Starter on washed yeast

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mdharris99

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First off, I get that making a starter is not that big of a hassle. What I have a little confusion on is if the only real benefit of them is to increase the amount of yeast pitched into the wort.

Let's say that you wash some yeast from a batch and get 5 mason jars, each of which could be used to make a starter. Instead of the starter, could you instead just let them warm up and then pitch the yeast from 2 or 3 (or all 5) into the wort?
 

Zepth

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I've experimented with it. Pitching one jar if it's fresh, pitching 3 if it's not so fresh, making a starter if it's not so fresh and it's all that's left. Also pitched right onto a yeast cake in "dirty" fermenter.

Best results: make the starter. Don't risk wrecking a batch with an underpitch like so many before have done.
 

catdaddy66

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"What I have a little confusion on is if the only real benefit of them is to increase the amount of yeast pitched into the wort."

Never underestimate the benefit of more healthy yeast!


Sent from my iPhone using Home Brew
 

kombat

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Instead of the starter, could you instead just let them warm up and then pitch the yeast from 2 or 3 (or all 5) into the wort?
Absolutely. That's all I've ever done. I've never made a starter from washed/harvested yeast. If it's less than 2 months old, I just let it warm up while I'm brewing, then dump it right in. If it's more than 2 months old, I dump it down the drain.
 

Zeppman

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I'm not a yeast expert, but I believe part of the reason behind making a starter is to show that the yeast is still alive and healthy, and also, to prepare the yeast for the upcoming "feast" of sugars. Again, I don't know all the details but it has something to do with getting the yeast in the right phase to where they won't be shocked when you dump them into a large volume of wort with a higher concentration of sugars. This, in the end is supposed to lead to a healthier, cleaner fermentation. I'm sure having the correct pitch rate makes a bigger difference in the taste of the finished product, but how you get there (dumping in 3 mason jars of 3 week old yeast vs. making a fresh starter) probably has an impact, yet I don't know to what extent.
 
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