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Old 03-15-2007, 04:33 PM   #1
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Default Making a starter -- size of vessel?

So I'm reading the bad brewing techniques and I noticed one in there about using a half gallon growler for a 1.5 qt starter. Hmm...

I was planning on making a starter tonight, it will be the first time I do so, and I was going to make 1L in a 1L vessel that would allow perhaps 100-200cc of headspace and either cover it will some foil or cap it loosely.

This sounds like it might turn into something very bad that will make SWMBO mad at me.

What do you guys use for starters with regard to how much water and what size/type of container?

It's a Wyeast Propogator, American Wheat, for the record.


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Old 03-15-2007, 04:35 PM   #2
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I usually make a 3/4 gal wort and ferment it in a gallon jug.

FWIW, it's arguable whether a 1L starter is really providing enough "fuel" for significant reproduction of the yeast cells already in that propogator pack.


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Old 03-15-2007, 04:40 PM   #3
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I made one last night in a half gallon growler with 1 qt of water in it. This was with Wyeast. First time ive used this yeast.

Last time I used the same quantities only with WL liquid yeast. Fermentation took right off.

I used a cap and a airlock on my starter though.
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Old 03-15-2007, 04:40 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cweston
I usually make a 3/4 gal wort and ferment it in a gallon jug.

FWIW, it's arguable whether a 1L starter is really providing enough "fuel" for significant reproduction of the yeast cells already in that propogator pack.

Hmm. Last time I just smacked it, let it sit for 3 hours and pitched it. This time I figured I'd actually follow the directions on the back and it said add it to 1L of boiled/cooled water.
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Old 03-15-2007, 04:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1fastdoc
Hmm. Last time I just smacked it, let it sit for 3 hours and pitched it. This time I figured I'd actually follow the directions on the back and it said add it to 1L of boiled/cooled water.
You meant boiled/cooled wort, right? The idea of a starter is to do a small ferment in a small batch of wort, so that the yeast cells can reproduce in the starter rather than in your 5 gal wort when you pitch it. You need to give them some fuel (fermentable sugars).
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Old 03-15-2007, 04:47 PM   #6
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I've been preparing my starters in a 1000 ml Erlenmyer. I've been using about 700 ml of water with 3/4 cup DME and yeast nutrient. Boil in the flask, cool and add the smack pack after it swells. I've been using a stopper with an airlock, but the permeable stoppers look like something I'll have to try out. 700 ml is on the ragged edge of a blowoff, depending on the particular yeast. I let the starter ferment for a couple days, carefully decant off the liquid and add another 700 ml of cooled boiled DME. Pitch it the next day. I also add yeast nutrient to my boils. I've been getting very rapid healthy fermentations. I'm probably going to go to a 2000 ml flask and a homemade stirrer and skip the second addition.
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Old 03-15-2007, 04:54 PM   #7
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I typically make a quart starter in a half gallon jug.
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Old 03-15-2007, 05:07 PM   #8
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Hmm, looks like I'm going to go find a larger glass.

Now I understand why Homebrew_99 told me to use Safale dry yeast.
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Old 03-15-2007, 05:08 PM   #9
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I have been using a half-gallon jug, but I just got myself a 2L Erlenmeyer flask and a magnetic stir plate. Going to try it out this weekend.
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Old 03-15-2007, 05:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1fastdoc
Hmm, looks like I'm going to go find a larger glass.

Now I understand why Homebrew_99 told me to use Safale dry yeast.
Dry is definitely easier if the type of yeast you want is available dry.

To clarify, I didn't mean to suggest that a 1 L starter is worthless--it's better than pitching the smack-pack strainght into your wort. I guess what I meant to say is it might be debatable if it's worth the effort considering the rather modest amount of yeast cell reproduction it will yield. Aerating the crap out of it (like with a stir plate) would help a great deal (high O2 concentrations cause yeast cells to put more of their energy into reproduction). Assuming you don't have a stir plate, give it a good shake or swirl every now and then.


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