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Old 08-24-2012, 10:57 AM   #1
Jaehnig
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Default Yeast Starter How To?

Looking around to get some terminology and a detailed description of the process of creating a yeast starter.

The proper way to do it? How long until the yeast is at its peak of being "started?"

Any and all info is appreciated. I am really looking to expand my knowledge on all things brewing.

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Old 08-24-2012, 11:02 AM   #2
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Hey man, yeast starters can be difficult to understand by reading - the best thing to do is to go on youtube.com and search for "yeast starter" and watch a few videos and see how a few people do it. (probably all different in their own ways) Then get started from there.

a yeast starter can be as simple as pitching yeast into sugar water and waiting 24-48 hours for it to multiply and then pitching that into your beer.

Or as complicated as using a stir plate and bar to stir the starter and then cooling it off and decanting the top layer of liquid off before you pitch.


so watch some videos and see what you are comfortable with doing!

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Old 08-24-2012, 11:23 AM   #3
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You can also search here on the fermentation and yeast threads http://www.homebrewtalk.com/search.p...rchid=14359586 . Starters are generally for bigger beers or liquid yeast. As MZRIS pointed out; some DME and water, cover lightly, shake occasionally for 18-24 hours. Shoot for an OG of about 1.040. Though that doesn't get as much yeast as using a stir plate does. If you're handy, you can make a stirplate fairly easily and cheaply.

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Old 08-24-2012, 01:56 PM   #4
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Appreciate the help guys. I just see a lot of "instructions" on the forums but with a lot of steps and directions I between missing. I am fairly new, so that may be why.

I eventually want to go to school to become a brewer and just got my HB Kit recently. Trying to make this pumpkin ale a good one and was looking to gain some info on yeast and yeast starters.

I won't be making anything more than a 5 gallon batch this time around so since it has been mentioned that yeast starters are for large batches and liquid yeast, I think I should be alright.

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Old 08-24-2012, 02:02 PM   #5
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Big or Large beers are referring to the gravity, not the quantity. For example, you can have 5 gallons of a blonde that is 3.5% alcohol or have a big 5 gallon batch of an imperial stout at 10%. I would use a starter on "big" beers being over about 1.060-1.070 or so. You can get away without, but the bigger the beer the more stress is put on the yeast to munch through the sugars.

If you are into dry yeast, just pitch 2 packets and that should be sufficient for most bigger brews.

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Old 08-24-2012, 02:05 PM   #6
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Good advanced planning on making a starter for one of your first steps. Yes, it is another thing you have to learn to do and technically yes, it does increase the risk of infection if you do not sanitize well but it will improve your beers. I think it is the second step every brewer should take because it is much cheaper than a fermentation chamber. Anyways, let us know what specifically is confusing you after looking through that link above and some youtube videos. Speaking of videos, check for something from Northern Brewer, all their stuff is great!

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Old 08-24-2012, 02:09 PM   #7
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Couple of questions and we can walk you through this. What is your projected OG of the beer? This will dictate the size of the starter. If it is Between 1.050-1.065 you will only need 850ML - 1L starter. I use light DME and use about a half cup of DME per 1L of starter. I use a flask but if you use a pan that will work. Add 1L of water with the 1/2 cup of DME. Boil for about 20 minutes. Cool and transfer the contents to a sanitized container. A lot of people use growlers but any sanitized jug will work. Pitch the yeast into the cool wort. If you do not have a stir plate every time you walk by it shake it up. A normal starter takes 24-48 hours. At this point you can do one of two things. 1. pitch the content in your fermentor after you brew or some cool crash (put in fridge) for 24-48 hours. Once it seperates decant (pour the top liquid off) then you can pitch the yeast when you brew.

Hope this helps

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Old 08-24-2012, 03:03 PM   #8
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That was very helpful. Thank you. The O.G. Should not
Be higher than 1.065

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Old 08-24-2012, 03:32 PM   #9
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That was very helpful. Thank you. The O.G. Should not
Be higher than 1.065

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Old 08-24-2012, 03:35 PM   #10
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Just follow either of these guides -- White Labs or Wyeast.

You want the starter to 'grow' -- not ferment. If you follow the White Labs procedure, you likely won't get krausen or an 'active' looking yeast culture but the yeast will be multiplying away in a very low-stress environment which is exactly what you are shooting for. Stress the yeast in the beer, not the starter.

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