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Old 10-07-2013, 06:12 PM   #1
ZenFitness
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I'm looking at making my first AG beer this next weekend, and I'm going to use WLP090 yeast (the San Diego stuff). Questions:

1. Should I use a starter or "prime" the yeast?

2. If #1 is "yes", when should I do that? Tuesday? Wednesday? Etc...

3. Is it worth trying to save some starter to re-pitch the yeast in a future brew? Given that it's only like $7, I'm wondering if it is worth it as a homebrewer.

Thanks!

 
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Old 10-07-2013, 06:13 PM   #2
NewWestBrewer
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Yes you should make a starter. Standard i think is 18-24 hours unless you step it up.
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:13 AM   #3
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1) Yes, you need to make a starter. If you don't have a stirplate, begin three days before brew date. Let the yeast culture for two days. Cold crash it for a day so that you can decant most of the starter beer off without throwing away a bunch of yeast.

2) WLP090 has a very narrow temperature range. You'll want to chill your wort to about 62-63*F and ferment at a consistent 65-68*F (beer temp, not air). If you cannot pull that off, it would be best to use a different strain.
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:36 AM   #4
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How big is the beer? If it is a 2.5 gallon batch of a 1.040 beer you the 100 billion cells would be sufficient. There are some alternatives to making a starter as well. My book has more details, but here is a blog post that might give you some ideas:
http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/201...-starters.html
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:42 AM   #5
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Im betting your going with a five gallon batch as that's pretty standard in the beginning-if your OG is over 1.060 then I would definitely consider using a starter-it's like an appetizer for your yeast. You could start it Thursday afternoon and pull it off Friday afternoon, then you can pop it in the fridge over night to let that yeast crash out, decant the above liquid and pitch your slurry Saturday afternoon after brew day! Try using Wyeast in the future, those smack packs are a must have for the beginning brewer in my opinion.
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:55 PM   #6
ZenFitness
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Thanks all for the replies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigFloyd View Post
1) Yes, you need to make a starter. If you don't have a stirplate, begin three days before brew date. Let the yeast culture for two days. Cold crash it for a day so that you can decant most of the starter beer off without throwing away a bunch of yeast.
Can you explain cold crashing? Sorry for the noob question... I will also Google it.

EDIT: I know what cold crashing beer is, I just don't know how to cold crash yeast.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigFloyd View Post

2) WLP090 has a very narrow temperature range. You'll want to chill your wort to about 62-63*F and ferment at a consistent 65-68*F (beer temp, not air). If you cannot pull that off, it would be best to use a different strain.
Great to know! I have a deep freeze that I converted to a fermentation chamber, so that temp should be easy to manage. To capture the beer temp, I believe I can put the temperature sensor I have into a bottle of water in the freezer?

Thanks again!

 
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Old 10-08-2013, 01:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenFitness View Post
Thanks all for the replies!



Can you explain cold crashing? Sorry for the noob question... I will also Google it.



Great to know! I have a deep freeze that I converted to a fermentation chamber, so that temp should be easy to manage. To capture the beer temp, I believe I can put the temperature sensor I have into a bottle of water in the freezer?

Thanks again!
Cold crashing is chilling the starter cause the yeast to drop out of solution and fall to the bottom of the flask allowing you to pour off the liquid.

Cold crashing the beer causes the excess yeast and sediment to drop making the beer more clear.

For the temperature sensor it is best to capture the temperature of the wort during the active phase which creates internal heat. You can use something to insulate from ambient and hold it to the side of the fermenter. (a folded washcloth taped over the probe.) You could also use a thermowell which is a tube that is immersed into the wort with the sensor inside.

Also the object of making a starter is not to "prime" the yeast but to make them reproduce in numbers of cells. A very fresh vial of yeast might contain about a billion cells. (correction: 100 billion cells) For an average beer the proper pitching rate would be somewhere around 200 to 250 billion cells.

Reason: correction

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Old 10-08-2013, 01:16 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plinythebadass View Post
Try using Wyeast in the future, those smack packs are a must have for the beginning brewer in my opinion.
There is really no difference between White Labs and Wyeast except the Wyeast packs contain a nutrient pack.

They contain approximately the same cell counts. Many make the mistake of thinking the nutrient pack is a starter. It does not increase cell counts. It just feeds and energizes the yeast.

You still need to make a starter when using Wyeast.

 
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Old 10-08-2013, 02:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kh54s10 View Post
A very fresh vial of yeast might contain about a billion cells. For an average beer the proper pitching rate would be somewhere around 200 to 250 billion cells.
I assume you just left out the number, but just to avoid confusion for a new brewer, there are roughly 100 billion cells in a fresh pack or vial.

 
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:03 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kh54s10 View Post
Cold crashing is chilling the starter cause the yeast to drop out of solution and fall to the bottom of the flask allowing you to pour off the liquid.

Cold crashing the beer causes the excess yeast and sediment to drop making the beer more clear.

For the temperature sensor it is best to capture the temperature of the wort during the active phase which creates internal heat. You can use something to insulate from ambient and hold it to the side of the fermenter. (a folded washcloth taped over the probe.) You could also use a thermowell which is a tube that is immersed into the wort with the sensor inside.

Also the object of making a starter is not to "prime" the yeast but to make them reproduce in numbers of cells. A very fresh vial of yeast might contain about a billion cells. For an average beer the proper pitching rate would be somewhere around 200 to 250 billion cells.
This^^^^^^^, except that a factory-fresh vial contains the 100 billion cells previously mentioned.

Also, when using liquid yeast, it's very important to thoroughly aerate the wort prior to pitching. Much more significant than when using dry yeast (which comes packaged with its own sterols). Don't skip this step.
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