Pitch rate, starters & Mr. Malty

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thesink

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Hi all - Tomorrow is my first crack at making a starter. No stir plate. I smacked my Wyeast 1010 pack tonight, am making the starter tomorrow for an American wheat w/ OG 1.040 and brewing some time on Friday. So I consulted the Mr. Malty calculator and it is telling me that based on the production date of the yeast, I'll need 1.16 liters of starter, or roughly 5 cups. I guess my question is, does this mean 1.16 liters including liquid? So like 2 cups of DME and 3 cups water?

Thanks for the help...I've had more help in the past two months (I hope to return the favor some day! :mug:)
 

AnonyBrew

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Yes, 1.16L is the TOTAL with everything. Now you can either pitch the entire starter or crash cool it in the fridge overnight & decant most the wort off the yeast and just pitch what's left.
 
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thesink

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Yes, 1.16L is the TOTAL with everything. Now you can either pitch the entire starter or crash cool it in the fridge overnight & decant most the wort off the yeast and just pitch what's left.
Thanks...this was driving me crazy!

So the 2 cups DME, 3 cups water will be good? I'm planning on pitching the entire starter into the wort.
 

Frodo

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I guess my question is, does this mean 1.16 liters including liquid? So like 2 cups of DME and 3 cups water?

Thanks for the help...I've had more help in the past two months (I hope to return the favor some day! :mug:)
No, it's the liquid only not factoring in the DME. So figure out how much DME you need for a 1.040 SG starter in 5 cups water. 2 cups sounds like too much for a 1.040 1.16 Liter (5 cups) starter by the way - but maybe you were just using that as an example.
 

Frodo

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Thanks...this was driving me crazy!

So the 2 cups DME, 3 cups water will be good? I'm planning on pitching the entire starter into the wort.
No, if you did that, the starter would be much higher than SG 1.040.
 
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thesink

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No, it's the liquid only not factoring in the DME. So figure out how much DME you need for a 1.040 SG starter in 5 cups water. 2 cups sounds like too much for a 1.040 1.16 Liter (5 cups) starter by the way - but maybe you were just using that as an example.
Well, I kind of swiped the recipe from How To Brew and then amplified it to get to a 1.16 liter starter, since the example he used was a pint of water and 1/2 cup of DME. That gives a 1.040 OG starter.

Is there another calculator out there I can use? Since I'm going to be brewing a 1.040 OG beer, does my starter need to be 1.040 as well?
 

Frodo

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Well, I kind of swiped the recipe from How To Brew and then amplified it to get to a 1.16 liter starter, since the example he used was a pint of water and 1/2 cup of DME. That gives a 1.040 OG starter.

Is there another calculator out there I can use? Since I'm going to be brewing a 1.040 OG beer, does my starter need to be 1.040 as well?
I would trust How to Brew over me - but I think your math is off. A pint is 2 cups right? So 5 cups would be 2.5 pints, and multiplying 1/2 cup by 2.5 equals 1.25 cups... not 2 cups.

EDIT: So it would be 1 1/4 cups of DME in 5 cups water. You'll have a bit of boil off too with the water, so I'd just call it 6 cups water to start off with - and you'll be close to 5 cups after the boiling is done.
 

Frodo

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Is there another calculator out there I can use? Since I'm going to be brewing a 1.040 OG beer, does my starter need to be 1.040 as well?
I think the Mr. Malty calculator is the best one (though I haven't perused many).

The purpose of the starter isn't to match the expected OG of your beer, it's a moot point really. The purpose is to build up a bigger quantity of really healthy yeast. Even if you're doing a high gravity beer, it's best to make the starter bigger and still at 1.040 so the yeast aren't stressed by too much alcohol and produce more healthy yeast.
 

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A good rule of thumb is 1/2 cup DME per 2 cups of water. That would give you a starter of 1.040. If you need a larger starter, do the math and double/triple/whatever the amounts. I generally start with a quart of water and a cup of DME. That's the easiest way for me. I'm so not metric- friendly.
 

remilard

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If you have a scale, 100 grams DME per 1000 grams (liter) water works and is easy to remember.
 
