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Old 09-26-2013, 11:55 PM   #1
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Default So, so dry

I've started making yeast starters recently. I racked 4 to secondary today. They were all 4 around 1.010 and all 4 were extremely dry.

Not really interested in a discussion on technique... "what was your this.... what was that reading"... "how did do you this".. or "when did you do that...". Just a general... light discussion on yeast starters.

I believe my beers may be better without the starters. I'm really too lazy and cheap to waste beer with samples every day for a week to get to my target OG.

Yes... I know you can't help me if I don't answer your questions about certain things, but that's not what I'm after. I'm looking for information about experiences with yeast starters. It seems like a really good idea, but if my beer is going to be this dry, I may as well try a few without to see how they taste. I always had great luck without them. Just smack the pack and let it set for 4-5 hours and pitch after the batch is ready.

I didn't measure anything. I boiled about 1.5 cups of water with 2-3 heaping spoonfuls of DME, cooled and added the yeast and put it on the stir plate for 48 hours as described in numerous posts here.


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Old 09-27-2013, 12:02 AM   #2
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In the end, the only thing that matters is what hits the glass. If you have something that has worked for you in the past to make the beer you want to make, DO IT and don't let ANYONE tell you otherwise.


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Old 09-27-2013, 12:12 AM   #3
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In the end, the only thing that matters is what hits the glass. If you have something that has worked for you in the past to make the beer you want to make, DO IT and don't let ANYONE tell you otherwise.
I totally agree.

I wouldn't find a 1.010 "too dry", at least with the grainbills I use so I want full attenuation and depend on it.

But if YOU like the results of your technique, and are happy with it, do it and don't change it! That's the only determination of what's "right".

Just consider that 2-3 tablespoons of DME isn't a starter at all- more like cups. So that isn't the cause of the issue, but if you're only using 3 T of DME anyway, might as well skip it since it's practically nothing anyway. Just a thought!
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:23 AM   #4
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I'm going to tell you how to brew over the interwebs without seeing your process or tasting your beer. and if you don't do it the way I told you to, then I'll call you a "cookie cutter" brewer.




if none of you picked up on the sarcasm, I'm gonna punch you in the grundle.
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:26 AM   #5
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if none of you picked up on the sarcasm, I'm gonna punch you in the grundle.
Um, where is my grundle? I'd like to protect it if you're going to punch me there but I'm having trouble knowing where to put my hands/armor. Thanks!



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Old 09-27-2013, 12:29 AM   #6
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So your beers end up dry and you are blaming it on the yeast starter? It could of been a host of other things but if you want to blame "yeast starters" go ahead. I make yeast starters for every beer I brew and never have an issue.
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:34 AM   #7
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Don't bother with such small starters, especially for that long on a stir plate (you're just beating up your yeast, best to take it off the stir plate when it's done fermenting). Directly pitching a new tube or smack pack is just fine and recommended by the manufacturer.

I generally don't make starters for beers < about 1.060 sometimes even 1.070 and end up with a fine beers around the F.G. I'm looking for.

In the end it's a just a hobby. Do what makes you happy and what gives you a product you like to drink.

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6. Do I need to make a starter for an Activator?

No. The Activator is designed to deliver professional pitch rates (6 million cells/ ml.) when directly added to 5 gallons of wort. ( <1.060 at 70 degrees). However, if a package is slow to swell, suspected of being mishandled, or if the date is approaching the six month shelf life it is a good idea to build the culture up with a starter. High gravity or low temperature fermentations require higher pitch rates. This can be achieved with inoculating with additional packages or making a starter.
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:57 AM   #8
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Um, where is my grundle? I'd like to protect it if you're going to punch me there but I'm having trouble knowing where to put my hands/armor. Thanks!



you don't have a grundle. therefore, I cannot punch you in one. looks like you're off the hook...
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Old 09-27-2013, 01:15 AM   #9
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So your beers end up dry and you are blaming it on the yeast starter? It could of been a host of other things but if you want to blame "yeast starters" go ahead. I make yeast starters for every beer I brew and never have an issue.
Sounds like Phunhog REALLY likes a yeast starter.

Seriously... thanks everyone.

So I need 3 cups of DME for a yeast starter? That's what I'm getting from the responses. I need a bigger flask.
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Old 09-27-2013, 01:22 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by smccarter View Post
Sounds like Phunhog REALLY likes a yeast starter.

Seriously... thanks everyone.

So I need 3 cups of DME for a yeast starter? That's what I'm getting from the responses. I need a bigger flask.
No, not necessarily. You can use 1/2 cup DME to a pint of water for a yeast starter, and that's a good start for smaller beers (those with a low-ish OG). You want a starter to be around 1.030-1.040 for optimum yeast reproduction.

But a couple of tablespoons of DME in some water is so small an amount as to be insignificant. That's like putting an 1/8 teaspoon of salt in 10 gallons of spaghetti sauce and expecting a result. Aside from "no difference" (likely) in a taste test, there isn't going to be any reason to even notice. If you taste salt, the issue is NOT with the added 1/8 teaspoon of salt.

The same is true with a "starter" with a couple of tablespoons of DME- it's not enough to notice- so if your beer is overattenuating with that amount of a "starter"- look somewhere else.


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