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Old 02-22-2007, 01:12 PM   #1
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Default Stepping up a starter

Does anyone have a good method of making a big starter over several days using a stir plate? I mean a good step by step procedure that even a tard like me can follow? I have O2 system, stir plate and flasks and just need help on the proper use of making a big starter for an 1.08 Ipa

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Old 02-22-2007, 01:39 PM   #2
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I can't be of much help and I don't mean to hijack your thread, but I was pondering the possibility of making a mini 2 or 3 gallon batch of small beer and then directly pitching the yeast into a larger beer. Sorta like the AG guys do with the runnings from the MLT, but instead of salvaging extra hot liquor, you salvage the extra yeast, pitch it into the big beer, then do an early racking to secondary for the little beer...

The idea being that the little beer is just a biggish starter and, whatever you get out of it in terms of beer is better than nothing... and better than pitching it in the big beer and dilluting it.

Of course, then you have to have another brew day in advance, but that's a little one that you could do with a partial boil on your stovetop with just a little DME or whatever...

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Old 02-22-2007, 03:53 PM   #3
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Here is a good link on the topic:

http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter6-5.html

Just scroll down to the section on Making a Liquid Yeast Starter. Your procedure should be the same, except that you will be using a flask and stirring plate to speed it up a bit. You can also oxygenate at the START of the process, which isn't described in the article.

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Old 02-22-2007, 03:59 PM   #4
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There is probably a better way, but...

I bought a 1 lb kicker at LHBS (duh, I could have used runnings from the MLT!) and divided that into eight portions. I keep 'em frozen in little tupperware-like containers until I need 'em.

When ready to make a starter, I fill my Erlenmeyer flask about 3/4 full of water and boil for about 15 mins. I just put it right on the burner. It will boil over, but it's only water, and it gets the boiling water over the lip.

Then, using silicon-tipped tongs, I pour out most of the water (I measure with two fingers--just eyeball it), and then add the bit of frozen malt. Boil again for about 15 mins. All this boiling sanitizes the flask and the malt. (Some people add hops to this mini wort. I don't. You don't need flavor here, just fermentables.)

Let cool on its own down to pitching temp. Then flame-sterilize the lip/spout of the flask. Pitch yeast. Give a gentle swirl. Put on sanitized stopper and airlock. Place on stirplate (or just swirl gently a few times a day). Wait till you have enough to pitch in a full-sized batch, 3-5 days. You'll need to flame-sterilize the lip/spout again before pouring out the starter.

If you have a large flask you can add more wort/malt (as long as it's been boiled and cooled) after a day or two. Remember to flame-sterilize the lip every time you take off the stopper. Or, if you have multiple flasks, just have two going at once. Rotate them 12 hrs each on the stirplate, unless you have one for both.

I used to do this religiously until I got behind on my brew schedule (work! you know how it is) and forgot to make my starter for a strong scottish I was waiting to brew. Brew day came, and I had to brew--I wasn't going to have a chance for another two weeks. Got impatient. I just aerated the heck out of the wort, pitched from the vial. Had a strong fermentation. OG was 1.074.

But if you have an O2 system, and a stirplate, then, wow, you should have one helluva starter and a great fermentation. Good luck.

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Old 02-22-2007, 05:29 PM   #5
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These methods just seem to be a simple starter. I want to start with a vial of 100 billion cells and growth it to 300-350 billoin cells. I need to learn how to step it up over several days and adding new wort to it.

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Old 02-22-2007, 06:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brew-boy
These methods just seem to be a simple starter. I want to start with a vial of 100 billion cells and growth it to 300-350 billoin cells. I need to learn how to step it up over several days and adding new wort to it.
Read to the bottom of Palmer's article. He talks about building up starters using successive additions of wort.
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Old 02-22-2007, 07:07 PM   #7
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I've been doing just that on my starters. I have a 1000 ml Erlenmyer. I usually start with about 700 ml of filtered water and boil with 1/2 cup DME, yeast nutrient and a couple of hop pellets, not for flavor, but for their anti-bacterial effect. I chill the flask to RT, oxygenate and pitch from the smack pack or tube. I have not gotten around to a stirplate yet, so I just pick up the flask and swirl it every time I walk by. After 2 days or when the fluid begins to clear, I chill the flask in the fridge to get as much yeast as possible to settle out. I then boil up another 700 ml or so of wort as above and chill it to room temp and oxygenate. I then pour off the fluid from the flask. (Don't spill any solids.) Re-fill the flask with the new wort and swirl some more. You can repeat this until you get the amount of yeast solids you think you will need. I just brewed a high gravity extract Wee Heavy and cooled it down to 65 F and pitched my starter with about 100 ml of solids. I kept the fermenter cool, still at less than 70 F and it was bubbling and foaming away the next morning.

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Old 02-22-2007, 11:35 PM   #8
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For making starters, I have found the two following two links very helpful.
I think it was BrewPastor that originally posted them.

They are:
http://www.mrmalty.com/pitching.php
and
http://maltosefalcons.com/tech/MB_Ra..._Culturing.php

-a.

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Old 02-23-2007, 12:28 AM   #9
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One other way is to make a 5 gallon starter, then bottle and drink the used up wort Save the resulting yeast cake.

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Old 02-23-2007, 01:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eviltwinofjoni
One other way is to make a 5 gallon starter, then bottle and drink the used up wort Save the resulting yeast cake.
Well said. The best method of all!

or alternatively: entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem
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