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Old 11-04-2009, 12:13 AM   #1
tlsmart1
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I'm planning to brew a 1.080 OG ale and would like to make a yeast starter. The Mr. Malty Pitching Calculator suggests 2.66 liters of starter if I intermittently shake it. But I'm confused about how to make this volume of starter.

"How to Brew" suggests making starters with 0.5 quart of water and 0.5 cup DME. It goes on to say, "(t)he starter process may be repeated several times to provide more yeast to ensure an even stronger fermentation." I assume that he doesn't mean pitching a packet of yeast into each starter when repeating the process - does he mean making more wort and adding to the starter after it has fermented for a while? Also, to get to 2.66 liters I'd have to make 5 or six starters using this repeated process - doesn't make sense. Do I make 3 liters of wort in the beginning, pitch the yeast into 1 liter, and and a liter per day the next 2 days? Or do I make a 3 liter starter and throw in a single yeast packet right off the bat? Or is there something else that I'm missing?

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Old 11-04-2009, 12:17 AM   #2
TipsyDragon
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save the head ache just pitch 2 vials of liquid yeast. one should be enough two is more than enough.

 
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:24 AM   #3
tlsmart1
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Even though Mr. Malty says 3 packs are necessary? Also, if 1 is enough then can I conclude that I could make a starter with a single pack the way Palmer suggests (without repeating) and assume that would be plenty?

 
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tlsmart1 View Post
Even though Mr. Malty says 3 packs are necessary? Also, if 1 is enough then can I conclude that I could make a starter with a single pack the way Palmer suggests (without repeating) and assume that would be plenty?
Yes, if you start with a smaller starter and "step up" by adding fresh wort, you will have enough yeast for your 1.080 ale.

You can start with the larger volume, but many of us start small, about a week before brewday. After the first wort is fermented out, you can add the second fresh wort. After that is fermented out, you can step it up again, until you are at the right quantity. You want to make sure you have a large quanitity of healthy yeast for a bigger beer like that.
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:36 AM   #5
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liquid yeast vials have more yeast in them than a dry yeast packet and you don't have to rehydrate them.

but listen to YooperBrew he's right as well.

 
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:39 AM   #6
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A 1.080 beer is going to do much better with a correctly sized starter. There are a couple ways to accomplish this with a smaller sized starter. I'm going to assume you have a 2000ml flask, or access to 1/2 gallon growlers as you didn't state what you would be using.

The first way is to make a starter and let it complete. You can then add more wort to bring it up to your desired final volume and repeat the process. The problem here looks to be that you do not have a vessel large enough for 2.6 liters. You could also split the first starter at this point into two vessels and add wort to both to grow a larger colony.

The next deviation is after the first starter is complete you can refrigerate to get the yeast to flocculate out then decant the beer. Move about 2/3 to 3/4 of the yeast from this starter to a sterile mason jar or other vessel and refrigerate, then pith the remaining yeast into another starter. when the second starter is done refrigerate and decant as well. Then use both in the beeer. This process obviously will take you several days.

If you are strapped for time, the way I would recommend is to get two starter vessels at once. You can use 1/2 gallon growlers, or even well sanitized 1/2 gallon milk jugs. Split your yeast vial into both vessels and make two 1.3 liter-ish starters simultaneously, each with 1/2 the vial of yeast. The yeast will have a bit more stress making the larger starter, but not enough to worry about. I have made 1.2 liter starters from 1/2 a vial before with no ill effects.

The final thing you could do if you if you are concerned with growing the starter with 1/2 a vial is to buy two vials of yeast and make two starters as described above.

You'll get the best results with a starter near the Mr Malty recommended size.
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:39 AM   #7
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With each step up and more handling you do the greater the risk of possible problems, like infections and cross contamination. I would rather see 2 vials pitched into a a larger starter and then have the right amount one time done.
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TipsyDragon View Post
liquid yeast vials have more yeast in them than a dry yeast packet and you don't have to rehydrate them.

but listen to YooperBrew he's right as well.
Thanks for the vote of confidence Tipsy. but psssst- I'm a girl!

Actually that's backwards- there are more yeast cells in a package of 11 gm dry yeast than in a package of liquid yeast. The liquid yeast have on average 100 million cells. Even Wyeast's website tells you to make a starter for anything over 1.060 OG, and recommends it other times (like lagers, or when you want to decrease lag time).
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:43 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TipsyDragon View Post

but listen to YooperBrew he's right as well.
He sure is, he's kinda cute too.
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Old 11-04-2009, 12:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zen_Brew View Post
He sure is, he's kinda cute too.
I'm sorry. That's funny. I know it's but it sure is funny!
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