Get your HBT Growlers, Shirts and Membership before the Rush!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Questions on making a yeast starter
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 09-26-2009, 04:38 PM   #1
switters
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 72
Default Questions on making a yeast starter

I'm preparing to brew my first batch. It's an Oatmeal Stout with an OG of 1.064-1.070 using Wyeast #1084 Irish Ale Liquid yeast with a production date of 8/19/09. Here's the full recipe (partial mash):

6 lbs. Pale malt extract
1.5 lbs Gambrinus pale ale malt
.5 lbs Gambrinus white wheat malt
.5 lbs Breiss caramel 120 L malt
.5 lbs. Breiss chocolate malt
.5 lbs Breiss roasted barley
.25 lbs Breiss black malt
1 lb Oat flakes
.5 oz. American Summit hop pellets - bittering
1 oz. New Zealand Hallertaur whole hops - flavor
Wyeast #1084 Irish Ale
1/2 tsp. Irish Moss

I used Mr. Malty's yeast calc and here is the result:



I've read several threads on making starters as well as the section in John Palmer's book and on Mr. Malty's site. As in most things related to brewing, there are varying opinions on the proper technique. I'd like to ask yours.

1) Should I just use 2/3 cup of the liquid pale malt extract that came with the Oatmeal Stout kit in the yeast starter, or should I get additional LME for it? John Palmer says it's a good idea to use the same LME for the yeast starter that you will use for the wort.

2) Is it really necessary to use 2 starter packs of yeast in a 2 liter solution for this beer? If so, how much LME do I need to use? (I'm unclear on how to calculate that).

3) If I do use a 2 liter starter, should I put it in the fridge the night before brewing to allow the yeast to flocculate out of solution and then decant the wort so that I pitch only the slurry into the fermenter?

4) What is the best/easiest way to decant the wort from the yeast starter?

5) How long should I allow the yeast starter to sit? I've seen recommendations from 18 - 36 hours.

__________________

switters is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-26-2009, 04:45 PM   #2
Edcculus
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 4,567
Liked 42 Times on 39 Posts

Default

1- you can use it, but I think its easier to use DME, not LME. If you buy a 5lb bag, you can store it for making starters

2 - no. A starter is meant to propogate yeast from 1 pack. If you use 2 packs, just pitch them directly.

3 - It won't hurt.

4 - Pour gently. try not to disturb or pour out any yeast.

5 - I've made a starter a week ahead and a day ahead. Less than 24 hours probably won't get much growth.

__________________
Edcculus is offline
switters Likes This 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-26-2009, 04:53 PM   #3
switters
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 72
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edcculus View Post
2 - no. A starter is meant to propogate yeast from 1 pack. If you use 2 packs, just pitch them directly.
That's what I thought, but if you look at the screenshot I posted above, Mr. Malty says to use 2 packs of the liquid yeast in a 2 liter solution if I am making a starter.

Most of the other directions I've read suggest 2 quarts of water, 1 yeast package and something like 2/3 cup of DME.
__________________
switters is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-26-2009, 05:05 PM   #4
AnOldUR
fer-men-TAY-shuhn
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
AnOldUR's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 6,408
Liked 653 Times on 473 Posts
Likes Given: 486

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by switters View Post
. . . if you look at the screenshot I posted above, Mr. Malty says to use 2 packs of the liquid yeast in a 2 liter solution if I am making a starter.
And that's what you should do. Think of it as stepping up from a 1qt starter, except you already have the higher count from using two packs. If you use your liquid extract use about 1/2lb with two quarts of water and add both packs of yeast. The end growth is directly proportional to the amount of cell you start with provided you supply them with the correct amount of fermentable material. (Shoot for a OG of 1.030 to 1.040 in your starter.)


Edit:
But I would do as Edcculus suggested and buy some DME. With that you'd use about 6 1/2 oz with the 2 quarts of water and 2 packs of yeast.
__________________
Personal taste is one thing, but to be arrogant about yours is what makes you an a-hole. Don't be an a-hole with personal taste.
. . .This has been a PSA from your local Klubb.

