High ABV IPA - Large batch requiring 4 starters??

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Ragman

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Hello all. I have brewed a few 11 gallon batches before and been able to get away with 2 - 2L starters (actually about 1.6 to 1.8L each) but I am shooting for 12 gallons with an OG of 1.086.

Using White labs English Ale yeast its saying I need 4 - 2L starters. With the price of yeast here thats like $40+ worth of starters. Besides re-using yeast - which I plan to start doing, does anyone have any suggestions on how to keep the volume of wort and ABV at the levels I desire without having to make 4 starters?

Thanks.
 

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Make a basic malty beer around 4-5% first. Pull the cleanest wort possible from kettle, dry hop in a sack so you call pull all the green out when it’s done and get clean yeast. There’s your pitch for your big ipa.

on brewday for the ipa put it into a 2L starter with a ton of nutrients and hit the starter with o2 a few times while you’re going about brewing. Then pitch normally.
 
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Ragman

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So you are saying that the only way to get away from 4 starters is to pull used yeast from a previous batch?
 
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Im making adjustments to my ABV - I can go lower but dont want to lower the volume. Cant seem to get the Yeast calculator to go all green no matter what I do. UGH
 
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Cant get the innoculation rate to turn green no matter how many starters I have. Ive adjusted the OG and the volume of the starters as well as changed the yeast date - nothing will get this out of the red. Any ideas?

1640878025315.png
 

SanPancho

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what im saying is that an easy way to get a big volume of yeast to repitch is to simply make a clean beer with the same yeast.

you can spend money on DME for a starter, or you can make beer. up to you. but there is no other way to come up with that much yeast from a homebrew pouch/vial. you have to grow it. just a choice between doing it with starter you'll dump (or water down your IIIPA), or a small beer you'll drink eventually.

hell, itd be a bit weird combo but you could make a light wheat type beer, pull your yeast out for repitch, and then sour the beer and pitch bugs and let it sit for a few months. should be ready for spring fruits, and summer drinking.
 

SanPancho

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Cant get the innoculation rate to turn green no matter how many starters I have. Ive adjusted the OG and the volume of the starters as well as changed the yeast date - nothing will get this out of the red. Any ideas?

View attachment 753883
the red is because your pitch into the 2nd starter is "too big" for good propagation rate. see the growth factor of only 0.71? basically you're not even doubling the count. doesnt really matter as you are more concerned with the total # of cells, which is green.

if it bothers you, pull off half the yeast from starter 1, and then your inocc rate will go down and growth factor will go up. but not really necessary. total cell count is what you're concerned with ultimately
 
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I brew 15 gallon batches and typically pitch into 17 gallon of wort to account for trub loss on higher abv ipas. I begin with a 2l starter then add that to a 4l starter, so I build up twice. Using calculators I figure I'm usually close, if I feel I'm to short for an estimated OG I will pitch a pack of dry yeast on day 3 or 4 of fermentation to help get to the desired FG .. I've done this specifically with 1318 strains as they tend to have a low attenuation to begin with.
 
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Thanks everyone for the feedback. Im still learning. So how about this. How about I make 2- 2L starters, cold crash them, then make new starters with the yeast from the first starters - Would I essentially be doubling my yeast cell count?
 

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All good advice here! ^

One more thing to add/consider.
Those White Labs Pure Pitch packs retain yeast viability much better than any other packaging. As long as it has been properly handled and stored, and being only 2 months old, her viability will be closer to 85-90%, not 62%, as shown in the yeast calculator.

You could tweak the viability % number to reflect that, or punch in the estimated cell count in "Viable Cell Count" box.
 

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Cant get the innoculation rate to turn green no matter how many starters I have. Ive adjusted the OG and the volume of the starters as well as changed the yeast date - nothing will get this out of the red. Any ideas?

You could also try to pick up something like a 1 gallon mason jar. The 2L flask you have is your main limitation.

But my strategy is what has been suggested. I will either use a couple packs of dry yeast, or brew a beer and harvest yeast from that batch. Pitching 2 packs of yeast from Imperial or Omega is another option.
 

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Maybe try some dry yeast and just direct pitch it with no starter and no aeration. S-04 will do probably.

This does work. S-04 is pretty cheap in 500g bags.

Brewing another beer first is actually the best route. Second use of that yeast will start super first. Make sure you use a blow off tube, and maybe secondary containment.

this happened to me a week ago.

911C1ED8-3FED-4EA9-8195-B4133015AC41.jpeg
 

DBhomebrew

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Or, take a completely different direction. Check out the theory behind shaken not stirred (SNS) starters. With those, it's not the cell count that matters, but the health and state of the cells at pitch time.


