2 packs of yeast vs 2l starter

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merlyone

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Hi all,

maybe stupid question but is it the same to brew with 2 packs of liquid yeast without a starter or 1 pack and 2 L starter? Or should I always make 1pack=1L starter or 2packs=2L starter?

Thx
 
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merlyone

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Oh yeah, and we’re talking about 20L batch (5gallon) here and 6% of abv.
 

wsmith1625

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Use a yeast calculator to figure out your target pitch rate. The calculator will help you figure out how to hit your target rate using either multiple packets or using a starter. Both methods are fine, but using a starter is cheaper and confirms viability. If new yeast packets aren't stored properly, viability can suffer greatly.

 
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merlyone

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Use a yeast calculator to figure out your target pitch rate. The calculator will help you figure out how to hit your target rate using either multiple packets or using a starter. Both methods are fine, but using a starter is cheaper and confirms viability. If new yeast packets aren't stored properly, viability can suffer greatly.

Good to know! Any calculator recommendations?
 
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Liquid yeast is not cheap. To make it cheap, you make starters with it. If its a favorite, you make a bigger starter than you need and decant some into a sanitized mason to store in the fridge for future use. Making a 2L starter with a couple steps is only a couple dollars to increase cell count and vitality to make a healthy, correct rate pitch for most standard gravity beers. I use Brewer's Friend as well.
 

hotbeer

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’Cause I don’t want to ruin my batch by underpitching the yeast.
I agree that you don't want to underpitch and ruin your beers or at least have them take longer to ferment. But that wasn't quite the question you ask.

Just because you make a starter doesn't mean you are pitching a certain amount of viable yeast. You have to do some estimation of freshness and other things. It's one of the reasons many of us just overpitch so we ensure there is enough from the start.
 

CascadesBrewer

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Oh yeah, and we’re talking about 20L batch (5gallon) here and 6% of abv.

Personally, I have also had very good luck with 1 pack of White Labs or Wyeast into a 1 Liter Shaken-not-Stirred vitality starter. This would be my method of choice for 5.5 gals of wort up to around 1.065 gravity. If I am pushing the upper edge I would want to ensure I am using a fresh pack, and might pay more attention to oxygenation and fermentation temperature.

Note that Omega and Imperial have larger cell counts than White Labs and Wyeast. Most dry yeast packs have a fairly high count of viable yeasts as well, even if the exact cell counts is debated.

In my experience, there is a lot of wiggle room with 5-gallon batches in the 1.055 OG range. Assuming a fairly fresh pack, you could direct pitch a pack and likely make great beer, but maybe with an extended lag time. You could make a 1L or 2L starter, and likely make great beer with more consistent fermentation.
 
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merlyone

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Liquid yeast is not cheap. To make it cheap, you make starters with it. If its a favorite, you make a bigger starter than you need and decant some into a sanitized mason to store in the fridge for future use. Making a 2L starter with a couple steps is only a couple dollars to increase cell count and vitality to make a healthy, correct rate pitch for most standard gravity beers. I use Brewer's Friend as well.
Liquid yeast is not cheap. To make it cheap, you make starters with it. If its a favorite, you make a bigger starter than you need and decant some into a sanitized mason to store in the fridge for future use. Making a 2L starter with a couple steps is only a couple dollars to increase cell count and vitality to make a healthy, correct rate pitch for most standard gravity beers. I use Brewer's Friend as well.
So does this mean that I can make a 4L starter by using 1 pack of yeast and save other half for later?
 

CascadesBrewer

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So does this mean that I can make a 4L starter by using 1 pack of yeast and save other half for later?
It is pretty common to create "overbuilt" starters. Basically, if you want 200B cells to pitch, you make a starter targeting 300B cells and set aside that 100B cells for the next cycle. Having a large flask/container and a stir plate helps with building up larger cell counts. A search of this forum or the web for "overbuilt starter" should point you at some good resources.
 
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@CascadesBrewer hit it right on the head. I overbuild my starters all the time to ensure my yeast bank of slurries is as vital as possible. This also allows clean slurry being stored and the yeast never sees the typical environment seen in a fermentation vessel which allows a repeatable slurry over many generations with little chance of mutation.
 
