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Old 04-21-2010, 05:03 AM   #1
HeavyBrew
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When you make a yeast starter, don't you potentially add more fermentables and, or alcohol to your beer? If you made a 1 liter starter that was between 1.030-1.040, wouldn't that bump up your beer a bit compared to just pitching the yeast packet? Do people account for this in their recipes? I washed some yeast from a previous batch and want to make a starter for the next one. Just wondering if this is something I should account for or its not that important.

 
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:10 AM   #2
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nah, not important - the purpose of a starter is to eat all of the sugars in your starter to bump up the yeast cell count ---- then have them just ready to go once you pitch into your wort.

 
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:33 AM   #3
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If you add a liter of 1.040 starter to your beer, you've just added more wort, already fermented. The difference between 1.040 and just about any beer you add it to, is negligible.

A 2 liter 1.040 starter pitched into 5.5 gallons of 1.080 wort will make it about 1.077.

 
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:43 PM   #4
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Thanks guys, I figured as much.

 
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:46 PM   #5
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How much in advance do you guys make a starter usually before your brew day? I've seen 1-2 days. Is that about right?

 
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Old 04-21-2010, 05:55 PM   #6
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I try to time it, if I can, so that it gets pitched at about 18 hours old.

So I usually make the starter around midnight the night before brew day.

 
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Old 04-21-2010, 06:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeavyBrew View Post
When you make a yeast starter, don't you potentially add more fermentables and, or alcohol to your beer? If you made a 1 liter starter that was between 1.030-1.040, wouldn't that bump up your beer a bit compared to just pitching the yeast packet? Do people account for this in their recipes? I washed some yeast from a previous batch and want to make a starter for the next one. Just wondering if this is something I should account for or its not that important.
You will very slightly alter the grain bill (toward whatever you used for the starter), the gravity (toward the 1.040ish of the starter), the bitterness (starters aren't hopped), etc.

In practice it's a pretty negligible amount.

To make it even more negligible, I make my starter 2 days ahead of time, put it in the fridge the night before brewing to let the yeast flocculate, and decant off most of the wort before pitching (leaving just a little to swirl in with the yeast so it pours well). Even with a 1.5l starter, I'm only pitching a few hundred ml of substance, and most of that is yeast.
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Old 04-21-2010, 08:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SumnerH View Post
To make it even more negligible, I make my starter 2 days ahead of time, put it in the fridge the night before brewing to let the yeast flocculate, and decant off most of the wort before pitching (leaving just a little to swirl in with the yeast so it pours well). Even with a 1.5l starter, I'm only pitching a few hundred ml of substance, and most of that is yeast.
I like this method, it's almost like washing the yeast from a primary and decanting the extra water/beer solution off before pitching. Thanks.

 
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