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Old 05-30-2012, 11:01 AM   #271
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I bought the yeast nutrient to add with my brew. Do I add it to the starter or wait for the primary? Also should I use the corn syrup or the liquid malt extract for the starter? Thanks for all the help.
I have done both with great results but lately I have been adding it to the starter.

Use LME.
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Old 05-30-2012, 01:32 PM   #272
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Thank you.. thats the info I needed.

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Old 05-30-2012, 02:15 PM   #273
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Hi there.
I will describe what I do, which might not be the "right" way of doing, if such a thing exists.
I use DME (Dried Malt Extract) to do my starters. I never used anything else - it is easy to take only the quantity I want, and is easy to store and manipulate. So, using the Pictoral recipe at the begining of this thread, I normaly start right off with 4 cups of water, 1 cup of DME.
Once cooled, I pitch in my liquid yeast and a bit of nutrient. I made myslef a stirplate which I use, but I don't leave it on all the time. I normaly start it for about 1/2 hour, and then turn it off. Whenever I pass by, I turn it on again for another 1/2 hour.
After 48-72 hours, I put it in the fridge to let it separate. The next day, I remove the liquid part, only keeping the white paste at the bottom, and I do another starter as described above.
Usually after my second starter, I have enough to fill in 6 to 8 WhiteLabs tubes I got for previous breweing sessions which I kept. With these test tubes, I never had - so far at least - to do a starter to pitch in a 5gal batch...
I always keep one tube to do a new starter to "multiply" my yeast and allow me to always keep a decent quantity.
Hope this helps you.

BTW, so far, I never kept a tube for more than 6 months, but doing a starter every once in a while allows me to refresh my base yeast. Also, I never did a strater from the yeast cake of a brewing session, but I did once from a cultured bottle of Blanche de Chambly, which turned out pretty good.

...but the best way is to experiment. What might have worked for me might not work for you, but the general guidelines will aim you in the right direction.

Good luck, and don't forget to have fun while doing it!

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Old 05-30-2012, 03:06 PM   #274
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I made myslef a stirplate which I use, but I don't leave it on all the time. I normaly start it for about 1/2 hour, and then turn it off. Whenever I pass by, I turn it on again for another 1/2 hour.
After 48-72 hours, I put it in the fridge to let it separate. The next day, I remove the liquid part, only keeping the white paste at the bottom, and I do another starter as described above.
Uh... Why? The purpose of a stir plate is continuous movement and O2 introduction. If you leave it running continuously you'll likely finish out a starter in 24hrs.
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Old 05-30-2012, 03:50 PM   #275
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Jukas.
I somewhat agree with you, but my stirplate is not working as I would like.
The computer fan I used is off balance with the magnet I glued on it, and I did not have an erlenmayer (or whatever you call this thing in english), so I am using a pyrex coffee pot. My stirbar starts everyonce in a while to be off "balance" and it stops turning properly. I am not sure what is the trouble : the fan, the pot, the stirbar, or something else.
Also, when turning, the stirbar - which is not exactly round shaped, but bevelled (looks like this one http://www.uwplatt.edu/chemep/chem/chemscape/labdocs/catofp/mixpour/mixing/hp_ms/pic/stirbar2.jpg) - always makes a bit of ticking noise, so leaving it on at all time is disturbing, specialy during night.
If you have ideas of what might go wrong, let me know!

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Old 05-30-2012, 04:34 PM   #276
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Jukas.
I somewhat agree with you, but my stirplate is not working as I would like.
The computer fan I used is off balance with the magnet I glued on it, and I did not have an erlenmayer (or whatever you call this thing in english), so I am using a pyrex coffee pot. My stirbar starts everyonce in a while to be off "balance" and it stops turning properly. I am not sure what is the trouble : the fan, the pot, the stirbar, or something else.
Also, when turning, the stirbar - which is not exactly round shaped, but bevelled (looks like this one http://www.uwplatt.edu/chemep/chem/chemscape/labdocs/catofp/mixpour/mixing/hp_ms/pic/stirbar2.jpg) - always makes a bit of ticking noise, so leaving it on at all time is disturbing, specialy during night.
If you have ideas of what might go wrong, let me know!
Ahh, now I understand better. Balance seems to be one of the banes of homemade stirplates. I'm still fighting with it on mine I can't turn the speed up past 1/4 on a 1L starter or 1/2 on a 2L starter before it throws the bar.

As for the dreaded ticking noise, that's an easy fix. My wife complained mightily about it as I run my stirplate in the kitchen. In the end two of the smallest diameter o-rings in a keg o-ring kit (1/4" I think?) fixed it, I've attached a pic of my stirbar for ya.
img_1583.jpg  
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:40 PM   #277
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Brilliant! Thanks for the tip!
Now, if I could only have my thing ballanced....

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Old 05-30-2012, 04:52 PM   #278
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Love the o-ring idea. I just got my stir-plate and notices the ticking sound during my test-run. I'll have to see if I have a couple of o-rings in my gear, else it's off to the LHBS!

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Old 05-30-2012, 08:16 PM   #279
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I've never made a starter, and it looks fairly simple so I figured I'd give it a try. Mr. Malty is calling for me to use a starter that's 1.8L for Wyeast 1056 american IPA. And I only bought enough DME to put into my actual recipe. Am I going to see a significant drop in O.G. points by having to dip into my supply to step up to 1.8L? Or should I just make a 1L starter and pitch the whole jug and hope for the best? I know I'll technically be underpitching, but I've had great results by just using the smack pack by itself. Figured making a smaller starter is better then not having one at all. Or am I selling myself short here? Thanks in advance guys!

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Old 05-30-2012, 08:36 PM   #280
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I agree with what you said : better have a small starter than none.
If you normally have success without a starter, a small one should be good enough.
Good luck

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