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


Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > WYeast Activator: starter vs yeast nutrient
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 04-06-2009, 04:18 PM   #1
telemaster
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central PA
Posts: 120
Default WYeast Activator: starter vs yeast nutrient

Greetings fellow brewers,
I ordered my first wyeast activator (1214) for an extract Belgian tripel. I do not have a stir plate or flask to make a starter, and am wondering if adding yeast nutrient will help at all?

According to wyeast:

Quote:
The Activator is designed to deliver professional pitch rates (6 million cells/ ml.) when directly added to 5 gallons of wort. ( <1.060 at 70 degrees). However, if a package is slow to swell, suspected of being mishandled, or if the date is approaching the six month shelf life it is a good idea to build the culture up with a starter. High gravity or low temperature fermentations require higher pitch rates. This can be achieved with inoculating with additional packages or making a starter.
I expect the OG to be well over the starter/no starter threshold of 1.060. So the question is:

Do I need to make a starter for this bad boy, or if I add yeast nutrient in the appropriate amount (1 tsp/gallon), will that be sufficient?

If I do need to make a starter, what is your advice for someone without a stir plate or flask?

Thanks in advance.
__________________
lots of stuff brewing, fermenting, curing, rising, baking. Life is good.
telemaster is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-06-2009, 04:24 PM   #2
Mencken
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 102
Likes Given: 1

Default

I've made a starter before without a stir plate or a flask, and it worked great. I'm assuming you have a smack pack for the Wyeast? Bring it to room temp and smack it. Let it grow for a few hours. Then, for the starter itself, just boil a pint of water and half a cup of DME for about ten min, stirring occasionally, then cool it down. Then just mix the two in any sanitized container (I just use a gallon sized plastic tub that AHB ships their liquid extract in) and cover it with foil. Leave in a dark place, and it'll grow just fine.

If I'm doing the starter three days or so in advance, I'll throw a second batch of the same ratio of DME/water that's been boiled and cooled, just as a step up for the yeast.

Oh, and you can add a little hops to your starter mix too, if you want.

__________________
Mencken is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-06-2009, 04:25 PM   #3
GreenwoodRover
me-no-r-no Nice Guy
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
GreenwoodRover's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,060
Liked 9 Times on 9 Posts

Default

I don;t have experience with using nutrient/energizrer but...
You don't need a stirplate or flask to make a starter.
I use a 1/2 glass growler from my local brewpub. I've also used a empty sanatized 2liter pop (soda) bottle. I just start ti about 3-5 days before my brew day and I just give it a swirl any time I walk by it (3-5 times a day)...

EDIT: Mencken beat me to it....

__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by david_42 View Post
only the $500,000 strippers can handle the load.
<Insert list of brews planned, fermenting, or being consumed here>
GreenwoodRover is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-06-2009, 04:47 PM   #4
Evan!
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Evan!'s Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 11,901
Liked 70 Times on 62 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Also, don't listen to that "1.060" cutoff. Unless that Activator pack was produced yesterday (and even then, I wouldn't be so sure), you can be assured that you don't have enough viable cells for anything above 1.040.

Go by JZ's pitching rate calculator.

According to the calculator, even if the yeast pack was produced today, anything over a 1.027 OG requires a starter, or multiple yeast packs. Let's say it was produced 2 months ago, which is fair. For wort that's 1.060 (OG), you'd need 4 packets, or a 4L starter (assuming no stirplate). That stuff they put on those activator packs is not good advice.

__________________
MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers


.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
Evan! is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-06-2009, 05:38 PM   #5
beersydoesit
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Madison, Wi
Posts: 332
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 4

Default

The point of the starter is to make more cells, not just feed the ones you have, so nutrient is not a replacement for a starter.

I your case a starter is needed, and Evan!'s link will also get you to a starter How-to.


Regards.

__________________

Dave in Madison

beersydoesit is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-06-2009, 06:04 PM   #6
telemaster
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Central PA
Posts: 120
Default

Thank you much! My inexperience shows in the assumption I needed a flask and stir plate to make a starter. Glad to know that I don't.

Now, all I need to do is find some DME...

