Made my first starter last night, something went whacky...

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Turner_Brown

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I used mrmalty to calculate that I needed a 2.5 l starter w/ 2 wyeast packets to get about 320 Billion cells.

So...I got 2.5 liters (.6 gallons) of water to a boil and stirred in about 8 oz of DME. Boiled for 15 minutes in a small ss stockpot and then chilled in an ice bath for about 15 minutes. Once cooled my final volume of wort was only about .3 gallons with an OG of 1.070. Where the hell did all the wort go? Is it possible I lost that much to evap?!? What about this wort "shrinkage" I hear about? My goal was to end up with .55 gallons of 1.040 wort for my 2 packets of yeast to be pitched into.

Anyone have any insight where I went wrong...or what I should have done differently?
 

MacBruver

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Packets... like dry yeast? There is no need for a starter for dry yeast. Just hydrate it a little while before brew time and you're good to go. There are more than enough cells (especially with two packets) that a starter is unnecessary.
 

sonetlumiere85

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Well evaporation is a big factor in every setup. Did you not notice a large amount of steam?
 
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Turner_Brown

Turner_Brown

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Packets... like dry yeast? There is no need for a starter for dry yeast. Just hydrate it a little while before brew time and you're good to go. There are more than enough cells (especially with two packets) that a starter is unnecessary.
I used liquid wyeast large packs.
 

steelerguy

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There are really only so many things that could have happened.

1) Incorrect water measurement
2) Water didn't make it into pot
3) Evaporation during boil

Don't really need to boil that long, can just get it up to a boil and then cool. I usually cover the wort as it heats up so it boils faster. Removed the lid when boil starts, let it go for 5 mins to dissolve the yeast nutrient. Then I cool it covered. Don't really lose too much water that way.
 

steelerguy

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As a side note...if you build yourself a cheap little stir plate (computer fan, hard drive magnet, and wall wort from cell phone or something) you could get your 320 with 1 pack and a smaller starter. Saves a little money on yeast and you can usually find the parts at home if you have an old computer.
 
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