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Old 08-15-2008, 05:19 PM   #1
Stubru
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Default Mutliple Starters/Batches

Next weekend I have the task of brewing four 5 gallon (I need bigger equipement!!) batches for a Wedding and 60th Birthday party in October. The end result should be 20 gallons of the same brew, with consistent flavor throughout.

I was going to get starters going on Monday or Tuesday, but can decide if I should make 1 large starter, and divide amoung the 4 batches, or just stick to 4 little starters? I have 3 vails of California V that I will be splitting between the 4 (LHBS ran out).

The other question that I have: Is it worth the effort as I move from primary to secondary and to bottling to combine the batches?

Thanks for any input,

Stu

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Old 08-15-2008, 05:55 PM   #2
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As far as the starter goes. Make the one big starter and then split between the batches when you pitch. Be sure to mix up well before pitching.

I don't know if it would be worth the effort. Most people's beer drinking tastes aren't defined enough to be able to tell the difference. The only way to get consistant taste across the board and to possibly make it worth effort of mixing would be to have a 20 gallon vessel from which you can bottle and/or keg from after you have mixed all four batches in it.

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Old 08-15-2008, 06:27 PM   #3
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I would think you could get a semi consistent mix by siphoning all four carboys into the same vessel at the same time. When that one fills up, crimp the siphons and move to the second carboy until they are all transferred. That way, each secondary will have the 1/4 of the beer from each primary. Not exact, but pretty close.

Actually, it might be better to wait til bottling time and use the same technique. Or you could just not worry about it.

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Old 08-15-2008, 06:42 PM   #4
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+1 for don't worry about the differences

+1 for make a big starter with one of the vials(save the other two for future brews) if you have a container suitable for a big starter.

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Old 08-15-2008, 08:22 PM   #5
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I've done 2 batches (5g each) of the same brew and combined them, half of each in each cornie to achieve consistent flavor...

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Old 08-16-2008, 02:10 AM   #6
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For what it is worth I brew 2 11 gallon batches almost every time I brew. Yeast is always the first thing I get going before brew day.

My yeast starting begins with 1 vial of WL into 1-1000ml jar of extract. Then I split that into 2-1000ml jars - 500ml into each one. I use a pressure cooker to sterilize the extract in the jars.

After 24 hours I bring the temp down to 35F-40F for 12 to 24 hours. Then I have perfect pitches in the bottom of each jar for 1- 5.5 gallon carboy. I like to discard almost all the beer from the jar leaving just enough to help create a slurry.

I have great results with this for an average SG with aggressive yeasts like the CAL series.

There are so many great ways that work for people with different requirements.

I hope this helps.

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Old 08-16-2008, 02:21 AM   #7
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Seems I remember reading that yeast grows faster in small starters that are doubled a couple of times, but it really shouldn't matter. When I do my hop experiment ales I make a big starter for 10 gallon batch split the batch into 2 fermenters then mix the 1 big starter into 1/2 gallon of fresh wort and pour 1/2 into each fermenter. Since the yeast is mixed into a larger volume then split I think you get a more even distribution of yeast. Four smaller starters as you suggested will take more equipment and what if 1-2 weren't as prolific as the others. You would end up with batches that didn't quite taste the same due to slower fermentation takeoff. Although I doubt if most people would notice it, especially if you tapped one keg at a time.

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Old 08-16-2008, 03:55 AM   #8
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Never have had a problem with carboys being different from one another.

For my starters I fill all the jars up with 1000ml of water and extract, put the pressure cooker on the stove, about an hour to heat up and hold for 20-30 min at temp and let cool.

Pitch yeast in the 1st jar. Let ferment or split right away. Split again then cool.

I like this because each jar is equal and a good pitch rate for each carboy. I have thought about one big starter, but do not like the idea of pouring one batch of yeast into 4 carboys. The small jars make the handling of each pitch easy and I fell more prescience.

Just one mans way. This is just easy for me and works.

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Old 08-16-2008, 05:19 AM   #9
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I didn't mean the carboys would be different. How many people have smacked yeast packs and had one be a dud. Or just slower to take off. Different yeast concentrations or reproductive abilities will affect the taste. The OP is trying for several batches that are consistent. Therefore one batch of yeast would give a more consistent profile assuming that each batch of wort was the same.

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"I've got a fever... and the only prescription is, MORE CARBOYS!"
primary- Tangerine Dream, SWMBO slayer,
serving- amber ale hop experiment #6, Roggenbier, apfelwine
planning- Cru?
conditioning- 9/9/09 barleywine
Drink water?... Never, fish fornicate in it.--- W.C. Fields
Most problems can be solved with the proper application of force.
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Old 08-16-2008, 07:46 PM   #10
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Each jar has the same yeast count and growth. That makes it consistant for all the pitches.

As a good brewer one would observe the ferment to make sure it followed the normal and expected condition of fermentation. If it did...use it on brew day....if not...don't.

That is the beauty of building up the yeast for more than one batch; you get to watch the growth to insure you have good yeast populations for your specific needs.

Like I said...been doing it....works very well..and is just how I like to run my ferments.

If I had my choice I would harvest off of a conical tank after the trub has been blown off and just as the ferment finishes. Then stored in a yeast brink at 0 deg C and pitched using all triclover parts through a real beer hose.

I like your pictures Beerthirty! Did you take them?

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