Is there anything that can be substituted instead of DME? I have a feeling it is going to be hard to find, and I don't feel like making a special order just for DME.

__________________
lots of stuff brewing, fermenting, curing, rising, baking. Life is good.
telemaster is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-06-2009, 06:24 PM   #7
giligson
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Vancouver Area - Canada
Posts: 755
Liked 4 Times on 4 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

If you are between a rock and a hard place then you can use dextrose or you can use table sugar - just make it up to standard gravity (1.030 to 1.050). The trouble with feeding the yeast simple sugars is that they might stall when you pitch them into your wort. I wonder if you can find "malt sugar" at your local supermarket in the baking section?

__________________

We who are about to Brew, salute you!

giligson is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-06-2009, 06:27 PM   #8
joety
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
joety's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Germantown Wisconsin
Posts: 1,446
Liked 16 Times on 14 Posts
Likes Given: 19

Default

Slightly OT, anyone using the cheaper propagators instead with a stir plate? If so, how do you handle the schedule? Smack a day earlier?

__________________
Conical 1 - Forbidden Fruit Calypso IPA
Conical 2 - Empty
Carboys - Bavarian Dunkel

Secondaries - None
Lagering in Kegs - None

Kegged: Belgian Dirty Blonde Trappist Ale, Bourbon County Stout, BLC
Bottled: Oaked Bourbon Porter
Planned: Chocolate Cherry Stout
joety is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-06-2009, 06:30 PM   #9
Evan!
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Evan!'s Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 11,901
Liked 70 Times on 62 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by giligson View Post
If you are between a rock and a hard place then you can use dextrose or you can use table sugar - just make it up to standard gravity (1.030 to 1.050). The trouble with feeding the yeast simple sugars is that they might stall when you pitch them into your wort. I wonder if you can find "malt sugar" at your local supermarket in the baking section?
You just invalidated the "rock/hard place" suggestion above. Do NOT use simple sugars in your starter, unless you're going to be fermenting only simple sugars in the beer.

You can't usually find anything like that at the regular grocery store, but chances are good that you can find Malta Goya, which is essentially just unhopped malt wort, at Mexican/Latin grocery stores.
__________________
MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers


.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
Evan! is offline
 
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-06-2009, 06:32 PM   #10
Evan!
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Evan!'s Avatar
Recipes 
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Charlottesville, VA
Posts: 11,901
Liked 70 Times on 62 Posts
Likes Given: 1

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by joety View Post
Slightly OT, anyone using the cheaper propagators instead with a stir plate? If so, how do you handle the schedule? Smack a day earlier?
Propagators don't have the nutrient/wort blend, so you're not "smacking" them, and there's no activation in the pack. Hence why the smack packs are called "Activators".

I've used the propagators before, you just need to up the size of your starter, or step it up, because I don't think they have as many viable cells as the activators.
__________________
MOSS HOLLOW BREWING CO.
Aristocratic Ales, Lascivious Lagers


.planned:
•Scottish 80/- •Sweet Stout •Roggenbier
.primary | bright:
98: Moss Hollow Soured '09 72: Oude Kriek 99: B-Weisse 102: Brett'd BDSA 104: Feat of Strength Helles Bock 105: Merkin Brown
.on tap | kegged:
XX: Moss Hollow Springs Sparkling Water 95: Gott Mit Uns German Pils 91b: Brown Willie's Oaked Abbey Ale 103: Merkin Stout
98: Yorkshire Special 100: Maple Porter 89: Cidre Saison 101: Steffiweizen '09 (#3)
Evan! 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
Wyeast Activator Starter MisterGreen Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 5 10-10-2009 04:30 PM
Yeast Nutrient / Starter ? cyclonebeer Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 1 08-02-2009 07:21 PM
Yeast starter with corn sugar and nutrient? jkpq45 General Techniques 1 05-05-2009 04:07 PM
Starter Yeast Nutrient shot0rum247 General Techniques 9 08-12-2008 01:56 PM
Yeast w/ Starter/Activator???? Oahu Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 6 07-05-2005 07:27 PM



Newest Threads

LATEST SPONSOR DEALS