Quantcast

rehydrate yeast or make starter?

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

limey lou

Active Member
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
33
Reaction score
0
doing a pilsner LME this weekend. was wondering if it's worth it to make a starter or just rehydrate yeast. i have some frozen wort(american light). the few times i've made beer i rehydrated.
 

Beerthoven

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 4, 2007
Messages
2,173
Reaction score
38
Location
Cary, NC
If you are using dry yeast, do not make a starter, just rehydrate.

If you are using liquid yeast, then make a starter.
 

esimpson1

New Member
Joined
Mar 6, 2008
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
I'm fairly new to the world of home brewing (yes, there's a brand-newbie lurking in your forums!)

With regard to a starter, I've now used both the smack-packs (and they worked well, no additional work on my part) and now the White Labs test-tube variety. I'm still not quite sure I know what I'm doing, especially with regard to making a yeast starter. If I take the White Labs stuff and put it in something sanitized, as far as I know -- I just need to boil up some dry malt extract; small amount (how much?), let it cool and then add the yeast. In a day or two, according to what I've read, I should have plenty of yeast.

First, is that all there is to it?

Second, if you have a proven technique or any pointers (such as mixing yeast strains, etc) I'd love to hear it and...

Third, I'm supposing I can follow the same technique to take yeast from a prior batch and just grow more for the next batch of similar beer?
 

Blender

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2006
Messages
3,106
Reaction score
8
Location
Santa Cruz, CA.
esimpson1 said:
I'm fairly new to the world of home brewing (yes, there's a brand-newbie lurking in your forums!)

With regard to a starter, I've now used both the smack-packs (and they worked well, no additional work on my part) and now the White Labs test-tube variety. I'm still not quite sure I know what I'm doing, especially with regard to making a yeast starter. If I take the White Labs stuff and put it in something sanitized, as far as I know -- I just need to boil up some dry malt extract; small amount (how much?), let it cool and then add the yeast. In a day or two, according to what I've read, I should have plenty of yeast.

First, is that all there is to it?

Second, if you have a proven technique or any pointers (such as mixing yeast strains, etc) I'd love to hear it and...

Third, I'm supposing I can follow the same technique to take yeast from a prior batch and just grow more for the next batch of similar beer?
My friend, go here and read. You will be set. Well at least until things become obsessive.:)>> https://www.homebrewtalk.com/wiki/index.php/Yeast_Starters
 

wildcatman17

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2013
Messages
66
Reaction score
2
I am confused now I thought if I used a smack pack that was all i needed . After reading an article its saying I use the smack pack to make my starter...:confused:
 

LBussy

A Cunning Linguist
HBT Sponsor HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 19, 2013
Messages
2,708
Reaction score
948
Location
Kansas City
I am confused now I thought if I used a smack pack that was all i needed . After reading an article its saying I use the smack pack to make my starter...:confused:
Don't be confused - back before we didn't know we were doing it wrong that was the right way. :) And, if you do it that way now you will make perfectly good beer.

A lot of work has been done on yeast in the last 10 years though and people have discovered an optimal pitching rate - one which helps guarantee the wort will not be taken over by nasties, that will allow the yeast to multiply and thrive, and not create too many off flavors. That's where people go with the starters.

So it's like this:

Old nasty Munton and Fison Yeast under cap < Nottingham (or other good/fresh) Dry Yeast < Rehydrated dry yeast ~= Liquid yeast < liquid yeast + starter

... or something like that.
 

wildcatman17

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 15, 2013
Messages
66
Reaction score
2
So if my recipe says use a starter I can just use a smack pack..I am only on my first batch dont really want to get into making yeast yet....:)
 

inflictor-of-grimness

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2013
Messages
215
Reaction score
15
Location
Miami
So if my recipe says use a starter I can just use a smack pack..I am only on my first batch dont really want to get into making yeast yet....:)
Make a starter if it's a relatively high gravity beer. If it's normal gravity you can skip it if you really want.
 

berucha

Active Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2013
Messages
25
Reaction score
22
doing a pilsner LME this weekend. was wondering if it's worth it to make a starter or just rehydrate yeast. i have some frozen wort(american light). the few times i've made beer i rehydrated.
Well the "right" answer is: That depends on your yeast strain, the quantity and Original Gravity of your wort and the temperature at which you will pitch the wort. If you want to make a real pilsner (even with LME), you need a lager yeast strain. Without it, your beer will have the characteristics of an ale instead of a pilsner (it could still be a good beer). Even if more rare, dry lager yeast exists but if you have dry yeast from a kit, chances are that they are ale yeast.

Whatever the type of beer you want to make, you need a starter if the pitching rate (that btw is directly related to ester production) is too low. If your wort is less than 1.060 (or 15P°) than you need approximately 5-6 million cells per ml. That is between 100-120 billion cells for a 20 liters (around 5 gal.) wort. If you have real lager yeast strain, it depends on the temperature you will pitch the yeast in. You will need the same amount of cells if you pitch a lager warm, allow fermentation to begin, and cool to the desired lager fermentation temperature. If you pitch cold (at lager temp between 10°-14°C or 50°-57°F), you will need twice the amount of cells (cooler you start the more cell you need).

So my guess is that you don't have a microscope to count the cells. If you tell me the qty you want to ferment, the OG (or at least confirm it is less than 1.060) and the type of yeast you have, I can make a suggestion on how you should proceed.
 

berucha

Active Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2013
Messages
25
Reaction score
22
If I take the White Labs stuff and put it in something sanitized, as far as I know -- I just need to boil up some dry malt extract; small amount (how much?), let it cool and then add the yeast. In a day or two, according to what I've read, I should have plenty of yeast.

First, is that all there is to it?
This is not a complex procedure but there is a bit more to it. First, you want to keep the Original Gravity of your starter low (between 1.030 and 1.040) as you want to keep the yeast in its growth phase, rather than its fermentation phase. If you boil 1 liter of water with half a cup or so of Dry Malt Extract you should be there. Let it cool at 25°C (77°F) or a bit below. Add some oxygen by stiring it vigourously (15-30 seconds is fine). Add your yeast in a sealed (or almost sealed) vessel (bucket with loose cover is fine but don't expose to air too much after putting the yeast; a vessel with an airlock is the best to insure purity of yeast). Wait between 15 to 24 hours, then pitch in you wort (assumong 5 gal.). Smell the yeast before pitching. If it is infected it will smell bad. If you use White Labs liquid yeast, you don't need to do any of that as their little tube contain enough cells already to ferment a 5 gal wort (of OG < 1.060).

Third, I'm supposing I can follow the same technique to take yeast from a prior batch and just grow more for the next batch of similar beer?
Harvesting yeast is possible. I do it all the time but it can be risky, it needs some knowledge and ideally requires some equipments. You can do top croping easily with certain yeast strain. Afterward you need to count the cells (with a microscope) before you make a starter (need 5-6 billion cell per milliliter). Accurately re-pitching yeast is a difficult task for a new home-brewer and often pitch rates when using harvested slurry must be 1.5 time the rate of laboratory grade culture. There are good book on the subject (too lenghty and complex to explain all the techniques).
 
Top