Conan Yeast Starter w/ Fast Pitch Wort & Yeast Nutrient

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ChaosB

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I will be using 2 packages of Omega Yeast OYL-052 "Conan" to attempt to ferment my first brew, a clone of MadTree Galaxy High DIPA. Recipe linked below.

https://www.homebrewtalk.com/forum/threads/estimating-efficiency-for-new-system.665785/

OG 1.084
FG 1.010
ABV 10.0%

I have a package of Fermaid-K Yeast Nutrient. Should I add some of this to the starter or at the end of boil? Fast Pitch wort lists yeast nutrient as an ingredient already but idk if it could benefit from some additional nutrients considering the journey it's been on.

The yeast took 8 days to arrive to my APO address in South Korea. I ordered 2 packs and had BrewHardware include 3 ice packs. It was still below room temperature but not super cold when it arrived.

I also have 2 packages of Fermentis Safale US-05. Would it be beneficial to mix this in as well to make up the cell difference that Beer Smith is giving me? Considering I have questionable yeast health as is from shipping.

yeast.jpg
 

IslandLizard

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As long as you make a starter there's no reason to 'pollute' your yeast pitch with US-05. :D

Now I would use BrewUnited's yeast starter calculator as it will show in a much clearer way what to expect.
The inoculation rate of pitching 176 billion cells in a 1.2 liter of starter wort is much too high for good growth. Now after her long travels under who knows what conditions, her viability today may well be much lower than calculated due to her age, keep that in mind. Maybe it's only half (or less) from what it shows.

That said, I'd make at least a 2 liter starter from each pack. Or if you have a larger flask, make a 3-4 liter starter using both packs. Do you have a stir plate or shaker?

Especially when yeast is not a simple commodity, as in your case, I'd overbuild starters (make larger than needed) so you can save some out for keeps, once your current culture has been 'used up' after a few re-pitches. I still have yeast going I bought in 2013.
 

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Do a yeast starter with a pack, maybe step it up twice, and you'll be fine. With a yeast like Conan you want to underpitch a bit to really push that ester profile.
 

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Do a yeast starter with a pack, maybe step it up twice, and you'll be fine. With a yeast like Conan you want to underpitch a bit to really push that ester profile.
Like stated above, if you’re really looking for the ester production from Conan you what to under-pitch around .3-.4 million cells / ml/ *p. Some people claim to ferment at 63*f for it but I have a lot of success driving it from 66-74 over the first 3 days and then holding it there until it cleans up.
 
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ChaosB

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As long as you make a starter there's no reason to 'pollute' your yeast pitch with US-05. :D

Now I would use BrewUnited's yeast starter calculator as it will show in a much clearer way what to expect.
The inoculation rate of pitching 176 billion cells in a 1.2 liter of starter wort is much too high for good growth. Now after her long travels under who knows what conditions, her viability today may well be much lower than calculated due to her age, keep that in mind. Maybe it's only half (or less) from what it shows.

That said, I'd make at least a 2 liter starter from each pack. Or if you have a larger flask, make a 3-4 liter starter using both packs. Do you have a stir plate or shaker?

Especially when yeast is not a simple commodity, as in your case, I'd overbuild starters (make larger than needed) so you can save some out for keeps, once your current culture has been 'used up' after a few re-pitches. I still have yeast going I bought in 2013.

I like this idea, I haven't yet got the equipment to make yeast slants so I think I will overbuild a starter and harvest for storage following this: http://brulosophy.com/methods/yeast-harvesting/

I do have a stir plate I plan to use. Now I'm just unsure if I should cold crash and decant the liquid off my starter before pitching. Fast pitch is 1.040 and my OG is rather high.
 
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ChaosB

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Like stated above, if you’re really looking for the ester production from Conan you what to under-pitch around .3-.4 million cells / ml/ *p. Some people claim to ferment at 63*f for it but I have a lot of success driving it from 66-74 over the first 3 days and then holding it there until it cleans up.

Won't this lower my ABV? I should have more than enough with a single starter based on these numbers.
 

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Won't this lower my ABV? I should have more than enough with a single starter based on these numbers.
It should have no problem attenuating. It’s growth stage will just be longer, which is the stage when esters are produced. It will probably take 10 days verses 5-7 to finish but worth it if you’re looking for the Conan ester
 

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I like this idea, I haven't yet got the equipment to make yeast slants so I think I will overbuild a starter and harvest for storage following this: http://brulosophy.com/methods/yeast-harvesting/

I do have a stir plate I plan to use. Now I'm just unsure if I should cold crash and decant the liquid off my starter before pitching.
That's pretty much the method. Saving yeast from (overbuilt) starters is generally referred to as yeast ranching.

To prevent diluting your batch with 2 liters (or more) of crappy oxidized starter beer, cold crash the starter for a few days, until the starter beer on top is (mostly) clear. I really think 2 days of cold crashing is the minimum, although I've had to crash many for 4-7 days to get them to clear to my standards. Not sure if it makes a difference in the end, but I like to have plenty of the slow flocculators available as they are the conditioning/clean-up crew.