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merlyone

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It is pretty common to create "overbuilt" starters. Basically, if you want 200B cells to pitch, you make a starter targeting 300B cells and set aside that 100B cells for the next cycle. Having a large flask/container and a stir plate helps with building up larger cell counts. A search of this forum or the web for "overbuilt starter" should point you at some good resources.
Great, thanks!
 

balrog

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Brewers Friend has a good calculator.
This one is also good, and I use it to overbuild by 100b ea time, calculating what I *should* be making in total, and what volume of that to save to have saved 100b of the total for the next starter.
 

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So does this mean that I can make a 4L starter by using 1 pack of yeast and save other half for later?
Firstly, I do not know how long you have been brewing, but yeast is a living organism. Numbers are one thing, and living entities are another. Fresh yeast is always better than "more yeast". Buying yeast is often not optimal as it can be old. When you grow up a starter you have really fresh, vital cells. So I would always lean towards 1 pack along with a starter.

Starters should be made in 8-10x volume increases per step to actually get cell growth (more numbers) and not overtax. 1 pack into a 4L starter is not optimal. You would want to step it up in stages.
 

IslandLizard

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Any calculator recommendations?
I love Brewer's Friend, they're an excellent resource. Although their yeast calculator is OK for most routine yeast related estimates, it's a bit limited.
E.g., just plug in an "old" yeast that's over 142 days old, it comes back with nill. :drunk:

My preferred yeast pitch/yeast starter calculator is this one:
 
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jambop

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I am not knocking the yeast cell density thing but I use one 11g pack of dried Notty from Lallemand for most of my 30L batch beers and they start and ferment out great in four days. I do of course realise that liquid yeasts are available in greater varieties but I find the dried yeasts Lallemand sell are very good... I would be willing to bet 95or more percent of people would not know the difference between one yeast a to another in a proper blind test to be honest... but then again beer making is the new HiFi something to big up 😂
 

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I am not knocking the yeast cell density thing but I use one 11g pack of dried Notty from Lallemand for most of my 30L batch beers and they start and ferment out great in four days. I do of course realise that liquid yeasts are available in greater varieties but I find the dried yeasts Lallemand sell are very good... I would be willing to bet 95or more percent of people would not know the difference between one yeast a to another in a proper blind test to be honest... but then again beer making is the new HiFi something to big up 😂
Maybe. I would like to have a test like that out there. Dried yeast packages start with much more cells than a WL pitch. So one is ahead of the game with numbers. The drying process takes some life away from the cells, so that is where the unknown comes in. 95% is a big number and it depends on how well the wort was made to be able to tell a difference imho. Muddy, trubby etc.. wort is going to mask things no matter what yeast is pitched. I am about to tap an IPA I made with Verdant, so I will see if I like it after using WLP 001 forever. I know they are different but I am interested to see how it turned out.
 

balrog

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Dried yeast packages start with much more cells than a WL pitch.

Per their website, Lallemand says a typical 11g packet will have 55b (Koln says 1b/gm, BR97 says 5b/gm) while a fresh WL will have 100b. Liquid loses viability by % with time at a rate dried yeast does not, that I will grant you.
 

jambop

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Maybe. I would like to have a test like that out there. Dried yeast packages start with much more cells than a WL pitch. So one is ahead of the game with numbers. The drying process takes some life away from the cells, so that is where the unknown comes in. 95% is a big number and it depends on how well the wort was made to be able to tell a difference imho. Muddy, trubby etc.. wort is going to mask things no matter what yeast is pitched. I am about to tap an IPA I made with Verdant, so I will see if I like it after using WLP 001 forever. I know they are different but I am interested to see how it turned out.

I stick with it. Firstly you have to know what it tastes like made with the select yeast to start with. Secondly you need a remarkable pallet to taste the very subtle flavour hints over a huge dose of powerful hops. I think there will be some who can taste a yeast fermentation by product but I would put a huge amount of money on there being a lot more who could not tell the difference between two different yeasts used to make beer using exactly the same ingredients and conditions . I would say this getting the brewing and fermentation conditions right will make more difference to the flavour outcome that the strain of yeast used will. JMO though
 

Bassman2003

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Per their website, Lallemand says a typical 11g packet will have 55b (Koln says 1b/gm, BR97 says 5b/gm) while a fresh WL will have 100b. Liquid loses viability by % with time at a rate dried yeast does not, that I will grant you.
Interesting. That is not what I would have expected the cell count to be. Sorry for spreading homebrew lore! The old myth was one packet of say 34/70 was equal or better than a vial. I don't think that belief expects the vial to be half dead. Always read the details... That makes the BR97 a not-so-big pitch if one only uses a single packet.
 

