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Old 06-29-2011, 12:17 PM   #8
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I've used frozen wort months past the initial freezing. Gravity does matter, as too high or low can stress the yeast in various ways - IMHO, you should be shooting for a starter around 1.050, and sometimes even closer to the the planned OG of your actual batch in order to minimize shock.

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Old 06-29-2011, 12:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cactusgarrett View Post
I've used frozen wort months past the initial freezing. Gravity does matter, as too high or low can stress the yeast in various ways - IMHO, you should be shooting for a starter around 1.050, and sometimes even closer to the the planned OG of your actual batch in order to minimize shock.
While I am sure this won't ruin your yeast everything I have read contradicts your line of reasoning.

Based on what I have read, this is not what you should be shooting for. They clearly state that you shouldn't be building starters more than 1.040, so you don't stress the yeast out. Rather the lower gravities are more beneficial (1.030-1.040) for good healthy and non stressed growth of the yeast.

I usually shoot for 1.040, but reuse extra wort and add more water to the mash tun just as these guys are describing as well.

Of course I say that, and routinely pillage my yeast cakes even if it was a high gravity IPA (1.070-1.080), wash the yeast, and reuse with no ill effect. Granted, I only wash yeast in those high gravity situations 2-3 times max before tossing.
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Old 06-29-2011, 01:08 PM   #10
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If you have a pressure cooker/canner you could can that wort (15psi for 15-20mins), this will allow you to have a STERILE starter that you can sit on a shelf at room temp to keep for starters. Just pour however many quarts you need in to your starter vessel, pitch your yeast and you're golden!

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