Starters and foam stoppers - Home Brew Forums
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing > Starters and foam stoppers

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 09-16-2012, 06:57 PM   #1
Handsaw
Recipes 
 
Mar 2012
Chattanooga, TN, USA
Posts: 154
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts



I've seen several places - and I can't find one right now - where they say to not use an air lock when making a starter but rather to use a foam stopper.
I think someone said that was so air could get into the vessel but if the yeast is making CO2 it looks like the air couldn’t get in anyway because of the CO2 escaping through the foam stopper.

Does anyone have a real argument for using a foam stopper – other than you can get away with it and they are cheaper.



 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2012, 07:02 PM   #2
pabloj13
Recipes 
 
Dec 2011
Durham, NC
Posts: 1,553
Liked 92 Times on 80 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Handsaw View Post
I've seen several places - and I can't find one right now - where they say to not use an air lock when making a starter but rather to use a foam stopper.
I think someone said that was so air could get into the vessel but if the yeast is making CO2 it looks like the air couldn’t get in anyway because of the CO2 escaping through the foam stopper.

Does anyone have a real argument for using a foam stopper – other than you can get away with it and they are cheaper.
Yes, you want gas exchange. Yes, you get oxygen exchange through a foam stopper. Yes, it will improve the yield of yeast in your starter. Much of the need for oxygen is before the yeast are generating tons of CO2 (i.e. lag phase).


__________________

Kegged Two Hearted, Dragonmead Final Absolution
Bottled Robust porter, Founder's Breakfast Stout, Ommegawd Hellepin, Ed Wort's Apfelwein
RIP Snake Dog IPA, Biermuncher's OktoberFAST, Falconer's Flight IPA, Two-Hearted clone (Culturing Bell's Yeast), Noberon wheat, Skeeter Pee using dry yeast, Smooth Oatmeal Stout


Simple and easy wort aeration - Harvest yeast from your blowoff - Homebrew Spicy Mustard

 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2012, 07:09 PM   #3
Guerrilla
Recipes 
 
Sep 2012
Athens, Georgia
Posts: 31
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


Just use aluminum foil to cover it. As long as you dont tie it on it will be able to exchange gas and honestly its easier to work with than the foam stopper. I started with a foam stopper but i quickly moved to just using foil for all my starters now.
__________________
Primary: SMaSH-Galaxy/Crisp Maris Otter,SMaSH-Topaz/Fawcett Halcyon,Bohemian Bulldog Steam Beer,Causeway Kolsch
Secondary: SMaSH-Rakau/Crisp British 2Row Pale
Bottled: HeftyWeizen,La Flama Blanca Pepper Wit,DunkelRyeZen,Big League Brew Wheat IPA

 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2012, 08:02 PM   #4
Handsaw
Recipes 
 
Mar 2012
Chattanooga, TN, USA
Posts: 154
Liked 6 Times on 6 Posts


Thanks. So mostly it is in the lag phase that the foam stopper is useful?

Sort of the same topic, but not exactly.
One of the yeast calculators showed the growth rate for using a stir plate vs using continuous aeration vs shaking it every time you walked by vs doing nothing.
The stir plate was the winner with continuous aeration close behind. Is there a reason to not continuously aerate while using the stir plate? I tried it earlier today and the swirl of the wort was significantly slower than without the air stone in the jug, but it still kept the yeast mixed up. Oh another thing that happened was that there was a buildup of junk (probably yeast) on the upstream side of the air stone. Of course I don’t know the results of this yet, actually, I won’t know the results tomorrow either because I pulled the air stone out after half an hour.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2012, 09:49 PM   #5
Guerrilla
Recipes 
 
Sep 2012
Athens, Georgia
Posts: 31
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


I believe that too much O2 will end up inhibiting the yeast to some degree because they are having to chemically deal with the O2/ nothing likes too much O2. Really just atmospheric air being constantly stirred into it will be fine. Direct aeration is typically used to get a high amount dissolved O2 into wort when before you close it off to the outside world that way the yeast have plenty to grow with, here the yeast will just continue to get new O2 as they grow because the starter is being exposed to air.
__________________
Primary: SMaSH-Galaxy/Crisp Maris Otter,SMaSH-Topaz/Fawcett Halcyon,Bohemian Bulldog Steam Beer,Causeway Kolsch
Secondary: SMaSH-Rakau/Crisp British 2Row Pale
Bottled: HeftyWeizen,La Flama Blanca Pepper Wit,DunkelRyeZen,Big League Brew Wheat IPA

