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Old 12-14-2011, 01:14 AM   #1
Scooba
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Default 1st Attempt at a Starter

Hey guys! I'm about make my 1st yeast starter but i have a couple of questions first. I also for the first time threw together a recipe on BeerSmith. I'm shooting for a Honey Nut Brown Ale. The software is giving me an OG of 1.067. I plan on doing a 2L starter. My starter kit came with some yeast nutrient. Do I smack the yeast pack or just pour the yeast only? Also, I plan on brewing Thursday afternoon. Is it too early to do the starter tonight(Tuesday)?

Thanks in advance!!

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Old 12-14-2011, 01:27 AM   #2
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If you do not have a stirplate start it now. You should be at or near high krausen for Thursday. Not too early. If anything it should go longer.

I always activate the nutrients in the smack pack and also add a bit of nutrient also. I feel it cannot hurt.

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Old 12-14-2011, 01:48 AM   #3
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i don't mean to be a downer, but you (assuming you are doing a 5 gallon batch) don't want to pitch an entire 2L starter into a batch. That's too high of a starter to wort ratio.

I try to stay around 5% of the total volume max.

The correct way would be to do your starter, cool and decant that liquid off. So if you have already started it, oxygenate that starter until Wednesday night, and then crash cool (in the refrigerator) until a few hours before you need to pitch, decant the liquid to about 900 mL (again assuming 5 gallon batch) and allow to warm to pitching temp.

Ideally, you would give this process more than a couple of days, but you get the picture. It will still work out well!

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Old 12-14-2011, 01:53 AM   #4
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I would recommend starting 1L starter on Wednesday evening. You want to pitch that thing at high krausen. Your yeast don't have a ton of food to eat in that starter. They will be done in no time. Wyeast recommends keeping it under a day.

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Old 12-14-2011, 02:46 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jwood View Post
i don't mean to be a downer, but you (assuming you are doing a 5 gallon batch) don't want to pitch an entire 2L starter into a batch. That's too high of a starter to wort ratio.

I try to stay around 5% of the total volume max.

The correct way would be to do your starter, cool and decant that liquid off. So if you have already started it, oxygenate that starter until Wednesday night, and then crash cool (in the refrigerator) until a few hours before you need to pitch, decant the liquid to about 900 mL (again assuming 5 gallon batch) and allow to warm to pitching temp.

Ideally, you would give this process more than a couple of days, but you get the picture. It will still work out well!
I would follow this method but I would decant all of the liquid. To get all of the yeast, I add a little cooled down wort of the brew you just made to your starter, swirl and pitch. There is no way in hell I would add any amount of mL. of starter wort to my beer. Maybe I'm splitting hairs but why add a bunch of crappy starter wort to a specific recipe you may have created when it's not necessary?
Do the starter on Tuesday for a Thursday brew day.
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:57 AM   #6
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So by cool crashing, the yeast separates from the liquid? Is this what decanting involves?

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Old 12-14-2011, 03:06 AM   #7
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Why can't you throw the whole starter mix in the primary? What if it is the same dme as the beer recipe and you calculate the amount in with the recipe?

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Old 12-14-2011, 03:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooba View Post
So by cool crashing, the yeast separates from the liquid? Is this what decanting involves?
You got it.
By Wednesday night your starter will be done so then you can stick it in the frig. Bring it out a few hours before you pitch on brew day. All of the yeast will be settled out on the bottom. Dump the clear amberish liquid on top after you remove from the frig and then let it warm up.
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:13 AM   #9
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Why can't you throw the whole starter mix in the primary? What if it is the same dme as the beer recipe and you calculate the amount in with the recipe?
You can do this......if your properly made 1.040 starter happens to match a 1.040 brew you are doing. Most people make larger gravity beers which means you are slightly diluting your beer. It's not a big deal to do that but most people that are formulating their own recipe with precise numbers will not want to mess up the beer with diluted starter wort. Especially when it's not necessary. JMO.
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolverinebrewer View Post
You can do this......if your properly made 1.040 starter happens to match a 1.040 brew you are doing. Most people make larger gravity beers which means you are slightly diluting your beer. It's not a big deal to do that but most people that are formulating their own recipe with precise numbers will not want to mess up the beer with diluted starter wort. Especially when it's not necessary. JMO.
So if you are talking about total water, extract, and hops being on target then the answer is "yes". I just don't like to waste something that could be part of my recipe. I was thinking people tossed it because it may affect the fermentation process.
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