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Old 10-13-2005, 04:42 AM   #1
Walker
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I've been making beer for the better part of a decade, but had never made a starter. Tonight, I made one for some Wyeast American Ale II.

This was a bit of a pain in the @$$, to sum it up tersely.

Not DIFFICULT, just a pain since it was basically a small brewing session with almost all the same gear needed, albeit in smaller sizes.

I guess the proof is in the pitching here, so I'll know what I REALLY think of this tomorrow night when I throw it into my Fat Tire.

To make matters worse, I only had one beer to drink while doing it.

-walker
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Old 10-13-2005, 06:52 AM   #2
SwAMi75
 
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Yeah, I can see how it might have been a pain. You were nowhere near drunk enough. If you've had enough to drink, it's a hoot.
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Old 10-13-2005, 12:00 PM   #3
timdsmith72
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I never make a starter. I use the old John Palmer trick of "proofing" my yeast by putting it in a jar with some sugar and water. If it starts to foam, dump it in! Fermentation always starts within 6 to 7 hours doing it this way. (I use dry yeast) Making a starter just sounds like too much trouble for me.

 
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Old 10-13-2005, 01:15 PM   #4
kenmc
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I just add my yeast powder to cooled, boiled water, about 27-30oC, wait for about 20 mins, and dump into the fermenter. No problems yet [knocks on wooden head]

 
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Old 10-13-2005, 01:53 PM   #5
Walker
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with dried yeasts, I would either just dump it in right from the packette OR I would rehydrate in water before dumping in. No proofing. No starter.

However, with the liquid stuff, I think a starter is a good idea. I have only used liquid yeast twice so far. The first was a couple weeks ago when I brewed my stout. For that one, I made no starter. Fermentation took off in a reasonable amout of time (about 20 hours) but I think it's not going to finish with as low a SG as it's supposed to. I rarely check gravity, but I can tell by taste that it's not fermented as much as it should have.

My starter was bubbling pretty good this morning and I'll pitch it into my wort tonight, and I expect to see a pretty rapid onset of fermentation and hopefully a more complete finish.

-walker
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Old 10-13-2005, 02:50 PM   #6
OtherWhiteMeat
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I did my first starter to split some wyeast the other day. I used a half gallon jug, and put 4 cups water 2 cups dme. I let it bubble for 3 days, once it settled i swirled the stuff off the bottom and split it. I set half in the fridge with an air lock and used the other half in my brew the other day. Worked great.
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Old 10-13-2005, 02:58 PM   #7
Baron von BeeGee
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I've started making starters religiously, although I don't personally have any empirical evidence to their efficacy other than super fast starts (1-2 hrs vs 1-2 days). What convined me were several articles listing "making a starter" as one of the steps that will improve your beer, and I just take them at their word. From an AG point of view making a starter doesn't seem like much of a hassle to me...aside from cooling the wort, I can probably get one done faster than Rachel Ray can make dinner!

 
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Old 10-13-2005, 03:03 PM   #8
Walker
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I see this as yet another way to reduce my costs, too.

I made a LARGE starter. This morning, there is over 1/2" of yeast on the bottom of the jug. I should be able to use only half of that for tonight's brew, and save the other half in the fridge, to be used later for another starter in a month's time.

If I do this carefully and properly, I think I might never have to buy this particular strain of yeast again.

This seems better than trying to wash the yeast from my trub for re-use, IMHO.

-walker
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Old 10-13-2005, 03:09 PM   #9
Baron von BeeGee
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walker
If I do this carefully and properly, I think I might never have to buy this particular strain of yeast again.
From what I've read, you'll eventually run into problems with yeast mutations if you re-use too many times.

 
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Old 10-13-2005, 03:12 PM   #10
Walker
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good to know. I had not come across anything like that (yet).

-walker
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