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Yeast starters question

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Matteo57

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Do most people just dump the whole starter into the wort with the yeast or drain off most of the starter wort and just pitch the yeast on the bottom of the starter? I've heard both, but wondering how much yeast is suspended in the wort of the starter?
Also, how much would a starter lower the OG of the wort? Say you have 5g of 1.07 gravity wort and dump a 2L starter in of 1.04 into it.

thanks for info!
 

WesleyS

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You want to drain off most of the liquid, swirl the remaining liquid and yeast cake and pitch that.
 

jkendrick

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This is relevant to my interests as well. So pitch just the yeast cake? How do you drain the excess liquid? Do you need to siphon it off. Can someone further explain the cold crash? I am planning my first starter Friday of a Saturday brew day, so I want to be sure I get it right.
 

poislb

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This is relevant to my interests as well. So pitch just the yeast cake? How do you drain the excess liquid? Do you need to siphon it off. Can someone further explain the cold crash? I am planning my first starter Friday of a Saturday brew day, so I want to be sure I get it right.


Let the starter ferment out, cold crash (put in fridge) for about 12-24 hours, the yeast will settle to the bottom forming a cake. Take it out of the fridge, decant (pour) the liquid off the cake leaving just a little bit of the liquid. Then swirl it around and let it warm up. Swirl, then pitch into wort..
 

jkendrick

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Okay so that sounds like I need more time than just making the starter Friday evening for a Saturday afternoon brew day?
 

poislb

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Okay so that sounds like I need more time than just making the starter Friday evening for a Saturday afternoon brew day?
yup, ya can make it tonight and once its done fermenting just stick it in the fridge. just make sure the OG dont go over 1.050 in the starter.
 

jkendrick

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Okay sorry to be such a noob, but if I can't make the starter until tomorrow evening, will I need to wait until Sunday for brew day?
 

Bierliebhaber

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Okay so that sounds like I need more time than just making the starter Friday evening for a Saturday afternoon brew day?
ABSOLUTELY NOT! You can definitely make your starter Friday night and pitch it Saturday afternoon. Just forget about all the crashing and decanting stuff. You can do that another time, if you like. If you are brewing Saturday, Friday night will work for the starter. Depending on what method you use for your starter (set and forget, intermittent shaking, stir plate) the optimum time for pitching your starter is 12-18 hrs from adding yeast. At this time, your yeast have nearly reached the extent of their reproduction AND are still very active. So pitching at this time your yeast will hit your beer running.

I always get my starter spinning the night before and have no issues with off flavor (regional ribbon winners) tossing the whole thing in and gravity effects are negligible. YMMV
 

YeastHerder

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Just doing the math part of the OP question:

5 gallons ~ 19 liters, so you have 19L at 1.070 and a 2L starter at 1.040,
the SG of the mixture should be (19*1.070+2*1.040)/(19+2) = 1.067

So pitching the whole 2L of starter is expected to lower your OG by .003
 

Maddoghoek

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Go with whatever method works for you. I do the 3 days before/cold crash/ decant method, but that's what works for me. From an expert standpoint, they tell you to pitch at high krausen. Which would be the 12 hours prior/pitch the whole starter method.

One thing I've learned from these forums is that there's more then one way to skin a cat. And the best thing to do is usually the one that works for your setup. :)
 

jkendrick

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YeastHerder said:
Just doing the math part of the OP question:

5 gallons ~ 19 liters, so you have 19L at 1.070 and a 2L starter at 1.040,
the SG of the mixture should be (19*1.070+2*1.040)/(19+2) = 1.067

So pitching the whole 2L of starter is expected to lower your OG by .003
So would it make sense to top up your wort to 2 liters shy of 5 gallons if you're pitching the whole starter?
 

homebrewdad

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So would it make sense to top up your wort to 2 liters shy of 5 gallons if you're pitching the whole starter?
Yep. If you are topping off, just be sure that you end up with the corect final volume after pitching the starter.
 

Pezman1

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Here is what I do:

If using a one liter starter, pitch the whole thing.

Make the starter a day ahead.

I don't do the math for my starters. All my beers 1.065 or lower get a one liter starter (1/2 cup dme in 650mls H20). Easy and effective for me as I rarely brew above 1.065.

Pez.
 

adkrogue

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Another question - If you're making a starter that you're not going to cold crash and decant, do you need to wait a few hours to let the yeasts warm up? I.e. My white labs yeast is in the fridge now, can i start my wort and pitch it while its still cold, or at least cooler than room temp? Seems like I shld be able to since it will be warming up at room temp once I've pitched it into the 2l wort. Thx
 

Sharpie

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Whoa, Ok... maybe I'm missing something here but isn't cold crashing a starter counterproductive? I thought that the point of a starter was to wake the yeast up and cold crashing will get it to go dormant and drop out of suspension. Anyone care to explain?
 

johnnync

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Sharpie said:
Whoa, Ok... maybe I'm missing something here but isn't cold crashing a starter counterproductive? I thought that the point of a starter was to wake the yeast up and cold crashing will get it to go dormant and drop out of suspension. Anyone care to explain?
A starter is to get the yeast to reproduce so you have more of them.
 

Minjin

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Normally you would make it a couple days ahead. Let it work, when it's done cold crash it to drop the yeast out of suspension. So you can decant the wort off and just pitch the cake. Unless you want to pitch it all. Also it wi keep I. The fridge for a week or so so you don't have to pitch it immediatly.
 

Pezman1

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Whoa, Ok... maybe I'm missing something here but isn't cold crashing a starter counterproductive? I thought that the point of a starter was to wake the yeast up and cold crashing will get it to go dormant and drop out of suspension. Anyone care to explain?
Sure. You cold crash the starter and the yeast drop out of suspension just as you say. Then you decant the liquid, pitch the now concentrated slurry, then wham-oh.
The point of a starter isn't to wake the yeast up, its to make them multiply in the presence of food. So instead of pitching 100 billion cells, you are pitching half a jillion, give or take.

Edit - johnnynync beat me to it, with just one sentence to boot.
 

Sharpie

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Ok, I knew that starters were mainly to get up to an optimal pitching rate but I thought it was also to maintain viability and a cold crash would decrease viability. It's been a long day... Now that I'm actually thinking about it, a cold crash on a well established culture won't make a huge difference.

So if you're doing a 2 stage starter, you cold crash both times, right?
 
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Matteo57

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I am pretty sure you do cold crash twice. Cold crash the first, dacant then add more wort is what i've been told before
 
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