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-   -   4 Liters for Yeast Starter?? Is this right? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/4-liters-yeast-starter-right-380603/)

Mofoa 01-11-2013 05:25 PM

4 Liters for Yeast Starter?? Is this right?
This is the my first time making a yeast starter and I plan on brewing a Pilsner over the weekend.

After checking both mrmalty and yeastcalc, it's telling me I need roughly 4.4-4.4 of yeast starter with one smack pack.

Here is my possible issue right now, since I am new to the tools referenced above, I wasn't 100% sure how to use the tool, and after playing around with it, I concluded that in order to get to around 350B yeast cells (as told my both tools), that I would need to triple my smack pack (100B cells) by making a 3L of starter--using 300 grams of DME and 3L of water for simplicity sake.

Today, I am back to playing with the tools and I "think" I need 4.2-4.4 Liters of starter using one smack pack. Does this sound right?

Using Wyeast 2278 (Czeck Pils) with an projected O.G. of 1.047.

Thanks in advance...

whoaru99 01-11-2013 05:59 PM

I came up with ~5L back dating the yeast a little bit on Mr. Malty (1.047 and 5.25 gal).

A couple of the other calculators suggest a step up starting with something like 1L then going to 2-3L.

sweetcell 01-11-2013 06:07 PM

http://yeastcalc.com/ is a useful tool for calculating step-ups.

lagers need about twice the amount of yeast that ales do, so i'm not too surprised at that number.

on mrmalty, don't forget to choose the aeration method that you'll be using. if you have a stir-plate, the size of starter required will be smaller.

PJoyce85 01-11-2013 06:08 PM

That is totally possible depending on production date and assumed viability. Just make sure you don't pitch the entire starter into the wort!!

fall-line 01-11-2013 06:18 PM

You may already know all this, but.. To elaborate on PJoyce85's comment (which is correct), after your starter has done it's job and you have a nice big yeast population, you'll want to let the yeast settle out to the bottom and then decant off the liquid above before pitching.

For example, if you are using a stir plate just shut it off 2-3 hours before you intend to pitch, and let the yeast settle. Discard the lighter liquid (it's weak beer) on top, and then swirl up the yeast slurry at the bottom to pitch.

It's often tempting when using only a 1L starer or so to pour in the whole thing.. Which is probably ok, but obviously that wouldn't be a good idea with 4L.

fall-line 01-11-2013 06:19 PM

Also, welcome to the forums. Good first post!

sweetcell 01-11-2013 06:21 PM


Originally Posted by fall-line (Post 4774613)
For example, if you are using a stir plate just shut it off 2-3 hours before you intend to pitch, and let the yeast settle. Discard the lighter liquid (it's weak beer) on top, and then swirl up the yeast slurry at the bottom to pitch.

i've never made a lager starter so maybe the yeast is more flocculent, but 2-3 hours doesn't seem like enough to get it to floc out. i find i have to cold-crash in the fridge for 24-48 hours before i get a good separation between beer and yeast sludge.

fall-line 01-11-2013 06:24 PM

Yeah you are right, thanks sweetcell. I've done pretty well with 'a few hours' but after re-considering I retract my earlier statement. Do this on the morning of brew day, or the night before and you should be good.

PJoyce85 01-11-2013 06:42 PM

Just like Myth Busters:

*Warning: Scientific Content*

After 1-2 days, the starter should be finished. Once this is complete, turn off the stir plate (if you are using one). Let the yeast settle for about 12 hours. This will allow the yeast to build up their glycogen reserves. Place in the fridge and let the rest of the yeast fall out. Take out about a day before brewing and let warm. Decant and pitch. I have never had a yeast issue using that procedure

Mofoa 01-11-2013 06:51 PM

Thank you all for the multiple quick responses. Having never done a yeast starter before, I did review several "yeast starter" posts as well as viewed several other How To videos on YT. Good thing I came to this site as there were some good posts on what to do AFTER making the yeast starter--which is good because until today, I thought all I had to do was dump the entire mixture ( wort + yeast) into the fermentor. So thanks for validating that. :mug:

Given Ive' gone ahead and made the 3L of yeast starter last night based on my original assumptions--I see now that I forgot to mention that in original post--what's the recommended way to increase my total volume to 4L? Smack pack is less than 10 days old--so some very fresh stuff.

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