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Old 12-28-2011, 06:52 PM   #1
Nov 2010
Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 678
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Currently brewing a beer and did my first yeast starter yesterday. I've been swishing it around all day yesterday and this morning and because of that I'm not sure if I should pitch the entire starter or just the bottom yeast cake. Hopefully this picture helps. I'm brewing a Kolsch so I wasn't sure if I wanted to pitch the starter (1L) and effect the color. Suggestions would be appreciated.

Sorry if pic doesn't work. Maybe try this:

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Old 12-28-2011, 06:57 PM   #2
phatuna's Avatar
Mar 2009
San Diego
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I would pour out about half of that starter. Mix the remaining half really well and dump it into your wort

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Old 12-28-2011, 07:02 PM   #3
wolverinebrewer's Avatar
Jan 2011
Oxford, MI
Posts: 599
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Are you brewing today? If so, then just pour off the liquid, add some of your just-cooled wort, swish around and dump into the fermenter.

If you are brewing sometime in the future, keep it in the frig (it will clear more) then pour off the liquid on brew day and pitch.

FWIW, It's the yeast I need so I never add the top liquid.
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:05 PM   #4
ohiobrewtus's Avatar
Nov 2006
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I typically dump the liquid, leaving just a bit on top of the yeast, swirl it all around to get it mixed up and make sure that I'm not leaving clumps of yeast behind, then dump that in when it's time.

I also know some people that don't decant their starters, ever... and they make absolutely fantastic beer. So just like so many other things in this hobby, it comes down to personal preference.
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Old 12-28-2011, 07:14 PM   #5
Dec 2011
l.a., ca
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I used the whole thing on a batch the other day. The added malt was calculated into the mix. I don't know if there is harm when added to an all extract batch.

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Old 12-28-2011, 07:47 PM   #6
Darwin18's Avatar
Nov 2008
Garner, NC
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It's really personal preference. I pitch the entire starter, and my beers turn out fantastic. No off-flavors from the yeast starter.

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Old 12-28-2011, 07:51 PM   #7
Dec 2009
bay area
Posts: 151

Usually I make the starter a few days in advance on a stir plate. I let it settle overnight in the refrigerator before brew day. I then bring it out and let it get up to pitching temp, then decant and pitch just the slurry. But, if you are making the starter on brew day you can pitch the whole thing. I would try to keep it below a liter as pitching 2 or 3 liters of starter could cause some off flavors.

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Old 12-28-2011, 07:51 PM   #8
Oct 2010
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I made a pretty big (3 liter) starter on my last brew. I fridged it overnight and poured out the liquid on top. Didn't seem like pouring that much oxidized stale smelling beer into my fresh wort was a good idea, but maybe it doesn't make a difference.
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Old 12-28-2011, 08:48 PM   #9
KevinW's Avatar
Dec 2009
Gladstone Oregon, Oregon
Posts: 1,132
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I always use extra-light DME when I am making a starter it helps prevent adding color to the beer.

When I make a 1 to 1.5 liter starter I just pour the whole thing in. If making a larger starter I would recommend chilling for 24 hours to drop the yeast out of suspension, decant the liquid and pitch the cake.

It is a good idea to let the starter run its course 3-4 days if you want to decant the liquid off, also if you want to decant then be sure to chill the starter otherwise you will dump out very good yeast!

Any starter is better than no starter so good luck and keep on brewing!
“I don't drink beer all the time but I can drink (a) beer anytime" - Me

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Old 12-28-2011, 09:32 PM   #10
Oct 2011
Allen, TX
Posts: 25
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If brewing today decant leaving a little liquid behind swish and pitch.
If brewing tomorrow set if fridge overnight decant in morning and leave out to warm to temp, swish and pitch.
If brewing after that make another starter decant this pitch into new starter then follow above.

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