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Old 01-09-2013, 06:35 PM   #1
TyGuy716
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Default Should I make a yeast starter?

On Saturday I am brewing a partial-grain, 5 gallon IPA. According to a recipe calculator the OG should be 1.068.

I'm using California Ale Yeast WLP001. On the directions for the yeast it says I don't need to make a starter unless the OG is supposed to be above 1.070. However, in the past I've always made a starter whenever I use liquid yeast.

Is it necessary to make a starter? If it isn't and I still make one will it mess anything up? I haven't brewed in over a year and may have lost some touch and also don't want to mess up this brew.

Thanks.

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Old 01-09-2013, 06:37 PM   #2
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If the recipe says to sprinkle it in, then just do that. A lot of people still use a starter just to make sure the yeast is not dead.

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Old 01-09-2013, 06:39 PM   #3
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You should make a starter, you can use http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html to calculate how much you'll need to step up the yeast, etc.

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Old 01-09-2013, 06:39 PM   #4
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My experience with liquid yeast is it needs a starter unless you want to wait several days for anything to happen.

I would think a 1% ABV beer would need a starter with liquid yeast.

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Old 01-09-2013, 06:47 PM   #5
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The short answer is that it is not necessary to use a yeast starter in your case. Most commercial yeasts (Saf, Wyeast, WL) can be pitched from a single packet or vial for a 5 gallon batch up to 1.075ish (even though some recommend a starter or multiple packets on the label).

Of course, more yeast cells is better in most cases, so the long answer involves multiple benefits should you choose to brew a starter.

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Old 01-09-2013, 06:53 PM   #6
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Think in terms of cell count.

What cell count do I have? and what cell count do I need?

For 5g @ 1.068, you'd need roughly 235 billion cells. White Labs vials have 100 billion max. So you'd be under-pitching by over 50%....suboptimal.

Yes, make a starter.

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Old 01-09-2013, 06:55 PM   #7
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A yeast starter does 2 things. One, it proves the viability of the yeast, and it also increases the amount of yeast cells added to the wort. Now, you can probably figure out throwing dead yeast into 5 gallons of wort isn't going to work, but did you know, yeast cells kill off the bad stuff that might have been introduced to the wort?

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Old 01-09-2013, 07:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigRob View Post
You should make a starter, you can use http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html to calculate how much you'll need to step up the yeast, etc.
I used Mr. Malty (thanks), and it says to use .75 gallons. However, I don't see how much malt to use while making the starter or how many days I should let it sit. I believe I used 1/2 lbs of DME in the past and let it propagate for 2 days. Is this correct?

And thanks for the replies, it seems to make sense to make a starter based on the responses.
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Old 01-09-2013, 07:36 PM   #9
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I prefer yeastcalc.com...a bit more versatile. Should be able to answer your question.

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Old 01-09-2013, 07:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TyTanium View Post
Think in terms of cell count.

What cell count do I have? and what cell count do I need?

For 5g @ 1.068, you'd need roughly 235 billion cells. White Labs vials have 100 billion max. So you'd be under-pitching by over 50%....suboptimal.

Yes, make a starter.
This is the correct answer, hands down. The only addition I would have is that the White Labs vials start at 100 billion cells - which decrease in viability as the yeast ages.
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