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Old 09-13-2007, 05:15 AM   #1
Jul 2007
Posts: 136

If white labs vials or wyeast activators are directly pitchable in 5 gal of ales, why does Mr Malty tell me I need a 1 quart starter?

Also, is there any reason I can't use a plastic milk jug for my starters? They're only in there a couple days. I would sterilize the jug and discard when done.

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Old 09-13-2007, 05:22 AM   #2
olllllo's Avatar
Apr 2006
Phoenix, Arizona
Posts: 13,330
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I think the commercial yeast producers have an interest in balancing what will work well and what is easy to ship (and what will allow them to exist and profit). Jamil, on the other hand, has an interest and a proclivity toward making award winning beers.

So, given the choice, you can see where my vote lies.

As for milk jugs. They will undoubtedly produce a starter that, one could argue, rival those made in a pyrex flask. I don't think we'll get a definitive answer on that anytime soon. I would always have my doubts, so sometimes I end up throwing a little money toward it so that I can worry about stuff that actually matters.
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Old 09-13-2007, 01:21 PM   #3
david_42's Avatar
Oct 2005
Oak Grove, Oregon, USA
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All a starter really is is the first two days of the yeast growth phase in a separate container. If you pitch a vial directly, the growth phase in the wort is longer. The total number of cells in your wort when fermentation starts will be about the same regardless, because that is largely determined by the amount of oxygen in the wort. Direct pitching means a slower shift to the fermentation phase, a longer fermentation overall and an increased chance of contamination.
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