Billy-Klubb
AnOldUR is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-26-2009, 05:10 PM   #5
Edcculus
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 4,567
Liked 42 Times on 39 Posts

Default

You can adjust the growth factor. Slide that bar up until its saying 1 pack in the starter. You will need a 5 liter starter. $12 is a bit much to spend on yeast IMO.

__________________
Edcculus is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-26-2009, 05:24 PM   #6
switters
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 72
Default

So one option is to make a 2 quart starter and the other is to do a 5 liter starter? Why such a large discrepancy? I can accept that there is more than one way to get a good result, but it sure is confusing for a newbie trying to figure out WHY things are done the way they are.

In any case, I'm assuming if I make a 5 liter starter I should decant the wort and just use the slurry. Also, how do I calculate how much DME I would need for 5 liters of starter?

__________________
switters is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-26-2009, 05:36 PM   #7
switters
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 72
Default

I guess less water and less DME is needed with a 2 quart starter because we're using 2 packs of yeast?

__________________
switters is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-26-2009, 05:37 PM   #8
Edcculus
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 4,567
Liked 42 Times on 39 Posts

Default

Yea, sorry to confuse. Maybe AnOldUr meant to say 2liters? Thats what the calculator says if you keep the growth factor low (smaller starter, more packs). Yes, if you do a 5L starter, you will want to decant.

I follow the method Jamil outlines in the Yeast Pitching Rates
page.

Quote:
Use a 10 to 1 ratio. Add 1 gram of DME for every 10 ml of final volume. (If you're making a 2 liter of starter add 200 grams of DME to the flask, then fill the flask with water until you have 2 liters total.)
That means for a 5L starter(5000mL), you will use 500g of DME.
__________________
Edcculus is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-26-2009, 07:25 PM   #9
switters
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Oakland, CA
Posts: 72
Default

Thanks a lot for sticking with me on this!

I went back to the Mr. Malty calculator and noticed the drop-down menu for the type of starter. When I switched to "Intermittent Shaking" instead of "Simple Starter", and raised the growth factor, I am now getting 1 pack of yeast with 2.74 liters for a 1.067 OG. That sounds like a good compromise. Using the 10 to 1 liquor to DME ratio I would put 274 grams (.6 lbs) of DME in a container and add water until it gets to 2.74 liters.

Mr. Malty suggests pitching at high krausen between 12-18 hours after making the starter. However, he also says:

Quote:
Of course, if you have a large starter volume in relation to your batch of beer or a starter that was continuously aerated, then you probably don’t want to pitch the entire starter into your wort. Adding a large starter or a heavily oxidized starter to your wort can alter the flavor of the finished beer.

If you’re going to pitch only the yeast from the starter, make sure the starter attenuates fully before decanting the spent wort. The yeast rebuild their glycogen reserve at the end of fermentation and it is this glycogen that they use when preparing to ferment a new batch of beer. Separating the spent wort from the yeast too early also selectively discards the less flocculent, higher attenuating individuals in your yeast population. You may end up with a pitch of yeast that won’t attenuate the beer fully. Allow the fermentation to go complete cycle, chill, decant the beer and pitch just the yeast.
Is 2.74 liters considered a large starter volume? If so, how long would it take to attenuate fully before I decant the spent wort?

Now I just have to figure out what kind of container I can use to make the starter. Most juice bottles aren't that big. Any ideas?
__________________

switters is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 09-26-2009, 07:35 PM   #10
Edcculus
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Greenville, SC
Posts: 4,567
Liked 42 Times on 39 Posts

Default

I haven't done experiments, but I don't think its a huge deal when you pitch. For a 2 liter starter, I usually like to decant.

As for a vessel, do you have any growlers, gallon jugs or even a pitcher? If worse comes to worse and you cant find something big enough for 2.74 liters, 2 liters should suffice. Thats a whole lot better than nothing.

__________________
Edcculus is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply



Quick Reply
Message:
Options
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Making yeast starter from secondary yeast cake? Madvillain General Techniques 4 05-01-2010 03:54 AM
Making a yeast starter foxmid All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 11 11-07-2009 04:13 PM
Need help with making a yeast Starter! syd138 Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 23 03-12-2009 02:15 AM
Questions about making a yeast starter Shonuff General Techniques 8 11-09-2008 09:49 PM
Making a Starter Questions? ohiodad Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 2 07-18-2007 03:12 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS