I Tried Omega Yeast Labs Propper Starter Canned Starter Wort

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micraftbeer

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I just saw this on the shelves a couple weeks ago. I can't tell you how many times I Googled canned wort starter to see if I could get this miracle juice somewhere other than A-B Owned homebrew shops. Propper Starter is made by Omega Yeast Labs. You pour one 16 oz of starter wort (with yeast nutrient already in it) in your flask, top off the empty can with 16 oz. of Distilled water (so you can skip the whole time-consuming and boring step of boiling and then chilling your tap water), and pitch the yeast. This ratio of one can of starter + one can of water gets you 1 Liter of 1.040 SG wort.

I tried it with 2 different cans making 2 different 1 L starters, both clocked in at exactly 1.040 SG. And after cold crash and decanting, I still had gravity dropping 5 hours after pitch in 50F wort. I am so pleased. I recently did some experiments with and without a starter, only to be disappointed to prove to myself the common collective knowledge that starters do make a difference on more challenging fermentations (cold fermentation temps, older yeast packs, higher gravity). So I've been trying to find a way to minimize the expansion of my brew day to now start a couple days earlier. I timed my starter preparation, starting with spraying stuff down with Star San, to having a mixed starter with yeast on a stir plate- 5 Minutes, 26 seconds!

And now I can do it with a clear conscience without having to send my bucks to A-B!
 

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IslandLizard

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Yes, it's quick and marvelous!

But that convenience comes at a bit of a price, about $3 a can (yielding a 1.0-1.1 liter starter). Not a crazy amount for that 1 liter starter.

However, using a yeast calculator to estimate cell count, 2 liter starters (at 1.037-1.040) are more common for 5 gallon pitches, so that's 2 cans worth, costing $6.00.

I often make a gallon (or a little more) of 1.037 starter for about $2.00-2.50; I buy DME in bulk. I let the pot cool off in a tub with cold water and refresh that once and add some ice packs. That's enough for 3, 1.5-1.6 liter starters, $0.70-0.85 per. It does take extra time, but I save at least $11 over the cans.
 
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micraftbeer

micraftbeer

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I don't buy the DME in bulk, so here's the math I worked out:

- Cost of DME in 2L 1.040 starter: $2.58
- Cost of 2 cans of Propper Starter + Distilled water ($1/gallon): $6.75
- Cost save per starter using DME over Propper Starter: $4.17
- Time save using Propper Starter vs DME heated/cooled process: 54.6 minutes

So even if I valued my time at federal minimum wage of $7.25/hr, the time save alone pays for itself. But since I'm actively looking for ways to reduce the time commitment of brewing, this makes starters feasible for me, so I don't have to trade off between healthy fermentations and time spent with the family.
 

TNJake

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I don't buy the DME in bulk, so here's the math I worked out:

- Cost of DME in 2L 1.040 starter: $2.58
- Cost of 2 cans of Propper Starter + Distilled water ($1/gallon): $6.75
- Cost save per starter using DME over Propper Starter: $4.17
- Time save using Propper Starter vs DME heated/cooled process: 54.6 minutes

So even if I valued my time at federal minimum wage of $7.25/hr, the time save alone pays for itself. But since I'm actively looking for ways to reduce the time commitment of brewing, this makes starters feasible for me, so I don't have to trade off between healthy fermentations and time spent with the family.
I definitely appreciate this, thank you!
I may spend similar but I have heard many people so against canned starters because of the price but if I need to grab one or 2 of these (or fast pitch sold by NB) in a pinch then I feel it would be worth it to have a few on my shelf. For those days that I have the time for a traditional starter then it works well to take advantage of the long shelf life of a canned starter right?
 

Northern_Brewer

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Thing is you're not actually "working" for all that time, the actual contact time is pretty minimal, so it's not a particular burden if you're organised. Depends on how often you brew, but I often do a pressure cooker run once I've got the boil on, and that can include the wort for the starter for the next brew if I know it's going to be soon. Otherwise, it's no big deal to do it when I'm in the kitchen doing something else a few days before a brew. Pressure cooking allows you to prep it a couple of days in advance without worrying about having to do so at a specific time.

The other thing I've wondered about is the malt drinks such as SuperMalt you can get in the "ethnic" section of British supermarkets, they claim to be 15% sugar (so 1.060?) and presumably are pasteurised. Assume you add 50% water to get them down to 1.040, you'd be looking at around £2 (US$2.50) per litre. Anyone tried them?
 

burdbrew

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I had some shipped from MoreBeer. I wasn't thinking "it's freezing cold between here and Pennsylvania, that propper starter is going to freeze". It surely froze, but it did not rupture the cans. I thought I would share my experience.

I bought mine for convenience so I can make a starter on a whim. I use DME typically, and sometimes I take some wort at the end of the mash and supplement with DME. But that takes forethought, and I don't always have my stuff together.
 

brownni5

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Canned wort is the best - whether you buy it canned or can it yourself. I buy all my stuff online since I don't have a LHBS, and my online store doesn't carry this (yet). If they did, I'd probably buy it. 1 can for a "vitality" starter? Sure. 2 cans for a "proper" starter? Probably not. If it's worth it for you - rad!
 

Upthewazzu

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I found this stuff on MoreBeer a few weeks ago and have used all 4 cans since. I love it! Bought another 4-pack recently. While making a starter rates pretty low on my annoying-things-to-do-meter, every second counts with a 1-year old roaming around the house.
 

kh54s10

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For me it was can it myself. But my pressure canner is in storage right now. So it is DME. Because I would not be earning any money during the time making a DME starter that time is worth exactly $0......

Now time to weigh out some DME for my starter for brewing my wheat beer tomorrow.
 
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