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Starter or No Starter with Large Amount of Washed Yeast

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jww9618

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I'm going to be brewing 11 gal of Yooper's DFH 60 clone in a few days and want to use some washed US-05. I have about 8 oz of thick slurry sitting in the fridge that I want to use. I've read the yeast washing sticky and most people recommend a starter. Here's what I put into Mr Malty.

OG: 1.067
Size: 11 gal
Harvest Date: 4/7/11
Yeast concentration is all the way to the right at 4.5
Non yeast percentage is 15%

With that Mr Malty says I need 509 billion cells from 213 ml of yeast.
213 ml is 7.2 oz. Since I have 8 oz of pure yeast should I just pitch that or make a starter with some or all of the washed yeast?
 

Revvy

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If it's been sitting in the fridge, that means it's gone dormant. I would do a starter more to help wake it up, then out of any need to build up your cell count. It doesn't even need to be that big of a starter. Just something to give it some work to do.
 
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jww9618

jww9618

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Thanks Revvy. So would a 1L starter be ok since there is so much yeast to start with?
 

ThePearsonFam

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I just found this: http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/repitch.html

Explains a bit more...

Yeast Concentration billion/ml
- This setting allows you to adjust for how thick a slurry you're measuring. If you've ever seen the yeast packed hard into the bottom of a White Labs vial, that is Thick Yeast at 4.5 billion cells per ml. When you harvest a yeast slurry and it has settled for a few hours, that is a thin slurry. Usually, most homebrewers will let their yeast settle for a few days in the fridge between one batch and the next. When you do, you'll notice the yeast has settled a bit and is sort of jelly-like. That is the default setting on the calculator. You'll need to estimate from there for other yeast thickness, but what is most important is keeping track of what you pitched and the results you get from the beer. If you need to adjust up or down, that is OK, just keep track of how you do things each time.
- Once you've determined how much yeast you have in the container, you can shake the container along with any liquid to loosen up the yeast. If you determine there is 200 ml of yeast solids in the container and you want to pitch 100 ml. Shake the container to break up the yeast and then pour 1/2 of this very loose yeast slurry into your beer.
 

SpanishCastleAle

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I'd make a starter but I wouldn't pitch all that yeast into it. I always let them complete and decant, if you pitch the whole starter that changes things. From the Mr Malty '14 essential questions about yeast starters':
Q: I’ve heard that too small or too large a starter can be bad for the yeast. How is that possible?

Parker says putting a fresh vial of yeast into 500 ml of wort and letting such a small starter go to completion can actually leave the yeast less ready to ferment a batch of beer. The yeast do not rebuild their reserves and have very little increase in cell mass.

The minimum starter size for significant yeast growth from a vial or pack of yeast is 1 liter. One vial or pack into 1 liter results in approximately a 50% increase in cell mass.

Some brewers make a small starter volume (500 ml or less) with the sole intent of “waking” the yeast. When making small starters, it is best to pitch the entire volume at the height of activity.
So, reading between the lines; overpitching a starter is bad. You get almost no increase in cell mass and get LESS healthy yeast. But if you pitch the whole thing (that's a lot and I wouldn't) then over-pitching a starter is OK.
 

ThePearsonFam

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okay... So, the quantity of slurry just fit when you poured the whole slurry into your quart-sized mason jar?

If so, I'd say, from the Mr. Malty site above, that, if you add sanitized water back to your mason jar, then you're at "thin" on the calculator.

--or--

Do the math to determine what you need to set the slider on for your yeast...

Do some math... let's make a basic beer in the calc. a 1050 ale. On "thin", you'd need 214ml.

A mason jar is 30oz or 887ml. If you need 214ml, then that's 25% of the mason jar shaken up.

There are 29.6ml per oz. So, on default, you have 8oz or 236.8ml and you need 25% of that quantity, or 59.2ml.

Sliding the slider along until I reach 59.2ml results in a setting of 3.5. Now you'll know where to set the slider when your yeast looks and acts like the yeast you have.

It doesn't seem reasonable to work the math back, so I'd just take the slurry from your beer, set it to thin in the calc and use that for your slurry. Or I'd let it sit for a day and use the default. It's great to try to get as good as you can but a little bit goes a long way.
 

Rundownhouse

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If it's been sitting in the fridge, that means it's gone dormant. I would do a starter more to help wake it up, then out of any need to build up your cell count. It doesn't even need to be that big of a starter. Just something to give it some work to do.
Or you could put it into about 5g of hopped wort and hope that wakes it up. If OP's washed yeast hasn't been sitting in his fridge for weeks and weeks, its ready to go. If its been stored under conditions that would lead to a significant loss of viability - warm, long term, or something else - then maybe a starter would help build a healthy population. But if he had a healthy population of yeast to start with, and its been in the fridge for all of 20 days, it can go right into his beer.
 

Rundownhouse

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As far as determining what your slurry is like, "thin" or "thick," I don't really know any better way than just experience. When I use Mr. Malty, I just use my past experience and eyeball my yeast, and go from there. In general, if its moving like a milkshake, its thick thick.
 

Aunt_Ester

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Do the math to determine what you need to set the slider on for your yeast...
You guys are making it harder than it needs to be; grab an abacus and count the yeast cells by hand like the rest of us!
 

Terek

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I just pitched around 3 oz of washed pure yeast in a 5 gallon batch. My calcs. Stated that this is more than enough, but I did a "starter" just for a few hours while I brewed. Just letting the yeast sit on the counter and come up to room temp. Made it start expanding and bubbling. I threw it in a very diluted starter and it blew out the foam top of my beaker in like an hour. It probably would have been fine just letting it sit at room temp. I could see it "waking up" but I think the little starter gave it a good jump start for the work ahead
 

Terek

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As far as determining what your slurry is like, "thin" or "thick," I don't really know any better way than just experience. When I use Mr. Malty, I just use my past experience and eyeball my yeast, and go from there. In general, if its moving like a milkshake, its thick thick.
Good way. Usually if I wash 4 times, I get less yeast slurry, but it's almost like ice cream rather than milk shake. You almost have to scrape it out of the jar. I believe this is pretty much pure yeast, the 4.5 billion count. I'm my experiance, when it is this consistancy, 3 oz in a jar is around 210 billon count
 

Terek

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Or you could put it into about 5g of hopped wort and hope that wakes it up. If OP's washed yeast hasn't been sitting in his fridge for weeks and weeks, its ready to go. If its been stored under conditions that would lead to a significant loss of viability - warm, long term, or something else - then maybe a starter would help build a healthy population. But if he had a healthy population of yeast to start with, and its been in the fridge for all of 20 days, it can go right into his beer.
I usually pull my wash out of the fridge at the start of brew day and place the jar in a bowl of warm water. When I get my first runnings, I take a bit of wort, might dilute it some, and pitch the yeast in that and put on the stir plate till I'm ready to pitch into my fermenter. I'm not sure if this is really necessary, it just lets me know if they are still viable. Usually exploding out the top of my flask by the time I'm ready to pitch.
 
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