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Old 08-20-2011, 02:25 AM   #1
RootDownBrewing
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Default Can I make a 1 vial starter for 12 gallon batch?

I want to make a starter for a 12 gallon batch but only have 1 vial of yeast. Can I make a 3 liter starter, pitch one vial of yeast into it, split it and pitch it into 2 fermentation buckets 24 hours later?

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Old 08-20-2011, 02:30 AM   #2
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You would need to determine the proper amount of yeast to pitch based off of the recipe and by visiting http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html. By the process you have stated, I doubt you would get the proper amount, but without knowing the recipe, who knows. The best option would be to step-up a starter. By doing that, you wouldn't have to pitch a whole 3 liters, and you would end up with more yeast.

Edit: However, you can make a starter with just 1 vial, and you could do the 3 liter starter that you originally said. But by stepping up a starter, you can take that one vial, and make it into the amount of 10 vials if you wanted to go that high.

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Old 08-20-2011, 02:31 AM   #3
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If your gravity is 1.055, you would have to make a 14 liter starter. Be sure to decant that sucker!

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Old 08-20-2011, 02:32 AM   #4
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Step up for sure would be the way to go.

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Old 08-20-2011, 02:34 AM   #5
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I'm not pitching 3 liters - I'd split it into two 1.5 liter starters (which I think is pretty normal) to pitch into 5 gallon fermentors. The beer is a 1.050 blonde ale with wlp 001 cali yeast

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Old 08-20-2011, 02:35 AM   #6
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whats the proper way to step up and how long would it take me?

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Old 08-20-2011, 02:35 AM   #7
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What's the gravity? Larger or Ale?

It would be under-pitching, but I think you could get away with it in a 1.055 ale. I would make a liter starter, decant, then make a 3 liter starter.

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Old 08-20-2011, 02:35 AM   #8
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It depends. Ale or lager, and what is your target original gravity? The Mr. Malty calculator is a good tool to determine the amount of yeast you need to pitch for a healthy ferment.

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Old 08-20-2011, 04:13 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beninan View Post
The best option would be to step-up a starter. By doing that, you wouldn't have to pitch a whole 3 liters, and you would end up with more yeast.
I'm a little confused as to what you mean here. I didn't think there was any difference in total volume with a step-up starter. I thought stepping up a starter just meant doubling the volume of wort at each stage, which is easier on the yeast than shocking it into a high amount of wort all at once... but in the end you still have the same amount of starter.

Can you clarify?
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Old 08-20-2011, 04:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jigidyjim View Post
I'm a little confused as to what you mean here. I didn't think there was any difference in total volume with a step-up starter. I thought stepping up a starter just meant doubling the volume of wort at each stage, which is easier on the yeast than shocking it into a high amount of wort all at once... but in the end you still have the same amount of starter.

Can you clarify?
I've always known a step-up as making a starter, letting it ferment out, cold crash to settle out the yeast, pour out the "beer" on top, and create another starter with the yeast, and repeat the process.

When you add more wort to a starter (say you started with 1 liter, fermented it out, and poured another liter into it with the same gravity as the original 1 liter or starter), from what I'm aware of, the yeast really does not have to work at all to ferment that additional 1 liter. For easy numbers, lets say the first liter of wort had a gravity of 1.050, and it ferments to 1.000. When you pour an additional liter of 1.050 wort on top, now the yeast is only fermenting 2 liters with a gravity of 1.025, and the yeast growth may not be very great at that second stage. By the way, I've had a lot to drink tonight, because I have to work tomorrow, and drinking before work is a requirement.

This helps to explain a bit. http://billybrew.com/stepping-up-a-yeast-starter
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