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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: flbrewer on January 07, 2014, 02:13:22 pm

Title: Yeast starter qty
Post by: flbrewer on January 07, 2014, 02:13:22 pm
You guys aren't sick of me asking yeast starter questions yet are you??? I've read various instructions on how to make a yeast starter, and they all call for varying amounts of water to DME.
How much should I use of both for my starter?

Should I start one now (smack pack still in 'fridge) if I want to brew on Saturday?

**I should mention I don't have a digital scale**

Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: davidgzach on January 07, 2014, 02:25:30 pm
Never sick of questions.

www.yeastcalc.com (http://www.yeastcalc.com) is my go to.

How big is the beer and do you have a stir plate?

Dave

Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: blatz on January 07, 2014, 02:29:53 pm
the one dave linked is the best, and yes, you should get started tonight, latest tomorrow night if you want to be able to crash the starter and dump the spent wort.

if you're not going to crash/dump, then 48 hours ahead is probably sufficient.
Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: denny on January 07, 2014, 02:31:07 pm
Use .75 oz. DME per cup of water for a 1.035ish starter.  I like mrmalty.com.
Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: flbrewer on January 07, 2014, 02:31:33 pm
I don't have a stir plate, and the beer's OG should be around 1.067.

Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: flbrewer on January 07, 2014, 02:32:04 pm
if you're not going to crash/dump, then 48 hours ahead is probably sufficient.

What is crash/dump?  ???
Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: theDarkSide on January 07, 2014, 02:33:43 pm
I like the easy method of 10ml to 1gm.  For a 1.5 liter starter (or 1500ml), I use 150gm of DME.
Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: theDarkSide on January 07, 2014, 02:34:36 pm
if you're not going to crash/dump, then 48 hours ahead is probably sufficient.

What is crash/dump?  ???
Puttting the fermented starter in the fridge so the yeast drops out.  Then you pour off the "beer" on top and pitch the slurry.
Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: Stevie on January 07, 2014, 02:36:40 pm
I like the easy method of 10ml to 1gm.  For a 1.5 liter starter (or 1500ml), I use 150gm of DME.

+1 - Metric math is easy
Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: flbrewer on January 07, 2014, 02:37:32 pm
Made some updates to my original post. I can't weigh the DME, so 1/2 cup, cup, etc. would be appreciated.
Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: blatz on January 07, 2014, 02:38:06 pm
if you're not going to crash/dump, then 48 hours ahead is probably sufficient.

What is crash/dump?  ???

after the starter has fermented out usually takes about ~36 hours, put the flask, tightly covered of course, into the fridge and crash cool it.  after 24-48 hours (the more the better) most of the yeast will have flocculated out to the bottom, and clear beer on top.

then just before you pitch into your main wort, take the flask out of the fridge, decant or 'dump' off the spent beer on top of the yeast cake (leaving just a little bit in order to swirl), swirl the yeast into suspension in order to pitch, and then pitch into your main wort.

***edit*** eh darkside beat me to it!
Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: davidgzach on January 07, 2014, 02:39:34 pm
I like the easy method of 10ml to 1gm.  For a 1.5 liter starter (or 1500ml), I use 150gm of DME.

+1 - Metric math is easy

This is the one advantage of Yeastcalc versus Mr Malty, the DME calculator.  But I like Mr. Malty too especially for the slurry calc!
Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: fmader on January 07, 2014, 02:48:02 pm
Made some updates to my original post. I can't weigh the DME, so 1/2 cup, cup, etc. would be appreciated.
After learning what crash/dump is, I won't be doing that. The wife wouldn't love a gallon carboy and blow off in the refrigerator.

I keep the ratio of about a 1/2 cup to 2 cups of water ratio. I don't know if this is adequate, but it was what I was told when I first starting making starters.

Eh... She'll get over it. There won't be a need for a blow-off at that point. Just wrap some sanitized aluminum foil over the carboy opening. Actually, I do that from the beginning. Typically if I brew on Saturday, I try and get my starter going on Monday evening or Tuesday at the latest. I'll start cold crashing in the fridge when I get home from work on Friday (3:00ish) The yeast drops out nicely and I pour off the spent beer. You really don't want to add that to your actual brew that you've worked so hard on.

I suggest going ahead and investing in a decent digital scale. The 11 pound scales are adequate. I got mine on Amazon for like 20 or 25 bucks. You'll eventually use it for measuring DME, priming sugar, hops, grains, and any other additives to your beer.

Cheers!
Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: blatz on January 07, 2014, 02:56:48 pm
The 11 pound scales are adequate. I got mine on Amazon for like 20 or 25 bucks. You'll eventually use it for measuring DME, priming sugar, hops, grains, and any other additives to your beer.

yeah - and I use mine for cooking as well - very versatile and cheap.
Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: davidgzach on January 07, 2014, 03:00:56 pm
The 11 pound scales are adequate. I got mine on Amazon for like 20 or 25 bucks. You'll eventually use it for measuring DME, priming sugar, hops, grains, and any other additives to your beer.

yeah - and I use mine for cooking as well - very versatile and cheap.

+1. Love mine!
Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: flbrewer on January 07, 2014, 03:17:55 pm
OK, so below is my (shotty) plan...