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thesink

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A good rule of thumb is 1/2 cup DME per 2 cups of water. That would give you a starter of 1.040. If you need a larger starter, do the math and double/triple/whatever the amounts. I generally start with a quart of water and a cup of DME. That's the easiest way for me. I'm so not metric- friendly.
Thanks Yooper...I'm quickly finding out I'm not metric friendly as well.

Looks like 1.16 liter ~ 4.9 cups, so almost 5 cups of water, which would be just under a cup and a half of DME, or right around where Frodo was at.

Thanks again guys....
 
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thesink

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BUMP.

So I made my yeast starter last night (5 cups water - 1.25 cups wheat DME) and it's sitting in my 1/2 gallon growler in the bathroom...going crazy. I'm planning on brewing an american wheat, but wasn't planning on decanting the liquid off the yeast, but rather pouring the whole thing in with the wort. Is there any problem with brewing and pitching the yeast starter tonight?

Also, I'm using the Wyeast 1010. I've heard that fermenting it at higher than low to mid 60's can produce some banana flavors. It's getting warmer here, but I'll be leaving the beer in my basement crawl space where it's roughly 60-65 degrees all the time. Should I leave the car boy in a bucket with cool water to better control the temp, or use a fan in the room, or both?

Thanks!
 

hukdizzle

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You can pitch the starter at high krausen if you'd like and many publications will tell you to do this. High krausen typically happens anywhere from 24 to 48 hours depending on how well you aerate and other factors such as starter size but 24 hours would be the minimum at which I would pitch a starter personally but if you aerated the starter properly and it was a fairly small starter you should be fine.

Definitely put the carboy in a bucket of water to help slow the temperature swings down so the carboy temp doesn't fluctuate much. Lower temp you ferment the beer the less yeast esters you will get so if they are undesirable to you then ferment it around the low 60's.
 
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thesink

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BUMP again.

So I brewed the wheat...went well, BUT, I miscalculated the liquid. I do partial boils, so I started with 2.5 gallons, and then I added 2.5 of clean water into the wort. Apparently I put too water much in, and when I went to pour the yeast starter in, I didn't have room for the whole thing. The starter was about 1/4 gallon, and I maybe had an 1/8 to a 1/4 inch left on the bottom of my 1/2 gal growler. Just couldn't fit it all in. Think I'm screwed?
 
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thesink

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Forgot to mention, I also am using a 5 gallon carboy, so I don't have a ton of room at the top. I think I'm going to lose a lot of liquid with this puppy.
 

Eastside Brewer

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Forgot to mention, I also am using a 5 gallon carboy, so I don't have a ton of room at the top. I think I'm going to lose a lot of liquid with this puppy.
Probly gonna need to use a blow off tube, it doesn't sound like you have much head space in the carboy for high krausen!!

Eastside
 

GNBrews

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Malt extract should be weighed. This pissing around with measuring cups stuff is for amateurs. :)
 
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thesink

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Probly gonna need to use a blow off tube, it doesn't sound like you have much head space in the carboy for high krausen!!

Eastside
I fully expected that 6 hours later I'd have some sign of life with this puppy, and unfortunately, nothing. I'll keep looking at it, but so far it's not looking good. Although patience is not my strongest suit! :)
 

AnOldUR

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Lol, this is true. An accurate scale is a godsend. Weighing makes it so much easier. Same is true for baking.
I have a recipe simply named "Starter" at the end of my Beersmith Brew Log. Nothing but DME set to a weight to give me a 1.040 original gravity. Use the scale feature to make what ever size starter needed and weigh out the DME. A real no brainer.
 

elkdog

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Patience with the yeast- they need a bit of time to get used to any new situation. It sounds like you followed proper procedure though, so you shouldn't worry. Also, a big +1 to the blowoff tube ESPECIALLY for a wheat beer with no headroom. I highly recommend a 6 gallon better bottle for primary fermentation for future brews- the 5G will work, but you'll lose beer to the blowoff, and lost beer is a sad thing (though it shouldn't impact the quality of the beer you get). I just use a blowoff tube for all of my primary fermentations, rather than try to guess when I'll need one.

Lastly, yeah weighing your DME and using some software to calculate starters is the way to go, especially if you're using the mr. malty calculator, which often gives not-so-round numbers (though I always round off anyway).
 
