# Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

## General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: goybar on February 13, 2010, 03:01:25 PM

Title: Stepping up a Starter
Post by: goybar on February 13, 2010, 03:01:25 PM
Hi All,

I'm making a 5.5 gallon batch of Munich Helles with an OG: 1.049, FG: 1.014.

According to MrMalty's Pitch rate calculator I will need a 378 billion cells, based on my WLP830 use by date (may-30-2010) I will have 88% viability.

So I will need a 3.66 Liter starter with on vial of yeast on a stirplate.

I have a 1 Liter Erlenmeyer, hindsight a very poor purchase.

I also have a 1 gallon jug.

3.66 Liters is basically 1 gallon, too much to create the starter in.

How do I step it up?

A.  1L starter decant and add 1L starter

B.  1L starter decant and add 2L starter

C.  2L starter decant and add 1L starter

D.  2L starter decant and add 2L starter

E.  Other

Thanks

Chris
Title: Re: Stepping up a Starter
Post by: dean on February 13, 2010, 03:20:20 PM
If it were me, I'd use the gallon jug and start with two and a half quarts until it finished, crash it and decant, let the yeast warm to about the temperature of your second addition of one to one and half quarts of wort and let it finish.  You should have enough yeast cells if not more than enough.  jmo... but I'm no expert at starters either.
Title: Re: Stepping up a Starter
Post by: goybar on February 13, 2010, 06:13:20 PM
Yes, I will be using my 1 gallon jug, but what I'm not sure of is how to get to the correct pitching level.

I don't want to over or under pitch the yeast.

trying to figure out the step yeast amounts is fuzzy math to me...

Chris
Title: Re: Stepping up a Starter
Post by: a10t2 on February 13, 2010, 06:40:06 PM
I love the MrMalty calculator, but doing two-stage starters with it can be frustrating.

One simple alternative is to use the Wyeast calculator (http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_pitchrate.cfm (http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_pitchrate.cfm)). It does have some limitations: works only in gallons, no adjustment for viability, and gives results as pitching rate rather than cell count, without allowing for decanting the starter.

BTW: I'm assuming you can't get a stir bar to turn in your gallon jug, so I'm using "intermittent shaking".

Anyway, here's how to spoof MrMalty:
1. Set your production date, then play with the gravity and/or volume fields to get the volume of your first stage (I'll use 1 L).
2. Note the number of cells that grows (178B).
3. Turn off the automatic viability calculation and enter that number for the viability.
4. Enter your real gravity and volume, and the calculator will tell you the volume of the second stage (2.24 L).
5. Verify that the volumes are realistic and adjust the first-stage volume if needed. Ideally, you want to at least double the volume at each step.

When making the starter(s), be sure to allow enough time to chill and decant at each stage before stepping up.
Title: Re: Stepping up a Starter
Post by: dhacker on February 13, 2010, 07:23:02 PM
Why is your gallon jug too much to create a starter in?

Sounds like the perfect solution to me.

If, (as a10t2 states) it's because your stir bar won't spin, then a Dumbbell style stir bar is just the ticket.
Title: Re: Stepping up a Starter
Post by: goybar on February 13, 2010, 07:46:01 PM
3.6 liter is just about 1 gallon. I don't think filling the jug to the top would work well.  I imagine everything overflowing.

Yes, I can use a stir plate with the 1 gallon jug. I gave a 1 inch stir bar. I have only tried about 1/2 gallon of water but it works fine. 25 ohm rheostat and two 10 ohm resitors in series later I can control it well.

So using the method described by a10t2. Start with a 1L starter, and then refridgerate, decant, and step to a 1.06L starter.

Thanks for the help.

Title: Re: Stepping up a Starter
Post by: dhacker on February 13, 2010, 07:54:16 PM
IMHO you're splitting hairs with the 1 gallon jug. I'd rather use the 1 gallon jug with maybe an ever so slightly richer wort filled to the taper than to go through the hassle of a double starter that may or may not give you a higher cell count.

Again, just my opinion.  ;)
Title: Re: Stepping up a Starter
Post by: a10t2 on February 13, 2010, 08:49:36 PM
Yeah, in that case I would just go with 3 L or 3.5 L, whatever you can fit in the jug. I think that's a better option than assuming you'll get substantial growth from two same-size stages. None of us can tell you how many cells you're *actually* pitching anyway.
Title: Re: Stepping up a Starter
Post by: goybar on February 15, 2010, 03:22:57 PM
OK, the 3L starter has been on the stirplate for ~36 hours. Very little krausening, a few patches of foam, very thin skim across the top for awhile.

Is this the excpeted result?  Krausening is the reason I didn't want to put the 3.5-3.6L starter in.  Clearly it would have been perfectly exceptable with the lack of krausening.

Starter is made of briess light Pilsen DME. Approx a 1.040 starter wort

3L water into 330g of DME. Boiled for 10 minutes.

Thanks for all the help.

Chris
Title: Re: Stepping up a Starter
Post by: narcout on February 15, 2010, 09:50:44 PM
Very little krausening, a few patches of foam, very thin skim across the top for awhile.

Is this the excpeted result?

Yeah, starters don't have much krausen. I never have anything more than a few patches of foam swirling around on the surface.
Title: Re: Stepping up a Starter
Post by: rep on February 18, 2010, 01:39:56 PM
I just picked up a 5L flask from Rebel Brewing.  It was well packaged and arrived in fine shape.

Title: Re: Stepping up a Starter
Post by: tygo on February 18, 2010, 01:55:45 PM
I just picked up a 5L flask from Rebel Brewing.  It was well packaged and arrived in fine shape.

Nice, I've had my eye on one of them for awhile but haven't pulled the trigger yet.  That's a little cheaper than the one they have on Amazon.  Guess I'll have to compare the shipping cost when I decide to buy one.
Title: Re: Stepping up a Starter
Post by: goybar on February 18, 2010, 09:12:20 PM
1 Gallon Glass Jug was only \$3.99 at Brewmasterswarehouse.com

Not an Erlenmeyer, but \$35 either.

Chris
Title: Re: Stepping up a Starter
Post by: bob on February 22, 2010, 08:35:51 PM
1 Gallon Glass Jug was only \$3.99 at Brewmasterswarehouse.com

Not an Erlenmeyer, but \$35 either.

Chris

Can't boil in a gallon jug though.
Bob