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Old 01-21-2010, 06:02 PM   #1
iswenson
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Hello,

Just listened to a podcast with a fella' named Jamil (apparently a really good home brewer). They were really stressing the concept of pitching BIG starters. Saying you should be pitching for a 1.042 250 billion yeast (equivalent of 2.5 400ml Wyeast packets in good condition).

I have never done a starter, but I am wondering about a good method (maybe some pics) to get lets say 400 ml Wyeast package up to proper yeast population for pitching. They were talking about getting your starter up to 2 liters (thats huge compared to me just using a smackpack).

Furthermore, the podcast talked about how important this is. They said if you really want to make good beer, you have to do this pretty much.

How do you all feel about that from personal experience. For you who have both used a large starter vs. a smackpack for the same recipe, how did they compare.

Looking forward to hearing your answeres on this, and im sure i will probobly be using a large starter next batch.

-Ian

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Old 01-21-2010, 06:06 PM   #2
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I use a starter from a 1 liter beer bottle and I've had no issues with fermentation thus far. I got this idea from the Homebrewing for Dummies book. Alot of folks suggest to use a bigger starters though.

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Old 01-21-2010, 06:11 PM   #3
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pros for making a starter is proofing, min lag time, less conditioning time

cons are more equipment and prepare it before brew day

with some beers you can go from grain to glass in a week with a huge starter

JM2C

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Starter

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Old 01-21-2010, 07:08 PM   #4
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I know that Jamil is considered a 'God' by many....but for most beers I've found a 1 liter starter to be more than enough....If your making a beer with a high OG or a lager...than you'll need to go larger.

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Old 01-21-2010, 07:40 PM   #5
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It's a big deal dude! Making starters has taken the quality of my beer to a whole new level. The size of the starter depends on several factors. Have a look at Jamil's website mrmalty.com He has an awesome interactive calculator for figuring what size starter to make.

You will soon learn that a stirplate will help make starters much more manageable. Good news is that you can make your own stirplate for super cheap.

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Old 01-21-2010, 07:44 PM   #6
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whats method have you been using. What I mean do you add wort to the starter in steps (at 1 day...2 days.. etc) or do you just add from the beginning. Also, do you decant of the top or just shake the starter and add when pitching to the 5 gallons.

thanks

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Old 01-21-2010, 07:54 PM   #7
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I make the full starter, add the yeast and set it on the stirplate to spin for 48 hours +/- After that it's ready. On smaller starters (1 - 1.5 liters) I generally pitch the whole thing. On larger ones I decant the liquid and pitch only the yeast cake.

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Old 01-21-2010, 07:57 PM   #8
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Pitching the proper amount of yeast is really not about getting your fermentation to start really quick, or getting grain to glass in a few days or whatever.
If you listen to Jamil's podcast or many other threads on this topic, it is more about getting an excellent final product.

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Old 01-21-2010, 08:04 PM   #9
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3 Cups of water and 3/4 of light DME... you mix the DME with about 2 cups of water to dissolve it - I do this in a 4 cup measuring cup. Then you add the 3rd cup of water to it. This gets you about a 1.040 of about 800ml starter. I just boil it right in the flask on my stove cool it down to pitching temp or room temp (oh I forgot to mention I also smack the smack pack like 3 hours before I start the starter which is about 24 hours before plan to pitch the starter in the wort), put in the entire contents of the Wyeast smack pack in the cooled flask and put a cork with a hole in it and an airlock fitted in there. Put that on a stirplate and let it stir at a pretty low vortex for about 24 hours and you will have about 800ml-1L starter..

You can build your own stirplate and buy all the scientific stuff like flasks and what not at most online brew supply stores... I know Rebel Brewer has 'The Yeast Hog 1000) that is not too expensive and comes with everything you need including the stirplate.

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Old 01-21-2010, 08:14 PM   #10
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Starters are important with liquid yeast. I get a 1.040 starter going a couple days before brewing size depends on the beer I am going to brew . I don't put an airlock on my starters . I just cover the flask opening with some lose tin foil and start the stirplate. I want to have some exchange on CO2 and O2 in the starter this helps them procreate in their liquid orgy.

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