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HOW-TO: Making a yeast starter
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10191
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 2:56 pm    Post subject: HOW-TO: Making a yeast starter Reply with quote


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Instructions for making a yeast starter are here: https://shop.theelectricbrewery.com/pages/making-a-yeast-starter

Questions? Ask below. Cheers!

Kal

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Last edited by kal on Tue Sep 10, 2019 1:54 pm; edited 98 times in total
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Ozarks Mountain Brew



Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 738
Location: The Ozark Mountains of Missouri


PostLink    Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ive worked with WLP007 before and its a beast of its own, huge flakes
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dp Brewing Company



Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 658
Location: Midwest

Drinking: Black Sheep NEIPA, Rye Not Today, Kick of the Irish

Working on: RIS Barrel Aged


PostLink    Posted: Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ozarks Mountain Brew wrote:
Ive worked with WLP007 before and its a beast of its own, huge flakes


Same here, I use it for my last batch of wheat beer, I had to build it up with a starter. Looked like snow flakes. I got a video if anyone is interested of the yeast dropping in the sight glass while in the fermentor.
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JayBo



Joined: 23 Oct 2016
Posts: 35



PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for posting this Kal.

I've been brewing for years, own all sorts of equipment, but the one thing I never picked up was a stir plate. Happy yeast=happy beer, so maybe its time to bite the stir bar. Would it work with a 5000ml flask?
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10191
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Sun Feb 12, 2017 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JayBo wrote:
Would it work with a 5000ml flask?

I don't see why not. The stir plate seems strong enough. In fact, I have a couple of 5000ml ones on order myself. Link:

Scientific 5000ml Narrow Mouth Erlenmeyer Flask (Buy at: Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, Amazon.co.uk)

Kal

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JayBo



Joined: 23 Oct 2016
Posts: 35



PostLink    Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Kal, I picked up the same setup and so far with the 2000ml flask, it works great. Thank you for the tip!
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10191
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're welcome! Enjoy!

Kal

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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10191
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a video with a massive 5L flask with a 2" stir bar: https://www.instagram.com/p/BROBX-lFe8P/?taken-by=theelectricbrewery

Getting a nice vortex right to the bottom which helps oxygenate and maximize yeast reproduction (Braukaiser.com reference). With a large flask like this there's less change of needing to multi-step those insanely large starters for high gravity beers.

I've now updated my original post with a video and pictures of a 5L flask.

Kal

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Last edited by kal on Mon Mar 13, 2017 3:43 am; edited 2 times in total
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Walts Malt



Joined: 27 Sep 2013
Posts: 85
Location: Farmington, MN

Drinking: Quad, RIS, Electric Pale Ale (Session), Belgian IPA, Kolsch, IIPA


PostLink    Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2017 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:
With a large flask like this there's No need to multi-step those insanely large starters for high gravity beers.

Kal


How high of an OG do you think you can pull off with just one starter in a 5000 ml flask? I'm wondering as my next beer up is a 1.109 OG Belgian Dark Strong (Denny Conn's Batch 400). Based on some websites, it's suggesting I'll need to step it up at least once, if not twice. That was based on a calculator at Brewersfriend.com that suggested I would need between 1 and 1.25 billion cells for 10.25 gallons of 1.109 wort. I'm all ears if I do not need to mess around with steps.
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10191
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Walts Malt wrote:
How high of an OG do you think you can pull off with just one starter in a 5000 ml flask?

These things affect how many yeast cells you need:

- Fermentation temp / yeast strain (Lagers typically need x2 as many cells as ales)
- Gravity
- Batch size

Quote:
I'm wondering as my next beer up is a 1.109 OG Belgian Dark Strong (Denny Conn's Batch 400). Based on some websites, it's suggesting I'll need to step it up at least once, if not twice. That was based on a calculator at Brewersfriend.com that suggested I would need between 1 and 1.25 billion cells for 10.25 gallons of 1.109 wort. I'm all ears if I do not need to mess around with steps.

You're off by a factor of 1000. You need about 1000-1250 billion cells for that. Assuming it's an ale yeast (which I'm pretty sure it would be).

Assuming the yeast was made today (not likely) you'll start with about 100B cells in one pack. A 5L starter of 1.036 strength would get you to 819M cells. Bump it up slightly to 1.040 and you'd have about 900B cells. Still a bit short. You don't want to go much above 1.040 for the starter as it stresses the yeast and you'd need about a 1.058 starter for this guy assuming very fresh yeast (unlikely) and a good funnel during the starter to maximize growth.

