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Paraops

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I really like to use Activator Packs, due to the visual confirmation of yeast viability. When using White Labs vials, do you guys feel comfortable simply pitching the yeast from the vial, or do you pitch a starter?
 

flyangler18

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Since you asked :D:

From my reply in this thread:

Always make a starter when dealing with liquid yeast. In short, there aren't enough cells in a smack pack (100 billion) at the very peak of freshness to properly inoculate five gallons of wort higher than 1.025-1.030 As such, you need to grow up a starter that gets close to your ideal pitching rate of 100 million cells per 1 ml of wort per °Plato (Plato x 4 = OG, approximately).

A continously agitated starter is the most efficient way of growing yeast, but shaking the snot out of the vessel does just as well, though to a slightly less degree.

Oh- one more thing. Let those starters breathe. No airlock, just a sanitized foil cap.
 

Boodlemania

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+1 on the starter. 1st WL vial I used w/o a starter. After seeing/tasting the difference, never again.
 

JMG680

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I just pitch to the carboy. I looked up the # cells in the white labs and it was pretty high. I may start now after reading up on brewing here. But on 3 5gal brews I have not had any problems on just pitching right in.
 

cuinrearview

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I've done both but I always make a starter now. Faster starts and smoother flavor in the finished product.
 

SeamusMac

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I'm pitching my Wyeast 3068 straight from the activator pack into the carboy full of apple juice for my Apfelwein. I've read that slower fermentation leads to greater retention of esters produced, which I'm looking to hold onto to strengthen the clove/fruity flavours in my Apfelwein.

So in my case (if I understand everything correctly) a starter might not give me what I want, but for beer it's always advisable to make a starter when using liquid yeast.
 

MULE

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I have always made starters for my big beers when using WL yeast. Watching your carboy blow up within a few hours never gets old.
 

TexLaw

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I really like to use Activator Packs, due to the visual confirmation of yeast viability. When using White Labs vials, do you guys feel comfortable simply pitching the yeast from the vial, or do you pitch a starter?
I make a starter, but it is not for viability concerns.


TL
 

Shawn Hargreaves

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The consensus on here seems to be that you should always make a starter.

But...

I don't always bother with that :) I get great results just tossing a vial directly into the fermenter. There are definitely advantages to doing the starter, but (especially for lower alcohol brews) you can make perfectly good beer without.
 

Hokie

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The one style I feel perfectly comfortable pitching directly from the Activator pack is Hefeweizen (3068 I believe). As Jamil says, slightly underpitching this strain will stress the yeast enough to provide the phenolics you are looking for. Obviously this would not be advantageous for other ales where cleanliness is desired.
 

humann_brewing

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+1 on the starter. I now know that there is no other option.

If you put in all the work to get the wort to the point of fermentation, why not finish your hard work by giving it all the chances to succeed the best it can?
 

SumnerH

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I really like to use Activator Packs, due to the visual confirmation of yeast viability. When using White Labs vials, do you guys feel comfortable simply pitching the yeast from the vial, or do you pitch a starter?
With both Wyeast activators and white labs vials, I make a starter. If I get a sudden urge to brew something that _requires_ a liquid yeast on Friday, I'll either wait another week or suck it up and shell out the $$ to get 2 yeast packs so I'm not underpitching.
 

humann_brewing

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With both Wyeast activators and white labs vials, I make a starter. If I get a sudden urge to brew something that _requires_ a liquid yeast on Friday, I'll either wait another week or suck it up and shell out the $$ to get 2 yeast packs so I'm not underpitching.
You could always get your starter started, brew your beer as normal and just pitch when it is ready to. I have done this before, it also allows you to stabilize the temp of the fermentor even more.
 

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