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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: jmitchell3 on October 04, 2014, 05:52:33 PM

Title: Yeast starter time question
Post by: jmitchell3 on October 04, 2014, 05:52:33 PM
hello!  I began doing yeast starters and givjng them 24 hours on a sturplate, and removing them to let things settle at the beginning of my brew session.  For the last few batches ive taken to 24 hours on the stirplate, then another 24 or so sitting out at room temp, then cooling, decanting, and pitching, 

Is there a right amount of time for starters?  I find that wlp002 especially seems to floc into clumps making my starter resemble eggdrop soup after about 14 hours....does this mean the starter fermentation is done at this point and ready for pitching?  For other yeasts, especially abbey yeasts, the dont floc or clump like that and it does take some time for the yeast to settle out before decanting and pitching...

Thank you!
Title: Yeast starter time question
Post by: Stevie on October 04, 2014, 07:13:58 PM
I let my starters spin until bubbles stop coming to the top. This can be as little as 18 hours or as much as 48.

I then crash allowing it to drop clear. This can be as fast as 12 hours (wlp002 and wy1968 ) or 4+ days (wy2565). Others fall somewhere in the middle.

Not sure if leaving it at room temp off of the stirplate is doing any good. Can't hurt.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: brewinhard on October 04, 2014, 07:22:37 PM
Usually 24-36 hrs is a good time on the stir plate to allow fermentation to finish up.  After that I take it off the stir plate and cold crash it at least overnight before pulling it out of the fridge towards the end of the brew day and allowing it to slightly warm up before pitching into warmer wort. 

I do think that the above time on the stir plate will vary depending on the freshness of your yeast, the strain, and its vitality (health).  The more you use a stir plate, the more accustomed you will get to necessary times needed for the starter to complete. 
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: Henielma on October 06, 2014, 06:03:49 PM
My stir plate starters are stirred at room temperature between the 12 and 24 hours. I understood that it is better to stop stirring when the CO2 production is almost done. This to prevent exhaustion of the yeast. Then I put it direct into the fridge to cool the starter to made to rest so it can be decanted.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: quattlebaum on October 07, 2014, 02:51:31 AM
There is no right time for starters because there are so many variables in the process such as viability of yeast, starter volume, o2, type of yeast and temp. in general if you follow an online pitching calculator it will get you in the range within 24hrs to 36 hrs. I agree with Brewinhard  the more you use your stir plate the more you will become accustomed to the "signs" that it is finished.  I just did one using the same yeast at it was done in 14 hrs also (1000ml) and i placed it in the fridge and crashed for 1 day decanted and pitched within 10 degrees of wort temp.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: jmitchell3 on October 08, 2014, 05:52:06 PM
My most recent practice (last 4 batches) has been:

-Starter on the stir-plate for about 20-24 hours,
-Removed and let sit at room temp for an hour or two
-Put it in the fridge to crash overnight for 12-18 hours. 
-Remove from fridge and let sit at room temp at beginning of brew session
-Decant and pitch after wort is cool. 

I've noticed that this process seems to yield the quickest fermentation starts and the most vigorous fermentation--as opposed to a straight 24 hour stir-plate run with a pitch directly into the wort from the stir-plate.  Based on feedback here (thank you!) i think i'm on the right track!
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: benamcg on October 09, 2014, 07:48:11 PM

I've noticed that this process seems to yield the quickest fermentation starts and the most vigorous fermentation--as opposed to a straight 24 hour stir-plate run with a pitch directly into the wort from the stir-plate.  Based on feedback here (thank you!) i think i'm on the right track!

Why do you suppose that this yields a faster fermentation than the straight pitch?  (Honest question/mere curiosity, not being an ass) I would think think that warm it up and activating the yeast, crashing it, re-activating would be stressful, whereas a straight pitch would be a ramp up in activity under similar conditions.   
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: duboman on October 09, 2014, 10:08:50 PM
I think you are on the right track but as for certain processes resulting in the fastest start of fermentation it could just be a quirk. Some of this will be determined by the temp you are pitching into, a warmer pitch will typically get started faster than a colder one.

IMO, there is also no need to warm up the starter from the fridge prior to pitch, in fact, it is easier to decant off the cake when the starter is cold as the yeast stays in a cake.

I simply remove my starter from the fridge once I'm ready to pitch, decant and pitch the cold yeast into the chilled wort. I like to pitch cold and allow to self rise to the desired fermentation temperature. This allows for a good steady growth/lag phase as the yeast slowly warms.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 10, 2014, 02:19:19 AM
I know that it sounds counterintuitive, but one should not allow a starter to ferment to completion before pitching.  One's goal when making a starter is different than one's goal when making a batch of beer.  There's nothing to be gained by allowing a starter to continue to ferment after maximum cell density has been reached.  At that point, it's all downhill with respect to yeast health.  Maximum cell density for a 1L starter (~200 billion cells) is usually hit 12 to 18 hours after pitching a White Labs vial. If one is pitching a relatively fresh tube, many yeast strains reach maximum cell density within six hours of pitching because the cells only need to divide (cellular mitosis) two or three times at most.   

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

(http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv356/tonestack/Brewing/YeastGrowthCurve_zpsb66047c5.jpg)

Ideally, one wants to pitch just as the curve starts to flatten out during the deceleration phase. While it may look like one is growing more cells beyond that point, all reproduction is for replacement only.  The only cell count that matters when propagating yeast is the viable cell count. 