I'd use a 5L starter at 1.040, put it in the fridge overnight, decant, and then grow again with a smaller ~4L starter. It's a massive beer. So there are still times you need to step up! At least it's not 4-5 times. Wink Brewing 5 gallon batches would be single step however.

Kal

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Walts Malt



Joined: 27 Sep 2013
Posts: 85
Location: Farmington, MN

Drinking: Quad, RIS, Electric Pale Ale (Session), Belgian IPA, Kolsch, IIPA


PostLink    Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:
Walts Malt wrote:
How high of an OG do you think you can pull off with just one starter in a 5000 ml flask?


You're off by a factor of 1000. You need about 1000-1250 billion cells for that. Assuming it's an ale yeast (which I'm pretty sure it would be).

Kal


I guess being an actuary hasn't really translated into the brewing world. In my head to was thinking 1 trillion, but it definitely didn't translate.

Thanks for the confirmation on the stepped starter. I have some starter wort in the pressure cooker right now getting ready for this beer.
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Walts Malt



Joined: 27 Sep 2013
Posts: 85
Location: Farmington, MN

Drinking: Quad, RIS, Electric Pale Ale (Session), Belgian IPA, Kolsch, IIPA


PostLink    Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've placed the stir plate and the support stand in my Amazon wish list. I noticed the stir bar listed has the ring around it in the middle. My current stir plate (purchased years ago from someone who was making them and selling them online) has trouble with a stir bar with the ring in the middle and it generally throws the stir bar. Have you experience any problems with this? I don't get anywhere near the vortex your videos show. I know that it only needs a little vortex, but it has a hard time pushing a 3-4L starting in my 5000L flask.
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10191
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Walts Malt wrote:
My current stir plate (purchased years ago from someone who was making them and selling them online) has trouble with a stir bar with the ring in the middle and it generally throws the stir bar. Have you experience any problems with this?

Nope! Some of my stir bars have the raised ring, some don't. No problems.

Kal

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Ozarks Mountain Brew



Joined: 22 May 2013
Posts: 738
Location: The Ozark Mountains of Missouri


PostLink    Posted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 3:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ive made several stir plates and not all stir bars are the same, you really have to match one brand up with your stir plate,too much magnaticity is just as bad as not enough with some stir bars
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10191
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ozarks Mountain Brew wrote:
Ive made several stir plates and not all stir bars are the same, you really have to match one brand up with your stir plate,too much magnaticity is just as bad as not enough with some stir bars

I think if you buy a good stir plate it's less of an issue. I have 3-4 sizes of stir bars from various manufacturers and they all work well for me on this stir plate.

Making your own stir plate can be really easy but it's another one of those instances where I had heard enough times from brewers about issues getting them to spin the stir bar reliably that I simply bought one that was proven to be reliable from a company that's likely sold tens of thousands.

Kal

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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10191
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A video of my large 4L starter currently in the works for an upcoming Belgian Saison:


Making a large 4L starter with a 2" stir bar.

Link: https://www.instagram.com/p/BSM7GpYlxIo/?taken-by=theelectricbrewery

Kal

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g8tors



Joined: 05 Oct 2011
Posts: 211



PostLink    Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I bought this stir plate and I'm using it right now for the first time. It came with 2 stir bars but I'm not using them since I already had some. The first stir bar I used was one with a ring on it and it kept throwing that off to the side. The other one I tried had no ring and worked fine. So not all stir bars work. I will say that this seems to be a very well made stir plate and I'm happy with the purchase. It turns a lot faster then my home made one from a computer fan and magnet from a hard drive.

Scott
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 10191
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Cali Common, Maibock, Helles, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: Weizen


PostLink    Posted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting. I have about a dozen stir bars of various size and the all work for me in my 2L and 5L flasks. One thing to watch out for is to make sure that the flask has a true flat bottom - not all do- some have a bit of a hump that goes up in the middle like a hill, and that tends to throw stir bars easier. Glad you're liking the stir plate!

Kal

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g8tors



Joined: 05 Oct 2011
Posts: 211



PostLink    Posted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 3:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll check the flask when I'm done with the starter to see if it has that hump. Yea this stir plate is a beast
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g8tors



Joined: 05 Oct 2011
Posts: 211



PostLink    Posted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is the Karter Scientific 2L flask from Amazon that you linked to above. The bottom looks pretty flat to me so must be the stir bar.
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