Dry Yeast starter for sour ale

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jaysquared2

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So, I know it's pretty commom statement to not make starters with dry yeast, but I've read that when doing sours to make sure you have good strong yeast due to the fact they will struggle in such an acidic environment with a pH likely in the 3.4 area. So, would making a starter for dry yeast in this situation be recommended or still just roll with it normally? I have no close by LHBS's and only have the 1 packet (S-04) and don't exactly have the time nor want to spend the $6-7+ for a packet to be shipped. I just pitched my lacto starter into 4.5 gallons of 1.055 wort (post boil estimate is to be 1.063 for 3.5 gallons). So not only is it low pH it's also a decent range gravity. Thoughts?
 

Sparkncode

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If you think you need two packets of yeast then make a starter.
People reccomend no starters as an extra packet is usually cheaper and easier but not always.

I did that with M31 belgium tripel dry yeast and it worked well. I did do a 3L starter as I had read several referances to that being a good size for pitching a dry yeast packet for healthey multiplication and it coincided with what beersmith told me for a starter without a stir plate.
 
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jaysquared2

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Did you just throw the whole 3L in or decant and pitch just the slurry?
 

IslandLizard

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Pitching a whole pack of S-04, after proper rehydration according to the manufacturer's instructions, should yield at least 200 billion active cells or thereabout. That could be enough or a bit skimpy if pitched as such.

Mix up the rehydrated yeast slurry and pour into a 1.5-2 liter 1.040 starter, and you'll get around 400-500 billion healthy cells. That ought to be enough! I use Homebrewdad's yeast calculator.

Be prepared for blow off, especially if you don't have a stir plate and Fermcap-S to suppress foaming. I'd use a large gallon size glass jug, not a 2 liter flask.

Forgot to mention, look up "shaken not stirred" starters. It's a different take on making starters. Not sure how well it works with a high pitch rate like a whole pouch of dry yeast in 1.5 quarts of starter wort, but chances are you grow a whole bunch of new cells in those few hours.
 
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