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Old 11-12-2007, 08:55 PM   #1
oooFishy
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I'm planning on making a ten gallon batch of 1.050 beer. I have a vial of white labs liquid yeast. Would you guys recommend making a big starter, or 2 consecutive starters?



 
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:59 PM   #2
CarlLBC
 
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what I do for my 10 gallon brews is a 2 liter starter a week before brew day and another 2 liter starter 3 days before and it starts fermenting within 12 hours and seemed to finish in 5 or 6 days. I think thats pretty good for a lager.



 
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Old 11-12-2007, 10:31 PM   #3
jjmadden08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlLBC
what I do for my 10 gallon brews is a 2 liter starter a week before brew day and another 2 liter starter 3 days before and it starts fermenting within 12 hours and seemed to finish in 5 or 6 days. I think thats pretty good for a lager.
a little off topic, but how long will a starter last for? i made one Friday hoping to brew yesterday, but probably cant until tomorrow, so that would be 4 days. will it still be good?

Also, how exactly can you tell when the starter is done? nothing is really going on in mine other than tiny bubbles rising to the top and some stuff floating around every now and then. i just dont want to pitch this starter if the yeast is dead.

Thanks

 
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Old 11-13-2007, 04:29 AM   #4
oooFishy
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Would you still do the 2 starter method with an ale Carl?

 
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Old 11-13-2007, 05:14 AM   #5
mrfocus
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Well, normally the wort will be oxydized quite quickly in a starter, but the yeast can remain viable for a while longer. If Carl said his starter takes in all one week (with 2 different additions) then I would guess the longest time you would want the yeast in a starter is probably 5 days, but I'm not entirely sure.

The SG of the wort will be lower than at the OG.

Starters are used to attain a higher pitching rate (yeast cells/ml) than what is normally done in basic homebrewing (pitching the yeast straight from the pack). The idea is that the more yeast cells there are for fermentation, the faster it will be.

Maltosefalcons have a few good articles on yeast, including this one: http://maltosefalcons.com/tech/MB_Ra..._Culturing.php

They are very good reads for anyone interested in speeding up the fermentation of their beers (I know I will use the knoledge learnt for my upcoming Belgian strong ale which I want to be ready for Christmas).

Edit: here is a good instrument to calculate your pitching rate: http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_pitchrate.cfm
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Old 11-13-2007, 01:43 PM   #6
CarlLBC
 
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Since I use one white lab vial for a 10 gallon batch, I do two 2 liter starters. plus the fact that lagers need more yeast, usually. In my opinion it wouldn't hurt to do two starters for your ale, but i'm no yeast master. all I know is its bad to have too little and too much. you could probably read up on the cell count of a white lab vial and how to step it up the the cell count you need for your batch size.

 
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:07 PM   #7
ohiobrewtus
 
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I normally do starters 3-5 days ahead of time and haven't had any issues to date.

I do 2 qt. starters for 5 gallons and double it for 10. Lately I've been decanting off most of the liquid and pitching mostly slurry, but you could dump the entire contents of the starter in as well.
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:55 PM   #8
niquejim
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Use this
http://www.mrmalty.com/

 
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Old 11-13-2007, 06:32 PM   #9
oooFishy
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Yea, I've used Mr. Malty before niquejim. It recommends using 2 vials of White labs with a 1.6 L starter...doesn't really help too much bc I am only planning on using 1 vial. I'm not sure yet what I'm going to do..maybe make 1 2L starter to double the cell count (I think) and then split up the slurry and make separate 1.5-2L starters with that (whatever would give me the proper pitching rate). I split up my batches into 2- 6gal primaries anyways, so this would save me splitting up my yeast later. I'm brewing next sat, so I think I have enough time. You guys think this way too much work? The problem with just making a huge starter initially is the biggest good container I have right now is a 2L, although I suppose you could use an empty gallon plastic milk jug, or even a growler with the proper cleaning...


Ok, one more question,
Will I be ok just pouring off the liquid and pitching the slurry at the appropriate temp after fermentation has subsided? I mean, is there still lots of yeast that will be free floating in the solution? Is it a better idea to chill the starter after fermentation and then pour off the liquid, then bring the slurry back up to pitching temp and pitch?

A bit unorganized, but you get the point

 
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Old 11-13-2007, 06:37 PM   #10
oooFishy
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I really wish you could manipulate more variables with that calculator...



 
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