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Old 05-30-2012, 09:05 PM   #281
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Ok great! That way I'll only be taking that 1/2 cup of extract and I'll be putting back into the batch. Instead of taking a whole half pound and dumping it. I have 6 pounds of it so its not a huge issue, just wanted to be sure that it wasn't stupid to underpitch.

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Old 05-31-2012, 04:35 PM   #282
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I'm not QUITE understanding the science behind the starter. I'm looking at my current recipe in Beersmith. I'm using US-05 which I ended up pitching 2 packs of it dry because the starter thing was confusing me.

So trying to discern this after the fact and for my future benefit, it says I need a 225 billion cells. It also says my recommended starter size is 1.55 liters. So here's my specific questions:

1.) Are they assuming I'm adding a given amount of DME to make this starter?

2.)Should you ever vary the amount of DME based on size of starter or is there a one size fits all solution?

3.) Is there any way to make a proper starter for this beer in a 1L flask because that's what I have?

4.) Are there certain situations/beers where starters are highly recommended versus hydrating dry yeast or just pitching it dry in the first place?


I just can't imagine the need to make a starter over 1L in size but perhaps I need to reconsider idk. And also, yeast isn't exactly the most expensive thing in the world so if all I'm gaining here is the potential to use 1 pack vs. 2 packs, I may be less interested in starters. But if there's other serious advantages, I'm far more interested. I tried to weed my way through this thread but it's got kind of long so I'm hoping someone might bottom line me.

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Old 05-31-2012, 04:46 PM   #283
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Hi hops2it.
I will try my best to answer your questions, but like I said before, I'm no expert. This is what I have been able to figure out by what I read an what people told me.

First of all, starters are for liquid yeast only. What are the reasons for this? I can't remember unfortunately, but I have read the reason somewhere.

The goal of a starter is to put your yeast in an active state so the fermentation of your wort will start faster. When you get you yeast, it has been sitting there for a little while in a close to dormant state. Doing a starter allows it to get in shape and start doing it's work. You do it in a small quantity of "light beer" made out of either LME or DME so that it can get used to work in this kind of environnement.

For the above reason, your starter should have the same OG range as your beer - the visual recipe at the beginning of this thread will yeld somethin around 1,040 OG, which should be close enough to most regular beer.

The size of your start depends on who you talk to. Some recommend to do huge starters, some say today's liquid yeast are strong enough, etc.

One thing I strongly suggest though is that if you create a strong beer - over 1,060 OG - you should do a starter to multiply the number or yeast cells you have because some will die when the alcohol level get's higher.

Hope this helps!

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Old 05-31-2012, 04:58 PM   #284
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hops2it View Post
I'm not QUITE understanding the science behind the starter. I'm looking at my current recipe in Beersmith. I'm using US-05 which I ended up pitching 2 packs of it dry because the starter thing was confusing me.

So trying to discern this after the fact and for my future benefit, it says I need a 225 billion cells. It also says my recommended starter size is 1.55 liters. So here's my specific questions:

1.) Are they assuming I'm adding a given amount of DME to make this starter?

2.)Should you ever vary the amount of DME based on size of starter or is there a one size fits all solution?

3.) Is there any way to make a proper starter for this beer in a 1L flask because that's what I have?

4.) Are there certain situations/beers where starters are highly recommended versus hydrating dry yeast or just pitching it dry in the first place?


I just can't imagine the need to make a starter over 1L in size but perhaps I need to reconsider idk. And also, yeast isn't exactly the most expensive thing in the world so if all I'm gaining here is the potential to use 1 pack vs. 2 packs, I may be less interested in starters. But if there's other serious advantages, I'm far more interested. I tried to weed my way through this thread but it's got kind of long so I'm hoping someone might bottom line me.
Starters are generally only for liquid yeast. Simply rehydrate your dry yeast as directed (I like to add in a little Go Ferm, but YMMV) and pitch. Dry yeast is so cheap that if you need a higher volume of yeast you can just buy another pack.

As for your questions above....

1) Yes, they're assuming you've made a starter of your desired gravity. www.yeastcalc.com can tell you how much DME to add to X volume to hit Y gravity.

2) You can step up starters, but that takes additional time. Finish your 1L starter and put in fridge 24hrs then decant off most of the liquid, then warm the slurry to pitching temps. Make another starter and when wort is chilled to pitching temps add it back to the 1L flask and put it back on your stir plate. It's a PITA but doable until you buy a 2L and 5L flask.

4) I don't use dry yeast, but unless you'd need more than say 4 packets of 11g each it's probably not worth it to make a starter. According to Mr. Malty calcs up to 1.10 OG in a 6 gal batch would only need 2 packets of 11g each.

Just rehydrate, save your starters for when using liquid yeasts
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Old 05-31-2012, 05:03 PM   #285
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoltanar View Post
The goal of a starter is to put your yeast in an active state so the fermentation of your wort will start faster. When you get you yeast, it has been sitting there for a little while in a close to dormant state. Doing a starter allows it to get in shape and start doing it's work. You do it in a small quantity of "light beer" made out of either LME or DME so that it can get used to work in this kind of environnement.
My goal of a starter is to have the yeast already through the majority of their reproducing phase so that when added to the actual wort they can get straight to work. By pitching proper quantities I get faster ferments.. a 6 gal batch of 1.060 Pale Ale I just did, finished primary fermentation in 2 days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoltanar View Post
For the above reason, your starter should have the same OG range as your beer - the visual recipe at the beginning of this thread will yeld somethin around 1,040 OG, which should be close enough to most regular beer.
I respectfully disagree here. I never want a starter over 1.040 as I want the yeast reproducing and healthy, not stressed from trying to convert a high gravity starter.

