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Yeast starter help

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Turdy

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Hi,

First time using liquid yeast. I did a starter and the plan was to overgrow the starter so that i can save some for the future. Calculator told me that I need approximately 184 billion cells for the 20l batch (5.3 gallons), and 100 billion cells for future use. I used stir plate and everything went smoothly. I was supposed to split the starter to one 1l mason jar (0.26 gal) and one 0.5l (0.13 gal) mason jar. I swirled the erlenmeyer a bit and then filled the mason jars. I filled the larger container first and the smaller last. Lot of the trub seemed to go on the second mason jar. Apparently I did not mix the starter well enough so it wasn't homogenous.

Here's the result:
I'm brewing tomorrow and I'm wondering what i should do. If you look at the photos, it seems that the smaller jar has slightly more of the sediment (white sediment is yeast? the darker one is trub?). It seems as if I have more yeast on the smaller mason jar. Should I just pitch the smaller one and save the larger one for future? Or should I scoop some yeast from the smaller jar when pitching? Any ideas? Will I hava good enough pitch rate if pitching the larger one and saving the smaller? Im doing a 1.046 OG ESB and was targeting a pitching rate of 0.75 million cells/milliliter/plato.
 

Nate R

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How long have the jars been sitting for? Did you "cold crash" them (put in a fridge)?
Finally, how wide are the bottoms of each jar? If they are different widths, there may be more in the taller jar even though it looks even (assuming the taller jar has a wider base).

Did you use a stir plate? If you did, and poured the two jars back to back, then i think it is safe to assume more liquid jar= more cells

If you swirled by hand, and jars have same width, than you may have off amounts

You could always pitch most of what you have, and save a little bit and build up a new starter with that.

Just my $0.02
 
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Turdy

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How long have the jars been sitting for? Did you "cold crash" them (put in a fridge)?
Finally, how wide are the bottoms of each jar? If they are different widths, there may be more in the taller jar even though it looks even (assuming the taller jar has a wider base).

Did you use a stir plate? If you did, and poured the two jars back to back, then i think it is safe to assume more liquid jar= more cells

If you swirled by hand, and jars have same width, than you may have off amounts

You could always pitch most of what you have, and save a little bit and build up a new starter with that.

Just my $0.02
Hi! thanks for the reply. The jars have been sitting in the fridge for 10 hours so they're still "cold crashing". The jars are actually the same width. The larger one is only taller. I used stir plate and the starter was on the plate for 25 hours. It still had a little foam in the edges so it is possible that It didn't ferment out to terminal gravity. There were a lot of solid chunks which led me to believe that it is ready. The yeast was Wyeast London ESB 1968. It seems that this particular yeast flocculates quite heavily. I will probably give a little more time on the stir plate next time I make a starter.

As I mentioned the starter had very much solid chunks and when i divided the starter to those jars it seemed as if there were more yeast matter on the bottom when I filled the smaller jar after the taller jar. That led me to believe that there is possibly more yeast in smaller jar which would seem to be the case looking at the photos. Though this could even out when the "cold crash" is done. I should've probably mixed the erlenmeyer more aggressively before pouring the starter to jars.

I will brew tomorrow and check the situation. I will probably use the smaller jar if it still has thicker layer of yeast sediment. Would this be ok? Should I leave starter on the stir plate for longer time in the future?
 

Nate R

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Well, i think there is a debate on 24 hours vs. 48 hours. Also, some brewers have argued for 12 hours, too. So.... i do 48 hours, but have wondered if 24 will do myself. Need to try it someday,

I know for me, I crash my yeast in my very cold keezer. I need AT LEAST 24 hours for it to show settlement, but if I leave it alone for 3 to 5 days I get quite a solid settlement. Of course, temp, yeast strain, etc. will affect that.

I would say decant what you have (save that and crash it- you may be surprised what settles in a week!) and combine the two cakes- save out like 25% of that cake and pitch the rest. Note- I have NO science or credentials to back this up. It is just what I would do- a day of brewing is a lot of work, I would rather over pitch too much than under-pitch even a little. YMMV.
 

Brooothru

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My question is the trub layer on the larger jar sample. How did you prepare the wort prior to innoculating it with the yeast?

I usually prepare my own starter wort once or twice a year and pressure can it, using extra light DME and water, making a dozen jars at a time. With a good seal the jars are good for a year or more at room temperature. As an alternative I've used Propper which works really well but is a bit pricey for what you get IMHO.

I'll add that my starter jars do settle out some trub (which Propper does not), so I just decant the starter into the Erlenmeyer flask along with the yeast and add a pinch of nutrients to the mix. Always yields trub-free yeast slurry.

Brooo Brother
 
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