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Old 08-26-2013, 10:18 AM   #141
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Don't know if this has been brought up in this thread, but another item that must be discussed is the use of yeast nutrients. People sometimes complain that when they brew with extract, they get stuck fermentations, or that the beer attenuates poorly. I've noticed in the past that fermentation of my extract beers often take forever to start.

One reason for this is because during the process of turning freshly-made wort into malt extract, it loses a lot of the nutrients from mash. To combat this, you should use a yeast nutrient. I've been using them lately, and my fermentations take off like a rocket! They really make a huge difference.

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Old 08-26-2013, 01:38 PM   #142
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Agreed on the yeast nutrient. I've used it in my last two starters and brews. It's too cheap not to use.

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Old 08-26-2013, 08:27 PM   #143
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I have gotten into the practice of using yeast nutrients regularly. I also oxygenate at 1/8 LPM for about 1.5 minutes. I reused yeast for awhile, but I gave that up as my brews have 4-8 ounces of hops in general and typically have OG >1.070—less than optimal for reusing. Also, as my batches became more costly in terms of ingredients, I have been less willing to take chances.

I use dry yeast as it has a better cell count than liquid and is less fussy. I don't hesitate to throw in a few extra grams beyond the package using Mr Malty's yeast calculator. I also found an eBay seller that sells dry yeast in bundles of 5 for a good price and ships for free.

It's tough to say which one of these practices is most important, but I've been using these procedures regularly for the past few months. The batches have consistently been excellent. This isn't THE way, but it is my way. YMMV.

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Old 08-27-2013, 02:06 AM   #144
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Agreed, I always use yeast nutrient in a starter with a wee bit of extract thrown in for good measure. My dried yeast are already up and munching when I pitch, so they take hold in the wort right away. The only brew I have had a problem with fermentation sticking, I hadn't used nutrient or a starter. So it's an easy decision for me.

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Old 08-27-2013, 10:17 AM   #145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Voodoogruv View Post
Agreed, I always use yeast nutrient in a starter with a wee bit of extract thrown in for good measure. My dried yeast are already up and munching when I pitch, so they take hold in the wort right away. The only brew I have had a problem with fermentation sticking, I hadn't used nutrient or a starter. So it's an easy decision for me.
I don't think what you are describing is a starter in the way other people mean it. A starter is where you take a package of yeast and make what amounts to a very small batch of beer without the hops to increase the cell count of the yeast before pitching. You probably shouldn't make a starter for dry yeast. It is time consuming and more expensive than just buying another packet of dry yeast. Dry yeast is packaged so they are ready to go. This thread explains it much better than I have.
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Old 09-01-2013, 12:24 PM   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logan3825 View Post

I don't think what you are describing is a starter in the way other people mean it. A starter is where you take a package of yeast and make what amounts to a very small batch of beer without the hops to increase the cell count of the yeast before pitching. You probably shouldn't make a starter for dry yeast. It is time consuming and more expensive than just buying another packet of dry yeast. Dry yeast is packaged so they are ready to go. This thread explains it much better than I have.
+ 1. Most packets of dry are 2-3 dollars vs liquid which are typically 6-7 +.
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Old 09-01-2013, 07:06 PM   #147
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Quote:
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+ 1. Most packets of dry are 2-3 dollars vs liquid which are typically 6-7 +.
Another packet of dry yeast is less expensive than using DME to make a starter.
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Old 09-01-2013, 07:23 PM   #148
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logan3825

Another packet of dry yeast is less expensive than using DME to make a starter.
How much DME are you using to make a starter? A pack of dry yeast is what, $3-$4? A pound of DME is $4ish.

Wait, If your using dry yeast, you just need to rehydrate it. If your using liquid, then you need a starter.
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Old 09-01-2013, 09:36 PM   #149
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Dry yeast is processed in a way (I'll have to hunt for specific details) that it has the reserves it needs to get going. Dry yeast manufacturers discourage the use of starters. If you do make a starter with dry yeast, you should pay more attention to oxygenation and yeast nutrients (good practice anyway).

According to the Mr Malty calculator two 11.5 g packs of yeast provide enough for an OG Of 1.120. I usually brew ales with OG 1.075 and up. I generally pitch a pack of dry yeast along with a few extra grams depending on the yeast calculator recommendations.

When I work with a partial pack, I wash my hands, sanitize the scissors, and packet before opening. When done, I immediately fold up the packet with the left over yeast and store it in a ziplock bag, then throw it in a cool part of the refrigerator. Yeast manufacturers generally recommend a week maximum for storage of opened packets, but I've never had a problem with 2-3 weeks.

I have been running a small bakery on the side for well over a decade. I know that dry yeast manufacturer's recommendations are extremely conservative. That being said, beers yeast should be handled much more carefully than baking yeast.

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Old 09-02-2013, 12:00 AM   #150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KepowOb View Post
How much DME are you using to make a starter? A pack of dry yeast is what, $3-$4? A pound of DME is $4ish.

Wait, If your using dry yeast, you just need to rehydrate it. If your using liquid, then you need a starter.
My original response was to somebody talking about making a starter for dry yeast. Best case is that the money is a wash between making a starter and buying another packet of yeast. Add in the extra work, increased chance for contamination, and the fact that you may actually be reducing the viability of the yeast makes doing a starter with dry yeast is just bad practice.
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