Making a Russian Imperial Stout - how much yeast starter?

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ewibolo

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Ok, I'm thoroughly confused. I got beersmith because I thought it was supposed to make it easier to calculate :oops:?
With on OG of 1.094, and one pack of US05, beersmith is saying i need 6.56L of slurry? Seems a bit much to me.

So how many dry packs of US-05 would I need if I were only useing dry packs (11g). Or if I was to make a starter, how much water (& DME) would I have to make with 1 packet of US-05?

Thanks a bunch.

Edited to add: After some digging, I have found a few posts that state about 4 packets of us05 would be ideal. But if I were to make a starter with 1 pack,, would that mean 7L of starter are necessary? Thanks.
 
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couchsending

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Ok, I'm thoroughly confused. I got beersmith because I thought it was supposed to make it easier to calculate :oops:?
With on OG of 1.094, and one pack of US05, beersmith is saying i need 6.56L of slurry? Seems a bit much to me.

So how many dry packs of US-05 would I need if I were only useing dry packs (11g). Or if I was to make a starter, how much water (& DME) would I have to make with 1 packet of US-05?

Thanks a bunch.

Edited to add: After some digging, I have found a few posts that state about 4 packets of us05 would be ideal. But if I were to make a starter with 1 pack,, would that mean 7L of starter are necessary? Thanks.
yes

just buy the extra packs though. Or brew a much smaller beer and harvest the yeast. Having enough yeast for this beer is of utmost importance. You’re clearly spending a decent amount on that much malt. Don’t skimp on the fermentation.
 

Off Balance Brewing

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In my younger years I made a 1.105 russian on a single pack of S-04. Did not make it, stopped in the high 40s. From now on I make a beer before with the same yeast. Why make a super large starter when you can have a whole batch of beer?? 05 is a beast but why not just have a nice pale before and make sure the beer finishes. A stuck beer is a pain.
 

Noob_Brewer

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Ok, I'm thoroughly confused. I got beersmith because I thought it was supposed to make it easier to calculate :oops:?
With on OG of 1.094, and one pack of US05, beersmith is saying i need 6.56L of slurry? Seems a bit much to me.

So how many dry packs of US-05 would I need if I were only useing dry packs (11g). Or if I was to make a starter, how much water (& DME) would I have to make with 1 packet of US-05?

Thanks a bunch.

Edited to add: After some digging, I have found a few posts that state about 4 packets of us05 would be ideal. But if I were to make a starter with 1 pack,, would that mean 7L of starter are necessary? Thanks.
I made my first stout in december. My OG was similar to yours. OG was 1.093 and I used 2 packs of US05 rehydrated to pitch. FG ended up at 1.022, ~75% AA. I thought that this was a little low based on the specs from fermentis stated that US05 is 78-82% AA. Perhaps I should've brought three packs rehydrated or oxygenated better at the start? Not sure. Anyways, I really liked the final outcome and the beer was solid for my first attempt at a stout.

Where Ive struggled to understand is the very wide range of the #Billion cells per gram. Mr. Malty suggests its 20B cells per gram for dry yeast while Fermentis says its >6B cells per gram, and finally the brewers friend calculator suggests this varies from 8-18B cells per gram so the default in brewers friend is 10 billion cells per gram. Using brewers friend yeast calculator and a dry packet =11.5g, in 5.5gal wort, an OG of 1.094:

3 dry packets (34.5grams) at 10B cells per gram would yield a 0.74M cells / ml / P pitch rate
2 dry packets (23.0 grams) at 20B cells per gram would yield a 0.98M cells / ml / P pitch rate

So cell density is a relative unknown to me and obviously affects how many packets you'd need. Again, I used 2 packets of US05 rehydrated and got ~75% AA.

Hope this helps, but also realize it may confuse as well lol.
 

twd000

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Nottingham is a champ on my high gravity fermentations. Brew a full batch of Centennial Blonde Ale then pitch the RIS right on top of the full yeast cake
 

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I've done the calculations in the past, and Mr. Malty's pitching rates and guesstimate of cell count in a package of Fermentis yeast ended up saying 1 pack for a normal beer i.e. Pale Ale, 2 packs for an Imperial Stout.

The hard part is knowing exactly what pitching rate to use and how many billion viable cells are really in a pack of yeast. Here you start to rely on the experience of others, hoping they share similar tastes as you and have an opinion that would match yours.

Personally I'd go 3 packs of dry "just in case". But the calculations say 2 is enough.
 
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DarrellQ

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I just bottled my first stout. OG was 1.080 and I rehydrated and pitched 2 packs of SF-04. FG ended-up being 1.020. I was worried and thought maybe the yeast didn't finish its' job, but some research on this forum indicated that 1.020 for stout seems typical? It did seem to have a pretty good flavor but it didn't seem as sweet as most stouts I'm familiar with. Not sure if this is a result of the higher FG?
 

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Lower FG = dryer, higher = sweeter. Pertains to the sugars in it that didn't ferment out. Relates to yeast and fermentation temps, also mash temp (lower mash temps tend toward lower final gravities, and vice-versa).

80 to 20 seems reasonable, maybe a little more than normal (as opposed to stopping at 25 or 30). Some of the really big ones can stop in the 40's. Even "fully fermented" there's just SO much stuff in it.

If anything 1.020 is NOT high. I'd say your yeast more than did its job.
 
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ewibolo

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Thanks for the replies everyone. I’ll probably make a quick easy brown ale then the stout. I’ll post how it goes. Making the stone brewing oatmeal chocolate stout. Hopefully I can pull this off, It’s only my 5th all grain batch.

