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Old 06-25-2012, 04:52 AM   #1
lexstarwalker
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Default How do I make a 3 quart yeast starter?

I am getting ready to make a Duvel clone, and the recipe calls for a 3 quart yeast starter. I have a pack of Wyeast 1388 liquid yeast.

I have Palmer's book How to Brew. He says to use 2 cups of water and 0.5 cups of DME to make a yeast starter. This won't make anywhere near 3 quarts of starter. Do I just use more water and DME, enough to make 3 quarts, and pitch the yeast into that? Or is there some other method? Will one pack of yeast be enough?

Any pointers anyone can give here would be greatly appreciated!

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Old 06-25-2012, 05:03 AM   #2
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That's a really large starter. Check out the yeast pitching calculator at mrmalty.com - enter the specs if your beer (volume, OG) and it gives you some good guidance on how big a starter you'll need.

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Old 06-25-2012, 05:05 AM   #3
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I would ignore the recipe and calculate the appropriate pitching rate based upon the volume and starting gravities. This is a great place to start your reading:

http://www.mrmalty.com/pitching.php

In general, when making a starter, even for a high gravity beer, you want the gravity of the starter to be at or below 1.040. The goal in making a starter is yeast health and cellular replication. If the gravity is high, that doesn't happen.

When I make starters, I measure 100 g of DME into a flask or other boiling vessel and then fill to 1 L. This gives a starter wort of just under 1.040. I cool this, and then add the yeast, usually the day before I'm planning to brew.

Hope this helps.

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Old 06-25-2012, 05:18 AM   #4
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Thanks for the help guys!

Edit: Should I use my air pump and airstone to aerate the starter, or just shake it every so often?

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Old 06-25-2012, 05:21 AM   #5
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yeastcalc.com is another good site to use. You can do up to three starter steps with that calc. I did that for my last brewing, getting the amount of yeast with a 1L then 1.2L starter. If I had gone with a single starter, I would have needed about 6L...

BTW, a 3L starter might not be enough, depending on the aeration method, OG of the brew, and age of the yeast.

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Old 06-25-2012, 05:29 AM   #6
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Should I use the airstone or just shake it?

According to yeastcalc, a 2L starter would do me. If I put a 2L starter in my 64 ounce growler (1892mL) if there'll be enough headspace? Maybe I should do 2 concurrent 1L starters instead....

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Old 06-25-2012, 05:32 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexstarwalker View Post
Thanks for the help guys!

Edit: Should I use my air pump and airstone to aerate the starter, or just shake it every so often?
It depends. Most folks at some point graduate to using a stir plate. What you don't want to do is use an airlock. You will see lots of pictures of folks using airlocks on their yeast starters. The point of a starter is cell growth and viability - in the absence of oxygen, yeast have no choice but to ferment sugars, which is precisely what you do not want. When I make starters, I use sanitized aluminum foil to cover the top.

If you look here:

http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

There are options for different types of aeration (e.g., intermittent shaking, stir plate, etc.). Since you probably don't have a stir plate yet, just tell it you do O2 at start and it will tell you the amount of starter wort you need to make.

Hope this helps. Appropriate yeast pitching rates is one of the two most important components to making good beer, the other being control of wort temperature during fermentation. Best of luck!
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Old 06-25-2012, 05:37 AM   #8
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Thanks for the help!

Yeah, I don't have a stir plate. I do, however, have an air-pump, sanitized vinyl tubing, sanitized stainless steel airstone, and HEPA in-line filters that I bought for aerating wort. I was just wondering if it would be worth using this to aerate the starter.

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Old 06-25-2012, 06:03 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexstarwalker View Post
Thanks for the help!

Yeah, I don't have a stir plate. I do, however, have an air-pump, sanitized vinyl tubing, sanitized stainless steel airstone, and HEPA in-line filters that I bought for aerating wort. I was just wondering if it would be worth using this to aerate the starter.
Yep, if you can maintain sanitization, I'd oxygenate at start and select that parameter in the calculations.

The bonus of using a stir plate is that it prevents the yeast from floculating (clumping together) and has a serious impact on the volume of starter you need to use. I recently got a fermentation chamber setup and my next big step up is a stir plate for making yeast starters. Cuts the volume down substantially.
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Old 06-25-2012, 06:07 AM   #10
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Final question. Should I go for the OG of the wort I'm going to make (1.072) in the yeast starter?

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