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Old 10-01-2012, 02:42 AM   #1
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Default Need help with first yeast starter

Hey everyone. I am planning on brewing my third ever batch on Thursday. Its going to be a holiday spiced Brown Ale. I have decided to do a yeast starter instead of just dumping my White Labs vials into the primary. My last brew took about 50 hours to start after pitching my vials, so, I am going the starter route. No, I do not have a stir plate. But I do have DME, 2L Flask, and everything else needed to make a starter.

So, my main question is how many vials of yeast do I need? I have 2 vials of WLP002, and have not found an answer in how many vials people are using to make a starter. Its kind of my understanding that a starter is used to basically increase the amount of viable yeast cells from a given vial of yeast. So, a starter would take a single vial of 80-100 billion cells, to hopefully the 200+ billon needed to brew your batch. Is this right?? If so, I would only need 1 vial.

Now to the recipe. I dont have it in front of me, but i do know the OG is supposed to be 1.066-1.070. Using the Mr. Malty calc, with a growth factor of 3 (not sure what this means), its a 1.78L starter to make 241 billion cells, from one vial of yeast, using intermittent shaking. Does this seem right?

So can I just make a 1.8L starter, with an OG between 1.030-1.040, pitched with one vial of WLP002, and in 24 hours, place it in the fridge, decant, and pitch to my primary, and I should have the correct amount of healthy yeast to brew the 1.070 OG???

I hope this is the general idea. I have been trying to wrap my head around the whole thing, and it seems easy enough. I just for some reason cant find the right info. I have watched video on starters and read a ton of different things and still had a few questions. I hope you guys can help! Thanks in advance!!



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Old 10-01-2012, 03:02 AM   #2
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Yes, this looks correct as long as your vial is pretty fresh.

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Old 10-01-2012, 04:04 AM   #3
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That sounds good but I'd wait longer than 24 hours... About 3 days and then long enough in the refrigerator for it to separate. If you don't plan on decanting, then don't bother with putting it in the refrigerator.

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Old 10-01-2012, 04:11 AM   #4
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Don't get too wrapped around the axle with amounts. You probably only need a basic starter. 2 cups of water to 1/2 cup DME. Pitch one vial and shake it whenever you walk by. You should be fine. Not only will it increase the yeast (hey I like how that sounds) but it acts as an appetizer and gets them "started." There's no way for you to know if you've really got 441 billion cells anyway so don't sweat it too much. if you brew on Saturday make the starter on Wed or Thur.

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Old 10-01-2012, 04:16 AM   #5
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You don't need to let a starter go for three days. Microbiologist from Wyeast - see about the 1 minute mark on.

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Old 10-01-2012, 04:33 AM   #6
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If you are pitching the entire starter in, 24 hours is fine. If you plan on decanting you'll want to let it completely attenuate which normally takes about 3 days.

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Old 10-01-2012, 04:39 AM   #7
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Well, he contradicts that idea in the video and it seems to bear out in my experience. I usually let them go 24 hrs, chill overnight, and get a nice compact cake to pitch. Whatever works for you. On this one I think I'll go with the guy who works with yeast for a living.

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Old 10-01-2012, 04:48 AM   #8
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If I post a quote or video from someone else who works with yeast for a living who agrees with me will you apologize for being such a douche?

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Old 10-01-2012, 04:51 AM   #9
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Haha. So, this info helped, but made me confused as well.

Ill just give you my plan. I plan on brewing Thursday. If I make the starter on Tuesday morning, it should be fine right? It sounds like it.

Tues morning: Make starter
Wed afternoon: place in fridge
Thursday (brewday): Take out yeast, decant, let warm to room temp, pitch.

Sound good?? This is all with 1 vial of WLP002. Any need to throw in the second vial? Or would that be way too much yeast??

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Old 10-01-2012, 04:51 AM   #10
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http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/yeast-harvesting-novel-approach-348276/ Since you're making starters, stop paying for yeast


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