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Old 01-16-2009, 06:00 PM   #1
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Default Do I have time for a starter?

I was wanting to make a starter for my brew tomorrow. I should be in the 1.055-1.060 range for OG.

I won't be able to make the starter until tonight and need to do the brew early in the morning, so the starter will only have about 15 hours or so to work. I also don't have my magnetic stir plate setup yet (need to find the box with all the old computer parts in it somewhere in my garage) and the starter would just be stirred by me whenever I walk by it.

Is this enough time? Should I make a lower gravity wort, say 1.030 or so or just scrap it all together?

I am using WLP002.

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Old 01-16-2009, 06:10 PM   #2
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It's better than not making one. It should be fine for a British ale. Make a "normal" starter (1.040). Just plan to pitch the whole thing... and you don't have to pitch right away. You could let the starter work for a few more hours before pitching.

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Old 01-16-2009, 06:13 PM   #3
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Yup, do the starter for sure.

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Old 01-16-2009, 06:24 PM   #4
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Ok, sounds good. So what is the appropriate ratio to get to 1.040?

B3 site says a 1/4 cup for 1800ml of water. My recipe calls for a 1500ml starter. So with this math, I should use 1/5 cup for 1500ml. Does this sound good?

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On tap: #79 Berliner Weisse 1.030 9/20/12, Flanders, Barleywine, Wild Blonde (1.045 blonde hopped up and fermented with WLP644), #80B rett Saison
Fermenting: #82 Galaxy IPA, #83 Black IPA
Aging: #67 Bareleywine 1.116 11/07/2012, Flanders 2 batches 1.056 and 1.060 12/12/11 and 3/26/12, Kriek, 1.052 12/11,
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:28 PM   #5
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I found it on mrmaltys site
Fourteen Essential Questions About Yeast Starters

How do I make a starter?

A starter is easy to make. It is like a mini-batch of beer, with the focus being yeast growth and health, not drinkability.

You’ll need a clean, sanitized container able to hold the starter plus some head space, aluminum foil, dried malt extract ( DME), yeast nutrients, and some water.

When making starter wort, keep the starting gravity between 1.030 and 1.040 (7 - 10°P). You do not want to make a high gravity starter to grow yeast. As a ballpark measurement, use about 6 ounces (by weight) of DME to 2 quarts of water. If you're working in metric, it couldn't be easier. Use a 10 to 1 ratio. Add 1 gram of DME for every 10 ml of final volume. (If you're making a 2 liter starter, add water to 200 grams of DME until you have 2 liters total.) Add ¼ teaspoon of yeast nutrient, boil 15 minutes, cool, and add yeast.

Using an Erlenmeyer flask made of borosilicate glass (such as Pyrex or Bomex) it is even easier. Just put the DME and water in the Erlenmeyer flask, put a piece of aluminum foil over the top, drop in any nutrients you desire, and put the flask directly on the stove burner. Boil gently for fifteen minutes, and then let it cool.

If you have oxygen handy, you should add oxygen to your starter or at the very least shake it every few hours to increase the amount of oxygen available to the yeast. If you have a stir plate, that works even better. A stir plate provides good gas exchange, keeps the yeast in suspension and drives off CO2, all of which increases yeast growth (around 2 to 3 times as much yeast as a non-stirred starter). Keep the starter around room temperature (72°F, 22°C).

Every time you make a starter, keep in mind there the four main factors that affect yeast growth and health: nutrients, temperature, sugars, and pH.

Key nutrients include oxygen, zinc, amino acids, and nitrogen. Oxygen is one of the things many brewers ignore, yet it is critical to the survival and growth of yeast. You should do what you can to provide oxygen to the yeast, as it tends to be the most limiting factor for most starters.

Use an all malt wort for starters. The sugar in the starter needs to be maltose, not simple sugar. Yeast that have been eating a lot of simple sugars stop making the enzyme that enable it to break down maltose, which is the main sugar in wort. The yeast quickly learn to be lazy and the ability to fully attenuate a batch of beer suffers.

The pH of a starter needs to be around 5 pH, but if you can’t test it, don’t worry. Typical wort ranges between 4 to 6 pH, so use a high quality DME and it will be OK.

When adding yeast to the starter, work in a draft free area and try to keep the containers open as short a time as possible.

The design of the White Labs packaging keeps the yeast out of contact with the outside surfaces of the vial. However, it is possible for dust borne wild yeast and bacteria to settle on the protruding lip near the top, so it doesn’t hurt to sanitize the vial to keep any settled dust from dropping into your starter. If you shake the vial to loosen the yeast inside, let it rest a few minutes and slowly open the top to prevent excessive foaming.

It isn’t required to “smack” the Wyeast pack before making a starter. The yeast is not in the little part that gets popped, but rather in the main pack. However, the liquid inside the little pack is a high quality nutrient and sugar source. It also helps rinse the yeast out from the main pack. Even though the chance of contamination while pouring is extremely low, you should sanitize the outside of the Wyeast pack before opening, as well as scissors if you use them.

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On tap: #79 Berliner Weisse 1.030 9/20/12, Flanders, Barleywine, Wild Blonde (1.045 blonde hopped up and fermented with WLP644), #80B rett Saison
Fermenting: #82 Galaxy IPA, #83 Black IPA
Aging: #67 Bareleywine 1.116 11/07/2012, Flanders 2 batches 1.056 and 1.060 12/12/11 and 3/26/12, Kriek, 1.052 12/11,
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:29 PM   #6
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I'd probably just make the 1800ml, it's not that much difference.

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Old 01-16-2009, 06:30 PM   #7
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Palmer and the Brew Wiki suggest 1/2 cup to a pint. I generally remember it as "a cup to a quart." A quart is approximately equal to 1000 mL (946.352946 mL according to google).

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Old 01-19-2009, 03:27 PM   #8
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Well, I ended up just letting the starter sit over the weekend to ferment out. Put it in the fridge this morning and will decant when I get home and warm the yeast back up to room temp and pitch it.

I was way off on my volume and OG for this brew. The recipe called for 1.054 with 5 gallons, but being a BYO recipe I figured I could beat the 65% efficiency, so I upped the volume to 5.5G at least I thought, I ended up with 6G of 1.0645 wort.

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On tap: #79 Berliner Weisse 1.030 9/20/12, Flanders, Barleywine, Wild Blonde (1.045 blonde hopped up and fermented with WLP644), #80B rett Saison
Fermenting: #82 Galaxy IPA, #83 Black IPA
Aging: #67 Bareleywine 1.116 11/07/2012, Flanders 2 batches 1.056 and 1.060 12/12/11 and 3/26/12, Kriek, 1.052 12/11,
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