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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2005 * Archive through May 31, 2005 * Starter Ques < Previous Next >

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John Leech
New Member
Username: Jpleech

Post Number: 5
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 03:23 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I'm still trying to get the hang of using a starter, so I've got a few questions after my last experience yesterday. I was brewing a honey-rye Sunday and had made one pint starter with 2/3 cup DME the day before. The starter was still bubbling every 30 seconds or so when it was time to pitch. I wasn't sure whether to pitch the whole starter or to pour off the wort/beer on the top and then pitch the thin layer of yeast at the bottom. Ultimately, I thought I'd rather be safe than sorry and I pitched then whole thing. So I guess my question is if I were to have pitched just the thin layer of yeast at the bottom would I have been pouring the lion's share of the yeast down the drain since it was still active? Secondly, how long before I brew should I make my starter to ensure that I get maximum yeast in the beer.

Thanks, JP
 

MJR
Member
Username: Mjr

Post Number: 168
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 03:46 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

http://www.maltosefalcons.com/tech/MB_Raines_Guide_to_Yeast_Culturing.php

Read and bookmark the above link.
 

Fredrik
Senior Member
Username: Fredrik

Post Number: 2254
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Monday, May 23, 2005 - 05:02 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The link MJR posted is great, so it's good reading. But for a quick input on the questions, there are many way of doing things, but here are some arbitrarily chosen answers.

> So I guess my question is if I were to have pitched just the thin layer of yeast at the bottom would I have been pouring the lion's share of the yeast down the drain since it was still active?

Certainly as long as there is active fermentation, many cells are in suspension. Roughly speaking I would say that up until the peak activity, all viable cells are in suspension. Once the peak has passed, an increasing % of the population start to deactivate and eventually flocculate and sediment. If you want to decant, you should let the activity decline and allow time for sedimentation.

Normally you either let it settle and decant, or you don't and pitch it all. You don't do both and decant half way trough the sedimentation. It all depends on you strategy.

I usally decant all steps but that last one. But OTOH I made the last step cold and short.

> how long before I brew should I make my starter to ensure that I get maximum yeast in the beer

It depends on many things. How many and how large steps you make. How fresh the yeast is etc. It could take anything from a few hours to several days, depending on your procedure.

If unsure do it earlier. If the yeast is done too early, a few days in the fridge is no problem.

/Fredrik
 

John Leech
New Member
Username: Jpleech

Post Number: 6
Registered: 01-2005
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 01:19 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

OK. To make sure that I have all of this correct this is what I understand from what Fredrik and MJR have been kind enough to share. I need about 10 million yeast cells per mil for a 5 gallon batch that the XL package of Wyeast does not provide (package claims 100 billion cells in 125 ml), so I will need to make at least a quart starter. I cook and cool some wort with 1C DME per quart, pitch the swollen package of yeast with 1/4t of yeast nutrient, shake the daylights out of it (I have no other way to aerate), and then allow to ferment with foil or cotton lightly covering the opening rather than an airlock. After it ferments for 1-2 days I place the starter in the refridgerator 24 hours before brewing to drop the yeast out of suspension, decant and pitch. Sound right?

Thanks, John
 

Wayne Faris
Member
Username: Bugeaterbrewing

Post Number: 151
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 01:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You have got it right, John. You shouldn't go wrong with that process. If you don't have the time before brewday to refrigerate for 24 hours, you can skip decanting and dump the whole thing into the wort. 99.99% of the time, it will not affect anything in your beer.
 

Paul Erbe
Member
Username: Perbe

Post Number: 194
Registered: 05-2001
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 01:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Sounds fine. If you do not have time to cool it before pitching there is no problem with pitching the entire contents of your starter.

I would recommend finding a way to add o2 to your newly brewed beer.
"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least, you need a beer."
-- Frank Zappa
 

Paul Erbe
Member
Username: Perbe

Post Number: 195
Registered: 05-2001
Posted on Tuesday, May 24, 2005 - 01:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

jinx
"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline. It helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least, you need a beer."
-- Frank Zappa