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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > starter or multiple packs - low variables
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Old 08-12-2010, 03:54 PM   #1
Tall_Yotie
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Default starter or multiple packs - low variables

Howdy all.

So, I am going to be making my seconds all grain batch. First seemed to be fine until the pitched yeast turned out to have gone to the dark side.

The new batch is going to be a high OG (1.100), thus needing a starter or multiple vials. According to a calculator I found, I would need 2 vials if using a starter or 3.6 vials if using no starter for the 5.25 gallon batch size.

I know the general opinion is to use a starter, but as I am still getting used to all grain. Should I save doing my first yeast starter for an extract/steep brew that I know how to do without issue, or is it so hard to screw up a starter that it will make no difference?

If I find a basic guide I see a lot of responses of people saying how they do it, so that confuses me on a proper method (too many chiefs), and the more technical articles get me lost as it is too much information.

Also, I have done some reading and I am a bit confused on actually adding this much yeast. I add my one vial when everything is in the fermenter and cooled, but do I need to do this differently for a starter or multiple packs? Can I add it all at one time, do I need to stage it?

Thank you for any help and guidance.


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Old 08-12-2010, 03:59 PM   #2
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its up to you. i'm lazy and prefer to pitch multiple vials but that can get expensive. starters are very easy and cheaper. just make a small batch of extract beer (no hops) and pitch the yeast. then wait a day or two then pitch into your beer on brew day.


your way over thinking things. add all the yeast at once same as before.



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Old 08-12-2010, 04:02 PM   #3
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What kind of yeast are you using? If you go with a dry yeast you could just pitch multiple packs and probably be fine.

If you want to make a big starter do it a few days in advance, that gives you less to worrry about and time for the yeast to grow. Make a 1.030-1.040 wort with some DME/LME and pitch your yeast vials in to that. Once it's fermented out put it in the fridge to let the yeast settle, on brewday pull it out of the fridge and let it warm. When you're ready to pitch your yeast, decant the liquid off and discard it, swirl to resuspend your yeast in the remaining liquid and pour it in to your fermenter.
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And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:06 PM   #4
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Using starters provides additional benefits beyond increasing yeast volume (or cell count). Improved yeast vitality is just one example. Besides...I love tinkering with yeast. It's all part of the fun for me. So I always use starters.
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Old 08-12-2010, 04:53 PM   #5
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Alright, so after the yeast has sat in the starter for a day (18-24 hours) stick it in the fridge, and then on brew day I let it get back to room temp, skim off the non-yeast liquid, swirl it in the remaining, and pitch it in? Sounds simple.

And I was aiming for using liquid vials.
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:08 PM   #6
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Depends on how big your starter is and if you're stepping a starter up from a smaller volume. But, usually 24 hours is enough time for a starter to ferment out.
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And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)
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Old 08-12-2010, 05:23 PM   #7
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It would be 2 vials of liquid with a starter, 3 without a starter (calculator says 3.6, uncertain if I want to do a portion). Not certain what you mean as stepping a starter up. This would be a fresh one, as it is my first starter.
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Old 08-12-2010, 06:02 PM   #8
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OK, so if you're using MrMalty then you need a 2.96L simple starter (no stirplate, no airstone). This means you'll need around a vessel that will hold around .8 gallons of liquid + the yeast + you'll need headspace. My guess is that you'll need at least a 1.5gallon jar if you do this by itself. I'm going to recommend that you do 2 separate starters in 2 separate containers. Both of these around 1/2 gallon in size, both getting 1 vial of yeast.

If you don't have 2 containers or 1 container that's large enough to make this starter you'll have to step your starter up over time to get to the correct cell count for this beer. Since this is your first time, let's forget about stepping the starter up and just go with the above.

And if the calculator says 3.6, it means 3.6, not 3. 3 is certainly better than 2, but you may get off flavors because the yeast have to reproduce so much if you don't pitch the proper amount of yeast.

So now I have a question or two for you, what kind of beer are you making? What strain of yeast are you using?
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And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)
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Old 08-12-2010, 06:18 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the info so far! I probably will have to do two separate starters are far as what I have for jugs/bottles go.

I am making a strong Belgian ale, using WLP550 Belgian Ale yeast, and I was indeed using Mr. Malty.
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Old 08-12-2010, 06:33 PM   #10
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Keep it warm, very warm, this way it dries out for you. Lots of belgians are fermented in the mid 80's to give you those fruity esters and to keep the yeast working until the very end.


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And I'd like to see my 1.080 beers ready from grain to glass in a week, and served to me by red-headed twin penthouse pets wearing garter belts and fishnet stockings, with Irish accents, calling me "master luv gun," but we can't always get what we want can we? :)
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