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Old 05-02-2008, 07:03 PM   #1
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Default Nervous about my First starter

Hi everyone. I am about to embark on a yeast starter for te first time. I want to do it because I am making a lager for the old man and it is my understanding that yeast starters will produce more yeast and at 6.00$ a pop I do not want to buy two vials when I can do one. So anyone got any good tips for a smal Lager yeast starter. What are the differences between a lager starter and an Ale. I do have 2 freezers so temps wont be a issue for me. Also I am going to use a 3/4 gal growler for the job. Well any tips would be helpful thanks

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Old 05-02-2008, 07:08 PM   #2
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It's just like making a small, unhopped beer from extract. First, you need to address a few things. How big of a batch are you making? What's your OG and your projected FG? All of these will determine what your pitching rate needs to be. You should check this out first.

As for making it, do what your normally do for any beer. Sanitize the hell out of everything. Make sure things are clean.

Follow the directions. I'm a Wyeast guy, and all you have to do is follow step by step on the back of the smack pack. As for the vials, I thought they were pitchable up to a certain OG, so I'd look into it.

Hope I helped.


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Old 05-02-2008, 07:12 PM   #3
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Here are some links that I think will answer all your questions:

And then when you've read that, go to and calculate the size starter you will need.

Using the calculator you will see that the starter volumes for lagers are huge. When I am making a lager I usually start with a 3L starter, let that go for a couple days at room temp, then refrigerate, decant and add another 3L of starter wort, let that go a couple days at room temp then refrigerate, decant and add another liter of wort and let that go a few days at the fermentation temp. I then pitch that entire liter. Not saying that is the best/only way, but it has worked for me.
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:22 PM   #4
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Hmm, the Mr Malty article said that you should pitch your starter 12-18 hours after it, um, starts. I thought that I had read here that you should make it a few days in advance? I assume it doesn't really matter, but as someone planning his first starter/AG brew in a week or so, I'm getting into 'anal retentive freak out' mode
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Old 05-03-2008, 12:03 AM   #5
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You mentioned that you're making a lager, and lagers require more yeast.

Depending on the yeast and the beer, you may need several days to build it up to be an adequate pitching.

And, just possibly a 3 qt growler may not be big enough depending on all those factors.
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Old 05-05-2008, 01:38 AM   #6
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I am doing a lager also , I have the starter going for 2 days was a little slow until today,I made a 1.040 wort with LME . Should I wait till activity stops refrigerate and decant the yeast into fresh wort? I used an older (12 months old) smack pack Munich lager that was sitting way in the back of the refrigerator
That I forgot about.

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