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Old 02-09-2011, 03:54 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by BrettV View Post
I am making a starter; my question was whether or not the 16 oz water - 1/2 cup DME was sufficient for a 1.06 brew. I've seen some say it's good for up to 1.06, but other say it's only good up to 1.055. The starter is already made at this point, though, so I'm going to give it a go and see what happens.
Your smack pack is good up to 1.055 without a starter, so the starter you made will be perfect. You'll be pitching a healthy bit of yeast and should have a nice clean fermentation.
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:02 PM   #122
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Another starter question: Let's say I wanted to do a big ol' 1-gallon starter for something like a 1.090 beer, but I didn't have a big enough vessel to do the starter. Then let's say I let a 1/2-gallon starter run it's course, decanted the spent wort and added a 1/2-gallon of fresh wort to the container. Would stepping up like that give me the same amount of growth as a 1-gallon starter?
I would consider it overkill; I do fine with a 1/4 gal starter for 5.5 gallons of a beer that big. However, you can certainly do that if you wish. The only "issue" you may have is that pitching that much yeast will kick off a really hot initial ferment, which will produce more esters in your beer.

If you do want to pitch that much though, go for it. And as far as decanting goes, think about it- you probably don't want your 5.5 gallons of beer to be comprised of 1 gallon of starter wort, so you'll want to decant at least some of it anyway. Yes, when you decant you will be pouring off some less flocculant yeast, but the majority of it should be settled out anyway. In short, you should end up with about the same yeast count whichever way you do it. Happy Brewing!
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Old 02-09-2011, 04:47 PM   #123
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Default First Starter on big beer

Hey guys,

Great thread. Hoping you can answer my questions. Im going to make my first starter this week. Here is my plan. Brewing this afternoon and plan to pull an extra gallon or more of approx 1.04-1.05 wort from this batch to make my starter. Saturday I am going to be brewing Denny Conns Bourbon Vanilla Porter (12 Gal @ 1.078 OG). I bought two smack packs but am realizing that with this big of a beer it is a good idea to make a starter.

I have a 1/2 Gallon jug I was going to use for my starter but looking on Mr Maltys pitching rate it is 4L starter and 3 inital yeast packs. This sounds like overkill to me. Here are my thoughts. Smack one pack and allow to swell. add to 1/2 Gal jug and add wort (how much wort should I use?). Let this do its thing for a couple days. decant and add more wort (How much this time?).

I am thinking about doing two starters. one for each smack pack. then pitching a starter per 6 Gal. Ive heard I could just use a 2L bottle to make my other starter. Any issue with this?

Thanks!!

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Old 02-09-2011, 06:46 PM   #124
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From MrMalty (http://www.mrmalty.com/starter_faq.htm):

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Q: Can I pitch just a portion of the pack/vial into the same sized starter and get the same amount of cells at the end?

No. You will get more replication from the fewer starting cells, but the end result will not be the same total number of cells. One vial or pack of liquid yeast (at 100 billion cells) into 2 liters of 1.040 wort results in approximately 220 billion cells. According to the Wyeast calculator, 1/10th of a vial or pack results in only 600 million cells. While there is more sugar for each cell to use, you’re trying to grow far more cells. You would need to introduce enough additional sugar and nutrients (especially oxygen) to reach the desired cell mass.
I take a great deal of issue with the above math. If a vial of liquid yeast contains 100 billion cells then 1/10th of that vial should provide roughly 10 billion cells, no? And that should be BEFORE it reproduces more cells with introduction of wort.
If what MrMalty says is correct then putting 10 billion cells to wort results in a drastic loss of cells down to only 600 million.

Anyone care to explain this?

My main concern is that I expect to take a single vial of WLP007 and split it between (2) starters at a volume of 1L each. My back of the napkin calculations suggest I should get about 180-200 Billion cells per 1L starter so that when I pitch BOTH onto a 5 gallon batch I should be pitching a total of of ~350-400 billion cells (OG 1.087)

Does that sound like a sound approach?
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Old 02-10-2011, 01:30 PM   #125
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Br1dge: Yeah- Mr. Malty can be a little much IMHO... If you go back to the very first post in this oh so long thread, there are the instructions for making a starter. Notice that the volume of the starter is only about a pint, or a 1/2L. That amount is ample for a 5.5 gallon batch. Double it for twice the volume = 1L. For a beer of 1.078, I probably wouldn't step it up anymore, but you certainly can (and after 24-48 hrs decant off some of the starter "beer" before adding more wort), or use twice the original starter volume (in this case, 2L). Either way, I know that I wouldn't use 4L and three smack packs.

Seether: You should definitely be fine doing that.

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Old 02-12-2011, 06:45 AM   #126
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Honestly, the best thing about a starter is it gets your yeast ready, a starter is never a terrible idea. Honestly that's only showing about a 1.023 gravity, and you're pitching enough yeast for a 5 gallon batch. That's not going to be enough to be called a starter. That's more of a midnight snack

Anyway, sorry the reply was a couple weeks late, I've been unable to login.

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Old 02-12-2011, 01:40 PM   #127
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I'm starting to go the starter route, so this thread is very helpful, especially since I did not do it right for my last batch which was actually 2 10 gal batches. I had a couple of pint jars of washed S-05. Decanted and poured in a 2 gal water cooler with about 4 L of wort and let go for 24 hours before I split pitched in the two separate batches (both were in the 1.085 range). The first batch did not take off well 12 hours afterwards, so I split a dry pack of S-05 and it was well underway within 6 hours. The second batch must have gotten more yeast because it was starting to roll in 12 hours. The second batch dropped to 1.012 in 10 days, the first was down to 1.015.

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Old 02-12-2011, 03:25 PM   #128
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This thread was great, I finished three cups of coffee reading it and feel like I maybe even learned something.

One question I have in reading this -- by adding the additional one or more liters of starter aren't we just reducing our gravity that much more and diluting our beer? Especially the high gravity beers, adding three liters or more seems like it would have a really negative affect.

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Old 02-12-2011, 08:29 PM   #129
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I would suspect there is sufficient sugar in the starter wort to offset dilution and decanting is a superb idea for 5gal and under batches.

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Old 02-17-2011, 08:42 PM   #130
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Hey, so that bourbon barrel porter I'm brewing fermented beautifully with the 16 oz. starter. My OG was even a little higher than expected (1.069) but active fermentation started in about 12 hours, and in a week's time the yeasties brought that puppy all the way down to 1.014, which is even lower than the estimated FG. Took a taste today as I transferred it into my secondary, and it was brilliant. Practically like a drinkable cask ale already. Can't WAIT to add the bourbon and oak cubes in a few weeks!

So the lesson here is that for a 5 gallon batch, even all the way up to 1.07, a 16 oz. started is totally sufficient.

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