Straight from the fridge, I decant the clear starter beer off the top until a few ounces are left,* enough to swirl up the crashed slurry. I then pour some in a small 4 or 8 oz mason jar for keeps (in the fridge) while the rest gets pitched into the beer after it sat for a few hours on the countertop (while brewing) to get to room temps.

When I'm in need of a super viable slurry and some extra cells (e.g., for high gravity beers!) I warm it up a little faster, add another liter (or 2) of boiled and chilled wort and make a vitality starter with the leftover slurry while brewing the beer. That gets pitched after 4 hours on the stir plate/shaker. Then oxygenate the batch.

* While decanting, you could save out some of that starter beer in a separate jar, and use it to top off your ranched yeast jar(s). Yeast keeps better under low gravity (starter) beer than water.
 

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Fast pitch is 1.040 and my OG is rather high.
FastPitch's gravity, straight from the can is not 1.040, it's around 1.080!

You need to dilute it 1:1 with water* to get to 1.040 before adding your yeast. 1.040 is the generally accepted gravity for propagating starters. Actually, 1.037 is recommended, but either will work fine. ;)

* Next to the additional cost, that's the other reason I don't have use for FastPitch or Propper. I see very little benefit in use. Since I still would prefer to boil and chill the water, I may as well make 2 liters of 1.037 wort and chill that.

But that's me, YMMV. :D
 

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I have a package of Fermaid-K Yeast Nutrient. Should I add some of this to the starter or at the end of boil? Fast Pitch wort lists yeast nutrient as an ingredient already but idk if it could benefit from some additional nutrients considering the journey it's been on.
I don't think you need to add nutrient to the [EDIT] Fast Pitch [/EDIT] starter wort, but half a teaspoon each of DAP and Epsom Salt at the end of the boil won't hurt.

Fermaid (whatever version) should not be boiled from what I understand. Add to must or chilled wort along with the yeast.

However, oxygenation (or very thorough aeration) of the wort right before or right after pitching yeast is much more important than the nutrient, IMO.
 
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ChaosB

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That's pretty much the method. Saving yeast from (overbuilt) starters is generally referred to as yeast ranching.

To prevent diluting your batch with 2 liters (or more) of crappy oxidized starter beer, cold crash the starter for a few days, until the starter beer on top is (mostly) clear. I really think 2 days of cold crashing is the minimum, although I've had to crash many for 4-7 days to get them to clear to my standards. Not sure if it makes a difference in the end, but I like to have plenty of the slow flocculators available as they are the conditioning/clean-up crew.

Straight from the fridge, I decant the clear starter beer off the top until a few ounces are left,* enough to swirl up the crashed slurry. I then pour some in a small 4 or 8 oz mason jar for keeps (in the fridge) while the rest gets pitched into the beer after it sat for a few hours on the countertop (while brewing) to get to room temps.

When I'm in need of a super viable slurry and some extra cells (e.g., for high gravity beers!) I warm it up a little faster, add another liter (or 2) of boiled and chilled wort and make a vitality starter with the leftover slurry while brewing the beer. That gets pitched after 4 hours on the stir plate/shaker. Then oxygenate the batch.

* While decanting, you could save out some of that starter beer in a separate jar, and use it to top off your ranched yeast jar(s). Yeast keeps better under low gravity (starter) beer than water.

Thank you very much for the advice and correcting my terminology. The suggestion to cold crash that long is awesome because now I can have more time to prepare for brew day without worrying about everything being setup in the right time window.

FastPitch's gravity, straight from the can is not 1.040, it's around 1.080!

You need to dilute it 1:1 with water* to get to 1.040 before adding your yeast. 1.040 is the generally accepted gravity for propagating starters. Actually, 1.037 is recommended, but either will work fine. 

* Next to the additional cost, that's the other reason I don't have use for FastPitch or Propper. I see very little benefit in use. Since I still would prefer to boil and chill the water, I may as well make 2 liters of 1.037 wort and chill that.

But that's me, YMMV. 

I will definitely follow the instructions to dilute. I received a 6 pack of the stuff when I ordered my flask and yeast starter kit so I figured I'd try it before running out to buy DME.

I don't think you need to add nutrient to the starter wort, but half a teaspoon each of DAP and Epsom Salt at the end of the boil won't hurt.

Fermaid (whatever version) should not be boiled from what I understand. Add to must or chilled wort along with the yeast.

However, oxygenation (or very thorough aeration) of the wort right before or right after pitching yeast is much more important than the nutrient, IMO.

I do plan to oxygenate. I bought an aquarium pump and stone before reading that a pump makes little difference compared to just swirling the carboy around. I have an aeration wand intended to be used with a small oxygen tank but I have yet to find one. It was difficult enough finding a Korean CO2 vendor. I may try back at the same place and do some Google translate but it looked like he was mostly selling LPG.
 
