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HOW-TO: Making a yeast starter
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9847
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Janet's Brown, Maibock, Kolsch, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: West Coast Blaster (American Red IPA)


PostLink    Posted: Fri Apr 07, 2017 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote


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Kal

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blazinlow86



Joined: 15 Jan 2017
Posts: 104
Location: vancouver bc


PostLink    Posted: Thu May 04, 2017 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm was gonna order this stirplate but noticed the link has 2 available. The 801 at 79.00 and the 601 with stand for 49.00. anyone know the difference. They appear to have the same specs? Thanks
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kal
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Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9847
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Janet's Brown, Maibock, Kolsch, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: West Coast Blaster (American Red IPA)


PostLink    Posted: Thu May 04, 2017 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You want the 801. The 601 comes with a holder you don't need for our application. Not sure if they are the same base model stirrer. I would assume not given that it costs less to add the holder. Good luck!

Kal

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blazinlow86



Joined: 15 Jan 2017
Posts: 104
Location: vancouver bc


PostLink    Posted: Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ended up buying the malestrom and a 1L and 5L flasks. when i was gonna order the 801 it was 80$ plus whatever for the holder. the malestrom was on sale for 105 and its big enough to hold the 5L flask. its a beast on full speed too. both of my last brews have been with the stirplate, liquid yeast and pure o2 for aeration compared to my old method of shaking the carboy and sprinkling us-05 on the top and they have both been VERY good. all the others have had a similar off flavor too them.
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David_H



Joined: 13 Nov 2013
Posts: 139
Location: Savannah, GA

Drinking: Dry Irish Stout, Electric Pale Ale, American Amber Ale, Irish Red Ale


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jun 19, 2017 1:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Once cooled it's dumped in a flask that's already half full of cold water.


So you are only boiling half of the water (w/ DME) and then mixing with cold water to bring the liquid volume up to the total volume? Do you pre-boil the cold water or just use tap water?

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zoranerceg



Joined: 09 May 2017
Posts: 2



PostLink    Posted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hey Kal tell me wich aeration method u are using on yeastcalculator.com stiplate J Zainasheff or K Troester?? thanks
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9847
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Janet's Brown, Maibock, Kolsch, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: West Coast Blaster (American Red IPA)


PostLink    Posted: Sat Oct 14, 2017 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't use yeastcalculator.com.

Kal

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David_H



Joined: 13 Nov 2013
Posts: 139
Location: Savannah, GA

Drinking: Dry Irish Stout, Electric Pale Ale, American Amber Ale, Irish Red Ale


PostLink    Posted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't use yeastcalculator either, but I would go with the Kai Troester model. Kai has done some very extensive research into yeast growth models. Click on the link [K. Troester Stir Plate Option] and read his research. Based on my understanding the data presented in Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation [Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff] was very limited and simple testing. Kai's research lead to his conclusion that the final yeast cell count is based on the amount of sugar (measured as grams of DME) in the starter. The final count is about 1.5-2.0 Billion cells per gram of DME.

A 1 liter starter at 9P (~SG =1.036) (1 liter water + 100 grams DME) contains 100 grams, therefore the final yeast count will be about 150-200 Billion, if you use a stir plate. It really does matter how much yeast you started with the final count is the 150-200B. If you start with 150B you will get about 50B growth, if you with 50B you will get about 150B growth; end result is about 200 Billion either way. Yeast will multiply like rabbits on steroids. Shocked Just give them the right environment. If you only start the 10 Billion cells, 10 > 20 > 40 > 80 > 160 B. That's only 4 generations and they will double about every 2 hours, so it will only take about 8 hours to complete once they get started.

So I don't worry so much about how much yeast I start with, I just adjust my starter volume / grams of DME to get the final yeast count I need and maintain about a SG of 1.040ish.

If you need to step up a starter I would run the first starter and then only add about a 1/4 of the first starter in the second starter, and put the other 3/4 in the refrigerator to settle out.

David Shocked

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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9847
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Janet's Brown, Maibock, Kolsch, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: West Coast Blaster (American Red IPA)


PostLink    Posted: Tue Nov 07, 2017 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

UPDATE: The main post here has been updated to more of a 'true' step by step on how to make a starter from start to end, along with more hints added.

Kal

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cinserrajr



Joined: 03 Jun 2018
Posts: 3
Location: New Jersey


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kal,

How important is sanitation during this process? What procedures do you follow to ensure none of the “bad bugs” make it into your fresh wort?

Thank you,
Carl
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9847
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Janet's Brown, Maibock, Kolsch, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: West Coast Blaster (American Red IPA)


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Carl,

Everything that touches the water/wort/yeast should be properly sanitized (this is mostly the flasks) - just like a regular fermentation you don't want nasties to take over before the yeast can!

Good luck and welcome to the forum! Thanks as well for signing up as a Club Member - it's appreciated!

