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Old 11-23-2012, 06:18 PM   #11
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I am convinced that shaking the heck out of the starter wort to get lots of air into it before putting the yeast in works best for me. Then I can put an airlock on the flask and swirl the liquid around three or four times a day to get the yeast into suspension.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:22 PM   #12
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I for one don't like to babysit my starters and swirl all the time, but if that's your bag then go for it. I didn't say it wouldn't help. If it were me, I would just make two starters if that's what it took to hit the numbers, but then again I can be a little lazy sometimes.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:27 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by RobertRGeorge View Post
I am convinced that shaking the heck out of the starter wort to get lots of air into it before putting the yeast in works best for me. Then I can put an airlock on the flask and swirl the liquid around three or four times a day to get the yeast into suspension.
As already posted, airlocks are not idea for starters. You actually want gas exchange, not a one way street. Leaving the airlock in it means you're actually stunting the yeast growth, and not letting the starter needs to do.

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I for one don't like to babysit my starters and swirl all the time, but if that's your bag then go for it. I didn't say it wouldn't help. If it were me, I would just make two starters if that's what it took to hit the numbers, but then again I can be a little lazy sometimes.
IMO/IME, a stirplate is the ultimate in 'lazy starters'... Use either a tin foil cap, or one of the foam stoppers in the flask and you have zero issues (I'm using the foam stoppers these days, great product, and damned cheap too).
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:32 PM   #14
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Fair enough--as I said, the one great thing about the stirplate is that it's set and forget, which is nice. For me, I like the "pre-game" aspect of swirling the starter every time I look at it. It gets me pumped for brew day!
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:41 PM   #15
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IMO/IME, a stirplate is the ultimate in 'lazy starters'...
Exactly, but the OP doesn't have one.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:43 PM   #16
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Exactly, but the OP doesn't have one.
With all the posts about making one, I don't see an excuse for not having one. Personally, I bought one since I couldn't get the magnets off of the plates they were connected to (from the hard drive). I tried making another but think I put the magnet in the wrong place, so it sucks. At least I have my Hanna 190M that works really well with my 2L and 3L flasks.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:45 PM   #17
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As already posted, airlocks are not idea for starters.

I am talking about shaking the living snot out of it before putting the yeast in. For me, works every time.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertRGeorge View Post
As already posted, airlocks are not idea for starters.

I am talking about shaking the living snot out of it before putting the yeast in. For me, works every time.
You also posted (in the same post I quoted) Then I can put an airlock on the flask and swirl the liquid around three or four times a day

The purpose of swirling/shaking/stirplate is not [just] to get the yeast into suspension but to also degas and aerate the solution. Having the airlock means you're only allowing CO2/gas out, and nothing in.

Sanitized foil, or a foam stopper, will prevent anything bad from falling into the flask, while allowing for a gas exchange to happen. You'd be amazed (although maybe YOU wouldn't be) at how much of a difference using either of those (and with a stirplate) makes.
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Old 11-23-2012, 06:56 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobertRGeorge View Post
As already posted, airlocks are not idea for starters.

I am talking about shaking the living snot out of it before putting the yeast in. For me, works every time.
That's a step above no aeration and just sitting, and definitely above no starter at all, but still isn't as good as shaking or stir plate. And even then, you still need a bit of oxygen to get in there.

Again from Mr. Malty

5 gallons of 1.065 (assuming 1 pack of 97% viable yeast)

Simple starter- 2.59L
Simple with o2 at start- 1.94L
Intermittent shaking- 1.49L
Continuous aeration- 1.29L
Stir plate- 1L

If what you're doing works for you, by all means continue doing it. But I still think you're selling yourself a bit short that way.
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Old 11-23-2012, 07:07 PM   #20
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Not to mention wasting DME. Using 100 grams of DME on a stirplate versus 259 grams on a DME for the simple starter (or even 194 grams for the O2 at start) means I can make at least two starters for your one starter. Which also means I'll be spending less on DME than you are. I also typically do two starter steps so that I can make much smaller starters to get my target cell count. With fairly fresh yeast, this means my starters are not even 1/2 the size of a single starter. For higher OG batches, a third step means I can do it with even smaller starters (on a stirplate)...

Try running the numbers on yeastcalc.com and you'll see what I'm talking about.
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