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Old 03-25-2012, 02:02 AM   #1
kramberry20
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I am getting ready to start my 3rd All Grain batch. The last 2 I havent worried about a yeast starter I just dumped in my WYeast packet. I just picked up one of the liquid Vials for my next brew and wanted to know about a starter. Can I use one of my Previous brews as the starting medium (i'm making the same style brew) vs. making a starter wort as I have no extract. Just a thought

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Old 03-25-2012, 02:31 AM   #2
JWest
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As long as it's unfermented, that's fine. Obviously, once it's fermented, there's nothing left for the yeast to eat. I'm sure that's not what you were asking, but when I read this I initially thought of you pouring a homebrew into a flask and pitching the yeast :-).

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Old 03-25-2012, 04:57 AM   #3
kramberry20
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can i use the wort from a previous batch is what i should have said. In other words how long will my previous wort be viable if refrigerated or should I just get some extract and not worry about it. I havent had any problems with pitching straight from the packets and is it worth the risk of added contamination possibilities with making the starter yeast

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Old 03-25-2012, 02:44 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kramberry20
can i use the wort from a previous batch is what i should have said. In other words how long will my previous wort be viable if refrigerated or should I just get some extract and not worry about it. I havent had any problems with pitching straight from the packets and is it worth the risk of added contamination possibilities with making the starter yeast
Appropriate pitching rates and temperature control are the two biggest improvements in beer quality after sanitation...my opinion based on great advice here on HBT and from reading, etc. I'm sure others would offer different opinions.

If you have good sanitation practices, yeast starters are almost always a good idea. If I recall correctly, there is enough healthy yeast for a 1.048 beer in the Wyeastlab and White Labs containers. If your projected OG is above that you'll most definitely benefit from a yeast starter or from pitching more than one pack of yeast.

There are good posts on starters here, and I'd encourage you to use the Mr Malty pitching rate calculator.

Cheers
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Old 03-25-2012, 03:51 PM   #5
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+1 to everything kcpup said

What we are doing here, homebrewing, isn't an exact science but if you want to produce the best beer you possibly can the three biggest things you can do for yourself are:

1) Do your due diligence to make sure your sanitation is up to snuff. Clean and sanitize the hell out of everything, twice if you need to. Replace your soft plastics like hoses often.

2) Get yourself good fermentation control. sitting the carboy in the cool closet with a wet t shirt and fan won't do in this day and age.

3) Pitch appropriate amounts of healthy yeast.

If you can get a grip on these three things, you've capture the ability to make not just good beer but likely award winning beer.

Oh and by the way. I kept some extra wort from a Hefe I did last summer and used it to prime a few weeks later, it seemed fine. I knocked it out into some sanitized mason jars before cooling my wort, capped the mason jars and cooled them quickly. I don't see the problem with keeping some wort around for a while as long as you've treated it right. I'd try to snag some before my first hop addition but you want to let it boil for a little while too. I'm sure you could manage this with a small change in process and planning. DME is just a really cheap and easy way to make starters.

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