Quantcast

1 GALLON starter?!?!

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Know

Active Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2013
Messages
39
Reaction score
9
I decided to try WLP001 California Ale yeast this time around (I have always used US-05) for a beer with Est. Og 1.073. Beersmith is telling me I should make a 4L or 1 Gallon starter. Is this normal with liquid yeast? because that seems like a huge volume.

It's also telling me to make this I need 13.5oz of dry malt. Say I want to make it and don't have dry malt. Could I use a gallon of the wort or sucrose instead?

Thanks
 

Kampenken

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2014
Messages
772
Reaction score
162
Location
Lansdale
We could use a few more details.
What is the batch size? How old was the yeast?
No, you don't want to use anything but light DME.
 

flars

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 21, 2011
Messages
8,629
Reaction score
2,047
Location
Medford, Wisconsin
Optimum OG for a starter wort is about 1.037 to 1.040. You can use grains on hand to make a starter wort. You could also dilute the wort from your brew to make the starter but then you would have to wait to pitch until the starter was fermented out. Simple sugars won't propagate healthy yeast cells in a starter.
 

friarsmith

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jan 29, 2016
Messages
475
Reaction score
258
Location
Indiana
One gallon may be a bit overkill, especially if you have a stir plate. Do you have a stir plate? Check your numbers. Sucrose is a BAD idea for starters as sucrose-started beer yeast will not be as apt to attack the maltose once pitched in the wort.

According to the BrewersFriend.com yeast pitch calculator which I've used for years, for a 5 gallon "High Gravity" 1.072 ale you ideally need about 331B yeast cells. So 3-4 vials of WLP, or a 2 litre starter of 1.040 wort on a stir plate.

You can make a 1.040 wort with 8oz DME and 2L of water ahead of time.

Alternatively, during the brew day, you could pull 2-4L of wort early in the boil, dilute down to 1.040, chill the starter sample, oxygenate & pitch yeast, then add it to the wort 8 hrs or so after you've racked the chilled wort to the fermenter. The starter should be up and running (i.e. replicating) by then. Hold off on oxygenating the fermenter until you're ready to add the starter. I do this all the time with summer-brewed lagers because I can only chill wort to 60* in the warmer months, so I put the fermenter in my keezer overnight until it's at a suitable lager pitching temp of 45-50 degrees.

As others have rightly indicated, you may stress the yeast if your starter is much greater than 1.040, hence the dilution advice.

If you don't have a stir plate, consider doing at least a 3L starter. Just be sure to oxygenate the starter well.
 

Gish

Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2009
Messages
18
Reaction score
2
You can all so make a 1 gallon batch of beer. Then harvest the yeast off of that and then you can drink your "starter"!
 

Staticsouls

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
354
Reaction score
178
Location
Rancho Santa Margarita
For your gravity and the strain I would guess you are making a big batch say10 gallons or so. I usually do 10 gals, and I usually make at least a 3L starter. Mr. Malty usually wants me to make a near 1 gallon starter but I use 1 gallon carboys. I did make a blow off capture system with a Mason jar and two hole one for the blow off and one for an airlock. With sterile water it can catch the best looking yeast ive seen. You should plan the starter with enough time to cold crash it so you can decant the excess beer imo.
 

BalloonGuy

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Messages
114
Reaction score
33
For your gravity and the strain I would guess you are making a big batch say10 gallons or so. I usually do 10 gals, and I usually make at least a 3L starter. Mr. Malty usually wants me to make a near 1 gallon starter but I use 1 gallon carboys. I did make a blow off capture system with a Mason jar and two hole one for the blow off and one for an airlock. With sterile water it can catch the best looking yeast ive seen. You should plan the starter with enough time to cold crash it so you can decant the excess beer imo.
Do you have any pictures of this? I would love to see how you do it. I want to try it.
Thanks
 

Staticsouls

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
354
Reaction score
178
Location
Rancho Santa Margarita
Do you have any pictures of this? I would love to see how you do it. I want to try it.
Thanks
I used a step bit to make hole in the jar lid and got a bag of grommets off ebay. They are 3/8 diameter. I don't have a pic of the last time i captured yeast with it, but it was the nicest white color, and the was a solid inch thick layer after I cold crashed it.
 

skraeling

Scientist Extraordinaire
Joined
Sep 26, 2013
Messages
715
Reaction score
284
I used two packets of us05 for the christmas ale. OG was ~1.074 final was 1.010. (note only a 5g batch)

Pitched two packets dry and didnt even think about it. Id be curious to see what a starter would do for me though. Either way it still tastes amazing. bastard fermented for almost three weeks straight at a full tilt.
 
OP
Know

Know

Active Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2013
Messages
39
Reaction score
9
Lots of good info, thanks.

What is the batch size? How old was the yeast?
No, you don't want to use anything but light DME.
This was for a 5.5 gallon All-Grain BIAB batch of a Wheat-IPA. The estimated OG. of 1.071 was in reference to the the OG of the beer. The 1 gallon starter recommended by BeerSmith using 13.5oz of DME would have been SG 1.037.

Do you have a stir plate? Check your numbers. Sucrose is a BAD idea for starters as sucrose-started beer yeast will not be as apt to attack the maltose once pitched in the wort.
I do not have a stir plate. Good to know about the sucrose before I tried something dumb.

I got a little overwhelmed by the whole 1 gallon of starter thing. So I rehydrated and pitched two packets of US-05 dry yeast instead (giving me 360B cells of the estimated 264B yeast cells needed).

For now, I may just stick with dry yeast due to the simplicity of the stuff. It's cheaper and you don't need to buy a pound of DME just to get them rolling. I have a lot to learn about yeast.
 

Kampenken

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2014
Messages
772
Reaction score
162
Location
Lansdale
This was for a 5.5 gallon All-Grain BIAB batch of a Wheat-IPA. The estimated OG. of 1.071. ...
I do not have a stir plate...

I got a little overwhelmed by the whole 1 gallon of starter thing. So I rehydrated and pitched two packets of US-05 dry yeast instead (giving me 360B cells of the estimated 264B yeast cells needed)....
Good decision but, look at Brewersfriend. Without a stir plate, easy build btw, calls for a 2.3L starter to get you 260b cells with 8.3oz of DME. So about 1/2 of what you had. Seriously though build a stir plate. Easy-peasy.
 
Top