This does work. S-04 is pretty cheap in 500g bags.

Brewing another beer first is actually the best route. Second use of that yeast will start super first. Make sure you use a blow off tube, and maybe secondary containment.

this happened to me a week ago.

View attachment 753888

That's the blowoff?!
 
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IslandLizard

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I just noticed, your OG in the yeast calc is set at 1.072, not the 1.086 as you intend to brew.

For larger and/or higher gravity batches harvesting yeast from a previous batch is probably the easiest and most economical way. As a bonus, you can get a batch of good beer with it.
 
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I hear what everyone is saying but couldnt I do the same thing without brewing an entire batch of beer by just making 2 starters , cold crashing, dumping the wort - saving the yeast -making 2 more starters and using the yeast from my previous starters?
 

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DBhomebrew

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I hear what everyone is saying but couldnt I do the same thing without brewing an entire batch of beer by just making 2 starters , cold crashing, dumping the wort - saving the yeast -making 2 more starters and using the yeast from my previous starters?

Seems like you have a plan. Brew with it!
 

IslandLizard

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couldnt I do the same thing without brewing an entire batch of beer by just making 2 starters , cold crashing, dumping the wort - saving the yeast -making 2 more starters and using the yeast from my previous starters?
For the first round, using 2 packs of WLP yeast (1 in each flask) in 2 liters of starter wort each, works fine.

But you can't add 2 liters of fresh starter wort to the slurry of that first round. You simply won't get enough growth, as your inoculation rate is waaaay too high for that. Reason is there are only so many yeast cells that can exist per ml. ;)
 
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Man I gotta say, this forum is so far the absolute best forum I have ever joined. The quickness of the responses along with the intelligence and experience of all of you are totally unreal. Thanks a ton guys.
 
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For the first round, using 2 packs of WLP yeast (1 in each flask) in 2 liters of starter wort each, works fine.

But you can't add 2 liters of fresh starter wort to the slurry of that first round. You simply won't get enough growth, as your inoculation rate is waaaay too high for that. Reason is there are only so many yeast cells that can exist per ml. ;)
So my plan will not work? I really dont understand Innoculation and how it pertains to fermentation.

My plan was to use 2 packets of white Labs yeast and add each one to a wort starter. (something similar to the chart above) Let it spin for 24 to 48 hrs, then put them in the fridge to cold crash. After about 24 hours I would dump the wort and find a way to remove the yeast on the bottom. Then I was planning to make 2 more worts - cooling them, then adding the yeast from 1 of the previous starters (split in 2) and spinning those - Saving the 2nd yeast cake from the first set of starters to reuse in the future.

So what you are saying is if I do this I will not get the proper innoculation rate for fermentation?


oh and I know the chart above doesnt reflect my original OG but I was tweaking it to try to get good numbers on the starters
 

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So my plan will not work? I really dont understand Innoculation and how it pertains to fermentation.

My plan was to use 2 packets of white Labs yeast and add each one to a wort starter. (something similar to the chart above) Let it spin for 24 to 48 hrs, then put them in the fridge to cold crash. After about 24 hours I would dump the wort and find a way to remove the yeast on the bottom. Then I was planning to make 2 more worts - cooling them, then adding the yeast from 1 of the previous starters (split in 2) and spinning those - Saving the 2nd yeast cake from the first set of starters to reuse in the future.

So what you are saying is if I do this I will not get the proper innoculation rate for fermentation?


oh and I know the chart above doesnt reflect my original OG but I was tweaking it to try to get good numbers on the starters

If you're making starters buying two packs of yeast is a waste of money.

Take your 1 pack of yeast and make a 2L starter with it. When it's done fermenting, divide it into two mason jars. Put them in the fridge for a day or three to settle out. Decant the beer from one of them and make a new 2L starter with that. If you still need more yeast, make another 2L starter from the other one.
 

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oh sheesh - I figured out what I was doing wrong. My calculator was setup for a 12 gallon batch but only using ONE packet (100B cells) I changed to 200B cells which helped but i thought wouldnt it be easier to just change the volume size to 6 gallons and 1 packet?

1640891981774.png


Now I just make 2 of these. Does that make sense?
 
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I dont see a problem with that, making 2 starters, decanting them and adding both to your batch. Some people will say that buying 2 packs of yeast defeats the purpose of making a starter but that isn't always the case. I have a 5l flask because of the batch size I brew so I start with the 2l and step up a 4l starter in my 5l flask. Typically you wouldn't need a 5l flask so why buy one unless you were going to use it on a regular basis. You are essentially doing 4l starter in 2 separate flasks with 2 packs of yeast. It'll work. Brew on!
 
