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Old 04-23-2011, 12:54 AM   #1
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Default Brewing Northern Brewer Dead Ringer; Do I need a starter?

I will be brewing the Northern Brewer Dead Ringer IPA tomorrow. The recipe states that it will have an OG of 1.064. My Wyeast 1056 yeast states that it is good for wort up to 1.060 OG. Is the 0.004 that I am over as minuscule as it seems? Or am I crazy not to try this without a starter? Alternatively, could I hit up my LHBS in the morning for another bag of the same yeast and pitch the both of them and be good?

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Old 04-23-2011, 01:25 AM   #2
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Funny...I'm doing the same beer tomorrow. I'm doing a two-stage starter right now. Your beer will work without a starter, but you'd be better off with one. The yeast will be much more active, and there will be about triple the yeast cells, if you do a starter. This means the yeast will be less stressed and give you a better beer. I'd recommend one, but you'll end up with good beer without a starter.

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Old 04-23-2011, 01:56 AM   #3
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Obviously a starter is ideal, but I am a bit too late in the game to make my first starter (no starter making ingredients or equipment) and still be able to brew tomorrow.

I want this beer to turn out well and if I am better off pitching two packets of the yeast I can pick some more up in the morning. Would that be recommended or is it a bad idea to do that?

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Old 04-23-2011, 06:21 AM   #4
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Double pitching would work as cheap and quick peace of mind. Though like JWest said, it'll still work even if you don't double pitch or make a starter, and it will still be good beer.

In my experiences, I've never been able to taste any off flavors due to not making a starter or double pitching, but YMMV...

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Old 04-23-2011, 06:33 AM   #5
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I wonder what it really means to stress yeast? Why would the small number of yeast in a vat full of food be stressed? Is it that there aren't enough once the alcohol content rises?

This idea of stressed yeast is something I sort of think will go away after a while.

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Old 04-23-2011, 07:03 AM   #6
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with the rise of no chill brewing, it gives you time to turn your smack pack into a pack on steroids. just don't chill it, let it sit where it's going to ferment, then pitch the starter into the wort. it's always better to make a starter if for nothing else, to assure yeast viability. not to mention the fact that you'll be pitching proper amounts of healthy yeast. sure, you could just pitch the smacker without the starter, but if you have time, you'd want to get that starter going and pitch it when it's got the army at full strength.

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Old 04-23-2011, 12:08 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the great input on the starters. Before my next batch I am definetly going to get what is required to make a starter.

This time I think I will just double pitch it with two packets. Is there any consequence to this so long as they are the same brand and strain of yeast?

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Old 04-23-2011, 12:11 PM   #8
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You don't really need a starter for the purpose you propose.

A 1.064 ale needs 233 billion cells. A smack pack has 100 billion comming off the assembly line. If it was dated today you would still lose viability by the time you pitched it. So, even though pitching 2 smack packs isn't quite enough, you will still make good beer but, you would make better beer with a starter.

Even if you decide to pitch 2 smack packs, you still need to make a small starter that wakes the yeast up and lets them stretch their legs to get ready to work. Make a 2L starter with some yeast nutrient 5-6 hours prior to pitching. Your yeasties won't double but will "wake up".

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Revvy>>You shouldn't worry about ANYTHING, you didn't hurt the yeast, they know what they need to do, they want to eat all that sugar they are swimming around in. They want to pee alcohol and fart co2, it's their nature.

Bobby_M>>I flood the keg with CO2 for one minute with the lid off, rack the beer in to the bottom gently, seal it, flood it, vent it. If there's still O2 in there after that, F it.

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Old 04-23-2011, 12:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jawilson20 View Post
Thanks for all the great input on the starters. Before my next batch I am definetly going to get what is required to make a starter.

This time I think I will just double pitch it with two packets. Is there any consequence to this so long as they are the same brand and strain of yeast?
Nope. It's just more expensive.
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Revvy>>You shouldn't worry about ANYTHING, you didn't hurt the yeast, they know what they need to do, they want to eat all that sugar they are swimming around in. They want to pee alcohol and fart co2, it's their nature.

Bobby_M>>I flood the keg with CO2 for one minute with the lid off, rack the beer in to the bottom gently, seal it, flood it, vent it. If there's still O2 in there after that, F it.

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Old 04-23-2011, 12:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gameface View Post
I wonder what it really means to stress yeast? Why would the small number of yeast in a vat full of food be stressed? Is it that there aren't enough once the alcohol content rises?

This idea of stressed yeast is something I sort of think will go away after a while.
If you don't pitch enough yeast for the task at hand there will be more work for each cell to do. Or at least they will try to make up for the workers not there.
With fewer workers (yeasties) there will be more work for each worker. The yeast bring it. They give you 100% everytime. They will try to give more when asked to and this stresses them out. They get weak and can't hold their cell walls together, producing off flavors.

So no, the "idea" of stressed yeast will not go away, it isn't an "idea". I'm sure there is a technical term for it and those in the know have tried to dumb it down for the rest of it so we can understand it.
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Revvy>>You shouldn't worry about ANYTHING, you didn't hurt the yeast, they know what they need to do, they want to eat all that sugar they are swimming around in. They want to pee alcohol and fart co2, it's their nature.

Bobby_M>>I flood the keg with CO2 for one minute with the lid off, rack the beer in to the bottom gently, seal it, flood it, vent it. If there's still O2 in there after that, F it.

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