CascadesBrewer

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I stick with it. Firstly you have to know what it tastes like made with the select yeast to start with. Secondly you need a remarkable pallet to taste the very subtle flavour hints over a huge dose of powerful hops. I think there will be some who can taste a yeast fermentation by product but I would put a huge amount of money on there being a lot more who could not tell the difference between two different yeasts used to make beer using exactly the same ingredients and conditions . I would say this getting the brewing and fermentation conditions right will make more difference to the flavour outcome that the strain of yeast used will. JMO though

I do a lot of split yeast trials and side by side tests. I would disagree with you, at least with people that enjoy beer. Yeast has a large impact on the character of a yeast beyond just "flavor", such as alcohol level, sweetness, and mouthfeel. Yeah, there are some yeasts that are very similar with subtle differences. I have not used Nottingham enough lately to know how it specifically compares to other popular yeasts.

Though I agree with the premise that you can make a lot of great beers with a mix of yeasts. This is especially true if you tweak a recipe around your yeast selection. The same beer made with Nottingham might be too thick or sweet if brewed with a low attenuating yeast, but this can be accounted for in recipe design.

Nottingham does seem to have a good reputation for being a reliable yeast. That brings up a good point that any discussion on pitch rates is strain dependent. Your one pack of Nottingham might work very well in a 30L batch, where another yeast might struggle and produce off flavors.
 
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merlyone

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Firstly, I do not know how long you have been brewing, but yeast is a living organism. Numbers are one thing, and living entities are another. Fresh yeast is always better than "more yeast". Buying yeast is often not optimal as it can be old. When you grow up a starter you have really fresh, vital cells. So I would always lean towards 1 pack along with a starter.

Starters should be made in 8-10x volume increases per step to actually get cell growth (more numbers) and not overtax. 1 pack into a 4L starter is not optimal. You would want to step it up in stages.
Good to know, thanks!
 
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merlyone

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I am not knocking the yeast cell density thing but I use one 11g pack of dried Notty from Lallemand for most of my 30L batch beers and they start and ferment out great in four days. I do of course realise that liquid yeasts are available in greater varieties but I find the dried yeasts Lallemand sell are very good... I would be willing to bet 95or more percent of people would not know the difference between one yeast a to another in a proper blind test to be honest... but then again beer making is the new HiFi something to big up 😂
I’ve noticed some huge differences between london fog or imperial vs verdant dry yeast for example. The liquid ones brings all the good and deepers flavors from hops than dry ones. But that’s just my opinion. Would I noticed the difference in blind test, maybe 😊
 

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I am not knocking the yeast cell density thing but I use one 11g pack of dried Notty from Lallemand for most of my 30L batch beers and they start and ferment out great in four days. I do of course realise that liquid yeasts are available in greater varieties but I find the dried yeasts Lallemand sell are very good... I would be willing to bet 95or more percent of people would not know the difference between one yeast a to another in a proper blind test to be honest... but then again beer making is the new HiFi something to big up 😂
I guess if you only use dry yeast you'll never really know how brewer's yeast strains differ so much. Interestingly, I've been experimenting with Lallemand dry yeast for several months. Not bad, but inferior to fresh wet yeast. I quit like Diamond Lager repitched, but WLP800 and WK833 blow it away. I find even fresh Lallemand 11g packs pitched in half batches (12L) take up to 48 hours before vigourous fermentation kicks off. More than 36 hours later than fresh wet yeast. So I'm a bit skeptical about claims one pack ferments 30L within 4 days. I do have a pack of Nottingham. I bet it struggles to finish half a batch of wort within a week.
 

