Electric Brewing Supply 30A BCS Giveaway!


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Starter calculation
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-21-2009, 03:17 PM   #1
pretzelb
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 486
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default Starter calculation

I'm seriously debating doing a starter for my first batch using liquid yeast and I'm confused over the information I'm seeing.

Palmer's book references a pint (470 ml) of water and 1/2 cup of DME to hit a 1.040 target. My recipe calls for an OG of 1.051. Using Mr Malty I think it says I need to look at hitting 1.5 liters of starter (seems like a lot) but doesn't mention DME. It seems like the two differ greatly in their estimates (or more likely I have no clue what I'm doing with the Mr Malty calculator). Is there a source for beginner (easy) calculations on starters?

Also, this may be stupid but when going for a 5 gallon batch, does that mean 5g plus the starter on top, or 5g after adding the starter. If I'm supposed to pitch 1.5 liters into the carboy it sounds like a hefty addition.

I'm really struggling over keeping things simple (no starter) and avoiding mistakes (not testing yeast first via starter).

__________________
pretzelb is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-21-2009, 03:18 PM   #2
IrregularPulse
Hobby Collector
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
IrregularPulse's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 43,183
Liked 2779 Times on 2727 Posts
Likes Given: 121

Default

don't figure your starter amount into your final volume.

__________________
Tap Room Hobo

I should have stuck to four fingers in Vegas. :o - marubozo
IrregularPulse is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-21-2009, 04:39 PM   #3
broadbill
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 3,386
Liked 316 Times on 223 Posts
Likes Given: 222

Default

you just need to scale up your starter: There are roughly 2 pints in a liter, so for 1.5L you'll need 3 pints plus 1.5cups of DME.

If you don't want to add that 1.5L of starter to your beer, making the starter a couple of days ahead. The night before you brew, refrigerate your starter-the yeast will settle out. You can then pour off the extra liquid, swirl to resuspend the yeast and pitch that.

__________________
broadbill is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-21-2009, 04:46 PM   #4
VTBrewer
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: South Burlington, VT
Posts: 847
Liked 5 Times on 5 Posts

Default

Palmer's example is just a nice guideline for some smaller beers. Mr Malty (who is Jamil and has written a few books with Palmer) is more of an err on the side of caution, especially for bigger brews calculator.

If you only have a 1L flask your OG 1050 will probably be just fine with a 1L/1cup starter.

__________________
  • Fermenting: Cherry Stout
  • On Tap: Town Hall Hope & King Scotch Ale, Red Hook ESB

Recipes And Blogs: ClubHomeBrew
VTBrewer is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-21-2009, 04:48 PM   #5
Krelja
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: NJ
Posts: 223
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Default

www.mrmaly.com use the pitching calculator and you will be good to go. Change some options to what equipment you have and viola you are good to go. It made me build a stir-plate because I like the fact that I don't have to make huge starters for almost any gravity brew
__________________
Krelja is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-21-2009, 05:00 PM   #6
pretzelb
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 486
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Let me ask this a different way. Is 1.051 OG considered a bigger brew?

I'm not familiar with the numbers so the part that confuses me is that Palmer assumes a 1.040 OG and that seems close to 1.051. If those are similar, I don't expect a 3x different (from roughly .5 liter to 1.5 liter) difference in the water amount when using Mr Malty.

I'm thinking that I should split the difference as VTBrewer suggests and go for 1L/1cup using a 64oz growler I have sitting around along with loosely wrapped sanitized aluminum foil.

One last question - if I plan to put my carboy in a cooler of water to keep temps down while fermenting, should the starter sit in the same water? I think I've read the starter should be adjusted to the ferment temperature so as to be most efficient.

__________________
pretzelb is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-21-2009, 05:42 PM   #7
broadbill
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 3,386
Liked 316 Times on 223 Posts
Likes Given: 222

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pretzelb View Post
Let me ask this a different way. Is 1.051 OG considered a bigger brew?
Its not over-the-top huge, but its just in that range where doing starters become a good practice. As VTbrewer said, Mr. Malty is probably erring on the side of caution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pretzelb View Post
I'm not familiar with the numbers so the part that confuses me is that Palmer assumes a 1.040 OG and that seems close to 1.051. If those are similar, I don't expect a 3x different (from roughly .5 liter to 1.5 liter) difference in the water amount when using Mr Malty.
The numbers are really related to one another. Starters are simple things: All you are doing with the starter is increasing the number of healthy yeast that will ultimately go into your wort. Also, you are waking them up from the dormant state they are in in the smack pack/vial/etc. For this you can keep it simple and make a starter in the 1.040 range and you are good.