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thesink

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Great advice everybody, thank you!

I pitched the starter around 10 pm. My fear is that since I didn't pitch the whole thing, and didn't really shake it up a whole lot before I dumped the starter in with my wort, that most of the yeast had already settled to the bottom of the growler. Especially since it's been 10 hours and not a single sign of fermentation (I made the starter to reduce lag time).

I should mention that the carboy is sitting in 50 degree water in my cooler, with a couple of wet t-shirts covering the top, and a fan on it. Could this slow the start of fermentation? Should I pitch a dry yeast or something?
 

optimatored

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did not read through the thread but I remember 100 grams per liter for a starter...

not to hijack... but, i plan on brewing a bavarian dunkel in the next couple weeks and here is my plan. I will be pitching into a OG of 1.052 (hopefully). I will start with a 1L starter and kick it up to 4L, decant and pitch.

I havent stepped up a starter before... anyone have advice on timing for this process? How long to go from 1L to 4L, decant, and pitch.

Thanks, and sorry for the hijack.
 

Frodo

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Great advice everybody, thank you!

I pitched the starter around 10 pm. My fear is that since I didn't pitch the whole thing, and didn't really shake it up a whole lot before I dumped the starter in with my wort, that most of the yeast had already settled to the bottom of the growler. Especially since it's been 10 hours and not a single sign of fermentation (I made the starter to reduce lag time).

I should mention that the carboy is sitting in 50 degree water in my cooler, with a couple of wet t-shirts covering the top, and a fan on it. Could this slow the start of fermentation? Should I pitch a dry yeast or something?
50 is pretty chilly for the yeast if 60ish is the yeast's temp range. They might have gone to sleep. I think you should bring up the temp a bit to get things going. Kind of a sidenote, but did you aerate really well? - I notice you said you didn't shake up the starter before pitching what you could into the wort... you should do that if you're not decanting off some of the liquid next time - at least swirl the mixture to get the yeast into suspension.
 
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thesink

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50 is pretty chilly for the yeast if 60ish is the yeast's temp range. They might have gone to sleep. I think you should bring up the temp a bit to get things going. Kind of a sidenote, but did you aerate really well? - I notice you said you didn't shake up the starter before pitching what you could into the wort... you should do that if you're not decanting off some of the liquid next time - at least swirl the mixture to get the yeast into suspension.
Good point. I thought I would be okay with water temp. The water in the cooler is at around 50 - 52 degrees, but when I pitched the starter, the wort was still at 71 degrees. I wanted to bring the temp down over night to get it in the right range. I just couldn't cool the wort off enough, and the clean water I added was still around room temp. I figured since the water was around 50, I pitched at 71, then there must be a happy medium somewhere in between.

When I made the starter on Wednesday night, I shook it up for a couple of minutes, and then regularly for the next 24 hours (save the 7 hours for sleep :drunk:). Next time I will definitely heed this advice.
 

Wild Duk

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How's the fermentation going. I just did an American Wheat with 1010 and had to add a blowoff tube. Temp around 65 degrees...
 
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thesink

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How's the fermentation going. I just did an American Wheat with 1010 and had to add a blowoff tube. Temp around 65 degrees...
I had about a 12 hour lag time, but there is sign of life now. Fermentation seems to be going strong now. I have it in a cooler filled with water. Temp is around 60 degrees. My buddy told me that the lower the temp, the better for this yeast, but 60 might be overkill. I have a blowoff tube in as well, but I also have virtually no space at the top of the carboy. For birthday I'm asking for a 6.5 gallon better bucket!
 

Frodo

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A benefit of keeping it cooler (as long it's not too cold) is it should temper the fermentation a bit so you don't have a huge loss of volume with only a little headspace in the carboy. You'll probably lose some though.
 

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Yes agree +1. Just do 100g of DME per liter of water.
To use the calculator at MrMalty, when he says use a 2L starter and use the 10:1 ratio, the procedure is to add 200 grams of DME to the flask and top off with water until you get to 2L. DME has volume when dissolved in water so it's a total volume of 2L, not 2L of water plus 200 grams of DME.
 
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