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Old 04-10-2009, 02:59 AM   #1
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Default Making a big yeast starter

I'm brewing a lager this weekend, so I'm starting to build up a big starter. Thought I'd share some pictures, since there are always lots of starter questions here.

MrMalty claims I'll need about 4 liters of starter, since I'm using a stirplate. So here's the plan: first make a starter like I normally do with 32oz (1 quart) of water and 4oz of dried malt extract. Pitch the yeast into that and let it ferment on the stirplate overnight.

Next make another 2 quarts of wort in the same way (with 8oz DME) and add that to the existing starter. Let it ferment overnight.

Repeat once more to make a total of 5 quarts of starter. I'll take one quart of that off and let it ferment out separately to be stored (instead of washing the yeast from my batch after it's done).

On to the pictures! First the mise en place.



DME, 5l Erlenmeyer flask, digital scale, spray bottle of Star-San, probe thermometer and already smacked smack-pack of yeast.

Weigh 4oz DME in the flask, add 32oz water, drop in the stir bar so it can get boiled and sanitized. Put it on a burner and boil for 10 minutes, being careful of boilovers. Since my thermometer's probe is good to 400+ degrees I boil it for the last 5 minutes to sanitize it.



After 10 minutes, I put a piece of tin foil over the neck (after spraying the foil with Star-San) and it's time to cool down. I know borosilicate glass is supposed to be able to go right into an ice bath, but I started it in lukewarm water so it doesn't shock it too badly. It's not going to make it cool noticeably slower as long as you change the water out frequently.



Once it cooled under 65F, I pulled out the thermometer, sanitized my scissors, hands and yeast packet, and pitched the yeast.



one more post for picture count...


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Old 04-10-2009, 03:00 AM   #2
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And then onto the stirplate it goes.



I turned up the RPMs until I had a good stable vortex going and turned out the lights. More tomorrow!

-Joe


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Old 04-10-2009, 12:04 PM   #3
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Wow, that's a honkin' big flask! I've got a 1L and 2L and that makes them look like kiddy toys.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:40 PM   #4
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Default Good pix, nice oven mitts...

This is very helpful... I'll be beginning my first ever liquid yeast starter this weekend and was wondering about the quantities made when splitting the yeast for storage. Thanks! This looks like wiki material to me.

And I see from the bread hook in the background that you're also the proud owner of a KitchenAid mixer.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:48 PM   #5
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Interesting.
I am brewing my first 10g (1.056)batch in 2 weeks, and wondered the options of stepping up 1 liter starter, or just making a 4 liter starter.
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:24 PM   #6
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From what I've read it's better to step it up from a 1l to a 4l starter. Maybe someone smarter than me can chime in with the science.

I'm adding 2 quarts this morning and 2 quarts in 12 hours. That way I can give it 24 hours to ferment and a 12 hour crash cool before using on Sunday.

-Joe
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:29 PM   #7
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when i do lagers or hi gravity ten gallon batches i just make a 2.5 gallon batch of beer, aerate the heck out of it in a 5 or 6 gallon carboy, and pitch a vial, slurry, or even a starter to it. Then I use some of the cake (after mrmaltys slurry estimates) for the actual beer. End up with 2.5 gallons I can experiment with in the process.
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:31 PM   #8
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Nice post. Picture tutorials like this are very helpful.
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:33 PM   #9
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Just a thought but...

You probably don't leave the tin foil that tight but I think it will stop any fresh O2 from getting if it is crimped that tight. I always fight wanting to have it snug vs leaving it loose so it can get oxygen exhange..
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Old 04-10-2009, 04:43 PM   #10
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Based on what you're doing, I'm guessing that you could use the 5 L flask for any size starter, right? Where did you find the flask? I'm having trouble locating one that big and it seems it would be cheapest to just buy and use one large flask for everything.


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