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Old 04-29-2009, 08:35 PM   #1
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Default Questions about harvesting yeast for a starter, and more!

Last night I built a stir plate with help from numerous threads already on the board (thanks everyone for posting theirs!). I plan on brewing Sunday (it is Wednesday now), however I will not be able to get the ingredients from my LHBS until that day. I have a bottle of Rogue Shakespeare Stout that I was planning on harvesting the yeast and making a starter with and was hoping to do that tonight. Here are some questions I have regarding my situation:

  1. I don't have any ingredients yet, so naturally I don't have any malt extract to make a starter with. Are there any alternatives? I do have yeast nutrient.
  2. Will I even be able to harvest enough yeast from one bomber of the Shakespeare Stout to have enough to pitch on Sunday. I would be making the starter tonight.
  3. If I do get to make the starter, how long before pitching should I turn off the stir plate to allow the yeasties to settle to the bottom and decant off the extra wort?

Thanks!
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Old 04-29-2009, 08:48 PM   #2
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I have used Malta Goya... It is soft drink made out of malt.. You might be able to find it at the ethic/mexican section of your supermarket.

Do a search for malta goya and you'll find out the procedures.

The amount of starter depends on what you are making. You should have plenty of time if you wakeup the pacman. Remember, we don't have 100% success rate on this harvesting.
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:31 PM   #3
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Thanks! I'll likely try that out. If I don't successfully harvest the pacman yeast I will likely just go with US-05 and make a starter a few hours before. No big deal. For the record, I am making an extract orange pale ale.
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:33 PM   #4
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US-05 is a dry yeast. No need to make a starter. Just hydrate and pitch it in.
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Old 04-29-2009, 09:38 PM   #5
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Thanks! I'll likely try that out. If I don't successfully harvest the pacman yeast I will likely just go with US-05 and make a starter a few hours before. No big deal. For the record, I am making an extract orange pale ale.
You're probably better off waiting till you can DME before trying to cultivate.

US-05 is a good choice for a pale ale and does not need a starter since it is a dry yeast.
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:30 PM   #6
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Would I be able to use some leftover priming sugar to get the starter going tonight and maybe get to the LHBS tomorrow and add the DME in? Ideally I'd like at least 3 days to step up since I only got one bottle of the Shakespeare Stout.
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Old 04-29-2009, 10:50 PM   #7
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Would I be able to use some leftover priming sugar to get the starter going tonight and maybe get to the LHBS tomorrow and add the DME in? Ideally I'd like at least 3 days to step up since I only got one bottle of the Shakespeare Stout.
Using basic sugar will negatively impact the yeasts ability to eat more complex sugars.
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Old 04-30-2009, 01:45 AM   #8
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do any of you guys add a splash of vodka to the starter to keep it sterile, just in case?
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Old 04-30-2009, 01:55 AM   #9
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nope... starter is like a mini batch of beer.. the purpose is to multiply and wake up the yeast...

Treat it like making a beer... sanitize things that's going to touch the wort.
Vodka can be used on the mouth of your Shakespeare Stout to prevent any contamination while you pour it out of the bottle.
Don't use an airlock.. your yeast needs air.... For me, I use a sanitized sponge.. it acts like a filter.
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