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Old 03-26-2013, 03:10 AM   #1
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Default Yeast starter advice

I'll be brewing Northern Brewer's 115th Dream Imperial IPA this Friday which is my biggest beer to date. The OG is 1.090.
I'm planning to make a starter tomorrow with Wyeast 1056. I have two smack packs, one dated 1/13/13 and one dated 2/13/13. Mr. Malty says I need a 1.96 liter starter using two packs with a production date of 2/13/13. Since one pack is a month older should I make the starter a little large r, or should I be okay with about 2 liters. I'll be using intermittent shaking for this one because I still haven't been able to get my Radio Shack built stir plate to work properly. Waking up in the middle of the night to a thrown stir bar SUCKS!

Should I step this up, or can I do it all at once since I have two packs? I have a 2 litter flask and a few one gallon cider jugs. Would I be better of using the gallon jug?

Thanks!

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Old 03-26-2013, 03:14 AM   #2
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the one month difference in the yeast packs won't matter much. If it was 6 months or more it might but u should be good. Just up to to a straight 2L and go with that.

If u cold crash and decant, u should be able to see a good amount of yeast cake on the bottom. Depending on ur vessel, if it reaches the gradient markings u might be able to judge an approx. amount of yeast cells in there. There are some web sites online, and mr malty may even have it on their site that give u some numbers on what to look for as far as the amount of cells in a given yeast cake.

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Old 03-26-2013, 03:15 AM   #3
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I'd say that two smack packs in a 2 liter starter would do just fine.

When I make big 2 liter starters I also like to give myself enough time to cold crash the night before brew day, let the yeast settle, & pour the starter wort off the starter yeast cake before pitching it.

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Old 03-26-2013, 03:20 AM   #4
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http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php...st_propagation

Scroll down to the chart for Pitching rate and yeast propagation, about a third the way down. That gives u a rough idea of oz of yeast cake. Although it prob means washed yeast, with all the trub and other stuff taken off.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:39 AM   #5
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Thanks guys! I do hope this finishes in time to cold crash Thursday night.

Should I smack the packs or just pour off the yeast?

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Old 03-26-2013, 03:48 AM   #6
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wont hurt to smack as well, that'll give them the first boost.

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Old 03-26-2013, 03:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTate37 View Post
Waking up in the middle of the night to a thrown stir bar SUCKS!
You wake up in the middle of the night to a thrown stir bar? Dam you must be a light sleeper.

Try slowing down your fan for this issue. I've heard you don't need to have a funnel going, just need to keep the yeast in suspension with constant movement. I'm no expert but my stir plate barely creates a funnel and I can tell after cold crashing that the yeast layer had increased in size.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:54 AM   #8
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Well actually it was SWMBO who woke up first but it was making a terrible racket. Damn thing was dancing around all over the place and banging up against the sides of the flask. There was probably enough movement to keep the yeast from settling but the noise was unbearable.

I think I need either a weaker magnet or a stronger fan. Using a hard drive magnet now and the fan won't even get started if I try to start on the lowest speed.

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Old 03-26-2013, 04:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MTate37 View Post
Well actually it was SWMBO who woke up first but it was making a terrible racket. Damn thing was dancing around all over the place and banging up against the sides of the flask. There was probably enough movement to keep the yeast from settling but the noise was unbearable.

I think I need either a weaker magnet or a stronger fan. Using a hard drive magnet now and the fan won't even get started if I try to start on the lowest speed.
I see. I guess I'm just a really heavy sleeper (takes 3 alarms to wake me up)
The fan on mine is slow too because of the magnet but works for me because doesn't throw the bar. What size power supply are you using? Also, it might help to put a little plastic spacer in between the fan and the magnet to resolve that issue.
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Old 03-26-2013, 02:58 PM   #10
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Haven't thought of the spacer between the fan and magnet yet. I'll give that a try.

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