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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: firedog23 on April 07, 2012, 11:26:06 PM

Title: Yeast starters are for real
Post by: firedog23 on April 07, 2012, 11:26:06 PM
I know the mafia will say I told you so but yeast starters are for real. I did one for the first time this brew and there was zero lag time. Set the Starter on Tuesday and by Saturday, the brew is fermenting like crazy. I have now seen the starter light! :P
Title: Re: Yeast starters are for real
Post by: euge on April 07, 2012, 11:49:43 PM
I've had that happen when krausening (top-cropping). It is indeed amazing to see them take off in minutes.
Title: Re: Yeast starters are for real
Post by: firedog23 on April 07, 2012, 11:52:56 PM
I have zero reason to never do another starter. It is truly amazingvhowcfast it took off.
Title: Re: Yeast starters are for real
Post by: firedog23 on April 12, 2012, 01:16:28 PM
Is a five day fermentation possible? It OG'd at 1.068 on Saturday and today (Thursday) it is at 1.018 with no action in the vessel. The hydro sample tasted good and wondering if I should go straight to bottle this weekend?
Title: Re: Yeast starters are for real
Post by: tygo on April 12, 2012, 01:18:54 PM
Yes, it's certainly possible.  However I'd still leave it on the yeast for a few more days or a week to let the yeast clean up after themselves and clear up a bit.
Title: Re: Yeast starters are for real
Post by: firedog23 on April 12, 2012, 01:27:24 PM
Yeah, I was sort of thinking the same thing after my excitement wore off.
Title: Re: Yeast starters are for real
Post by: bluesman on April 12, 2012, 01:38:12 PM
I think the stark reality will rear it's beautiful head when you taste the end result.  :)

It always amazes me to see brewers making beer without the proper amount of healthy yeast.  It's a no brainer IMO.
Title: Re: Yeast starters are for real
Post by: firedog23 on April 12, 2012, 01:56:20 PM
I just had to get there first. It has helped in learning what I have done and what can be done in the future by adding a few new things each time. This step however has been the biggest step up to this point. Water composition and treating it will be the next step.
Title: Re: Yeast starters are for real
Post by: beersk on April 12, 2012, 03:48:33 PM
I have zero reason to never do another starter. It is truly amazingvhowcfast it took off.
Okay, but you're selling yourself short.  I collect yeast and repitch from the jar, works very well.  I don't think lag time necessarily determines the quality of the beer either.
Title: Re: Yeast starters are for real
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 12, 2012, 04:51:53 PM
It always amazes me to see brewers making beer without the proper amount of healthy yeast.  It's a no brainer IMO.

I would qualify that as its amazing to see experienced brewers making beer without the proper amount of healthy yeast.

It's a learning curve, and it doesn't amaze me at all to see people starting out pitching a smack pack.  I did it.  You did it.  Admit it.  You know you did.
Title: Re: Yeast starters are for real
Post by: bluesman on April 12, 2012, 05:06:35 PM
It always amazes me to see brewers making beer without the proper amount of healthy yeast.  It's a no brainer IMO.

I would qualify that as its amazing to see experienced brewers making beer without the proper amount of healthy yeast.

It's a learning curve, and it doesn't amaze me at all to see people starting out pitching a smack pack.  I did it.  You did it.  Admit it.  You know you did.

Yes, but when I started it was all dry yeast.  I learned just as most brewers do...my first liquid yeast pitch was without a starter, but I quickly learned from others that starters are critical to cleaner tasting beer.
Title: Re: Yeast starters are for real
Post by: euge on April 12, 2012, 05:24:34 PM
Yeah it's almost required with liquid yeast unless you want to brew just a couple gallon.

And despite the date on the package usually the yeast need to be encouraged, reinvigorated and multiply a bit. Get real active after a long sleep.

My brewing tends to be a bit spontaneous so I keep dry yeast around. If I plan it out a starter gets made.
Title: Re: Yeast starters are for real
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 12, 2012, 05:54:10 PM
It always amazes me to see brewers making beer without the proper amount of healthy yeast.  It's a no brainer IMO.

I would qualify that as its amazing to see experienced brewers making beer without the proper amount of healthy yeast.

It's a learning curve, and it doesn't amaze me at all to see people starting out pitching a smack pack.  I did it.  You did it.  Admit it.  You know you did.

Yes, but when I started it was all dry yeast.  I learned just as most brewers do...my first liquid yeast pitch was without a starter, but I quickly learned from others that starters are critical to cleaner tasting beer.

You learned more quickly than I did.  I probably brewed for around 10 years before making a starter.

Though, once I first read about them in BYO I went ahead and made one up in a growler.  Haven't looked back since.

I'm not suggesting its not a good practice, just saying that it doesn't surprise me to see people starting out learning the same way we all did.  Except there weren't great forums back when I was learning as I don't think Al Gore had invented the internet yet.
Title: Re: Yeast starters are for real
Post by: Slowbrew on April 12, 2012, 06:10:03 PM
For me it was all just steps along the path. 

First batch was dry yeast and turned out well.  The second (and many after that) were just a smack pack or single tube of liquid yeast and my beer tasted even better.  Later, I tried making a starter and got even better results.  At some point I started all-grain and now I never make a beer without a starter and am getting quite a collection of gadgets.

Small steps get you there.  Everyone at their own pace.

Paul
Title: Re: Yeast starters are for real
Post by: narvin on April 12, 2012, 06:10:35 PM
I have zero reason to never do another starter. It is truly amazingvhowcfast it took off.
Okay, but you're selling yourself short.  I collect yeast and repitch from the jar, works very well.  I don't think lag time necessarily determines the quality of the beer either.

