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Old 11-28-2011, 03:11 PM   #1
Nov 2011
Russellville, KY
Posts: 55

I'm getting ready to brew batch No. 4 in a few days. So far, I've not done any "big" beers, but pretty soon I want to do one - probably a barleywine, but maybe a high abv IPA.

I've been doing some research and trying to make a plan. I want to make sure whatever yeast I use can handle all the fermentation. I understand the concept of making a starter. From everything I've read, it seems that starters are only made from liquid yeasts and not dry yeasts. I'm assuming a little bit because I've not seen it specifically spelled out. Is that right?

And if so, can a big beer be made with dry yeast? Would pitching a couple (or three?) packets worth of dry yeast be comparable to making a starter?

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Old 11-28-2011, 03:21 PM   #2
Tinga's Avatar
May 2010
Posts: 1,122
Liked 39 Times on 30 Posts

Here is the Mr. Malty yeast calculator. you enter in the gravity and volume of your beer and it will tell you how much yeast you need to pitch. Whether you are pitching dry yeast yeast from a starter or slurry from an old batch.

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Old 11-28-2011, 03:22 PM   #3
Jul 2011
Ames, Iowa
Posts: 538
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not sure how high abv you are talking here, but i recently bottled a 1.074 IPA. Instead of using dry yeast i used about one and a half cups of a Safale 05 yeast slurry and it took off like crazy and got down to 1.012 in about 10 days. I've used only dry yeast on everything and 05 seems to eat anything up pretty well. I made a hearty pale ale with OG of 1.065 and used one pack of 05, took care of it very nicely. Someone else with a little more ferm knowledge will chime in tho.

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Old 11-28-2011, 03:24 PM   #4
Dec 2010
, GA
Posts: 771
Liked 23 Times on 19 Posts

You can use a dry yeast in a starter. The idea is to multiply the yeast, dry yeast multiply just as much as wet yeast when added to sugar. If its a big 5 gallon batch you'll want a nice big starter, I'd do a 2 liter one for most brews. You'll just want to check the stats on your yeasties and make sure they can survive the alcohol content.
Edit: A half cup of slurry is a bunch of yeast, probably equivalent to like a 1L starter, imo close enough for that gravity. I do starters for ever beer above 1.050. 05 is a BEAST though, swear if you put your hand in during fermentation it'll eat it too.
The best beer I ever made was the next one I brew.

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Old 11-28-2011, 03:31 PM   #5
Mar 2010
Evanston Wyoming
Posts: 721
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US 05 has a 12% tollerance. There are a couple ways to use it at that high a level, I have only ever used one. I make a light colored ale...usally an IPA and then pitch my big beer wort directly on to the cake from the first batch. Make sure that you areate (sp?) very well. I have never had problems with very active fermentation starting in 6 or so hours and active fermentation being completed in about 10 days. The second way is to use two packets of yeast...or at least I have heard others talk about doing it that way. As usual with dry, hydrate but don't make a starter. As noted I have never done it that way but have talked with folks that have and have had good success.

I think Thundercouger has proposed a good third alternative, if you want to build up in a starter, the important part would be to build a larger starter....2L sounds good to me but you could gety a more exact answer from Mr Malty. If I reuse yeast from the cake I pull a cup out of the "middle" of the trub that way I feel like I have a good half has been suggested. Again if I am brewing a "big" beer I just use the cake itself and start with a light beer

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