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As aside note, my one pack of Verdant brew struggled to attenuate and basically ran out of gas. If the 55 billion cell thing is correct then I should have pitched two packs. I think this is a mistake by the dried yeast maker if they are going to strangle the cell count when the new liquid makers are going in the opposite direction.
 

balrog

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As aside note, my one pack of Verdant brew struggled to attenuate and basically ran out of gas. If the 55 billion cell thing is correct then I should have pitched two packs. I think this is a mistake by the dried yeast maker if they are going to strangle the cell count when the new liquid makers are going in the opposite direction.

Lallemand has a yeast pitch rate calculator. Plugging in their different yeasts I *THINK* gives an indication of cells per pack, but they may also be using behind the scenes differences in pitch rate per ml per degree Plato for different yeasts. In that case, everything I've said about cells per pkg is suspect.
 

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This is just my opinion but yeast health is #1 cell count is #2, my goal is to always have a healthy pitch, the cell count is a guessing game anyway unless you have a microscope and you go that deep with it which i think is not necessary for 5 gallons, again just my opinion not saying im right but beers are not suffering at all
 

wepeeler

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Hi all,

maybe stupid question but is it the same to brew with 2 packs of liquid yeast without a starter or 1 pack and 2 L starter? Or should I always make 1pack=1L starter or 2packs=2L starter?

Thx
You'll end up with more happy yeast cells if you make a starter. It will also decrease lag time. I typically always make a starter from liquid yeast, but not for dry. It will ensure you have yeast ready to chomp.
 

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I guess if you only use dry yeast you'll never really know how brewer's yeast strains differ so much. Interestingly, I've been experimenting with Lallemand dry yeast for several months. Not bad, but inferior to fresh wet yeast. I quit like Diamond Lager repitched, but WLP800 and WK833 blow it away. I find even fresh Lallemand 11g packs pitched in half batches (12L) take up to 48 hours before vigourous fermentation kicks off. More than 36 hours later than fresh wet yeast. So I'm a bit skeptical about claims one pack ferments 30L within 4 days. I do have a pack of Nottingham. I bet it struggles to finish half a batch of wort within a week.

Don't be a skeptic I can assure you I pitch one rehydrated pack of Notty and a 30L 1.050 sg batch is finished in four days at constant 20C . What I really like about that particular yeast is it is very flocculant and the beer is crystal clear inside 7days and I do not cool the beer at all . After bottle conditioning it can be chilled a little to 12C for serving. I don't know what you are doing wrong to not have a good fermentation almost with in a few hours I do but I have my brew liquor adjusted properly for alkalinity and follow the very simple instructions on the pack for rehydration which I think is vital for the yeast to get a good start.
 

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What I'm doing mainly to not get a good fermentation within a few hours is not typing crap. It takes yeast cells, in fact, any healthy living cell, several hours to remodel metabolism to cope with a new environment. It's highly unlikely a dry yeast reaches any of level of fermentation within a few hours. The only time I've ever observed fermentation kick off so soon is when repitching freshly top-cropped yeast directly into a fresh batch of wort. Mainly because the 'memory' of the fermentation metabolic profile exists. The probability of this occuring with pitched dry yeast is close to zero. Ask any genuinely skeptical biologist with an idea
 

jambop

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What I'm doing mainly to not get a good fermentation within a few hours is not typing crap. It takes yeast cells, in fact, any healthy living cell, several hours to remodel metabolism to cope with a new environment. It's highly unlikely a dry yeast reaches any of level of fermentation within a few hours. The only time I've ever observed fermentation kick off so soon is when repitching freshly top-cropped yeast directly into a fresh batch of wort. Mainly because the 'memory' of the fermentation metabolic profile exists. The probability of this occuring with pitched dry yeast is close to zero. Ask any genuinely skeptical biologist with an idea
I do not know why you are being so aggressive . I have told you what I do .. you don't believe me Why? It is like I come on here to tell lies ? I have better things to do with my time than make up yarns. Even if you go to Lallemand's own website you will see that fermentation can be competed in this time. I repeat I have had no issue at all completing a 25 - 30l batch fermentation simply by following the rehydration advice and pitching the rehydrated yeast cells into the fermenter and fermenting at 20C. Any way you have a good day.
 

MHBT

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not saying its not possible but i don’t usually see fermentation from dry yeast until at least 18 hours and when that happens i brag about my short lag time and how good of a wort maker i am 🤪 definitely slower
 
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