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Old 02-27-2013, 07:32 AM   #1
ctdenney
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Default Starter size/multiple yeast pitches

After looking around, there seemed to be several threads close to this but none exactly on.

Beersmith is telling me I need a 3L yeast starter for a 1.068 IPA I'm planning. Unfortunately I only have one 1000ml flask to make a starter in. So my question is this: Is it better to do the 600ml starter I can fit and call it quits, or do four different starters and add them as subsequently over the first four or five days of fermentation?

Not only that, but on occasion I do two brews at once, so could I pitch a starter for one beer, just the packet for the second, and then do a starter the next day as well?

Thanks


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Old 02-28-2013, 12:51 AM   #2
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Do a stepped culture - grow a 750ml-ish starter, let the yeast settle, pour off the old wort and replace with new & grow. It may take a couple of steps, but you'll get the amount you need. For multiple beers you'll have to split the final amount of yeast across the two beers.

http://www.yeastcalc.com/ has a great calculator to help with these starters.

Bryan


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Old 02-28-2013, 12:53 AM   #3
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How long do I need to let each step go? Is 24 hours enough?
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:05 AM   #4
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24 hours is good for a step.

Do you have any mason jars? If you do, you could do a step, chill, decant most of the liquid (when the yeast has settled), pour the majority in the jar to store (cold, of course), and do another step with the remainder. Keep doing that until you have the amount that you need.

The problem with just repeated a 600ml starter over and over on top of the growing yeast colony, is you will have diminishing returns on growth, and eventually really just won't grow the colony at all.

It's also not a good idea to do multiple pitches through the course of a week, this is the most crucial period, and the yeast undergo different stages during this period. Introduce new 'baby' yeast, and you have several generations doing different things at different times.
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Old 02-28-2013, 03:25 AM   #5
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you may want to upgrade to a 2l or even a bigger flask. 1l is too small for most starter applications.

Is this for a 5 gal batch? I don't think that you need a 3 L starter for that beer unless it is a 10 gal batch.

Kai
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Old 02-28-2013, 01:06 PM   #6
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Kiasers 2L advice is a good one - a 2L flask will make your life a lot easier.

As for how long you need grow for, the answer is "it depends" - largely on temperature. I do my starters in the basement, where in the winter temps rarely get above 15C (~60F). At those temps, it takes me 36-48 hours to get to stationary phase (the point where the yeast stop growing and will settle well). In the summer the temps are closer to 20-22C (room temp), and this halves the doubling time.

I manage my guilds yeast bank, at work where I can control temps exactly (I'm a scientist, so I have all the fancy stuff). At ideal temps - 28-32C, depending on the strain - as little as 12 hours is often enough. I'm in the process of building a simple incubator chamber at-home to try and achieve the same thing.

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Old 03-01-2013, 05:06 AM   #7
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A quick search shows nobody mentioning stirplates in the responses. You get a bigger bang for your OG starter with a stirplate, to answer the OP, alongside Kaiser's volume recommendation.
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Old 03-01-2013, 05:19 AM   #8
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Also, check that you have the correct date from your yeast on beersmith, if the month or year is way off it will calculate very low viability and tell you to make a massive starter.

And a homemade stir plate will like double your growth too, very inexpensive, easy and worth it.
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Old 03-01-2013, 12:09 PM   #9
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I have had great success using a stir plate and doing 2000 ml starters and I normally don't have to double up. I just let it do its thing then chill and decant some of it before I pour it in. 3L does seem kind of high for a batch at 1.068 though? A good place to get a pretty well priced stir plate is stir starters.com which is where I got mine for 45$ instead of having to buy an expensive scientific one.
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Old 03-01-2013, 01:00 PM   #10
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2 things.... Carlos Rossi makes 4 liter wine jugs that are flat on the bottom. They make nice flasks for cheap. 2, brewers friend has a calculator that is using accurate data from braukaiser. I suggest that one for yeast cell count. Be careful not to grossly over pitch though that can lead to off flavors as well. +100 on the stirplate, it delivers everything yeast want and creates healthy, viable cell colonies


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