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Old 03-01-2012, 08:45 PM   #1
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Default Guidelines to making yeast starter?

I'm familiar with yeast starters and beer and how much DME to use for the level of starter I wish to make. However, what guidelines for how much honey to use for what amount of water would be really appreciated!


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Old 03-01-2012, 09:05 PM   #2
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Honey is 80% sugar, so you need to use 25% more honey than DME (by weight). 1 lb DME = 1.25 lb honey

Honey is equivalent to LME (by weight). 1 lb LME = 1 lb honey


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Old 03-01-2012, 09:26 PM   #3
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Good to know, but do yall find that yall need to? I usually use dry yeast on my mead, don't even rehydrate and they come out fine. Beer seems to be another story, big fan of starters with liquid yeast.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:36 PM   #4
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Everyone has their own opinion and method on this one. from the pitch it dry like you stated to rehydrating with straight water to the "pseudo starter" (looks around for incoming lightning bolts again) method I picked up from an old mead maker in my area. All work, all have their pros and cons, really going to come down to what works for you and you're comfortable with.
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Old 03-01-2012, 10:15 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by tom_gamer View Post
Good to know, but do yall find that yall need to? I usually use dry yeast on my mead, don't even rehydrate and they come out fine. Beer seems to be another story, big fan of starters with liquid yeast.
If making a starter to increase cell count and keep the yeast happy and healthy is a good thing in beer, why would mead be any different?

I usually use dry wine yeast for mead. Since they are $1 a pack, I find it easier to pitch an extra pack, rather than make a starter.
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Old 03-02-2012, 01:51 AM   #6
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Good to know, but do yall find that yall need to? I usually use dry yeast on my mead, don't even rehydrate and they come out fine. Beer seems to be another story, big fan of starters with liquid yeast.
No one will argue that you can't make mead or beer or whatever with stressed out, mistreated yeast. It may even be "fine," but the question is, could it be better?

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If making a starter to increase cell count and keep the yeast happy and healthy is a good thing in beer, why would mead be any different?
It isn't!!!

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I usually use dry wine yeast for mead. Since they are $1 a pack, I find it easier to pitch an extra pack, rather than make a starter.
Exactly...I actually use 3 packets (15 gm total) when I do mead with dry yeast (which may still even be a bit underpitched...)

I'll just say that I've noticed a big huge difference in lag time...last mead done with 15 gm of dry yeast was active in under 3 hrs. My Leap Year mead I brewed today using a 2 qt starter of Wyeast Dry Mead strain was active in about 7. I've also noted significantly shorter times to true drinkability by using better pitch rates, good nutrient additions, degassing, and trying to keep temps under control (at least as well as I can without a controlled fermentation chamber). Manage the fermentation well, and you will be rewarded...

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Everyone has their own opinion and method on this one. from the pitch it dry like you stated to rehydrating with straight water to the "pseudo starter" (looks around for incoming lightning bolts again) method I picked up from an old mead maker in my area. All work, all have their pros and cons, really going to come down to what works for you and you're comfortable with.
No lightning bolts! Just mead passion!


OH, and regarding the OP's actual question: I generally do a 2 qt / ~ 1/2 gal starter, and I use ~10 oz of honey. It really depends on the honey, as it can vary in terms of the PPPG contributed. As you know, you're looking to get an OG for the starter of ~ 1.040-1.050. If you don't know your particular honey's pppg, you can test the gravity, or use the 'average,' which is probably about 36-38 pppg. (on my current starter, I actually used 11 oz honey b/c I happened to know that this particular clover honey only gives 35 pppg.)
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Old 03-02-2012, 02:14 AM   #7
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Biochemedic, just curious have you heard anything back on that email you sent? when we were discussing starters and such before?
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Old 03-02-2012, 12:34 PM   #8
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This may null my opinion, but....I only use 1 packet of yeast for my mead, and turns out "fine" actually I get an amazing gallon of mead. Lol
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Old 03-02-2012, 04:56 PM   #9
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Biochemedic, just curious have you heard anything back on that email you sent? when we were discussing starters and such before?
No...not yet...I'll definitely post back when/if I get a reply! I've had good success getting responses to questions from White Labs and Wyeast, but I've never tried to send questions to Lallemand/Lalvin before...

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This may null my opinion, but....I only use 1 packet of yeast for my mead, and turns out "fine" actually I get an amazing gallon of mead. Lol
Yes, but look at what you just said (and perhaps I should've clarified what my batch size is)...You're using a single packet to make a gallon of mead, and inadvertently creating a reasonable pitch rate. For me to replicate that pitch rate, I'd have to use SIX packets! Even with just doing the "sprinkle technique" and not even rehydrating, you are probably still getting a pitch rate similar to when I use 3 rehydrated packets in my 6 gallon batches! You'd only have to be getting a third of the packet viable...
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biochemedic

No...not yet...I'll definitely post back when/if I get a reply! I've had good success getting responses to questions from White Labs and Wyeast, but I've never tried to send questions to Lallemand/Lalvin before...

Yes, but look at what you just said (and perhaps I should've clarified what my batch size is)...You're using a single packet to make a gallon of mead, and inadvertently creating a reasonable pitch rate. For me to replicate that pitch rate, I'd have to use SIX packets! Even with just doing the "sprinkle technique" and not even rehydrating, you are probably still getting a pitch rate similar to when I use 3 rehydrated packets in my 6 gallon batches! You'd only have to be getting a third of the packet viable...
That's what I was getting at. When I started participating on here I didn't realize what I was in fact doing. I don't drink much mead, and with cost of honey I end up just doing single gallon, and because I have no other use for the yeast I just go ahead and pitch the whole thing.

If can find some cheap honey I might go and make 5 gallons one day. I'll be sure to pitch a lot of yeast.


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