Yeast starters and pitch rate

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jmart84

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I'm going to use a yeast starter for my next batch and was doing some research on pitch rates. How can you determine if the starter I made has the appropriate number of cells? For example, the brew I will be making requires 255,937,500,000 cells. How can I make sure that my starter produces that many cells? Also, is it possible to pitch TOO many cells? Thanks.
 

MockY

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I don't even bother with proper calculations. Most beers I make "require" around 250-300 billion cells. The chart from Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation, states that the greatest growth from one vial/pack of yeast, is a 1.6 liter starter on a stirplate, and it should produce around 300-350 cells depending on the age of the yeast (as far as I understand it).

From what I've heard and read, you really can't overpitch a 5 gallon batch with a normal sized starter, not even if you pour a new batch on top of a yeast case from a previous fermentation (which has way more cells than a starter).

So for every starter (for a 5 gallon batch) I make, I boil 1.7 liter of water with 160 grams of DME. After 7-8 minutes, I'll have 1.6 liter of wort with a gravity around 1.037. Once it has fermented out, I cold crash it and decant the wort before pitching. So far, every batch has taken off within a few hours without any ill effects of under/over pitching.

Simple to remember and works every time.
 

sky4meplease

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For 5 gallons with OG's of less than 1.060 you could do a 2L starter for ales and 4L starter for lagers. That will give you plenty of yeast if your starting with roughly 70 billion cells of fresh healthy yeast.
For OG's above 1.060 you will probably need to do some stepping.
Or get a microscope and start counting.
 

parrothead64

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I don't even bother with proper calculations. Most beers I make "require" around 250-300 billion cells. The chart from Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation, states that the greatest growth from one vial/pack of yeast, is a 1.6 liter starter on a stirplate, and it should produce around 300-350 cells depending on the age of the yeast (as far as I understand it).

From what I've heard and read, you really can't overpitch a 5 gallon batch with a normal sized starter, not even if you pour a new batch on top of a yeast case from a previous fermentation (which has way more cells than a starter).

So for every starter (for a 5 gallon batch) I make, I boil 1.7 liter of water with 160 grams of DME. After 7-8 minutes, I'll have 1.6 liter of wort with a gravity around 1.037. Once it has fermented out, I cold crash it and decant the wort before pitching. So far, every batch has taken off within a few hours without any ill effects of under/over pitching.

Simple to remember and works every time.
I head somewhere on the brewing network that it's better to always make the same size starter for 5 gallon ales. I always did 1.5 and recently started doing 1.7 but both have worked fine for me too.
 

UndeadFred

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Use a calculator and go a little higher than it suggests, like 20%.. that amount of over pitch is inconsequential.

I like Brewer's Friend the best, but there are many who recommend BrewUnited (which is blocked for me at work, so I never look at it.. even at home! :) )

http://www.brewersfriend.com/yeast-pitch-rate-and-starter-calculator/

In general though a 2L flask with 1.5L for ales is usually good with fresh yeast... Minimum of a full 1L flask or a 1L flask 2 step will work too... 5L for lagers or a 2L 2 step start..

Fred
 
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