2000mL Erlenmeyer Flask

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brew703

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I currently brew small batches, 1-2 gallons but plan on brewing 3 gallon batches in the very near future once my kettle arrives.
Would a 2000ml flask be sufficient to make a starter for a 3 gallon batch? Would a 1.5L starter exceed the 2L capacity?
Currently I have not made anything over 1.056 OG.
 

thekraken

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I'd suggest playing around with a yeast calculator like mrmalty to get a feel for the size starters you'll be needing. I think a 2L flask would be a reasonable choice. I use a 2L with my 5 gallon batches >1.056 s.g., though I usually end up doing stepped starters.
 

cooper

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For three gallon batches I think you'd be good. I wish I would have purchased the 5L flask for my lagers.
 

philosofool

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Cost of 2L erlenmyer + DIY stirplate = cost of 5L + a few big batches of starter.

Stir plates greatly improve yeast growth efficiency. A 1L starter gets you enough for a 5 gallon 1.060 beer. Since you need much less DME for this, DIY stir plates make up for their cost after a dozen starters or so.

My recommendation is 2L plus stir plate.
 

kombat

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I do 2L starters in my 5L flask, on a stir plate. A 2L starter would blowout in a 2L flask. It's also handy to be able to do 4L starters for lagers and big beers.

I'd be hesitant to go with such a small (1L) starter for any beer, even with a stir plate. The calculator I use (MrMalty) always seems to recommend at least 2L, for even moderate gravity beers, with a stir plate.
 

thekraken

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I've done 2L starters in my 2L flask. Fermcap is wonderful stuff. Sometimes I get a little bit of blow out but it's easy enough to clean up.
 

LLBeanJ

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I've made a lot of starters in my 2L flask. I even purchased a second one when I needed to have two starters working at the same time. Most of the time the 2L was fine. Occasionally, I'd have a volcano with more active yeast strains (hefe & Belgians, to be specific), which left a mess to clean up and lost yeast. I then purchased a 5L to better accommodate lager starters, as they tend to be pretty large and have use it a few times. Not too long ago, one of my 2L flasks fell from its shelf and shattered. I replaced it with a 3L flask and it quickly became my "go-to." It's small enough for smaller starters and is large enough to contain the more active strains. It also works well for lager strains and the size is such that it fits in my dorm fridge that sits next to my ferm chamber, whereas the 5L does not. If I had it all to do over again, I would forego the 2L and go with a 3L.
 

RM-MN

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For three gallon batches I think you'd be good. I wish I would have purchased the 5L flask for my lagers.
And Gordon Strong say he often makes a lager with a single smack pack, no starter. No, I'm not going to look up the reference again.
 

WI_Wino

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Fermcap or infant gas drops do amazing things in preventing yeast starter overflows. I routinely do 2000 ml wort + wyeast smack pack in my 2L starter on a stir plate.
 

thekraken

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I've made a lot of starters in my 2L flask. I even purchased a second one when I needed to have two starters working at the same time. Most of the time the 2L was fine. Occasionally, I'd have a volcano with more active yeast strains (hefe & Belgians, to be specific), which left a mess to clean up and lost yeast. I then purchased a 5L to better accommodate lager starters, as they tend to be pretty large and have use it a few times. Not too long ago, one of my 2L flasks fell from its shelf and shattered. I replaced it with a 3L flask and it quickly became my "go-to." It's small enough for smaller starters and is large enough to contain the more active strains. It also works well for lager strains and the size is such that it fits in my dorm fridge that sits next to my ferm chamber, whereas the 5L does not. If I had it all to do over again, I would forego the 2L and go with a 3L.
Where did you find the 3L flask. I looked all over for that size before I bought my 2L and couldn't find it.
 

cooper

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And Gordon Strong say he often makes a lager with a single smack pack, no starter. No, I'm not going to look up the reference again.
It will definitely make good beer. I think Brulosophy has an Exbeeriment where he made a starter for one beer and then pitched a single smack pack in another one and could only pick up subtle differences.

http://brulosophy.com/2015/04/20/yeast-pitch-rate-single-vial-vs-yeast-starter-exbeeriment-results/

So in the end, it might not matter all that much. I think it mostly boils down to what you're comfortable with doing and what works best on an individual basis. I might not be able to tell the difference at all but someone else might be really sensitive to it.
 
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brew703

brew703

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I figured a 2L flask as that's what is the max recommendation for the stir plate (StirStarter) I will be getting. I don't want to spend $70+ for the larger stir plate plus the larger flask and really do not have the means to make one myself.
I would consider a 3L flask- didn't know they made that size.
 

m00ps

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that will easily be enough for a smaller batch than 5 gallons. I use 2L flasks to make 1.6L (the most I can reasonably fit with a bit of fermcap) starters in most of my 5gal batches. I few others i split off into multiple 1L starters of different strains but Ive never had issues from my usual 1.6L starter
 

kombat

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It will definitely make good beer. I think Brulosophy has an Exbeeriment where he made a starter for one beer and then pitched a single smack pack in another one and could only pick up subtle differences.

http://brulosophy.com/2015/04/20/yeast-pitch-rate-single-vial-vs-yeast-starter-exbeeriment-results/
Keep in mind, that Exbeeriment was run with ales, while RM-MN referenced lagers. I'm very skeptical that a similar test, run with a lager, would produce similar results. Without a generous dosing of oxygen to promote biomass cell production, a single vial of lager yeast would have an extremely long lag time, and I believe there would be noticeable off-flavours from stressed yeast. An ale would be more forgiving, as the Exbeeriment demonstrated.
 
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