Making wort from grain for starter

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Zenmeister

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OK, I feel real stupid asking this question, but...
For years I have been making my yeast starters from DME, and it has been successsful. But as the price of DME continues to rise, I've been looking at making the starter from grain. Problem is, I've never done that before. As I only need a gallon or two, it really won't work on my 20 gallon Spike trio system. Is this something you would do as a small BIAB type job, steeping the grain at about 150 degrees for about an hour or so?
For any of you brewers who use grain, can you share your process? Also, I'm thinking about 1.5 pounds of grain for a gallon of water to give me a 1.035 (ish) wort. Is that about right?

Thoughts???
 
What many people do is when they make an AG beer they just make a little extra and pour it off into another container after the boil. If you need to water it down to get to starter strength, you can do that after you pour it off.
 
Use a paint strainer bag and a 3ish gal pot on your stove for a mini BIAB. I just started doing 1 gallon experimental batches this way for winter cause it's to cold to brew outside. Set your stove to its lowest setting, mine is 175, I turn it off and put my pot in the stove with the lid on. Doesn't loose a single degree in an hour.
 
I am not sure how you are using that trio system. Next time you brew, after your boil kettle is full to where you want it, try sparging an extract half gallon or gallon of wort into a separate container if you can. If the gravity is too low for starter wort boil it down on the kitchen stove to get it right. This works particularly well with high gravity beers. I do something similar with my BIAB system and freeze the starter wort in PET soda bottles. I almost always get enough wort for the next starter, sometimes more than enough. A quick boil and cooling sanitizes it before making a starter.
 
I make 3-4 gallon all-grain batches of concentrated starter wort at a gravity of 1.090-1.115, hopped to about 50-60 IBU, boiled for an hour (or longer) to concentrate. Chilled, then stored frozen in several 48oz cottage cheese containers.

When ready to make starters I take 1 or 2 of those frozen containers, add the content to a pot with enough water to dilute them to starter gravity (1.037 usually), then reboil and chill them in the sink or in a tub with cold water.
I usually make 3 or 4 starters at a time, typically 1.6 liter each.
 
I’ve been making my starters from grain for a while now. I hate DME :) I bought a set of 4 mason jars of 1/2 gallon each to store 4 starters. I do 5L starters for 10 gallon batches, so your needs may be different. I refrigerate the starters until needed. This is done on a biab setup.

From my notes:
6 lbs base grain for 2 gallons wort at 1.075 OG. Use 2.75 gallons water for mash and add salts and acid. Add yeast nutrient in boil. Add boiling wort to jars, seal, and cool.
To use, boil 1 gallon of water, add to 5L flask, swirl, and add jar of wort, then cool.
 
I don't understand why you have to hop it up. Does it help in yeast propagation, or do you do it as a preservative because you are storing the wort?
Yeah, the hops are to fight off possible infections in the resulting starters, typically at 1.037 gravity (or lower for step ups). They're about 20-25 IBU at that dilution.
 
I had not heard that oats helps with yeast health. Do you have a reference for this statement?
Yes... somewhere, you probably be quicker if you google it yourself. It has something to do with certain fatty acids that are in oats in higher quantities than in other grains we use for brewing. 10% oats already make a big difference. I also did some split batches where the oats reduced the ester production significantly. I think scott janish wrote extensively about it, the title was something like "a case study of brewing with oats" or something like that.

edit:
there you go: https://scottjanish.com/case-brewing-oats/
 
OK, I feel real stupid asking this question, but...
For years I have been making my yeast starters from DME, and it has been successsful. But as the price of DME continues to rise, I've been looking at making the starter from grain. Problem is, I've never done that before. As I only need a gallon or two, it really won't work on my 20 gallon Spike trio system. Is this something you would do as a small BIAB type job, steeping the grain at about 150 degrees for about an hour or so?
For any of you brewers who use grain, can you share your process? Also, I'm thinking about 1.5 pounds of grain for a gallon of water to give me a 1.035 (ish) wort. Is that about right?

Thoughts???
Sometimes I save a little from a previous mash/boil on a recipe I use time and again, about 4000ml. I always need to dilute it depending on the recipe. It has hops in it too, no problem. My theory is that the yeast likes to get acclimated to the same wort style and this might be beneficial. But who knows? Beer making will always be a delightful mystery, to me anyway.

The best gravity for a starter is between 1.030-1.040.
 
And to quote Scott:

Yeast Growth


Interestingly, the increase of fatty acids and lipids in worts high in unmalted oats was found to be a positive on yeast cell growth. As the oats in the mash increased in the Schnitzenbaumer study, the lag phase of the yeast decreased with the oat containing beers having a 94% higher yeast growth after the first and second days of fermentation than a beer brewed with 100% malted barley! This same study observed that the fatty acid content in beers produced with 40% oats had 60% less fatty acids in the final beer than with beers made from only malted barley. Wait what? Yup, this means that the higher levels of fatty acids coming from unmalted oats are being metabolized by the yeast at a much higher rate thus not making it into the final beer according to this study. The higher yeast growth and reduced lag time resulting from the increase in fatty acids seems to make a great case for using high percentage of unmalted oats when making yeast starters!


The higher level of fatty acids in oats also might play a positive role when using yeast strains that are many generations old. Harvested yeast that is continually reused for brewing results in a reduction of unsaturated lipids in the yeast cells and a deterioration of growth during fermentation.18 It was found then that yeast supplemented with lipids, especially unsaturated fatty acids (which oats are high in) improved fermentation.19 Although this was direct supplements of fatty acids, it does seem logical to conclude that high lipid worts from adjuncts like oats, could help improve fermentation of older generation yeast. This again makes a decent case for using oats in starter wort.
 
Yeah, the hops are to fight off possible infections in the resulting starters, typically at 1.037 gravity (or lower for step ups). They're about 20-25 IBU at that dilution.
Hops actually are detrimental to yeast health, that's why normally starters exclude them.
 
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