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Made a starter for the first time today

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smorris

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Talk about the fermentation taking off, wow. I mixed a cup of water with some LME in a bottle and dumped in the yeast about 4 hours before I needed it. When I was ready for it there was a couple inches of foam in the bottle. Pitched it and just looked and the wort is starting to ferment already after an hour. I think I may start doing this from now on, a great jump start for little effort.
 

DeRoux's Broux

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that's good to know. none of my brew friends use a yeast starter, and even my local homebrew shop (which is 100 miles away!) said they recomend the White Labs Pitchable liquide yeast unless it was a high gravity beer. But I have wanted to try it. I just kegged a bock that had a lag time of 24 hours. I was about to dump it down the drain.

Did you do the yeast starter a few days ahead?
Cheers!
 
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smorris

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About 4 hours ahead, but I've read of doing it the day before and refrigerating when it starts fermentating. 12 hours later it is going like a tea pot, I should put a whistle on the lock. :cool: Getting large bubbles every 2 seconds or so...maybe I should have put in a blowoff. Here's hoping I'm not mopping the ceiling tonight. :eek:
 

DeRoux's Broux

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smorris said:
About 4 hours ahead, but I've read of doing it the day before and refrigerating when it starts fermentating. 12 hours later it is going like a tea pot, I should put a whistle on the lock. :cool: Getting large bubbles every 2 seconds or so...maybe I should have put in a blowoff. Here's hoping I'm not mopping the ceiling tonight. :eek:

sounds like it's working pretty good then? sounds easy enough too.

hey, i have had it happen to me! blueberry wheat all over the wall and ceiling. not fun cleaning it up @ 2:00 am either. wife was REAL happy wife me........

good luck.
 

richanne

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We usually do the starter about 24 hours in advance, but sounds like 4 hours worked great for you. A starter really is the way to go. And just because the White Labs yeast is "pitchable" doesn't mean you can't use it to make a starter. In fact, on White Labs' own Web site it says, "One vial will usually start fermentation in 5 gallons in 5-15 hours at 70°F.* If a faster start is desired, or if initial gravity is over 1.070, we recommend a 1-2 pint starter be made."
 

strat40

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Using a yeast starter is the best start one can give their beer. For every 5 gallons of beer, a quart of good starter will work wonders. For high gravity beers above 1060, 1 1/2 quarts is even better. This is especially true with lagers, and almost mandatory with bocks and dopplebocks. When I've pitched as these rates, the beer has always been better.
Even ales benefit from these rates, as you can really control the fermentation temp without worrying about stuck fermentations, usually.
A day without beer really sucks.
Tom
 

DeRoux's Broux

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Well, I think ya'll have me sold on a starter. Does anyone use a yeast starter kit or just a growler w/ a #2 stopper and a air lock? I've also read that some people use hops in the starter and some don't? I assume it's to inhibit bacteria before it's pitched?? And do you pitch the whole starter, or just the sediment at the bottom?

Thanks for the feedback.
Brian
 
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smorris

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I just used a sanitized plastic pop bottle and leave the cap unscrewed just enough that it can vent, and dump in the whole slurry after a light swirl to suspend everything no muss, no fuss.
 

Janx

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Hey congrats! Doing a starter is easier than the books make it sound and it's one of the best things you can do for the quality of your brew.

Wanna see an even faster ferment? Rack a batch out of the primary, then put a new, chilled batch into the same primary on top of the slurry (Be very careful in terms of sanitation). My 10 gallon batches are fermenting basically instantly using this method.

I only use a given yeast about 3 or 4 times before sanitizing the primary and starting a new starter.

Janx
 

DeRoux's Broux

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Wooaaa! That's a pretty cool trick Janx. I need to drink MORE homebrew so I can try that one when my two kegs run dry.

Do you add hops to the starter too?

Cheers!
DeRoux's Broux
 

Janx

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I don't. Hops are expensive.

I boil some water...bout half a gallon, then I add DME to make it "kinda amber". When it's cool and in a sanitized bottle, I add yeast. I really like the White Labs yeast these days, but Wyeast is great too. Use liquid yeast.

I like to let it go for at least 36-48 hours before using. Ideally, use the starter when it's raging and foamy on top.

