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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > To yeast start, or not to yeast start....
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:31 PM   #1
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Default To yeast start, or not to yeast start....

My buddy and I are going to brew side-by-side on Sunday. He's brewing a Dead Guy Ale clone and I'm brewing a Imperial RyePA. I know I should definitely have a starter since I'm shooting for 9% on this beer, but we only have 1 yeast starter flask. My question is, does that Dead Guy clone have to have one? or would it ferment up just fine without it?

Thanks! Cheers!

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Old 05-11-2012, 02:34 PM   #2
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you can use lots of things for a starter..doesn't have to be a flask...just clean/sanitized... 2 liter growlers work great. could also use a plastic 2 liter bottle, milk jug, etc...

and yes, the dead guy clone should have one...

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Old 05-11-2012, 02:36 PM   #3
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Its right on the edge. 1.065-ish OG right? I tend to think 1.05 and below could be done with or without a starter depending on what you are looking to get out of it.

1.060+ and I always make a starter. Just don't want to risk a long lag time and/or stuck fermentation from inadequate numbers of yeasties.

You don't have to make starters with a stir plate and erlenmeyer you know. I don't have either and pitch large volumes of yeast with a 1 gallon carboy. True that the intermittent shaking method produces less yeast per volume, but its still leaps and bounds better than pitching a single pack or vial. You can use a growler too if you have one laying around.

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Old 05-11-2012, 02:48 PM   #4
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cool, thanks guys...If I just make a yeast starter in a growler or 2 liter bottle, wouldn't I need a breathable cork or something? I thought that is what is on that flask my buddy has.

We've made 6 batches of beer now and I've never done a starter. my buddy did on the first one, but I wasn't there when he did it. My last beer was the NB Black IPA (OG 1.078) and I didn't do a starter...I'm a little worried about that, but after I thought about it I haven't moved it to a secondary, just left it sitting on the yeast cake in the primary...I don't know if that will help anything, but I figured it was worth a shot considering all I've read on this forum about how many people don't use secondaries.

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Old 05-11-2012, 02:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drives_a_bike View Post
cool, thanks guys...If I just make a yeast starter in a growler or 2 liter bottle, wouldn't I need a breathable cork or something? I thought that is what is on that flask my buddy has.

We've made 6 batches of beer now and I've never done a starter. my buddy did on the first one, but I wasn't there when he did it. My last beer was the NB Black IPA (OG 1.078) and I didn't do a starter...I'm a little worried about that, but after I thought about it I haven't moved it to a secondary, just left it sitting on the yeast cake in the primary...I don't know if that will help anything, but I figured it was worth a shot considering all I've read on this forum about how many people don't use secondaries.
Just use a piece of sanitized foil. Spray it down good with star san. If you dont do starters you should use at least use 2 yeast packs.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:02 PM   #6
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Just use a piece of sanitized foil. Spray it down good with star san. If you dont do starters you should use at least use 2 yeast packs.
awesome! thanks for the help guys.

The fermentation on that Black IPA looked good, I guys we'll see how it turns out. dry hopping tonight.
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:16 PM   #7
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Sounds like you got all the answers you need, but just for the heck of it... I agree!

I'm actually planning on doing a starter today for a brew session tomorrow, and I'm in the same boat as you. I'm doing the starter in a growler (no stir plate or other fancy equipment).

I'm opting for a rubber plug + airlock on my starter, but only because I happen to have one that fits the growler. If I didn't, I'd go the foil route too. Also, I have to transport it to my brother's house, so I figured the airlock would be safer.

Good luck!

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Old 05-11-2012, 03:17 PM   #8
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I always make a starter no matter the OG. Just a habit. Unless I use dry yeast of course.

Check out www.stirstarters.com. Just picked up a stir plate and 2L flask. Very quick shipping and great quality. Can't wait to use it

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Old 05-11-2012, 03:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onipar
Sounds like you got all the answers you need, but just for the heck of it... I agree!

I'm actually planning on doing a starter today for a brew session tomorrow, and I'm in the same boat as you. I'm doing the starter in a growler (no stir plate or other fancy equipment).

I'm opting for a rubber plug + airlock on my starter, but only because I happen to have one that fits the growler. If I didn't, I'd go the foil route too. Also, I have to transport it to my brother's house, so I figured the airlock would be safer.

Good luck!
It is actually bad to use a rubber stopper and airlock. A starter needs all the oxygen it can get and if you put a rubber stopper in instead of foam or even better foil then the yeast won't get all the oxygen it needs.

Before I bought this stir plate I used growlers and plastic bottles and they worked great. The stir plate just allows for more oxygen to get into the starter and keep the yeast in suspension
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Old 05-11-2012, 03:32 PM   #10
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well, my plans just changed...instead of Sunday, we're going to brew tomorrow night (Can't wait to break in my new floor burner with outdoor brewing!). so we're going to get these starters rolling asap, just have to wait for my buddies lunch break. I hope that's enough time for a starter...from everything I've read it looks like it should be.

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