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Old 05-13-2009, 11:17 PM   #1
beerbelay
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Default Starter question

How many people are actually making starters for their brews? I'm getting ready to do my first one and was just wondering. Sounds pretty easy.


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Old 05-13-2009, 11:58 PM   #2
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+1 on starters

It's easy. I've got one going for next Tues. brew.

Here's what the wiki says about starters
Good luck


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Old 05-14-2009, 12:38 AM   #3
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Thanks, I'm on my 8th batch and looking to improve my technique.
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Old 05-14-2009, 12:40 AM   #4
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I rarely make a starter lately because I never know when I'm brewing.
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Old 05-14-2009, 12:49 AM   #5
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Death,
Are you using store bought yeast or harvested yeast when pitching?

Do you notice a difference in lag time or flavor profile?

Is Mr. Malty cheating death or Death cheating Mr. Malty?
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Old 05-14-2009, 02:21 AM   #6
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I've been using starters lately. I've made most of my beers without them, but used starters for my last 3 or 4 beers. The biggest difference for me has been a fast, vigorous fermentation. I haven't really noticed any improved flavors, but I haven't brewed the same beer twice and haven't had anything to compare side-by-side.

Is there a specific problem you're trying to solve that you think using a starter will fix?
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Old 05-14-2009, 02:26 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hugh_Jass View Post
Death,
Are you using store bought yeast or harvested yeast when pitching?

Do you notice a difference in lag time or flavor profile?

Is Mr. Malty cheating death or Death cheating Mr. Malty?
I'm cheating Mr. Malty and he's cheating everyone else.

It really depends on the beer itself, but if you have a smack pack, a vial, or a dry yeast pack you DO NOT NEED a starter.

I still advocate using one in general and especially in larger beers.

In any case, I find the recommendations from the Mr. Malty calculator to be far more than you need.

Of course, I also shake my beers after they begin fermentation to keep them roused and working and I usually get pretty good aeration prior to pitching, so there is that to consider

I don't stress my yeast, if that's what anyone is wondering, they do just find and I never get off-flavors.

AND I don't "aerate my beer" from shaking it after fermentation. The CO2 has already pushed all of the oxygen out so there is nothing to worry about until your krauesen drops and there is zero activity (even then there is still a blanket for some time )
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Old 05-14-2009, 02:48 AM   #8
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Ok, if I'm brewing big beer and need a ton of yeast, after my first starter settles out can I add more wort to the starter to ferment again to double the yeast numbers again?
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Old 05-14-2009, 02:59 AM   #9
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Here's what Palmer's "How to Brew" has to say about stepping up.

The starter process may be repeated several times to provide more yeast to ensure an even stronger fermentation. In fact, a general rule is that the stronger the beer (more fermentable/higher gravity), the more yeast you should pitch. For strong beers and barleywines, at least 1 cup of yeast slurry or 1 gallon of yeast starter should be pitched to ensure that there will be enough active yeast to finish the fermentation before they are overwhelmed by the rising alcohol level. For more moderate strength beers (1.050 gravity) a 1-1.5 quart starter is sufficient. One consideration when pitching a large starter is to pour off some of the starter liquid and only pitch the yeast slurry. One recommendation when pitching a large starter is to chill the starter overnight in the refrigerator to flocculate all of the yeast. Then the unpleasant tasting starter beer can be poured off, so only the yeast slurry will be pitched.

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Old 05-14-2009, 07:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beerbelay View Post
Ok, if I'm brewing big beer and need a ton of yeast, after my first starter settles out can I add more wort to the starter to ferment again to double the yeast numbers again?
Yes. I often have made 1L starters (800mL with yeast, 2 cups of extract and water), and then stepped it up to 2 Liters after a couple of days (with more extract) before I pitch onto a big beer, such as a barleywine, belgian strong ale or russian imperial stout.


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