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Old 01-16-2012, 06:13 PM   #1
Sep 2011
Lakeway, Texas
Posts: 4,490
Liked 182 Times on 171 Posts

I made a 1 qt starter using 5 oz of my LME and a pinch of brown sugar and leftover Mr Beer booster. I shook it often and it fizzed a lot. It was kept around 70*. It didn't have any sediment that I recall. I used it roughly 24 hrs later with great fermenting results compared to not having made a starter the first few brews.
I made a 1 qt starter using 4 oz of DME and kept it in the same conditions, but for closer to 36 hrs. It wasn't shaken quite as often either. It didn't fizz up like the first one, and it had a lot of sediment. The smack pack took much longer to fully swell than any I've used before.
Why the major difference?
I bought 1 lb of light DME to make starters with.
I'm planning on making a 4 gal APA (1.055 OG) and a 5 gal IPA (1.066 OG) soon and would like to know just how large of a starter should be made if a quart isn't sufficient. Is it merely the volume of the starter or amount of food for it that makes it work well (i.e. 1 qt with say 6 oz of DME or 2 qts with 8 oz of DME)?


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Old 01-16-2012, 07:02 PM   #2
Aug 2011
Boise, ID
Posts: 100
Liked 2 Times on 2 Posts

Hey Bob
The left over booster that you used from the Mr Beer kit was what made the difference in the yeast. I like to use the half gallon starters, 8oz of DME should be perfect for that size. If you wanted to see the same amount of activity you just have to add more dme to your quart size. More like 5-6 oz DME. Not sure if that is to much. 4 oz puts the OG at 1.040 so any more might be to much. Either way it should be better than pitching dry right into your brew.

Hope this helps
Up Next: Dopplebock
Primary: European IPA
Secondary: Empty :(
Keg: Pumpkin Amber Ale, Skeeter Pee(why not?)
Conditioning: Cherry Canadian Blonde, Belgian Abbey Ale

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Old 01-16-2012, 07:08 PM   #3
Registered User
Jun 2009
Posts: 404
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Here is a link to help calculate proper starter sizes: Mr. Malty.

Just as a $.02 piece of advice, don't use simple sugar in a starter. Yeast will stop being able to process the more complex sugars in wort if you use simple sugars in a starter. Don't worry about the sediment.

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Old 01-16-2012, 07:19 PM   #4
Oct 2011
Denver, CO
Posts: 376
Liked 39 Times on 36 Posts

This article will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about starters. The point of making a starter is to build up the right number of viable yeast cells to properly ferment your beer without creating off flavors. Since you want healthy yeast, you usually make a low-gravity starter, which will not stress out your yeast. So the amount of food per ounce of water should be pretty consistent from starter to starter (O.G. between 1.030 and 1.040). The trick to building more yeast cells is to make a larger volume of starter. Up to a point, the larger the starter, the more yeast you will build up. To be sure that you get the proper cell count for the volume and gravity of your wort, consult the pitch rate calculator above, which will tell you how large of a starter you need to get your optimal yeast cell count.

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