Well, yes, but you're (hopefully) pitching an appropriate amount of yeast, just with another method.  I assume he meant he wouldn't pitch just the 1 vial/smack pack anymore.
Title: Re: Yeast starters are for real
Post by: firedog23 on April 12, 2012, 07:01:52 PM
I have zero reason to never do another starter. It is truly amazingvhowcfast it took off.
Okay, but you're selling yourself short.  I collect yeast and repitch from the jar, works very well.  I don't think lag time necessarily determines the quality of the beer either.

Well, yes, but you're (hopefully) pitching an appropriate amount of yeast, just with another method.  I assume he meant he wouldn't pitch just the 1 vial/smack pack anymore.

It was one vial exploding all over me that changed my process. It takes 15 minutes to get the yeast set on a good path and I am now all about it.
Title: Yeast starters are for real
Post by: bluesman on April 12, 2012, 07:38:36 PM
It always amazes me to see brewers making beer without the proper amount of healthy yeast.  It's a no brainer IMO.

I would qualify that as its amazing to see experienced brewers making beer without the proper amount of healthy yeast.

It's a learning curve, and it doesn't amaze me at all to see people starting out pitching a smack pack.  I did it.  You did it.  Admit it.  You know you did.

Yes, but when I started it was all dry yeast.  I learned just as most brewers do...my first liquid yeast pitch was without a starter, but I quickly learned from others that starters are critical to cleaner tasting beer.

You learned more quickly than I did.  I probably brewed for around 10 years before making a starter.

Though, once I first read about them in BYO I went ahead and made one up in a growler.  Haven't looked back since.

I'm not suggesting its not a good practice, just saying that it doesn't surprise me to see people starting out learning the same way we all did.  Except there weren't great forums back when I was learning as I don't think Al Gore had invented the internet yet.

I can certainly understand why beginner brewers wouldn't use a starter.  However with the resources available today(Forums, internet, books, etc...) it's       
a lot easier to become schooled in brewing. Plenty of healthy yeast is paramount to producing great beer. Yeast is right up there next to sound sanitation and fermentation temp control IMO. It's a lot to grasp as a beginner but not out of the realm of possibilities.
Title: Re: Yeast starters are for real
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 12, 2012, 08:08:21 PM
Yes, but when I started it was all dry yeast. 

Just curious if you're saying that's all you used when you starter, or that's all that was available.

Cause I was getting liquid yeast back in the early 90s, so I know it was available.

Of course, the extract was all pretty much old cans of John Bull with a packet of dry ale yeast taped to the top.  Times have changed.
Title: Re: Yeast starters are for real
Post by: bluesman on April 12, 2012, 08:33:37 PM
Yes, but when I started it was all dry yeast. 

Just curious if you're saying that's all you used when you starter, or that's all that was available.

Cause I was getting liquid yeast back in the early 90s, so I know it was available.

Of course, the extract was all pretty much old cans of John Bull with a packet of dry ale yeast taped to the top.  Times have changed.

What I meant was that's what I used in the early 90's.  I've only been using liquid yeast for the last 10 years or so.

In the early 90's I used a lot of John Bull kits.  It wasn't bad, but we've come a long way since then.
Title: Re: Yeast starters are for real
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 12, 2012, 08:40:40 PM
That's what I figured.  You don't look like you're old enough to have been brewing back in the 70s!

I don't think I was even aware of the concept of a starter until 2003 or so.

I started brewing with a guy who wouldn't touch dry yeast, so we always used liquid.  It's been Wyeast since the get go.
Title: Re: Yeast starters are for real
Post by: tschmidlin on April 12, 2012, 09:12:16 PM
Liquid yeast might have been available to YOU in the early 90s, but I never saw any until later.  The shop I started going to in Allentown PA from 1990-~1993 had brown hops in paper bags and packs of dried yeast.  You got what you got.  Sounds like you had a better homebrew shop.
Title: Re: Yeast starters are for real
Post by: Joe Sr. on April 12, 2012, 09:17:39 PM
Brew and Grow.  I still shop there.

For some reason, they also carried a wide variety of hot sauces back then.  So we'd get a couple bottles that would go on burritos at 2 or 3am. 911 Sauce, Hot b**** at the Beach, stuff like that.

Those were the days.
Title: Re: Yeast starters are for real
Post by: firedog23 on April 13, 2012, 09:16:14 AM
I have zero reason to never do another starter. It is truly amazingvhowcfast it took off.
Okay, but you're selling yourself short.  I collect yeast and repitch from the jar, works very well.  I don't think lag time necessarily determines the quality of the beer either.

Well, yes, but you're (hopefully) pitching an appropriate amount of yeast, just with another method.  I assume he meant he wouldn't pitch just the 1 vial/smack pack anymore.

Yes, I am done with the single packs and with how easy a starter is, that is my route from now on.  I also don't see a need for lag time if I can properly avoid it with the right amount of yeast.
Title: Re: Yeast starters are for real
Post by: kgs on April 15, 2012, 02:36:22 PM
I am mentoring someone who is where I was three years ago (although I've never used Wyeast, so the "smack pack" stuff is all his).

Him (accompanied by picture of carboy): why hasn't my beer started fermenting yet?
Me: (among other questions) did you make a starter?
Him: I smacked the smack pack.
Me: next time, make a starter.
Him (a few hours later, new picture, this time with krausen): look, it finally started, 12 hours later!
Me: next time, make a starter.
Him: thanks for your help! I love brewing!
Me: next time, make a starter.