Ep
 

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Hopefully I can pull this off, It’s only my 5th all grain batch.
Well, at even just 5 batches, you probably have the basics. Take your time on this one. It is OK to mash it a little long, boil it long, things like that. Add some LME or DME if you need. Like all beers technique plays a role, but an RIS is more forgiving than say a NEIPA. Take notes along the way. And ahead of time be sure to have a huge mashing vessel - you might have 10 gallons of grain and water alone.
 

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I use US-05 that I have frozen in my yeast bank, currently on the 2nd generation. I grew a starter beginning with about 20 billion cells in 400ml of wort. According to an online calculator this should produce about 76 billion cells, which is less than a standard vial of White Labs or Wyeast. I don't step up the starter because I don't really want to add that much more volume into my small fermenter (which is already maxed out - SS Brewbucket Mini). I also stepped up a starter once and then cold crashed and decanted, and I thought that was kind of backwards as it took a while for the yeast to kick. So now I just do a single stage 400 ml starter for 48 hours and pitch it all in.

I've recently done two imperial stouts with this starter method. 4 gallons batches +/- OG around 1.09 finishing gravity down to 1.01 or so. The majority of fermentation was finished within the first week.

The beers turned out great! Good luck!!
 

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I also stepped up a starter once and then cold crashed and decanted
I cold crash the night before brewing, decant the next morning and at that time set it on the counter near where I'll ferment. When I'm ready for it I mix in a little wort and swish it around and dump it in. I usually have activity that same night.

I'm not saying you are doing it wrong or anything, there are 100 fine methods. Just an idea if you end up wanting to ever try it again.
 

Skram

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I cold crash the night before brewing, decant the next morning and at that time set it on the counter near where I'll ferment. When I'm ready for it I mix in a little wort and swish it around and dump it in. I usually have activity that same night.

I'm not saying you are doing it wrong or anything, there are 100 fine methods. Just an idea if you end up wanting to ever try it again.
I was thinking this through while typing my comment earlier! Makes perfect sense.. thanks! My system has been rapidly evolving since Covid began so I'm still developing all these processes.
 

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I have a Word doc that's a to-do list I print each time. I still. take notes on it to revise it for the next time. I skim it each brew to help make things go smoothly. I don't think I'd really forget an important step but it's a good reminder at times - to not forget to take an OG or FG reading, to go let cold yeast warm up, to go assemble my fermenter while the wort is cooling, etc.

Hmm I suppose we are straying off topic! Sorry.
 

Zemillard90

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I made my first stout in december. My OG was similar to yours. OG was 1.093 and I used 2 packs of US05 rehydrated to pitch. FG ended up at 1.022, ~75% AA. I thought that this was a little low based on the specs from fermentis stated that US05 is 78-82% AA. Perhaps I should've brought three packs rehydrated or oxygenated better at the start? Not sure. Anyways, I really liked the final outcome and the beer was solid for my first attempt at a stout.

Where Ive struggled to understand is the very wide range of the #Billion cells per gram. Mr. Malty suggests its 20B cells per gram for dry yeast while Fermentis says its >6B cells per gram, and finally the brewers friend calculator suggests this varies from 8-18B cells per gram so the default in brewers friend is 10 billion cells per gram. Using brewers friend yeast calculator and a dry packet =11.5g, in 5.5gal wort, an OG of 1.094:

3 dry packets (34.5grams) at 10B cells per gram would yield a 0.74M cells / ml / P pitch rate
2 dry packets (23.0 grams) at 20B cells per gram would yield a 0.98M cells / ml / P pitch rate

So cell density is a relative unknown to me and obviously affects how many packets you'd need. Again, I used 2 packets of US05 rehydrated and got ~75% AA.

Hope this helps, but also realize it may confuse as well lol.
As a poster later on says, that may not be high for a FG and there are a lot of factors (such as mash temp) that go into determining what your FG and AA may be. Personally, I would be fairly pleased with you FG here considering BJCP has RIS FG specs at 1.018-1.030, so seems you are true to style.
 

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Just to pile on here and ask another question, I am brewing a RIS this weekend - recipe I have made numerous times. But, I'm trying something different this time rather than US-05 (I usually use 3 packs). This time I have 2 packs of WL-001 that need to be used soon, so I am going to make a starter. How much starter do I need for two packets? Normally 1 per liter is what I do, but I only have a 2 liter flask. Can I just make a 1.5 liter starter to allow for headspace and then make the starter that way? Any thought? I've never made one with multiple packets before.
 

Noob_Brewer

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Just to pile on here and ask another question, I am brewing a RIS this weekend - recipe I have made numerous times. But, I'm trying something different this time rather than US-05 (I usually use 3 packs). This time I have 2 packs of WL-001 that need to be used soon, so I am going to make a starter. How much starter do I need for two packets? Normally 1 per liter is what I do, but I only have a 2 liter flask. Can I just make a 1.5 liter starter to allow for headspace and then make the starter that way? Any thought? I've never made one with multiple packets before.
I would suggest using the brewers friend yeast starter calculator that’s online. It’s great. Depending on other important information like the OG, volume of wort to ferment, pitch rate, and how old the yeast are, it will give you how large of a starter you will need. My guess is that it will be 2L or possibly more depending on the variables I just mentioned above.
 

svthomas72

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I would suggest using the brewers friend yeast starter calculator that’s online. It’s great. Depending on other important information like the OG, volume of wort to ferment, pitch rate, and how old the yeast are, it will give you how large of a starter you will need. My guess is that it will be 2L or possibly more depending on the variables I just mentioned above.
So will my 2L flask do the job? Do I need more headspace than that?
 
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