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make a starter with maltose instead of DME?

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ebbelwoi

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I can get maltose for about half the price of DME, and I would imagine it's easier to work with, too.

I realize that starters shouldn't be made with sucrose or dextrose, but how about maltose, with some added yeast nutrient?
 
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Vale71

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You'd have to add quite a lot of nutrient since you're still basically doing a starter with a 100% sugar solution. There's quite a lot of other stuff that yeast needs in DME that you'd have to provide if you want your yeast to be active and healthy. In the end it will probably cost you more than just using DME.
 

cyto

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If you want an inexpensive starter use wort from a previous batch. I collect 32oz after the hot break and freeze it, then use it for the next batch starter. Just boil it for 5 minutes.
 
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ebbelwoi

ebbelwoi

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I usually pour the last bit of finished wort and trub into a 4L shochu bottle, let it settle overnight, then pour off the last remaining wort into a PET soda bottle and freeze it. I don't worry too much about sanitizing it before freezing because I know I'll boil it again when it's time to use it.

Unfortunately, I'm running out of freezer space!
 

cyto

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I usually pour the last bit of finished wort and trub into a 4L shochu bottle, let it settle overnight, then pour off the last remaining wort into a PET soda bottle and freeze it. I don't worry too much about sanitizing it before freezing because I know I'll boil it again when it's time to use it.

Unfortunately, I'm running out of freezer space!
In my post I was referring to boiling it before using it in the starter. It is essentially sterile when collected anyway after the hot break.
 
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ebbelwoi

ebbelwoi

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I understood that. Sorry for not making that clear. I was just describing the method that I use, which lets me reclaim wort that would otherwise go down the toilet with the kettle trub.
 

cyto

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I understood that. Sorry for not making that clear. I was just describing the method that I use, which lets me reclaim wort that would otherwise go down the toilet with the kettle trub.
That's funny, I thought that I wasn't being clear 🤣
 

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I've gone the 'not skinflint' route this year. Basically buying cans of "Propper Starter" and just using those. Only downside I've found is you are locked into making 1L increment starters. Not really that big a deal. I DO like how I no longer need to worry about buying DME, boiling it, cooling it, and then getting it on the stirplate. Now I just pop a can, add 16oz of water to that, and it's off to the races.

Since my LHBS carries the canned starter wort, it's an easy route to take. Typically grabbing a 4-pack when I'm there getting supplies and know I don't have enough cans for the coming batch.

I had thought about reserving wort from a batch. But I try to keep my volumes as close to what I need for the batch of beer as possible. Not adding extra volume, that I'll have to either pull off before going into the fermenter, or figure out another way. More hassle than it's worth, for me at least. Not to mention, I'd want to pull the wort for the next starter from before adding hops. Adds another layer of crap that I find no value in. Maybe if/when getting either canned starter wort, or DME, is difficult, I'll consider it. But right now, it's simply not worth the effort.
 
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ebbelwoi

ebbelwoi

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You're a lucky man. In Japan, not only do we not have canned starter wort, we don't even have LHBSs.
 

kmarkstevens

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ebbelwoi, is brewing in japan still illegal? IIRC one could brew but only with a 0.5% alcohol or less.

I homebrewed in Japan in the early 1990's. Had to smuggle in the hops and yeast. Locally I could buy malt that had potato starch to thicken it. Figured out how to buy koji and use that to convert the potato starch. Also that honey worked well decades before finding out that honey is almost all invert sugar.

Had some brewing supplies mailed to me that got intercepted in customs and I got a nasty brewing alcohol is illegal notice from the government.
 

IslandLizard

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I can get maltose for about half the price of DME,
Are you sure it's maltose? Not maltodextrin, which is unfermentable.
If it's indeed 100% maltose, you're all set. You may need to add some glucose (or dextrose) to it. And some nutrients.

Briess Pilsen DME (what I use) has the following composition:
Glucose 13%​
Maltose 48%​
Maltotriose 14%​
Higher Saccharides 19%​
Source: Real Wort vs. Dextrose Yeast Starter | xBmt Results!
It's an informative read on starter composition.
 
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ebbelwoi

ebbelwoi

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ebbelwoi, is brewing in japan still illegal? IIRC one could brew but only with a 0.5% alcohol or less.

