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Old 03-11-2011, 11:23 PM   #1
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Default Yeast Starters for Lagers - Decant?

I have not seen a consensus on this yet -- could someone tell me whether it is a "must" to decant yeast from a starter for a lager? Bonus points for "why"?!?!

I guess I am confused because my starters do not sit for more than 24-28 hours at room temperature. Over that period of time I imagine that there is a fair amount of yeast that remains in suspension. Hopefully I am wrong. That has been typical as late anyway.

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Old 03-11-2011, 11:26 PM   #2
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Technically speaking, I do not believe that you MUST decant. That said, there are a couple of reasons why you might want to:
1. The fermentation of the starter was not at the same temps as your lager
2. The starter wort was not the same grains as you beer wort
3. Your starter is likely oxidized
4. That is a hellalotta beer to be adding in.

Do the starter, throw it in the fridge the night before, then decant.

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Old 03-11-2011, 11:28 PM   #3
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Starter beer is totally oxidized from the constant stirring, and it's unhopped, which tends to give it a weird sweet/tart/cardboard-like flavor. Considering a lager requires a starter of 3+ liters, those are not flavors you want to introduce into your delicate lager beer. So decanting is pretty much a must. To do so, you crash the starter after it has fermented out, decant the starter beer, and then warm it back up to pitching temperature.

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Old 03-11-2011, 11:49 PM   #4
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Wow, those are really good answers. Thank you. And thank you for explaining *why* as that makes a lot of sense, accords with some of what I was assuming, and adds to what I should know going forward.

None of this, by the way, is mentioned in the post on how to make a yeast starter. Must be that ales and non-lagering beers operate differently?

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Old 03-12-2011, 01:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maltoftheearth View Post

None of this, by the way, is mentioned in the post on how to make a yeast starter. Must be that ales and non-lagering beers operate differently?
The starters for both work essentially the same. The major difference lies in the size of the starter that is recommended.
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Old 03-12-2011, 01:47 AM   #6
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As mentioned above, go with at least 3 liters. I know it's a PITA to dump the wort, but once you are up and running, you get several batches from that one starter, so it's not too bad after all......

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Old 03-22-2011, 12:34 AM   #7
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A followup question that I should have asked before -- does the proper mixture for 3 liters of starter = 3 liters of water and 3 cups of DME?

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Old 03-22-2011, 12:37 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maltoftheearth View Post
A followup question that I should have asked before -- does the proper mixture for 3 liters of starter = 3 liters of water and 3 cups of DME?
300 g for 3 l.
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