Ss Brewing Technologies Giveaway!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > 1st Brew - Yeast starter?
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 02-07-2010, 01:31 PM   #1
BrewN42
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Upper Sandusky, OH
Posts: 4
Default 1st Brew - Yeast starter?

My lovely assistant and I will be crafting our 1st brew today from a Midwest supplies kit (Irish Stout). We activated our Wyeast (1084 Irish Ale) a couple of days ago. After a ponderous bit of reading it has been suggested (mainly John Palmer) that even with a liquid yeast, one should create a yeast starter. Unfortunately, we do not have any dry malt extract for a yeast starter as our resident home brew supply shop was snowed in yesterday. I have 2 questions that I was hoping someone could help with; a) is a yeast starter really important if brewing with a liquid yeast and, b) if it is, is there a substitute nutrient (ie - a touch of malt extract, hint of sugar, etc...). Thanks, any suggestions would help to allay a newbies apprehension. Bottoms up!

__________________
BrewN42 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-07-2010, 01:43 PM   #2
ardentfrost
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 85
Default

I've only used the dry yeast and White Labs up to this point (I don't think my LHBS even carries Wyeast) and I've found that without a starter, the White Labs liquid yeast has a pretty significant lag time. I've heard Wyeast isn't much better, but again, I have no first hand account of that.

I try to make a starter every time now, especially when I'm using White Labs, but I'll admit that sometimes I forget. If I have no way to make a starter I just aerate really well, make absolute sure everything is sanitized well, and plan to not see any bubbles for two days (if I see bubbles sooner, all the better, but I expect two days with it).

People have said you can also make a starter from Malta Goya, which is a non-alcoholic carbonated soft drink made from barley and hops. You can often find that at the grocery store. However, since you're brewing today, you won't have enough time anyway.

__________________
ardentfrost is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-07-2010, 01:50 PM   #3
danielinva
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Henrico, VA
Posts: 259
Default

If you don't have any extract to use, just go with the smack pack alone. It's not ideal, but it will still get the job done. Just don't use any simple sugars for your starter, it will make them lazy by teaching them to eat sucrose rather than maltose.

__________________
danielinva is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-07-2010, 02:07 PM   #4
mr_bell
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 394
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

IMO, a yeast starter definitely helps in terms of producing better beer. One of the keys to a great beer is pitching an adequate amount of healthy yeast. The need for a starter is dependent on the OG of the beer: the higher the gravity, the more yeast that's necessary and hence the need to increase the amount of yeast cells with a starter.

That said, this is your first batch, don't worry about it, have fun and enjoy the experience. Use the smack pack alone. I've done it many times and the beer comes out fine. As you gain experience and get the desire to make the best beer possible, then you will want to use starters.

Cheers

__________________
mr_bell is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-07-2010, 02:18 PM   #5
BrewN42
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Upper Sandusky, OH
Posts: 4
Default

Thanks, we were thinking about canning the brew for today but with your info., it appears as though we can get by with the 'unstarted' liquid yeast (which is already activated). We don't generally have time for a brew in the evenings and #3 son's wrestling schedule will preclude brewing over the next 3 weekends, rendering the existing yeast useless. Sounds like "all's a go for lift-off, Houston". Thanks again for the input!

__________________
BrewN42 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-07-2010, 02:26 PM   #6
BrewN42
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Upper Sandusky, OH
Posts: 4
Default

The kit suggest a fairly high OG of 1.042-1.046. Still think we're OK w/o the yeast starter?

__________________
BrewN42 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-07-2010, 02:30 PM   #7
EvilGnome6
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 678
Liked 9 Times on 9 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewN42 View Post
The kit suggest a fairly high OG of 1.042-1.046. Still think we're OK w/o the yeast starter?
I would consider that a fairly low OG. Once you're over 1.060 I wouldn't recommend pitching without a starter. Mid 1.040s should be just fine.
__________________
EvilGnome6 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-07-2010, 02:57 PM   #8
BrewN42
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Upper Sandusky, OH
Posts: 4
Default

Thanks, still learning. Your gallery suggests you've been at this for a while. Appreciate the input & feel much better about going forward this afternoon. Only issue now is anticipation of the finished product.

__________________
BrewN42 is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 02-07-2010, 05:33 PM   #9
mr_bell
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 394
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrewN42 View Post
The kit suggest a fairly high OG of 1.042-1.046. Still think we're OK w/o the yeast starter?
I like to use the Mr. Malty (www.mrmalty.com) pitching rate calculator for determining the size of a starter. Per this, @ 1.044 OG, your looking at 155 billion cells in 5 gals wort, just over a 1 liter (1.09L) simple starter. Wyeast packs have about 100 billion cells I believe. This for an ale, of course, not a lager.

It should be fine without the starter. Once you start to refine your process these are things to take into consideration; the pitching rate calculator is a great tool IMO.
__________________
mr_bell is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pitch Yeast Starter - Whole Thing Or Swirl Just Yeast doggage General Techniques 5 04-22-2010 06:59 PM
Cancelled Brew date/ yeast starter question Jzak09 Fermentation & Yeast 8 01-12-2010 02:07 AM
Poor yeast starter OR no yeast starter? amh0001 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 11-26-2009 11:40 AM
Question on Yeast Starter Procedure in Brew Wiki chefchris General Techniques 4 11-08-2008 09:53 PM
Yeast starter question. Won't have time to brew how to keep for another week? mgable General Techniques 2 04-03-2008 10:18 PM