IMHO you should shoot for a starter in the 1.030 - 1.037 range. When doing a stepped starter I'll often make the final step lower, around 1.025 to give the yeast a quick reproduction burst without stressing them out trying to poop out alcohol.
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Old 05-31-2012, 05:55 PM   #286
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukas View Post
Starters are generally only for liquid yeast. Simply rehydrate your dry yeast as directed (I like to add in a little Go Ferm, but YMMV) and pitch. Dry yeast is so cheap that if you need a higher volume of yeast you can just buy another pack.

As for your questions above....

1) Yes, they're assuming you've made a starter of your desired gravity. www.yeastcalc.com can tell you how much DME to add to X volume to hit Y gravity.

2) You can step up starters, but that takes additional time. Finish your 1L starter and put in fridge 24hrs then decant off most of the liquid, then warm the slurry to pitching temps. Make another starter and when wort is chilled to pitching temps add it back to the 1L flask and put it back on your stir plate. It's a PITA but doable until you buy a 2L and 5L flask.

4) I don't use dry yeast, but unless you'd need more than say 4 packets of 11g each it's probably not worth it to make a starter. According to Mr. Malty calcs up to 1.10 OG in a 6 gal batch would only need 2 packets of 11g each.

Just rehydrate, save your starters for when using liquid yeasts
Thanks to you both. That yeastcalc link is the ticket, really helped me to understand once I plugged my numbers in there. Appreciate the advice.
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Old 06-02-2012, 02:37 PM   #287
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I made my first starter last night after reading and re-reading this thread to get the full gist of what to do. I have one question that I haven't seen asked yet on here. What am I looking for once the starter has been going to make sure my yeasties are active and reproducing?
What I see so far is a whitish layer on the bottom of my growler, a little, thin patch of white foam on the surface of the starter and the on the very top of the "beer" is an clear layer of liquid. Here's a pic of the starter at roughly 12 hours.


image-1614248864.jpg

I give it a little whirl whenever I walk by it which mixes it all back up and causes about an inch of fast receding foam.
I'm thinking that this is what I want to happen, but would love to get a bit of confirmation.

Thanks and Cheers!

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Old 06-02-2012, 02:51 PM   #288
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoltanar
Hi hops2it.
I will try my best to answer your questions, but like I said before, I'm no expert. This is what I have been able to figure out by what I read an what people told me.

First of all, starters are for liquid yeast only. What are the reasons for this? I can't remember unfortunately, but I have read the reason somewhere.

The goal of a starter is to put your yeast in an active state so the fermentation of your wort will start faster. When you get you yeast, it has been sitting there for a little while in a close to dormant state. Doing a starter allows it to get in shape and start doing it's work. You do it in a small quantity of "light beer" made out of either LME or DME so that it can get used to work in this kind of environnement.

For the above reason, your starter should have the same OG range as your beer - the visual recipe at the beginning of this thread will yeld somethin around 1,040 OG, which should be close enough to most regular beer.

The size of your start depends on who you talk to. Some recommend to do huge starters, some say today's liquid yeast are strong enough, etc.

One thing I strongly suggest though is that if you create a strong beer - over 1,060 OG - you should do a starter to multiply the number or yeast cells you have because some will die when the alcohol level get's higher.

Hope this helps!
It does not hurt to make a starter with dry yeast as well. Making the starter guarantees that you have viable yeast and helps to prevent under pitching. I'm no expert but i find my brews benefit from making starters regardless of dry or liquid yeast. They kick off faster and seem to ferment better.
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Old 06-02-2012, 04:35 PM   #289
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Originally Posted by scottab

It does not hurt to make a starter with dry yeast as well. Making the starter guarantees that you have viable yeast and helps to prevent under pitching. I'm no expert but i find my brews benefit from making starters regardless of dry or liquid yeast. They kick off faster and seem to ferment better.
You can ensure viability with dry yeast by rehydrating, and can give it a head start by using a product like goferm. 20min vs 24hrs for a starter. There's nothing wrong with making a starter for dry, but it's usually so cheap that you can just pitch an extra packet.
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Old 06-02-2012, 07:05 PM   #290
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jukas

You can ensure viability with dry yeast by rehydrating, and can give it a head start by using a product like goferm. 20min vs 24hrs for a starter. There's nothing wrong with making a starter for dry, but it's usually so cheap that you can just pitch an extra packet.
The following info is from the make beer at home website:

http://www.makebeerathome.info/homebrew-articles/97-liquid-dry-yeast

Dry yeast is inexpensive, convenient, hardy and does not require a starter. However most experts agree that a starter would be beneficial when using a dry yeast. A simple starter to rehydrate your dry yeast is available right in your brew kettle. A starter will create a larger number of yeast cells that are added to the wort resulting in a more efficient the fermentation process. A more efficient fermentation results in a better quality beer with less likeliness of contamination. To create a starter simply remove 1 cup of wort 30 minutes before the end of the boil and allow to cool in a covered container. Add the dry yeast and allow 10-30 minutes to proof. After this time the yeast should be visibly churning and/or foaming, and is ready to pitch. I also find the addition of a good yeast nutrient to your wort to be very beneficial. The best nutrient is actually dead yeast cells in the form of Vegemite or Marmite yeast extracts. The addition of a yeast nutrient to wort promotes a healthy and hearty fermentation resulting in a beer with a lower final gravity. You can use the trub from your kettle as an excellent yeast nutrient.
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