Is corn sugar ok to use for a starter?

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wanabeer

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I want to brew a 5 gallon, partial mash London Porter tomorrow. And I thought I would try a starter. I have a 35 ml vial of London Ale Yeast.
I was thinking I would use a mason jar and add some water and corn sugar then boil that in a pot of water a couple of inches deep for ten minutes or so. Would the steam in the jar sanitize the whole jar and lid?
And how much sugar should I use? I know DME would be better but I only have LME to use in my porter. Would it be better to use this the LME instead and how much? Thanks!
 

cheezydemon

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The sugar would be fine, you just would want to consider pouring off the "wort" once the starter is done.

You want it to be fairly weak, so just estimate how much sugar by the size of your jar.
 

brewt00l

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You want to use a malt based product so the yeast get conditioned to consume maltose....if you didn't have any lme/dme handy for a starter you can always grab some malta goya from your grocery store's international section.

Use the LME
 

ohiobrewtus

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I have never done this and I have no facts to back this up, but I wouldn't do it. If I dont have DME (or left over wort) for a starter I'll pitch some Nottingham.
 

PseudoChef

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No, it's not. If you give the yeast a simple sugar during a starter, then once it hits the wort, it won't ferment a more complex sugar like maltose.

Remember, during a starter you're multiplying yeast -- in effect they're making copies of themselves. So essentially you're making multiple copies of yeast that will not ferment maltose completely.
 
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You want the yeast to become accustomed to the maltose sugar.

Paraphrasing from Jamil's most recent show on Belgian Strong Ales.

If you use a simple sugar [for a starter] as the sole food for a yeast it will quickly lose it's ability to ferment maltose. The yeast need to create enzymes to convert maltose.

http://www.thebrewingnetwork.com/archive/Jamil12-31-07.mp3
Jamil @ 21:40
 

FlyGuy

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Nope, you don't want to do that. When yeast are exposed to high levels of simple sugars like glucose, they will preferentially ferment those sugars. This will often cause them to eliminate their reproductive (adaptive) phase to do this -- it is called the "Crabtree effect".

The Crabtree effect is important because it effectively bypasses the growth and reproduction stage of yeast development. The yeast in your starter will not store the energy and cell compounds they require to ferment the sugars in your beer (i.e. maltose) later on. Their growth and reproduction will be stunted, and because of this your starter will have low quantity and quality of yeast which may lead to poor attenuation and off-flavours in your beer. In some cases, the effect can be so bad that you will actually do more harm than good by making a starter from sugar.

Furthermore, corn or table sugar do not have the nutrients that yeast require to grow and multiply, doubly compounding the problem.
 

boo boo

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cheezydemon said:
The sugar would be fine, you just would want to consider pouring off the "wort" once the starter is done.
quote]

Sugar is fine for growing yeast but it is not OK if we plan on using that yeast to brew with. The yeast get used to fermenting the simple sugar and then can't work with the more complex sugars contained in the wort.
 

Alamo_Beer

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A bit off topic but:

Would it be ok to use sugar to make a starter for a cider? I washed the montrachet yeast from my last batch of apfelwein and was wondering if I could "proof" it next time I use it

Edit: Just thought more about this....I'd just use apple juice *idiot*
 
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wanabeer

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Wow, thanks that is fascinating! Too bad I got impatient and pitched my yeast in part sugar and LME already, DOH! I should probably consider it lesson learned and get some new yeast then, eh?
 

Levers101

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It sounds like a few of you guys have read some books on yeast... either that or are biochemists. My guess would have been that the yeast would lag on the beer for a long time increasing the chances of infection, but eventually start up.

Its a wonder that for as long as we've been using S. cerevisiae to ferment beer that the maltose enzymes aren't constitutive, i.e. always produced.

Do the yeast offspring grown on sucrose actually lose their genetic ability to ferment maltose? Weird, if so.
 

FlyGuy

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Levers101 said:
It sounds like a few of you guys have read some books on yeast... either that or are biochemists. My guess would have been that the yeast would lag on the beer for a long time increasing the chances of infection, but eventually start up.

Its a wonder that for as long as we've been using S. cerevisiae to ferment beer that the maltose enzymes aren't constitutive, i.e. always produced.

Do the yeast offspring grown on sucrose actually lose their genetic ability to ferment maltose? Weird, if so.
I am not a biochemist, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night! :D

Seriously, I don't think that sugar-raised yeast have issues with maltase enzyme production per se, but rather, it is a general yeast health issue. After their sugar orgy, the yeast cells are wasted, depleted of energy stores, and don't have the compounds (e.g, sterols) built up that are necessary to multiply. Once you pitch these yeast into your wort, they probably can still manufacture enzymes, but at a reduced rate. I don't think there could be any genetic mutation or enzyme inhibition occurring, it is just that the yeast from a sugar-based starter are low in numbers and played out.
 
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