Effects of Different DME's on Starter

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

NHAnimator

Active Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Messages
34
Reaction score
0
Location
Dover, NH
I have only made 1/2 dozen batches and have always used dry yeast. I have never made a starter, but may need to do that as I will probably making some beers with an OG of +1.040.

I'm a little confused about the use of a DME. I was contemplating picking up a package Munton's extra light and keeping that on hand.

Questions:
Will it affect the flavor of the beer? I've read that as long as I don't go darker on the DME than what's in the beer, it shouldn't be an issue.

Is the DME used in a starter such a small amount that I should just take it from the recipe if possible? And if I'm using a LME (and therefore must get the DME from outside the recipe), does that make any difference? I don't want to put too much extract in.

Thanks in advance. Appreciate the help on this board.
NHAnimator
 

davesrose

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2008
Messages
967
Reaction score
11
Location
Atlanta, GA
I just use a light DME for all my starters (Munton's extra light or light is just fine). I'm not concerned about color too much, as I tend to syphon/decant most of the "beer" off the finished starter...so I'm left with a very big vial of White Labs yeast...
 

a10t2

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
557
Reaction score
14
Location
Leadville, CO
Definitely use the lightest DME you can find. You want fermentability, with flavor being a distant second. Then there are two approaches you can use:

1. Make the starter a week or so ahead of time, and a couple days before brewing stick it in the fridge. Before pitching, pull it from the fridge and decant off most of the starter "beer", and pitch just the yeast.
2. Pitch the entire starter into the beer without decanting. You can subtract the extract needed (LME or DME, makes no difference) from the recipe, and also reduce the volume to account for the starter being added. If you're going to do this, you should probably avoid agitating the starter (to avoid oxidation) and make a larger starter to compensate.

http://www.mrmalty.com
 

El_Exorcisto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2010
Messages
417
Reaction score
6
Location
Herkimer, NY
If you are still using dry yeast, why not just pitch two packets? Starters are really only necessary for using liquid yeast, since viability is always a concern. With dry yeast it is freeze dried at peak performance. That's why you only rehydrate, you don't make a starter or proof it like baking yeast.
 
OP
NHAnimator

NHAnimator

Active Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Messages
34
Reaction score
0
Location
Dover, NH
If you are still using dry yeast, why not just pitch two packets? Starters are really only necessary for using liquid yeast, since viability is always a concern. With dry yeast it is freeze dried at peak performance. That's why you only rehydrate, you don't make a starter or proof it like baking yeast.
If I was using a dry yeast, they yes, I'd consider using two packets. I've read the pros and cons about dry v liquid yeasts. I would like to work with liquid yeasts if possible as I believe it expands my base of tools to work with in the future.
 
OP
NHAnimator

NHAnimator

Active Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Messages
34
Reaction score
0
Location
Dover, NH
Before pitching, pull it from the fridge and decant off most of the starter "beer", and pitch just the yeast.
http://www.mrmalty.com
Thanks to all for the replies.

As a follow-up question to this and where I haven't seen a starter before, how do I tell the yeast from the 'beer'. Is it simply that the yeast will be the 'foamy' stuff on top, while the liquid will be the beer?
 

El_Exorcisto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2010
Messages
417
Reaction score
6
Location
Herkimer, NY
The yeast becomes a cake on the bottom of the beaker, bottle, whatever you are making the starter in. As to using liquid vs dry yeast, liquid yeast opens a lot of doors.

I have some light DME on hand for starters. I make a gallon at a time and hop it heavily ala Charlie Papazian. Then I bottle it and use it as needed. Just curious, what is the beer you are planning on brewing with your first liquid yeast?
 
OP
NHAnimator

NHAnimator

Active Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Messages
34
Reaction score
0
Location
Dover, NH
The yeast becomes a cake on the bottom of the beaker, bottle, whatever you are making the starter in. As to using liquid vs dry yeast, liquid yeast opens a lot of doors.

I have some light DME on hand for starters. I make a gallon at a time and hop it heavily ala Charlie Papazian. Then I bottle it and use it as needed. Just curious, what is the beer you are planning on brewing with your first liquid yeast?
So I would carefully pour off the beer and the yeast would be soft enough of a cake to easily remove and pitch? (I'm sure this a video of this online. Will search.)

Opening the doors is my primary intent. Haven't nailed down what I'm making quite yet. I made a Belgian Ale near the end of last year, now have a Irish Red Ale in one primary and will be adding a Honey Weizen to another in the next couple days. All used dry yeast. Looking at maybe trying liquid with a Bavarian Hef and a straight up IPA.
 

Sardoman

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 1, 2010
Messages
239
Reaction score
6
Location
Philadelphia
One useful method for pitching a starter:
After the starter has been in the refrigerator overnight and then come up to fermentation temp during the brew day, decant the spent starter beer leaving the yeast cake on the bottom. Then take some oxygenated/aerated wort (at fermentation temp) from the fermentor using a beer thief or sanitized turkey baster, and add it to the starter. Now you can vigorously swirl the starter to resuspend the yeast and pitch. I often put more wort into the starter container after pitching, just to "rinse" the container and pour that into the fermenter too.
This works well for me, but of course you have to be careful about your sanitary technique.
 

El_Exorcisto

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2010
Messages
417
Reaction score
6
Location
Herkimer, NY
a10t2, if hops inhibited yeast growth and processes, then IIPAs would not exist. Alpha acids inhibit bacterial growth, which I find beneficial in keeping prolonged storage of unfermented wort, and for making slants that are resistant to molds and bacteria.
 

a10t2

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
557
Reaction score
14
Location
Leadville, CO
I'm not saying that they prevent fermentation from happening, but my understanding is that the oils bind to cell walls and inhibit reproduction.

That said, if you're trying to store unfermented wort obviously the pros and cons are going to balance out differently than in a regular starter, or a beer wort for that matter.
 
OP
NHAnimator

NHAnimator

Active Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2009
Messages
34
Reaction score
0
Location
Dover, NH
One useful method for pitching a starter:
After the starter has been in the refrigerator overnight and then come up to fermentation temp during the brew day, decant the spent starter beer leaving the yeast cake on the bottom. Then take some oxygenated/aerated wort (at fermentation temp) from the fermentor using a beer thief or sanitized turkey baster, and add it to the starter. Now you can vigorously swirl the starter to resuspend the yeast and pitch. I often put more wort into the starter container after pitching, just to "rinse" the container and pour that into the fermenter too.
This works well for me, but of course you have to be careful about your sanitary technique.
Okay. That technique makes sense. Thanks.
 
Joined
Oct 31, 2010
Messages
2,803
Reaction score
41
Location
Lititz
I don't think you want to hop your starter wort. Hops are antibiotic, after all.
Beer Captured's description of a starter for liquid yeast is 1/3 cup of the lightest DME you can get your hands on to 2 cups of water, 2 hop pellets, all boiled for 10 minutes. Chill below 80* F, add yeast, and put a stopper and air lock on it. They recommended using it as soon as you see krausen or airlock activity or refrigerate if you want to use later than that.

That hop addition is for that antibacterial quality, I'd assume.
 
Top