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Old 10-04-2012, 09:08 PM   #1
Cicada
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Default Yeast Starter - Necessary?

Hey everyone, I've been reading this forum for about a month now and they have been a big help to me for me to figure out things that I wouldn't have thought of or hadn't heard previously. I've brewed two batches, having started in August with an Extract IPA kit from Best Beer. I really had no idea what I was doing and just followed the directions that came with the kit. It turned out tasting great and I was hooked.

This past Saturday I brewed another extract kit, the Karl's 90 Shilling from Northern Brewer. I did it pretty much the same way as I had the IPA, following the directions and improving on some of the functions for ease and time, based on what I had found out in the first go-round. It was an easy, event free brew and there was activity in the airlock when I got up first thing Sunday morning.

I used the safale dry yeast that came in the kit, and pitched it straight into the wort.

I've been seeing stuff over the past few days about how a yeast starter is good for all beers, but essential in beers with a SG of over 1.05. This 90 Shilling was 1.065.

Should I have done a yeast starter? Will it affect my beer if I didn't?

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Old 10-04-2012, 09:14 PM   #2
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That advice is generally for liquid yeast. Dry yeast packs have a higher cell count. Check mrmalty.com to determine how much yeast to use for each individual beer and yeast strain. Cheers!

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Old 10-04-2012, 09:17 PM   #3
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With the dry yeast you will be fine. Did you rehydrate it? MRMALTY says 1.1 so you are all good. Make sure to keep those fermentation temps in chesk.

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Old 10-04-2012, 09:17 PM   #4
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The general numbers would suggest you should have pitched more for an og of 1.065. However, the yeast should ferment it all out. The flavor is likely to have a bit of a change because the yeast is more 'stressed'. Personally I like some of that myself, but it is a personal thing. I'm betting mrmalty.com is going to have your pitch rate at like 1.5 packets or maybe 1.3

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Old 10-04-2012, 09:33 PM   #5
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Thanks so much for the responses, yall. ACbrewer, you say that yeast SHOULD ferment it all out, what would happen it if it didn't?

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Old 10-04-2012, 09:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cicada View Post
Thanks so much for the responses, yall. ACbrewer, you say that yeast SHOULD ferment it all out, what would happen it if it didn't?
I would leave it alone and let it do its thing.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cicada View Post
Thanks so much for the responses, yall. ACbrewer, you say that yeast SHOULD ferment it all out, what would happen it if it didn't?
Your expected FG may be higher. This can typically occur with all extract recipes as there are less/unfermentable mixes of grains in LME that vary by manufacturer. That being said it is pretty hard to not hit your numbers with an all extract beer but don't panic if it gets to 1.020 +/- and doesn't go further.
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Old 10-04-2012, 09:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cicada View Post
Thanks so much for the responses, yall. ACbrewer, you say that yeast SHOULD ferment it all out, what would happen it if it didn't?
ok, so MrMalty said 1.1 packets of yeast, than it should make FG. If it didn't make FG, it would be of probably by .001 or so and I'd ignore it. I really doubt you'd fail to get below 1.025 (unless that is expected for this recipe).

General rule of thumb is that is FG= OG/4, so 65, becomes about 16, so 1.016 or 1.017 is probably the FG listed with the kit. If it is above 1.023, taste and see if you like it and then drink.

Again, at 1.1 for Mr.Malty, I'm going with getting to expected FG or FG+.001 and at that point calling it done. Sometimes you read about stuck fermentations, but I ALWAYS under pitch and I've yet to have one where I've not gotten to FG or FG+.001/.002.

To most directly answer you question without hopefully panicing you, the worst that would happen is a stuck fermentation and there is plenty of advice for how to handle that. Remeber a few things. A good nudge of your fermentor will kick some yeast back up off the trub layer and get you a little more fermentation (doable now) as will increasing temperature (do ONLY after you've determined it is possitively stuck!!! with a hydrometer).

Lastly, the typical ferment is 0 to 12 hours with yeast growing/uptaking, the hour about 6 to 72 with majority of the ferment, and then beginning at about hour 24 to day 7 is 'clean up' where the last point or 2 of gravity will ferment out and the cleanup the yeast does takes place. So after 2 days typically 90 to 99% of the fermentation completed/sugars are consumed, with the rest of the week going for the last 10% (if that much).
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