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Old 09-09-2011, 06:33 PM   #1
Boston85
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Default Yeast Starter Size question

I am brewing a Rye IPA tomorrow, and bought a package of the Wyeast 1056 to use. I was reading on their website that they suggest using a yeast starter.

In Beersmith, it is saying I need 214.5 Billion cells. With no yeast starter, I can expect to get only around 65 billion. In order to get up to the 214 number, I need just about 3 quarts of a yeast starter. Does that really mean I need almost a gallon of a yeast starter?

Since I am brewing a 5 gallon batch, does that mean I only put just over 4 gallons in my fermentation bucket and then add the starter? Or do I put 5 gallons in and then add the other gallon, which would almost fill the bucket.

I have never done a starter before, so wondering if I even need to do it anyway. I have used liquid yeast in the past and had everything turn out fine, but was thinking of doing a starter this time. Any help would be appreciated.

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Old 09-09-2011, 06:48 PM   #2
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You can do a big starter like that and then cold crash it for a couple days in the fridge. Take it out on brew day to warm up to pitching temp and pour off the clearer part of the starter. The yeast will be packed at the bottom. You really need the 6 1/2 gallon fermenting bucket anyway so you have some head space. And think Blow off tube because with a starter it will be taking off at a fast pace. Check out the videos on youtube for making yeast starters it will help to understand them by seeing them made.

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Old 09-09-2011, 07:07 PM   #3
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Wyeast Smack Packs should have 100 billion yeast cells to start. I've read that making a 2 liter starter would about double your yeast count, so that's the rule of thumb I usually go by. All my fermentations have took off quickly & leaned toward the higher end attenuation percentage when all was said & done. Also, I have not experienced any off flavors from using these pitching rates.

This is the chart I go by making 2L starters whenever possible...
- 100 bil cells needed - Pitch pack directly into wort
- 200 bil cells needed - 2L starter 48 hrs prior to pitching
- 300 bil cells needed - 2L starter 48 hrs prior to pitching + extra yeast pack
- 400 bil cells needed - (2) 2L starters 48 hrs prior to pitching

You can adjust your starter size if your required cell count falls in between any of these numbers. Again, I have no idea if this is scientifically right or if I've been over/under-pitching at all, but I've had good results using this method.

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Old 09-09-2011, 07:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigbeavk View Post
You can do a big starter like that and then cold crash it for a couple days in the fridge. Take it out on brew day to warm up to pitching temp and pour off the clearer part of the starter. The yeast will be packed at the bottom. You really need the 6 1/2 gallon fermenting bucket anyway so you have some head space. And think Blow off tube because with a starter it will be taking off at a fast pace. Check out the videos on youtube for making yeast starters it will help to understand them by seeing them made.
If you choose to use this method, you should pour off the clear part of the starter (decant) when it is COLD, right out of the fridge.
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Old 09-09-2011, 07:09 PM   #5
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Also,

http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_pitchrate.cfm

enjoy.

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Old 09-09-2011, 08:53 PM   #6
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This is an easy calculator and works great for many guys on here, myself included. I use it every time.

http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

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Old 09-10-2011, 01:48 PM   #7
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If you choose to use this method, you should pour off the clear part of the starter (decant) when it is COLD, right out of the fridge.
Thanks for clarifying that point.
I haven't used that method yet but when I do I'll remember.

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Old 09-10-2011, 07:08 PM   #8
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I haven't done any super-high-grav brews, so I just make about a 1 -quart starter and call it good. It's worked fine for me and I've gone up to about 1.060 OG.

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