As far as the other trick, if you make 10 gallon batches, my current setup is my favorite I have ever had, fermentor-wise:

I usually brew once a week, a 10-12 gallon batch. Primary is a 14 gallon demi-john...like a big green carboy. I use smooth-sided 6 gallon carboys for secondary because they're easier to move, cheaper, easier to clean, and tougher than demi-johns. The beer sits in secondary as long as it needs to. New batches go onto the yeast bed in one of the demi-johns. And I only have to clean the demi-johns once a month or so <-- BONUS!!

We use 2 demi-johns so as to have 2 yeast strains going. Currently, it's a lager and an American ale strain. Keeps diversity coming from the taps ;) The lagers tend to take long enough that they can sit a little longer in the primary, and we've been brewing a lot over the holidays. I don't know if we'll keep up with two strains going in the long run, but we do it off and on.

When its done, it goes into kegs. I'd rather clean one 5 gallon stainless bottle than a bunch of little glass ones any day :)

Janx
 

Dark_Ale

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DeRoux's Broux said:
Well, I think ya'll have me sold on a starter. Does anyone use a yeast starter kit or just a growler w/ a #2 stopper and a air lock? I've also read that some people use hops in the starter and some don't? I assume it's to inhibit bacteria before it's pitched?? And do you pitch the whole starter, or just the sediment at the bottom?

Thanks for the feedback.
Brian
Not sure but I think, some use hops if they have unhopped malt in the starter?
 

Dark_Ale

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smorris said:
Talk about the fermentation taking off, wow. I mixed a cup of water with some LME in a bottle and dumped in the yeast about 4 hours before I needed it. When I was ready for it there was a couple inches of foam in the bottle. Pitched it and just looked and the wort is starting to ferment already after an hour. I think I may start doing this from now on, a great jump start for little effort.
I am still kinda new at this LME....is that light malt extract?
 

Dark_Ale

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Janx said:
Hey congrats! Doing a starter is easier than the books make it sound and it's one of the best things you can do for the quality of your brew.

Wanna see an even faster ferment? Rack a batch out of the primary, then put a new, chilled batch into the same primary on top of the slurry (Be very careful in terms of sanitation). My 10 gallon batches are fermenting basically instantly using this method.

I only use a given yeast about 3 or 4 times before sanitizing the primary and starting a new starter.

Janx
I have never made a starter. I am brewing a batch tomorrow, 5gal. I found on the net to boil 2 tablespoons of malt in two cups of water, add about 6 hop pellets. Any ideas
 

DeRoux's Broux

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IIIEE CHE-WA-WA! I wish I could brew that much. I only brew 5 gal grain/extract, but I do keg. I'll never go back to bottles. I'm slowly trying to upgrade equipment and ingredients. I just kegged a brown ale and used my wort chiller and aeriator system for the first time. Now looking to use starters and looking for a chest freezer to start lagering. I'm getting more fired up about the equipment and technique as I am the final product.

Any good reference books? I just got "New Brewing Lager Beers" and just finished Charlie's "Complete Joy of Homebrewing 3rd Edition".

Man I need to do this for a living!
 

Janx

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This probably wants a different thread, but what is your aeration system like?

And be careful what you do for a living...doing something for work almost always takes the fun out of it ;)

Janx
 

DeRoux's Broux

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Janx said:
This probably wants a different thread, but what is your aeration system like?

And be careful what you do for a living...doing something for work almost always takes the fun out of it ;)

Janx

I use an aeriation/carbonation stone and a little O2 bottle that I got from Lowe's Home Improvement. The stone was about $30 and the O2 botle was about $9. The stone came w/ directions to aerate the wort depending on the SG. Takes about 1.5 minutes at 2.5 turns of the O2 bottle for my last batch. I asked my homebrew shop if I needed an in-line filter and they said no, as long as i used the bottled 02 and not a fish tank pump. I had been just "sloshing" my wort after cooling, but thought I would take it up a step. My lag time was still 24 hours on my last batch. That's why I'm now looking at doing yeast starters. It's so hot and humid here, I need all the help I can to get fermentation going. What do you use?

Yea, I love to cook and brew. My family and friends keep telling me to open a restaurant. But, I figure I'll end up hating to cook, hate to brew, AND FOOD! :p
 
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