Originally Posted by cbird01
Eric - I never made a starter before so I am looking for direction. I read threads and there is all sorts of opinions. I was just going to do 1/2 cup DME to 1 quart water - boil 10min - cool down - pitch to foil covered jug. Let this go for 24 hours prior to brew day and pitch the whole quart. Not sure if this qualifies as a "Big" starter.
The 7 days was just in the primary. Secondary fermentation is 1 month.
Here's how I do a starter:
Take a clean 3000 (preferred for this size) erlenmyer flask
and add a measured amount of water. According to Mr. Malty's Pitching Rate Calculator
you need approximately the following starter (as long as your yeast is somewhat fresh) for this beer:
367 billion yeast cells
4.1 vials needed without starter
2 vials needed with starter
There is an article on the Mr. Malty site
about why you should use a starter and FAQ about starters. He can explain it better than I can.
There are a few ways to calculate DME needed plus water needed, but this is the easiest. You need 10g of DME per 100mL of water. I would measure out about 2200mL of warm tap water (about 200mL will be boiled off) and place it in a mixing bowl. Add 200g of pale or extra pale DME and mix with a whisk. This is a good time to add Fermcap-s or any other product to reduce foaming. Pour (with a funnel) into the flask. Boil at the lowest heat setting possible for 10-15 minutes. Keep your oven mitt on. DO NOT WALK AWAY. Boilovers are not fun. Just Sayin.
Once you are done boiling, place flask in the sink place sanitized foil loosely over top. Add ice and water to stoppered sink to cool flask. After about 20 minutes, you should be able to touch the flask easily and it should not feel warm at all. I don't take the temperature, but if it feels room temp to me, it probably is. Add two vials or packs of Cal Ale yeast. Replace sanitized foil. Swirl starter in flask to mix. Place somewhere out of direct sunlight (sunlight doesn't matter, but you don't want it to warm up too much). Swirl frequently (once an hour if you can). After 24-36 hours, the yeast has built up about as much as it can. You are now ready to pitch. You can either pitch the whole thing (nothing wrong with that) or chill the starter for about 24 hours, decant the wort, and just pour the yeast.
This is a big beer and will need time on the yeast to fully ferment. It will take at least a week for fermentation to complete. Once the krausen falls, let the beer sit on the yeast for the same amount of time. For example,
if it takes 8 days for the krausen to fall, let it sit another 8 days.
Take a hydrometer reading. If you have hit (or nearly hit) your FG, rack to a secondary. With this big of a beer, bulk conditioning in a secondary or keg may be helpful and won't be harmful (as long as you take care to be very clean and reduce oxidation as much as possible). I would keep it in secondary for 3 weeks. Then rack to keg or bottles and put them somewhere cool and dark for 6 months and forget about the beer. Don't taste it. You will hate yourself later for drinking a green beer and wasting what will be a special beer when you could have had it after 1, 2, or 3 years when it is much better.
I am not saying this is what you have to do, but this is what I would do.