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ChaosB

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Straight from the fridge, I decant the clear starter beer off the top until a few ounces are left,* enough to swirl up the crashed slurry. I then pour some in a small 4 or 8 oz mason jar for keeps (in the fridge) while the rest gets pitched into the beer after it sat for a few hours on the countertop (while brewing) to get to room temps.

* While decanting, you could save out some of that starter beer in a separate jar, and use it to top off your ranched yeast jar(s). Yeast keeps better under low gravity (starter) beer than water.

I have an 8 oz mason jar, how much of the slurry should I be saving? How do I determine the number of cells saved for my next starter vs how many I'm pitching in this way? I feel like this would be easier to estimate if I divided the full volume of the starter before decanting but then I'd have to wait, not sure how long, for the portion I intend to pitch to settle again as I wish to decant and not add additional starter wort to my primary fermentation vessel.
 

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I have an 8 oz mason jar, how much of the slurry should I be saving? How do I determine the number of cells saved for my next starter vs how many I'm pitching in this way? I feel like this would be easier to estimate if I divided the full volume of the starter before decanting but then I'd have to wait, not sure how long, for the portion I intend to pitch to settle again as I wish to decant and not add additional starter wort to my primary fermentation vessel.
To estimate yeast cells in a slurry I use Mr. Malty's 'Repitching from Slurry' tab. In a starter there is very little trub, in a harvested yeast slurry there can be a substantial amount, so adjust sliders accordingly.

A completely settled out starter slurry, made from a fresh pack, with starter beer on top will contain 4-4.5 billion cells per ml. For thick, just pourable slurries from starters, that kinda stick to the glass, I estimate 2-3 billion cells per ml. Use your starter calculator (e.g., BrewUnited's) as a guide to how many cells you should have at the end of your starter. Say you made 300 billion cells, and you need 200 billion for your batch of beer, you can save out 1/3 (100 billion) to make a starter from next time.

After the starter has crashed, decant most of the clear or slightly hazy beer from the top, leaving enough behind to swirl up the slurry. When decanting 1.6-2 liter starters from a 2 liter flask, usually when I see a narrow stream of yeast appearing in the neck of the flask, I tilt back. That seems to leave me just enough beer to swirl up the slurry. It will be fairly thick yet pour smoothly, with not too much sticking behind. Make sure you get everything, the cake can be thick and stuck to the bottom.

After you've decanted some of the starter beer you could start pouring some of it into a sanitized glass or jar as a temporary reserve in case you need more beer to swirl it up or to top or your storage jar(s). I like the small 4 and 8 oz mason (jelly) jars for storing yeast for longer times. About 1/2 to 3/4 is slurry with beer on top once settled out. Nice and compact, inside a small box in the fridge.
 
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ChaosB

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Thanks again. Great tools. I made a 2 L starter in my 2 L Flask. I'm having to turn the speed up pretty high to see a dimple. Should I be worried about this foaming up and blowing out? Using foam stopper.

IMG_20190517_231102.jpg
 

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Thanks again. Great tools. I made a 2 L starter in my 2 L Flask. I'm having to turn the speed up pretty high to see a dimple. Should I be worried about this foaming up and blowing out? Using foam stopper.

View attachment 627043
You’ll def get krausen up to your stopper. If it clogs the bung it will blow out. I’d suggest more head space
 

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You’ll def get krausen up to your stopper. If it clogs the bung it will blow out. I’d suggest more head space
Even with a drop of Fermcap-S, a level that high may be pushing it.

With a drop of Fermcap added when boiling the wort, I usually get very little foam on a stirrer (or shaker). But sometimes a few inches develop.
 
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It looks like foam already made it up to the stopper overnight but has since receded. It did not leak or blow out, just left burnt looking residue up to the stopper. I don't see any yeast fallen to the bottom yet so I don't believe fermentation is over. I don't know if it will foam up that high again later since I apparently missed it. I guess I don't fully understand krausen / high krausen and how long that should last for this volume of wort.
 
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The foam also subsides when I turn off the stir plate so it doesn't seem like it's yeast floating to the top. I do however see co2 rising as it's being created as a byproduct so I know fermentation is working.
 
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So at probably 36 hours in. There's absolutely no foam now and I don't see any co2 rising but there's no yeast on the bottom. I thought there'd be some down there before cold crashing. Should I just go ahead and crash ?
 
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So at probably 36 hours in. There's absolutely no foam now and I don't see any co2 rising but there's no yeast on the bottom. I thought there'd be some down there before cold crashing. Should I just go ahead and crash ?

I stopped stirring it and now they're falling of course. derp.
 
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Been cold crashing in the fridge since last night. There was still a little activity with tiny pieces shooting up to the top now and then. Easier to see once everything settled and it started clearing up. I didn't feel it was necessary to let the starter completely finish as I'm not worried about flavors of the starter. The yeast should be past the stage where they multiply and I won't be raising the cell count anymore. I'm unaware of any other benefits to letting it finish further, whether that be health and vitality. I assume they got what they need and are now mostly dormant.

One takeaway is that canned wort probably didn't save me any time as I thought it would be necessary / prudent to boil the dilution water anyway.
 
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