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If you're making starters buying two packs of yeast is a waste of money.

Take your 1 pack of yeast and make a 2L starter with it. When it's done fermenting, divide it into two mason jars. Put them in the fridge for a day or three to settle out. Decant the beer from one of them and make a new 2L starter with that. If you still need more yeast, make another 2L starter from the other one.
Thats kind of what I was thinking about doing. But you are right, using 1 to double it is better than using 2. (and cheaper)
 

IslandLizard

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To complicate matters, you're brewing a high gravity ale (OG of 1.086).

1. For OGs above 1.065 the recommended pitch rate for ales is 1 million cells per ml per degree Plato (not 0.75). Set the custom pitch rate to 1.00 in your calculator, not the standard 0.75 million/ml/°P.

Do you have 2 stir plates and 2 flasks?

2. You also need to oxygenate your wort thoroughly at pitching time. For high gravity worts, a 2nd oxygenation dose 12-18 hours after pitching, is recommended, as long as you do it before active fermentation has started (krausen, bubbles, airlock activity, etc.).

Do you have pure oxygen and an oxygenation stone?
 
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To complicate matters, you're brewing a high gravity ale (OG of 1.086).

1. For OGs above 1.065 the recommended pitch rate for ales is 1 million cells per ml per degree Plato (not 0.75). Set the custom pitch rate to 1.00 in your calculator, not the standard 0.75 million/ml/°P.

Do you have 2 stir plates and 2 flasks?

2. You also need to oxygenate your wort thoroughly at pitching time. For high gravity worts, a 2nd oxygenation dose 12-18 hours after pitching, is recommended, as long as you do it before active fermentation has started (krausen, bubbles, airlock activity, etc.).

Do you have pure oxygen and an oxygenation stone?
OK I can change the pitch Rate to 1.00 - I do have 2 stir plates and 2 flasks, I do not have pure oxygen or an oxygen stone.
 

IslandLizard

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How about upgrading to a 5 liter flask?
Although generally a good idea, using 5 liter flasks depends on the stir plate, it's power and surface area mainly. Also on one's fridge/cold chamber for cold crashing it.
For example, I cannot fit a 3, 4 or 5 liter flask in any of my fridges without removing a shelf, which causes other issues. But two 2-liter ones fit without much problem.
 

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You need to look at the growth factor on that calculator. See how it's over 3 on the 2 L starter. When doing step starters the growth factor being between 3-5 makes the most viable yeast. For your second step imput 20 L (5 gal) and check out the growth factor. Healthy steps are a x 10 volume,ie 10 ml to 100 ml to 1000 ml then 20 L. I always make a 1.040- 1.050 beer as a 5 gal starter so I can decant it into my mouth, not the sink.
 
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So after watching a bunch more videos on Yeast washing and starters, I wanted to try this.

1 - Make a yeast starter at 1.040OG and shoot for 300 billion cells. (using the calculator to get this - if I cant get 300 Ill go for 200)
2 - After starter is done (24-48 on spin plate) I will swirl and empty the entire starter equally into 3 mason jars. (or two if I only get 200)

Would this mean that I now have 3 - 100Billion cell jars of yeast?

I know there may be other factors involved that I do not understand, just trying to figure out the calculations.
I usually use 100B cell packets of White Labs yeast which are about $10 at my local HB store. If this process works I could cut the cost down to about $3 a packet (or 100B cell count) each.

again if this process is viable - I would probably repeat the process with one of the mason jars and keep multiplying.

Sounds great in my head but Im almost sure this wouldnt be the case as I cant believe it would be this easy to make (multiply) yeast.

-
 
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You're talking 'overbuilding'. Totally a thing. No need to wash (chemicals) or rinse. The spent starter beer makes good protection for at least a few months.
Good, but for future brews using these new yeast jars, Im trying to figure out if I can assume the cell count in each jar "should" be close to 100 billion.
 

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You can go by the results of the calculator, but the only real way to know is to count. With a microscope.

I adhere to the philosophy of pitching a fresh, plentiful, healthy, active community of yeast, not a specific amount. I make a 500ml 10:1 SNS starter, innoculate with a fresh package or a Tbsp of 'used' yeast from a previous batch, and pitch it as close to high krausen as possible. I've got no idea how many cells I pitched last night in a 3.3G 1.090 batch. 10hrs later, it's churning, churning, churning with 3" of thick yeasty krausen. Before pitching, I reserved a few Tbsps in a 1/2c mason jar for next time.

But that's just my approach.
 
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