The 1.5L volume comes from the number of yeast cells you need to ferment that 5 gallons of wort at 1.051. Change those numbers and you get a different starter size. The Mr. Malty calculator also tells you the number of healthy yeast (somewhere in the hundreds of billions of yeast cells needed!) you'll need to pitch and then give you the starter size to give you that number of yeast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pretzelb View Post
I'm thinking that I should split the difference as VTBrewer suggests and go for 1L/1cup using a 64oz growler I have sitting around along with loosely wrapped sanitized aluminum foil.

One last question - if I plan to put my carboy in a cooler of water to keep temps down while fermenting, should the starter sit in the same water? I think I've read the starter should be adjusted to the ferment temperature so as to be most efficient.
Probably not.... regulating fermentation temperature is important to restrain the formation of hot/fusel alcohols and is important in your beer but not so much your starter. Since you won't be drinking the starter, you don't have to worry about fermentation temperature UNLESS you plan to dump the whole starter into the beer. Even then, only Larger starter volumes could have enough of those hot alcohols to taint your beer.
__________________

Reason: spelling, etc
broadbill is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-21-2009, 06:18 PM   #8
pretzelb
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 486
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by broadbill View Post
Probably not.... regulating fermentation temperature is important to restrain the formation of hot/fusel alcohols and is important in your beer but not so much your starter. Since you won't be drinking the starter, you don't have to worry about fermentation temperature UNLESS you plan to dump the whole starter into the beer. Even then, only Larger starter volumes could have enough of those hot alcohols to taint your beer.
Are you not supposed to dump the entire starter into the fermenter?
__________________
pretzelb is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-21-2009, 06:36 PM   #9
broadbill
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Southern Maine
Posts: 3,386
Liked 316 Times on 223 Posts
Likes Given: 222

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pretzelb View Post
Are you not supposed to dump the entire starter into the fermenter?
You certainly can; but when you are making a large starter (to ferment a high gravity beer for example) some people worry about adding that much extra liquid to their beer. Starter worts aren't typically hopped and their temperature isn't rigorously maintained during fermentation, so you might be adding some unwanted flavor components if the volume is large enough.

Again, by starting your starter a couple days ahead of brew day, you can let your starter ferment out then pop it into the fridge overnight (or longer). The yeast will settle out and you can pour off the majority of the liquid (which is basically beer, mind you) and resuspend the yeast in a smaller volume of liquid to avoid adding the whole starter to your beer.
__________________
broadbill is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-21-2009, 07:17 PM   #10
pretzelb
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Texas
Posts: 486
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by broadbill View Post
You certainly can; but when you are making a large starter (to ferment a high gravity beer for example) some people worry about adding that much extra liquid to their beer. Starter worts aren't typically hopped and their temperature isn't rigorously maintained during fermentation, so you might be adding some unwanted flavor components if the volume is large enough.

Again, by starting your starter a couple days ahead of brew day, you can let your starter ferment out then pop it into the fridge overnight (or longer). The yeast will settle out and you can pour off the majority of the liquid (which is basically beer, mind you) and resuspend the yeast in a smaller volume of liquid to avoid adding the whole starter to your beer.
Adding a large amount of extra liquid (which would happen with a 1.5 L starter) is why I started to question this. Looking back at Palmer's book he kind of mentions near the end you can refrigerate and pour off prior to pitching but it's not really clear when or if you should do that. As a beginner it's much nicer when the procedures are direct and to the point.

I might be back to just dumping the vial into the fermenter.
__________________
pretzelb 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
Need help with a calculation Chips Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 7 06-04-2009 04:53 PM
IBU calculation? bbrim Recipes/Ingredients 2 01-10-2009 04:32 AM
Appropriate calculation of ABV? mrfocus General Techniques 2 11-26-2007 06:37 PM
Calculation Help... lgtg Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 03-26-2007 05:18 PM
calculation of s.g OCC General Beer Discussion 5 05-31-2005 02:29 PM