Make a starter in a primary?

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BrosBrew

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So my honey oat stout I need a starter. Instead of making a starter in a wine bottle, can I just make my starter in my 6.5 gallon carboy then just dump my wort on top of the yeast?
 

eschatz

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I was thinking about this very thing yesterday. I really dont see why it wouldnt work other than the fact that there would be a SERIOUS amount of headspace in that starter. Yeast needs O2 to a certain degree to make the cell walls more plyable. However, that could be too much. I'm not really sure what to tell you. I'm sure one of the heavies on here will give you info.
 
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BrosBrew

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Well, the oxygen shouldn't be the problem should it? The fermentation of the beer will do more than enough to get the oxygen out but yes, this would allow adequate oxidation to the yeast. I think it would work.
 
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BrosBrew

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Well, I think I'm gonna give her a whirl. Do I have to decant the starter so I just have yeast or can I just leave that in there?
 

k1v1116

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I like the idea. I dont think the head space is a huge issue, CO2 being heavier than air it will quickly form a protective blanket over the starter liquid. but I dont really see the reason for doing this unless your making a huge starter, a couple of gallons or more and racking a very high SG wort unto it. I think you're better off for a low SG beer at least making a smaller starter and using a stirplate if you have one or just shaking it a bit during the first 48h.
 

k1v1116

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you could leave the starter beer once the yeast settles out but anything you leave will affect your beer depending on the volume, color, etc... if you have a lot of clear beer when the starter is finished it probably better to pour/rack off as much as possible.
 

WBC

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I make starter in the carboy all the time. I make 12 gallon batches of lager and this is the only good method I have found. I start smaller in a 2 liter flask and then step up in the carboy.
 
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BrosBrew

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I make starter in the carboy all the time. I make 12 gallon batches of lager and this is the only good method I have found. I start smaller in a 2 liter flask and then step up in the carboy.
do you decant the liquid and leave the yeast behind or do you just dump wort on top of the liquid as well as the yeast?
 

WBC

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If you need the extra volume then dump as much of the liquid as you need. If you decant off most all of the liquid then it will work just as good.
 

menschmaschine

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This is an interesting topic. Soon we'll be seeing someone posting how they made a GIANT stirplate.:D
 

WBC

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This is an interesting topic. Soon we'll be seeing someone posting how they made a GIANT stirplate.:D
I would think a large (inexpensive) stirplate could be made but I don't think the small rare earth magnets would work unless they make bigger ones. The stir bar is another problem too.
 

DaleJ

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Another technique is to step up by brewing lower gravity beers.
(I first learned this from Jamil)

Make a brew in the 1.030-1.040 range, dump in your yeast or small starter, let it ferment out. When it's done then brew up something a little bigger, like maybe 1.050-1.060.
Rack the first brew to a secondary or whatever it is you do, and put the second brew right on top of the yeast cake.

Basically that first brew is a 5gal starter!
 
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