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Old 02-08-2009, 11:49 AM   #1
Sumo
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Default Making a All Grain Based Starter

Good Morning,



Has anyone treid to make a starter from grain? I have a small steel pot with a steel handle. I was thinking of mashing in the pot and heating my oven to 150 degrees. After doughing in I was going to put the pot in the oven and let it sit for the duration of the mash. Then sparge it into a larger pot and boil down to a gallon.



Thoughts, suggestions?

-Albert





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Recipe: Starter Batch
Brewer: Sumo
Asst Brewer:
Style: Starter
TYPE: All Grain
Taste: (35.0)

Recipe Specifications
--------------------------
Batch Size: 0.50 gal
Boil Size: 0.79 gal
Estimated OG: 1.055 SG
Estimated Color: 3.9 SRM
Estimated IBU: 0.0 IBU
Brewhouse Efficiency: 75.00 %
Boil Time: 15 Minutes

Ingredients:
------------
Amount Item Type % or IBU
1 lbs Pale Malt (2 Row) US (2.0 SRM) Grain 100.00 %


Mash Schedule: Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Total Grain Weight: 1.00 lb
----------------------------
Single Infusion, Full Body, Batch Sparge
Step Time Name Description Step Temp
45 min Mash In Add 1.25 qt of water at 161.4 F 150.0 F

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Old 02-08-2009, 12:06 PM   #2
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You can certainly do it, but it isn't exactly as convenient as using DME. You can make a larger batch, chill and collect in a few 1 liter PET bottles and stuff it into the back of the fridge. Whenever you want to get a starter going, dump one into a pot, boil 10 minutes to sanitize, chill, pitch yeast.

If I were going to do an all grain batch for a starter, that's what I would do.

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Old 02-08-2009, 12:28 PM   #3
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+1 Bobby... that is what I have done in the past. Saves on buying DME... Otherwise I dont see the point in doing a msh for a starter, since that wort wont really be going into your brew anyway.

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Old 02-08-2009, 12:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumo View Post
Recipe Specifications
Estimated OG: 1.055 SG
Total Grain Weight: 1.00 lb

45 min Mash In Add 1.25 qt of water at 161.4 F 150.0 F
If you decide to go through with it, you should either make the mash thinner, or water it down with boiled and cooled water to get the OG down near 1.040. Higher gravity starters stress the yeast. The benefit of that is that you will end up with more starter to save for another time.
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Old 02-08-2009, 12:34 PM   #5
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I did a small (2 gallon total volume) mash just the other day for this same reason. I needed to make a stater for this weekends brew, plus I bottled and froze about 4 more quarts for later. I have hundreds of pounds of grains sitting around and a bit of free time, so I did not see the use in buying DME.

When you mash in that pot, put the lid on, you will be surprised how well it will hold temp.

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Old 02-08-2009, 12:35 PM   #6
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You can also pull some wort off a batch while your putting it in the fermenters. If it's SG is too high, dilute with boiled water. You get even more that way.

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Old 02-08-2009, 12:38 PM   #7
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Thats sounds like a good idea. I have a bunch of PET bottles kicking around from my Mr Beer kits. I have over 200 lbs of grain on hand. I bought three 55 lbs of 2 row and two 55lbs of marris otter. With all that grain on hand I didnt feel like springing for DME. How long do you think the stuff will keep in the bottles in the fridge?

After what I just read maybe I will freeze it.

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Old 02-08-2009, 12:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sumo View Post
How long do you think the stuff will keep in the bottles in the fridge?
After what I just read maybe I will freeze it.
Here is my take, please correct me if wrong. If you can pressure can the wort, it is sterile and could be stored at room temp. indefinitely. If you cannot do that, boiling will kill all the beer spoilage bugs. One bug that you can't kill by simply boiling is botulism. And botulism can live in the sweet wort in the fridge, eat the sugar, and secrete toxin. This toxin cannot be removed by re-boiling either. In normal beer the botulism is quickly suppressed as the yeast drop the pH in the beer, but this is not happening in the starter wort.

If you freeze it, this is not an issue.

This is essentially the deal with canned tomatoes vs. green beans. Botulism thrives in green beans, and if not pressure canned correctly, can make people sick. With tomatoes, it is not so much an issue because the pH is so low.

But one thing I am not sure of is the time course, so someone else will have to chime in on that.
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Old 02-08-2009, 01:31 PM   #9
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I have also read that if you add some hops to the starter the oils in them will help prevent botulism.

Personally I am not sure that I would risk it without being able to pressure cook the wort.

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Old 02-08-2009, 01:36 PM   #10
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I ran a bit larger mash for a brewday and pulled some off to a seperate conatiner. Put that in bomber bottles and froze them. When I need to do starter now, I thaw the bottle, add water to desired amount and boil for 15 - 20 min. Cool, put in my flask and the yeast get real happy.

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