1) smacking pack now, leaving out overnight in a warm place (top of 'fridge?)
2) making wort ~24 hours or so from now
3) putting starter in a 1 gallon carboy in fridge
4) brewing sat. morning

Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: thebigbaker on January 07, 2014, 03:33:22 pm
Don't think you need to smack the pack that early.  Actually, for making a starter, you could probably smack it right before you pitch the yeast.  I usually smack my Wyeast packs about an hr before I pitch it into the starter.
Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: flbrewer on January 07, 2014, 03:34:32 pm
Don't think you need to smack the pack that early.  Actually, for making a starter, you could probably smack it right before you pitch the yeast.  I usually smack my Wyeast packs about an hr before I pitch it into the starter.

Whoops! Well it's smacked. Perhaps I should brew Thursday or Friday instead?
Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: davidgzach on January 07, 2014, 03:35:50 pm
1) Smack pack now, make starter, cool to room temp and add yeast.
2) Let ferment to day before brew day while swirling whenever possible.
3) Place in fridge day before brew day overnight.
4) After brewing pour starter beer off yeast and add yeast cake to beer.

Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: flbrewer on January 07, 2014, 03:45:43 pm
1) Smack pack now, make starter, cool to room temp and add yeast.
2) Let ferment to day before brew day while swirling whenever possible.
3) Place in fridge day before brew day overnight.
4) After brewing pour starter beer off yeast and add yeast cake to beer.

How long should I let the pack swell before adding it to starter?

Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: davidgzach on January 07, 2014, 03:58:09 pm
It really doesn't matter.  If you want to see it's viable, give it an hour or two.  You'll probably see something by the time you are done with the starter and have it cooled.  What is the date on the pack?
Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: flbrewer on January 07, 2014, 04:03:03 pm
November 20, 2013. I thought you had to wait 24-36 hours...will it be a problem if I wait another 12 hours or so to add to the starter?
Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: davidgzach on January 07, 2014, 04:21:11 pm
The idea of waiting (maybe up to 6 hours) is to wake up the yeast in a sugar and nutrient solution.  Well, the starter is just a large version of what is inside the pack (minus the nutrients). 

EDIT:  Unless you add yeast nutrient....
Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: flbrewer on January 07, 2014, 04:23:46 pm
Thinking ahead to later this evening, do I need to place an airlock on my 1 gallon carboy for this starter, or just leave a aluminum foil cover (rubber band secured) on it?
Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: davidgzach on January 07, 2014, 04:28:22 pm
Thinking ahead to later this evening, do I need to place an airlock on my 1 gallon carboy for this starter, or just leave a aluminum foil cover (rubber band secured) on it?

I would use a loose aluminum cover without the rubber band so when you swirl it you add fresh Oxygen. 

Remember, you don't want to do this with your beer, but with a starter you are concerned with making yeast not beer.  You will hear this phrase a lot....
Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: flbrewer on January 07, 2014, 04:33:09 pm
Thanks David. So I don't have to use an airlock or blowoff at any point for this starter?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk (http://tapatalk.com/m?id=1)
Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: morticaixavier on January 07, 2014, 04:41:05 pm
correct, no airlock, you want air and you don't want it to blow off (that's yeast being blown off!) so make sure there is plenty of head space (like fill the 1 gallon jug half way)

and just to be totally clear The starter stays out on the counter (or a warmish place, in the 70s if possible) until a day before you brew the actual beer. It only goes in the fridge then. so if you make the starter tonight and you brew Saturday pop the starter in the fridge Friday as David suggested

One the volume of DME I would aim for ~ 1/2 cup per quart of water. figure a cup of DME is close to flour in consistency and flour is right around 6 oz per cup and you want about 3 ounces per quart to get in the ballpark of 1.040
Title: Re: Yeast starter qty
Post by: tommymorris on January 07, 2014, 05:25:58 pm
I use the calculator at brewers friend

http://www.brewersfriend.com/yeast-pitch-rate-and-starter-calculator/

It works on iPhone. All the other calculators do not work on iPhone.
Title: Dammit!
Post by: flbrewer on January 07, 2014, 07:44:56 pm
Sometimes brewing beer is a bear! What a night, I don't think I ever activated my pack properly, re-smacked at around 9 PM, seems good now. Also, accidentaly dipped my DME/water mixture into my ice bath so drain poured the whole thing.
I'll try again in the morning, hoping it's not an issue waiting 8 hours or so w. the yeast activated.
FWIW, settled on 1 cup of DME to 2 quarts of water. Thanks to morticaixavier for the messages!
Title: Re: Dammit!
Post by: morticaixavier on January 07, 2014, 08:08:03 pm
Sometimes brewing beer is a bear! What a night, I don't think I ever activated my pack properly, re-smacked at around 9 PM, seems good now. Also, accidentaly dipped my DME/water mixture into my ice bath so drain poured the whole thing.
I'll try again in the morning, hoping it's not an issue waiting 8 hours or so w. the yeast activated.
FWIW, settled on 1 cup of DME to 2 quarts of water. Thanks to morticaixavier for the messages!

glad to help. It'll be fine to wait.
Title: Re: Dammit!
Post by: dkfick on January 08, 2014, 08:10:29 am
Sometimes brewing beer is a bear! What a night, I don't think I ever activated my pack properly, re-smacked at around 9 PM, seems good now. Also, accidentaly dipped my DME/water mixture into my ice bath so drain poured the whole thing.
I'll try again in the morning, hoping it's not an issue waiting 8 hours or so w. the yeast activated.
FWIW, settled on 1 cup of DME to 2 quarts of water. Thanks to morticaixavier for the messages!

Yeah you can wait no problem... Technically when making a starter you don't have to smack the pack at all.  I typically skip it with mine.