 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2012, 11:41 PM   #6
pabloj13
Recipes 
 
Dec 2011
Durham, NC
Posts: 1,553
Liked 92 Times on 80 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by Handsaw View Post
Thanks. So mostly it is in the lag phase that the foam stopper is useful?

Sort of the same topic, but not exactly.
One of the yeast calculators showed the growth rate for using a stir plate vs using continuous aeration vs shaking it every time you walked by vs doing nothing.
The stir plate was the winner with continuous aeration close behind. Is there a reason to not continuously aerate while using the stir plate? I tried it earlier today and the swirl of the wort was significantly slower than without the air stone in the jug, but it still kept the yeast mixed up. Oh another thing that happened was that there was a buildup of junk (probably yeast) on the upstream side of the air stone. Of course I don’t know the results of this yet, actually, I won’t know the results tomorrow either because I pulled the air stone out after half an hour.
Yep, same as with a regular fermentation. Oxygen at the beginning is the critical thing. I wouldn't waste my time with continuous aeration while on a stir plate. Mostly I wouldn't want to keep pumping outside air into the starter. The stir plate is going to give you way more than enough O2 to get good yeast. If you're using one already, you are ahead of the game.
__________________

Kegged Two Hearted, Dragonmead Final Absolution
Bottled Robust porter, Founder's Breakfast Stout, Ommegawd Hellepin, Ed Wort's Apfelwein
RIP Snake Dog IPA, Biermuncher's OktoberFAST, Falconer's Flight IPA, Two-Hearted clone (Culturing Bell's Yeast), Noberon wheat, Skeeter Pee using dry yeast, Smooth Oatmeal Stout


Simple and easy wort aeration - Harvest yeast from your blowoff - Homebrew Spicy Mustard

 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2012, 05:29 PM   #7
terrapinj
Recipes 
 
Dec 2010
Santa Monica, CA
Posts: 2,416
Liked 170 Times on 126 Posts


the stir plate/shake method is more effective because it both encourages gas exchange but also keeps the yeast in suspension

i like to use sanitized coffee filters with a rubber band over the top of my flask - i had a fruit fly get under the foil once and this keeps any bugs etc out without inhibiting gas exchange

 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2012, 05:45 PM   #8
Guerrilla
Recipes 
 
Sep 2012
Athens, Georgia
Posts: 31
Liked 1 Times on 1 Posts


The coffee filters are a good idea... may have to use that next time.
__________________
Primary: SMaSH-Galaxy/Crisp Maris Otter,SMaSH-Topaz/Fawcett Halcyon,Bohemian Bulldog Steam Beer,Causeway Kolsch
Secondary: SMaSH-Rakau/Crisp British 2Row Pale
Bottled: HeftyWeizen,La Flama Blanca Pepper Wit,DunkelRyeZen,Big League Brew Wheat IPA

 
Reply With Quote
Old 09-18-2012, 12:36 PM   #9
DSmith
Recipes 
 
Sep 2011
Robbinsdale, MN
Posts: 796
Liked 76 Times on 63 Posts


I've switched from aluminum foil to a foam stopper on a 2L flask and like the foam stopper better because of the fruit fly protection. Visually, there's been no difference in the yeast cake after crashing the starter. The coffee filter idea is great and will do that with gallon jug sized starters where the stopper doesn't fit.



 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Yeast starters should be a law. LouBrew13 All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 8 06-04-2012 07:30 PM
Wort for Starters E-Mursed All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 10 02-15-2012 08:09 PM
Yes, I drink my starters.... McCuckerson All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 12 12-26-2011 03:51 AM
Starters and mothers jammer All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 4 05-31-2007 10:12 PM
Yeast Question - Starters jdoiv All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 1 04-13-2007 10:37 PM


Forum Jump