Kal

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dp Brewing Company



Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 650
Location: Midwest

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

Working on: RIS Barrel Aged


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I usually take a spray bottle of Star San/Water mix and cover the whole inside of the flask. I'll spray it a couple times along with the funnel and stir bar. Diffidently want to get everything clean and sanitized.
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cinserrajr



Joined: 03 Jun 2018
Posts: 3
Location: New Jersey


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 12:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only part of the process I am worried about is what may find it's way into the flask if I cool it in my refrigerator. I almost wish I could find a vented closure or use something such as this...

https://us.vwr.com/store/product/10170-838/flask-erlenmeyer-2000ml-gl-45-thread-polypropylene-liner-less-closure-and-pouring-ring

They are available in many different sizes from VWR.
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dp Brewing Company



Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 650
Location: Midwest

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

Working on: RIS Barrel Aged


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you use tin foil just compress it around the lip before you place in the fridge. I use foam stoppers and have no worries about anything getting in.
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cinserrajr



Joined: 03 Jun 2018
Posts: 3
Location: New Jersey


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dp Brewing Company wrote:
If you use tin foil just compress it around the lip before you place in the fridge. I use foam stoppers and have no worries about anything getting in.


Where do you source the foam stoppers from? And do you sanitize those as well? Thank you for your help!
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dp Brewing Company



Joined: 08 Jul 2013
Posts: 650
Location: Midwest

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

Working on: RIS Barrel Aged


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 2:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://store.bellsbeer.com/products/foam-stopper-for-flasks?variant=5247345852451&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=Google&utm_campaign=Google%20Shopping&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIkdns95262wIVkR2BCh0JFwCDEAQYAyABEgJyQvD_BwE

Yes, I spray them with sanitizer. It turns them yellow/brown a bit in color

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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9847
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Janet's Brown, Maibock, Kolsch, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: West Coast Blaster (American Red IPA)


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jun 04, 2018 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cinserrajr wrote:
The only part of the process I am worried about is what may find it's way into the flask if I cool it in my refrigerator.

Tin foil is fine. place it on the top and crimp it hand tight. Nothing will find its way up in there.

Kal

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codex



Joined: 04 Nov 2016
Posts: 45
Location: Co Durham, UK


PostLink    Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kal,

Continuing on from the Bohemian Pilsner recipe thread, my question on yeast amount, as more relevant to yeast starters

I have decided to try the yeast starter route for my next brew and have a couple of questions regarding using the Brewers Friend calculator.

1. Wort Volume: is this the volume in fermenter (6gal) or the finished beer into keg (5gal)
2. Do you normally make two starters, one for each fermenter? If I calculate using the full 10gal batch, I need 3 yeast packs and a volume of 4.5lts in the flask, nearly filling a 5lt flask!!

Cheers
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kal
Forum Administrator


Joined: 12 Dec 2010
Posts: 9847
Location: Ottawa, Canada

Drinking: German Lager, Electric Hop Candy Jr, Scottish 70/-, Janet's Brown, Maibock, Kolsch, Russian Imperial Stout, Black Butte Porter

Working on: West Coast Blaster (American Red IPA)


PostLink    Posted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

codex wrote:
1. Wort Volume: is this the volume in fermenter (6gal) or the finished beer into keg (5gal)

The volume of wort that you will be pitching yeast into, the amount of wort that the yeast will be working with. How much ends up in the keg down the road after the various losses doesn't matter.

Quote:
2. Do you normally make two starters, one for each fermenter? If I calculate using the full 10gal batch, I need 3 yeast packs and a volume of 4.5lts in the flask, nearly filling a 5lt flask!!

Depends what I'm doing. If I'm using the same yeast for both fermenters I make one starter. If I'm experimenting with different yeasts per fermenter I make two starters.

If the size for any starter is larger than my largest 5L flask then I need to do more than one step to get there. See the second hint in my guide as well as the online calculator I link to - it walks you through doing this. Having to do multi-steps is common if I'm pitching into 10-12 gallons of high gravity lager as the amount of yeast goes up when brewing a lagers and with gravity. For example, I made 11 gallons of a 1.070 Maibock (strong German lager) not that long ago which required 1420 cells so two steps. First step was to create 700B cells. When that was done it was left in the fridge overnight and then the liquid decanted leaving the yeast behind (just like any starter). Then that yeast was pitched again into a second starter to make the next ~700B cells.

Don't start with more than one yeast pack. That defeats one of the main point of making a starter which is to save money. Start with 1 pack and do as many steps as you need.

I don't find starters to be much work as you only need to boil for a minute or so so it's 15-20 minutes tops to get one going - the only downside I find is that you have to plan ahead.

Good luck!

Kal

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alphakry



Joined: 27 Oct 2018
Posts: 40


Drinking: Cider [extract]

Working on: Gin Barrel Saison [extract]


PostLink    Posted: Thu May 02, 2019 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Should I be worried that my starter temp is quite a bit higher then the ideal 75-78?

I followed the instructions and brought my starter down to 72 before pitching my London 1968... but due to my ambient temps in the room + the added temps of the fermentation, I am seeing 86-87 degrees. The stirplate is doing a gorgeous job of keeping a nice cyclone going but I do fear these temps are reaching dangerous levels that may harm the yeast or the process.

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