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Dry yeast starter for 12% Barleywine

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ImperialStout

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Would making a 1700 ml dry yeast starter from re-hydrated yeast in a flask on a stir plate help grow yeast cells for a 12% ABV Barleywine?

OK, this question has been asked a million times. I read the sticky Dry Yeast FAQ by Boydster and other posts on this subject. The term I hear often in the discussions is NORMALLY, just re-hydrate the yeast. A 12% Barleywine is not a normal beer. I ask because the devil is in the details so here are the details.

Beer Smith yeast starter for the 6 gallon 12% Barleywine tells me 421 billion cells are needed for this beer. Using Lallemand Nottingham dry yeast with a BBD of 9/2015, 90% viability and 180 billion cells, the software says to use 3 packages of yeast hydrated with 345 ml water without a starter but only one with a 1700 ml starter. Is this a case where a dry yeast starter would be of benefit?

This is an AG beer. Have been brewing 4 years, 3 years AG. Crush my own malt and ferment / bottle condition in temp controlled small refrigerators.
 

boydster

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I'd do the starter in this case, unless you have the multiple packs of yeast. It sound like you did your homework on starter innoculation rate to hit your desired pitch rate, but honestly I haven't checked to confirm so I'll trust that you got the numbers right. Hydrate before pitching into your starter and you'll be good to go. :mug:

Edit: just saw you need 421 billion cells. Frankly, I'd pitch 2 packs and not think twice about it, but your starter plan won't hurt either.
 
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ImperialStout

ImperialStout

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Thank you very much, and for the quick reply. Your sticky and replies are excellent and very informative.

I plan to brew tomorrow and only bought 1 package of yeast based on what a LHBS in Portland, Maine told me. I see you live in Maine too. He also said I should add some yeast nutrient to the flask with the DME so got some yeast energizer made from diammonium phosphate, yeast hulls, magnesium sulfate and vitamin B complex. Is this a good idea?
 

boydster

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Thank you very much, and for the quick reply. Your sticky and replies are excellent and very informative.

I plan to brew tomorrow and only bought 1 package of yeast based on what a LHBS in Portland, Maine told me. I see you live in Maine too. He also said I should add some yeast nutrient to the flask with the DME so got some yeast energizer made from diammonium phosphate, yeast hulls, magnesium sulfate and vitamin B complex. Is this a good idea?
I've been to the shop in Portland, it's a nice place. The bar that's attached to it is pretty good, too.

I like to use a little DAP in my starters. It may not be entirely necessary (wort is very nutritious for yeast to begin with), but it certainly doesn't hurt. The energizer you are using will provide plenty of nutrients for your yeast.
 

Fermented_minds

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If you're using dry yeast, just rehydrate and add more yeast from packets. Dry yeast manufacturers work hard to build glycogen reserves in the yeast, and by making a starter, you will actually deplete those. Dry yeast manufacturers actually recommend against a starter. If you rehydrate and pitch the appropriate amount of dried yeast, you'll be fine.


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boydster

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If you're using dry yeast, just rehydrate and add more yeast from packets. Dry yeast manufacturers work hard to build glycogen reserves in the yeast, and by making a starter, you will actually deplete those. Dry yeast manufacturers actually recommend against a starter. If you rehydrate and pitch the appropriate amount of dried yeast, you'll be fine.


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You are replenishing the reserves with wort when you make a starter, which will provide plenty of nutrition. Fermentis has said there is no issue with propagating dry yeast with a starter. Once it is hydrated, you basically just need to treat it like liquid yeast.
 

Fermented_minds

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You are replenishing the reserves with wort when you make a starter, which will provide plenty of nutrition. Fermentis has said there is no issue with propagating dry yeast with a starter. Once it is hydrated, you basically just need to treat it like liquid yeast.
Interesting. Fermentis doesn't seem to mention that on their "Tips and Tricks" section, and in fact recommends rehydration:

http://www.fermentis.com/brewing/craftbrewing/tips-tricks/

You are correct, the yeast will replenish some of those energy stores to an extent, but not nearly to the levels that the optimized processes of Fermentis and other dry yeast manufacturers achieve.

With the fact that dry yeast is so cheap and is made with large glycogen reserves to make it more amenable to direct pitching by providing it with a large source of intracellular energy, not sure why one would waste time with a dry yeast starter. To each their own, I suppose!
 

boydster

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Another member emailed them asking specifically if there was any harm in making a starter with their yeast. They said no. It doesn't harm the yeast, as long as you hydrate first and make an appropriately sized starter.

It's much easier to just use an extra packet of yeast, and likely cheaper as well. But it's not harmful to make a starter with dry yeast. Once the starter has gone to completion, you have healthier yeast than you would be harvesting from a fermenter since it was grown in low-ABV and hop-free conditions.
 
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