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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > When you say "Big Starter"...
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Old 10-18-2007, 01:57 PM   #1
BNVince
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Default When you say "Big Starter"...

...how big is it exactly? The last two batches I made had an OG around 1.058 and I created a starter using 1/2cup DME and 1 pint of water. Both batches have started vigorously fermenting in under 24 hours.

The next beer I'm doing will have an OG of around 1.08 so I'm wondering if I should up the amount of DME and water that is used in the starter to make a "Big" or "Huge" starter. If so, how much DME and water should be used?


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Old 10-18-2007, 01:58 PM   #2
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It's not all THAT important, but I typically go with 2L of water and 6-9 oz of extract, depending on the gravity of the wort I'm pitching into.


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Old 10-18-2007, 01:59 PM   #3
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Here's a great web tool that will figure it all out for you:
http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html
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Old 10-18-2007, 03:39 PM   #4
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Man, that online calculator says I should use a little more then a 1/2 gallon for a starter. That's pretty big.
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Old 10-18-2007, 03:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BNVince
Man, that online calculator says I should use a little more then a 1/2 gallon for a starter. That's pretty big.
That is roughly equal to orfy's 2L starter...
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Old 10-18-2007, 03:44 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BNVince
Man, that online calculator says I should use a little more then a 1/2 gallon for a starter. That's pretty big.
Just remember that these are theoretical 'optimum' sizes. In practice, you can often do as well or nearly as well with somewhat smaller starters.

Regardless, the first purpose of the starter is to ensure the vitality of your yeast. The secondary purpose might be to propagate the yeast for a higher-gravity beer (hence the larger starter sizes). But if you oxygenate your starters really well, the yeast can perform a lot/all of the necessary propagation in your brew for most beers.

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Old 10-18-2007, 09:36 PM   #7
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I tend to pitch 2L starters at 1.035 for pretty much every batch. No harm, and it makes for some great fermentation.

-D
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Old 10-22-2007, 12:58 PM   #8
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Thanks for all your help everybody.

I made a starter a few days ago with 2 Pints of water and 1 cup of DME. I pitched it Yesterday at 1p.m. to a big stout I made. 8 hours later the airlock was going crazy.

Since I have to keep my record of at least one crazy thing happening for each brew, I checked on it this morning and the airlock was completely filled with krausen and beer. A little beer had spilled on to the lid. I cleaned the lid and airlock as best as I could and put them back on. Hopefully when I get home the airlock is not filled again.

I guess it's time to get a 6.5 gallon carboy and a blowoff for primary fermenting. Live and learn.


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