Starter from wort?

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BrycePaleAle

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Hey guys, been homebrewing for a few years but this is my first post on this forum. I've been making starters for my beers and am annoyed with how long the process ends up taking. I thought of an idea that potentially solves many problems, at a risk of contamination:
  1. Brew normally
  2. Save some wort, make a starter with it
  3. Refrigerate your wort for a day or so while the starter gets going
  4. Let your beer get up to the temp you want, then pitch the starter
What do you guys think?
 

kev211

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It would work, but you would really be pushing the envelope for developing an infection letting the sugar rich wort sit like that. Even refrigerated. Its a tedious process, but building the starter separately is probably your best bet. I always treat the starter as a mini brew day and it makes it more fun
 

beermanpete

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Canned wort is available. There are posts here about it.
You could can your own wort ahead of time. Make enough for a several batches at one time and store in Mason jars. There are post here about this as well.
 

RM-MN

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Hey guys, been homebrewing for a few years but this is my first post on this forum. I've been making starters for my beers and am annoyed with how long the process ends up taking. I thought of an idea that potentially solves many problems, at a risk of contamination:
  1. Brew normally
  2. Save some wort, make a starter with it
    [*]Refrigerate your wort for a day or so while the starter gets going
  3. Let your beer get up to the temp you want, then pitch the starter
What do you guys think?
You'd probably be better served if you aerated the wort well and pitched directly into the fermenter. Leaving wort sit is inviting something you don'e want to come live in your wort.:rockin:
 

Electrake

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Depends on the type of beer you're making, but I'd personally shake the **** out of the wort in the carboy, and pitch the yeast straight into that. With a pinch of yeast nutes and servo if you had it!
 
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BrycePaleAle

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Thanks guys. I think I might try doing something like with the mason jars, making a lot of starter at one time. The funny thing is if you're saving the starter in the fridge, it seems to me you still have the risk of contamination.
 

FunkedOut

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easiest way I have found to make starter wort is to take the 5 gallon batch BIAB of grains out of the kettle and place in a 5 gallon bucket.
add 1-2 gallons of water to that bucket (right from the tap) and let that sit until the brew is done.
remove the grains from the bucket and measure SG. calculate and boil down to 1.040.
as soon as the boil is done, pour into quart sized mason jars and spin the lids tight.
invert to make sure the lids get sanitized and let cool slowly.
done.

this makes at least enough wort for the next batch or two.
 

bleme

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It would run the risk of infection if your process wasn't sound but most people using the mason jars are heating the wort and jar up to at least 212F.

We don't see it much in the U.S., but in Australia no-chill brewing is pretty popular. That requires a container that you can pour boiling wort into AND push the air out of though.

Anyhow, any wort you use for starters should be pulled before you add any hops and watered down to 1.040 for best results.
 

bleme

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easiest way I have found to make starter wort is to take the 5 gallon batch BIAB of grains out of the kettle and place in a 5 gallon bucket.
add 1-2 gallons of water to that bucket (right from the tap) and let that sit until the brew is done.
remove the grains from the bucket and measure SG. calculate and boil down to 1.040.
as soon as the boil is done, pour into quart sized mason jars and spin the lids tight.
invert to make sure the lids get sanitized and let cool slowly.
done.

this makes at least enough wort for the next batch or two.
I like this method, but my 'second runnings' from BIAB usually run between 1.010-1.015, which would mean a LOT of boiling.
 

RM-MN

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easiest way I have found to make starter wort is to take the 5 gallon batch BIAB of grains out of the kettle and place in a 5 gallon bucket.
add 1-2 gallons of water to that bucket (right from the tap) and let that sit until the brew is done.
remove the grains from the bucket and measure SG. calculate and boil down to 1.040.
as soon as the boil is done, pour into quart sized mason jars and spin the lids tight.
invert to make sure the lids get sanitized and let cool slowly.
done.

this makes at least enough wort for the next batch or two.
If you have ever done home canning you would know that this is not the correct method and will open you up to possible botulism. The risk of botulin poisoning is low but the result is death.

To destroy any botulin spores requires pressure canning as the spores can survive boiling and must be heated above that point to destroy them.

Your canned wort is the perfect place for botulin to grow.
 

Gadjobrinus

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Canned wort is available. There are posts here about it.
You could can your own wort ahead of time. Make enough for a several batches at one time and store in Mason jars. There are post here about this as well.
+1. What I do. You've got plenty of sterile wort on hand.
 

SanPancho

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DME is your friend. and bottled water.

freeze an ice tray of your bottled water overnight.

dump your DME into a pot or your flask, and mix with water, usually about 1/3 of your starter volume is enough. if you have a flask/big mason jar/etc then nuke it in microwave. otherwise get it on the stove. heat it to 170/180/190/boil, etc as you see fit.

add ice cubes and swirl until you get to pitch temp. then top off with the rest of the water to correct volume.

with microwave, you should be done in about 5 minutes. boiling on stove takes more like 10.

easy peasy.

i also make starter from my spent grains in a second dunk sparge, usually end up around 1.020 or so, boil to reduce by half, and bingo. then i use it for a starter of whatever yeast strain has been hanging out in the fridge the longest.
 

beermanpete

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If you have ever done home canning you would know that this is not the correct method and will open you up to possible botulism. The risk of botulin poisoning is low but the result is death.