I homebrewed in Japan in the early 1990's. Had to smuggle in the hops and yeast. Locally I could buy malt that had potato starch to thicken it. Figured out how to buy koji and use that to convert the potato starch. Also that honey worked well decades before finding out that honey is almost all invert sugar.

Had some brewing supplies mailed to me that got intercepted in customs and I got a nasty brewing alcohol is illegal notice from the government.
I think there were a few changes made in the mid- or late 90s, but the technical limit is still 1%. The difference is that the police now apparently regard it as unenforceable, so as long as you're smart about it, you won't run afoul of the law. There are three (that I'm aware of) online homebrew shops, selling proper malt, extract kits, hops, yeast, etc. Hardware is still a bit of a DIY area, and some things are just unobtainable here (like canned starter wort). Nowadays, the nasty notice from the government has evolved into a polite reminder on those sites.

 
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ebbelwoi

ebbelwoi

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Are you sure it's maltose? Not maltodextrin, which is unfermentable.
If it's indeed 100% maltose, you're all set. You may need to add some glucose (or dextrose) to it. And some nutrients.

Briess Pilsen DME (what I use) has the following composition:
Glucose 13%​
Maltose 48%​
Maltotriose 14%​
Higher Saccharides 19%​
Source: Real Wort vs. Dextrose Yeast Starter | xBmt Results!
It's an informative read on starter composition.
Thanks for the link! I had read the Brulosophy write-up several times, but the discussion in that thread was also quite useful.

I'm pretty sure it's maltose, since it's spelled out twice, once in kanji (麦芽糖) and again in katakana (マルトース).

Someone in the article recommended using a yeast nutrient containing autolyzed yeast, for example Fermax. Unfortunately, I just ran out of Fermax, and am now using LD Carlson's Yeast Energizer (ingredients: diammonium phosphate, sprincell and magnesium sulfate). Any idea whether that would be sufficient? I've also got plenty of dextrose on hand. What maltose:dextrose ratio should I try?
 

Vale71

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10% dextrose is sufficient to kickstart the yeast as that's about the percentage you have in all-malt wort.
I'm afraid that nutrients cannot really fully replace wort so that your starters might not be as effective.
 

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Someone in the article recommended using a yeast nutrient containing autolyzed yeast, for example Fermax. Unfortunately, I just ran out of Fermax, and am now using LD Carlson's Yeast Energizer (ingredients: diammonium phosphate, sprincell and magnesium sulfate).
● You can boil/simmer (microwave) some old or dead yeast in a little water for a few minutes. That will rupture the cell walls and release the nutrients inside. "Sprincell" may be just that, "yeast hulls," but not sure.

● Diammonium Phosphate ("DAP") is cheap and easy to get (here) by the pound (~$3 / pound). That's a near lifetime supply for most.
It's also useful when making sugar syrups, 1/2 - 3 teaspoons per 2 pounds of sugar, depending on the kind of syrup you're making:

● Magnesium Sulfate (=Epsom Salt) also cheap as can be (<$1 / pound), make sure to get unscented. It's a main component in bath salts.

● A good yeast nutrient really needs some Zinc, in minute (trace) quantities. I use a drop of a Zinc Sulfate solution, but it may not be ready for absorption in that form for the yeast. There are specialized products that are (allegedly) better for that. Beer wort made from barley should already contain enough Zinc, but again, it's hard to confirm.
 
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ebbelwoi

ebbelwoi

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A good yeast nutrient really needs some Zinc, in minute (trace) quantities. I use a drop of a Zinc Sulfate solution, but it may not be ready for absorption in that form for the yeast. There are specialized products that are (allegedly) better for that. Beer wort made from barley should already contain enough Zinc, but again, it's hard to confirm.
What concentration of elemental zinc do you recommend, for example in mg/L? The starters I make are primarily for hefeweizen, and I'm interested in adding a little extra zinc to my next batch anyway, to see how it goes.

Wyeast's yeast nutrient contains zinc. I can special order that, though it might take a month or two.
 

IslandLizard

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0.15 mg/l of available zinc.
Over the years there have been various discussions of how that Zinc needs to be offered to the yeast.
Any thoughts on that?

I remember a member here buying a small bottle containing a certain Zinc complex, adding one drop per 5 (?) gallons of wort or something like that.
 
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