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Old 11-16-2012, 07:22 PM   #1
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Default First Starter - Do I need to Step Up?

I've read a lot on this form about yeast starters, beginning with this tutorial. I'm a little confused about when you need to step up and when you can just do a simple starter.

I plan to brew a 5g batch with OG 1.066. Per Mrmalty and yeastcalc.com I need about 229 billion yeast cells. MrMalty shows approximately 1.5 L of starter needed. Yeastcalc.com appears to default with 1.5L for the first step - yielding 225 byc, which is close to the target.

So...can I get away with a single 1.5L starter? Or, best to step it up with 800mL to 1.6L (per the tutorial)? I understand why you don't want to start with too large a volume of wort - but yeastcalc seems to default to a 1.5L starter, so I'm confused.

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Old 11-16-2012, 07:41 PM   #2
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A single-step 1.5L starter should be fine.

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Old 11-16-2012, 08:08 PM   #3
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I will also be making my first starter on my next batch OG of 1.064. I only have a 1 ltr flask so I was thinking of doing 750ml, decant the fluids and step it with another 750ml.
Am I thinking right there?
Edit: I just realized I don't know how much dme to use each time.....time for more research.

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Old 11-16-2012, 08:21 PM   #4
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Do you have mason jars, or something else you can use? A one liter starter at 1.035 will support 100 billion cells, but there is not going to be much growth. I would split the yeast between four 1 quart jars each filled 3/4 of the way to produce about 300 billion cells.

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Old 11-16-2012, 08:37 PM   #5
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For creating starters it is recommended to use a 10:1 ratio of DME to water so that translates into 100 grams of DME to 1L of water. You add the DME to the vessel and then add the water up to the desired level so for this example you would add up to the 1L mark or 1000ml, boil for 10 minutes, cool and pitch yeast.

By using this ratio you will achieve a 1.035-1.040 gravity. If you require a step, then you cold crash for 18-24 hours, decant the liquid. BOil up what is required for the next step, cool and add directly to the original vessel.

I prefer using yeastcalc as it allows for stepped starters.

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Old 11-16-2012, 10:16 PM   #6
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So, is 1.5L the cutoff? If you need more than 1.5L step it up?

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Old 11-16-2012, 10:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slcdawg
So, is 1.5L the cutoff? If you need more than 1.5L step it up?
No, yeast calc will let you change the size, just delete and change the amount in the box, you can start with a 2L if you want
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Old 11-16-2012, 10:46 PM   #8
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I am asking what is the recommended method. I've read the negatives of to big a starter without stepping it up. At what volume sites it make sense to step it up?
I.e. yeast calc will let me input 5gal with plenty of cells.

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Old 11-17-2012, 01:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slcdawg
I am asking what is the recommended method. I've read the negatives of to big a starter without stepping it up. At what volume sites it make sense to step it up?
I.e. yeast calc will let me input 5gal with plenty of cells.
Not sure I get your question....
If you calculate he proper size of the starter with or without steps and use the proper amount of DME, fresh yeast, stir, shake, allow O2 in you will grow a nice healthy colony of yeast cells ready to go to work.

Some beers will need 1l and some lagers require 3-5L, just depends
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Old 11-17-2012, 02:43 AM   #10
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Maybe I'm misunderstanding....or maybe there are multiple opinions on when to step up. These threads thread1 and thread2 suggest not to pitch the yeast directly to a large starter as it can stress the yeast and make it more succeptible to a bacterial infection. They encourage stepping up to get your needed yeast cell count.

I guess I'm looking for a general rule to follow - a threshhold. That if the yeast calculations (mrmalty or yeastcalc) say you need less than X volume of wort in the starter then a simple 1 stage starter is fine. But if you need more than that, a 2 or 3 stage starter is needed.

My question is what is X? Or, at what OG do you need to step it up?

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