To destroy any botulin spores requires pressure canning as the spores can survive boiling and must be heated above that point to destroy them.

Your canned wort is the perfect place for botulin to grow.
Yes. Canning requires proper methods to ensure the product is safe to eat or drink. If the pH is below about 4.6 boiling the closed jars for 10 minutes is acceptable. This time assumes the wort and jars are already at 212 degrees. Since beer wort is typically in the low 5s a pressure canning method is required. When done correctly the canned wort can be stored at room temperature for an extended time just like any other canned goods.
 

chickypad

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Thanks guys. I think I might try doing something like with the mason jars, making a lot of starter at one time. The funny thing is if you're saving the starter in the fridge, it seems to me you still have the risk of contamination.
Not the same risk, the chilled starter is fermented beer with some alcohol and a lower pH than wort.
 

FunkedOut

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I like this method, but my 'second runnings' from BIAB usually run between 1.010-1.015, which would mean a LOT of boiling.
1 gallon of water in the bucket gives me about 1.040, 2 gallons gives me about 1.020. I like to boil it since it’s been sitting outside exposed to everything.

If you have ever done home canning you would know that this is not the correct method and will open you up to possible botulism. The risk of botulin poisoning is low but the result is death.

To destroy any botulin spores requires pressure canning as the spores can survive boiling and must be heated above that point to destroy them.

Your canned wort is the perfect place for botulin to grow.
Guilty as charged.
This is not by the book, but I’m good with the risk.
It’s only canned for a week or two before I crack it for the next starter.
And it’s pretty hot going into a sanitized jar.

Thanks for the poke. It made go look at canning procedures again.
CDC now recommends pressure canning only for low acid foods.
Boiling water canning doesn’t cut it anymore accoeding to them.
https://www.cdc.gov/features/homecanning/index.html
 

ESBrewer

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Wouldn't leave the chilled wort for a night without yeast. The risk of bacterial infection will be multiplied here because in homebrew conditions, the wort is unlikely to be 100% sterile. Even if unlikely to grow over yeast, some bacteria can multiply during the night. It is possible to succeed with this method, but more unlikely than using DME/prestored wort and boiling. Storing a starter with tons of yeast will make it much more difficult for anything else to propagate there even if there would be a little bit of something. It is mainly about competition between organisms and the brewer is trying to maximize the conditions for the yeast.
 

cactusgarrett

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My method isn't as "grab-and-go" as some would like, but:

At the end of every brew day, I dump 1gal of water into the grainbed (still in the MLT) after the final sparge & lauter (all-grain, batch sparge). I'll recirculate and runoff to collect that gallon, then split it into two zip-lock freezer bags and freeze.

Then, on any subsequent day I need to make a starter or anything with wort, i just thaw a bag, boil, and use. My efficiency typically makes this "final running" around 1.015-1.020, so some DME is needed to get up to starter gravity, but it sure saves $$$ since it requires only half the amount of DME for each starter than it normally would.
 
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BrycePaleAle

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Not the same risk, the chilled starter is fermented beer with some alcohol and a lower pH than wort.
Are you implying that you pitch the yeast, then store the starter chilled? I suppose this wouldn't be a bad option.
 

helibrewer

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I make a 3 gallon batch, put it in 1L Mason jars then pressure cook it....can be stored on a shelf at room temp and is instantly ready to use.
 

chickypad

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Are you implying that you pitch the yeast, then store the starter chilled? I suppose this wouldn't be a bad option.
No, you were talking about saving your starter in the fridge. You mean after it has fermented out, right? At which point it is beer, not wort, and less prone to infection. If you add the yeast but chill it so it doesn't ferment you've still just got wort.
 

rtstrider

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Yes. Canning requires proper methods to ensure the product is safe to eat or drink. If the pH is below about 4.6 boiling the closed jars for 10 minutes is acceptable. This time assumes the wort and jars are already at 212 degrees. Since beer wort is typically in the low 5s a pressure canning method is required. When done correctly the canned wort can be stored at room temperature for an extended time just like any other canned goods.
Bringing up a necro thread here lol In that case couldn't you in theory lower the ph with lactic acid then boil the jars of wort?
 

InspectorJon

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easiest way I have found to make starter wort is to take the 5 gallon batch BIAB of grains out of the kettle and place in a 5 gallon bucket.
add 1-2 gallons of water to that bucket (right from the tap) and let that sit until the brew is done.
remove the grains from the bucket and measure SG. calculate and boil down to 1.040.
as soon as the boil is done, pour into quart sized mason jars and spin the lids tight.
invert to make sure the lids get sanitized and let cool slowly.
done. This makes at least enough wort for the next batch or two.
Old thread but someone might find this useful. I do pretty much what @FunkedOut does. I use less sparge water so there is less or no boiling depending on the grain bill. I put the resulting wort in PET soda bottles and freeze (be sure to leave a good inch or more of head room). This needs to be thawed, boiled and cooled before pitching yeast for a starter but its free wort that would otherwise go in the compost pile and I don't think there is any risk of botulism.
 
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Water bath canning would work too. Practically anything water bath canned can stay safe for up to a year. Most of us would use most of our canned wort in a matter of six months. YMMV
 
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