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Old 10-06-2009, 09:54 PM   #1
BillTheSlink
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Default Questions about making starters for lagers

I am going to be making my first two lagers soon, a bock and a Munich Helles. I recently bought a stir plate and 2 litter flask to make my starters. The question I have is this. On a pod cast I found they said to increase three fold your pitch rate. In other words dump your vial in a 1 liter flask, decant and pitch into the two liter, and then decant and finally pitch into four liters. I really have no way to use my stir plate with 4L and I don't own a 4L vessel. Can I step it up to two and then make another two liters of wort and then cool it it and poor it onto the yeast cake from the second step after decanting and get the same results, or at least acceptable results?

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Old 10-06-2009, 10:22 PM   #2
SporkD2
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I have done the step up method before. You dont HAVE to use a stirplate as a lot of people dont own them and make great starters. I just shake the hell out of mine a few times over the course of a few days. You just want to make sure your getting some oxygen in there.

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Old 10-06-2009, 11:20 PM   #3
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Have you taken a look at the pitching rate calculator at www.mrmalty.com? It's a very good guide. For a 1.048 OG lager wort and using one vial of liquid yeast, you'll need a 2.8 liter starter. I suggest you begin with 1.5 liter starter on your stir plate, stir for 16-24 hours, let rest for an hour, decant and begin the process again with another 1.5 liters of wort. That should give you the right volume and plenty of yeast for the lager fermentation.

Please keep me posted on what you decide to do and how it works for you.

Dan

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Old 10-07-2009, 12:56 AM   #4
bronzdragon
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I brew German lagers quite frequently because Oktoberfest/Marzen is my favorite beer style to sit around and drink. I have a 1000ml flask that I make my starters in. I usually step it up twice. And I do not have a stir plate. I just swirl it several times when I pitch the yeast the first time.

Each time I boil two cups of water and a half cup of extra light dry malt extract for about 10 mins. Chill, then pitch my yeast. I like White Labs German Lager yeast in particular, but everyone has their favorites. I then attach a stopper and airlock and it's usually done working in a day and settles out in a day. I then pour off the liquid that sits above the yeast, and repeat. Two steps should give you about 400-500 ml of yeast.

I start this about 3-4 days before I want to brew. After the second step I just pitch that into the worth that I brew. There are many different strategies on lagering, but I let the wort kick off nicely before I put it into the fridge. And then I put it in at 65 and gradually reduce the temp until it hits about 55.

Be sure and not reduce the temp too fast otherwise you may shock the yeast.

Anyway, cheers!

~r~

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Old 10-07-2009, 01:29 AM   #5
BillTheSlink
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Thanks everyone. I have ordered the book on lagers, but was wanting to know about starters before it got here. I'll have other brews to do while I read and take some notes. Right now I am reading "Designing Great Beers". Maybe after I get the ones' on deck done I'll be ready to build my own recipe.

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Drinking: Ed Worts Apfelwein, Store bought Bass, Salvator. Can't brew in Winter and I needed bottles.


Primary: Bass Clone Austin Home Brew Supply
Went down in a blaze of glory due to mold infection.

ON DECK: Moosebutt Faux Lager

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