Additionally, the ergosterol and unsaturated fatty acid (UFA) reserves that are synthesized at the beginning of fermentation are shared by the mother cells with all of their daughter cells after the dissolved oxygen has been consumed.  Allowing a starter to ferment to completion results in one pitching yeast cells with depleted ergosterol and UFA reserves, resulting in higher dissolved oxygen demand upon pitching.    Ergosterol and UFAs make yeast cell membranes more pliable, which, in turn, allows for the passage of nutrients and waste products.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: erockrph on October 10, 2014, 03:04:04 AM
S Cerv - that makes a lot of sense to me for ale starters where the starter volume is relatively small compared to the batch size and you're pitching the whole thing. But what about lagers? My lager starters are maybe 25% (or more) of my total batch size. I don't want to pitch the whole thing; I just want to pitch a thick slurry.

Is there any alternative to letting it ferment out and cold crashing it? I'd love to hit the best of both worlds and be able to pitch a thick slurry of healthy yeast. Plus, I'd love to be able to make a starter on short notice the night before.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 10, 2014, 06:51:51 AM
There's nothing wrong with cold crashing the culture after 12 to 18 hours if you want to decant most or all of the supernatant.  The difference in propagation time between a 1L starter and a 2L starter is roughly 90 minutes.

Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: klickitat jim on October 10, 2014, 10:18:03 AM
So how would this plan be for a generic ale brew? Start the starter 24 hrs before pitching time, at 18 hrs pop it in the fridge, decant and pitch 6 hrs later (24 hrs total)
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: jmitchell3 on October 10, 2014, 03:57:51 PM

I've noticed that this process seems to yield the quickest fermentation starts and the most vigorous fermentation--as opposed to a straight 24 hour stir-plate run with a pitch directly into the wort from the stir-plate.  Based on feedback here (thank you!) i think i'm on the right track!

Why do you suppose that this yields a faster fermentation than the straight pitch?  (Honest question/mere curiosity, not being an ass) I would think think that warm it up and activating the yeast, crashing it, re-activating would be stressful, whereas a straight pitch would be a ramp up in activity under similar conditions.

Commensurate with this practice I've also begun using a small amount of yeast nutrient in the starter as well as in the wort, which may be a bigger factor (makes more sense as well I suppose).  Healthier, happier yeast with increased reserves and better cell walls in spite of the increased stress of cooling/warming perhaps?
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: jmitchell3 on October 10, 2014, 04:01:26 PM
I think you are on the right track but as for certain processes resulting in the fastest start of fermentation it could just be a quirk. Some of this will be determined by the temp you are pitching into, a warmer pitch will typically get started faster than a colder one.

IMO, there is also no need to warm up the starter from the fridge prior to pitch, in fact, it is easier to decant off the cake when the starter is cold as the yeast stays in a cake.

I simply remove my starter from the fridge once I'm ready to pitch, decant and pitch the cold yeast into the chilled wort. I like to pitch cold and allow to self rise to the desired fermentation temperature. This allows for a good steady growth/lag phase as the yeast slowly warms.

Sure, I understand that.  I'm a relatively new brewer, so much of what I'm doing in practice comes from others' recommendations.  Big fan of jamil's show on the BN and most of what I've done regarding a focus on fermentation has come from the zainasheff/palmer line of thinking, and it has demonstrably improved the quality of my beer.  From what z/p indicate, the issue isn't so much the pitching temp of the yeast, but in avoiding the shock of introducing yeast at temp x to wort at temp y...the idea being to have the yeast and the wort in a similar temp range, irrespective of where that range is on an absolute basis.  I concur on the pitching cooler and ramping up.  makes sense.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: jmitchell3 on October 10, 2014, 04:06:00 PM
I know that it sounds counterintuitive, but one should not allow a starter to ferment to completion before pitching.  One's goal when making a starter is different than one's goal when making a batch of beer.  There's nothing to be gained by allowing a starter to continue to ferment after maximum cell density has been reached.  At that point, it's all downhill with respect to yeast health.  Maximum cell density for a 1L starter (~200 billion cells) is usually hit 12 to 18 hours after pitching a White Labs vial. If one is pitching a relatively fresh tube, many yeast strains reach maximum cell density within six hours of pitching because the cells only need to divide (cellular mitosis) two or three times at most.   

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

(http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv356/tonestack/Brewing/YeastGrowthCurve_zpsb66047c5.jpg)

Ideally, one wants to pitch just as the curve starts to flatten out during the deceleration phase. While it may look like one is growing more cells beyond that point, all reproduction is for replacement only.  The only cell count that matters when propagating yeast is the viable cell count. 

Additionally, the ergosterol and unsaturated fatty acid (UFA) reserves that are synthesized at the beginning of fermentation are shared by the mother cells with all of their daughter cells after the dissolved oxygen has been consumed.  Allowing a starter to ferment to completion results in one pitching yeast cells with depleted ergosterol and UFA reserves, resulting in higher dissolved oxygen demand upon pitching.    Ergosterol and UFAs make yeast cell membranes more pliable, which, in turn, allows for the passage of nutrients and waste products.

Interesting...so you're saying that pitching a starter earlier (before fermentation is complete) would reduce the oxygen requirement (i.e. oxygenation of wort)?  So for someone who does not oxygenate, they would be better off pitching earlier rather than later?
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 11, 2014, 03:32:18 PM
So how would this plan be for a generic ale brew? Start the starter 24 hrs before pitching time, at 18 hrs pop it in the fridge, decant and pitch 6 hrs later (24 hrs total)

If you want to decant the supernatant (the clear liquid that lies above the sediment), twenty-four hours should be adequate to clear all, but the most powdery yeast strains. 

Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 11, 2014, 04:52:26 PM
Interesting...so you're saying that pitching a starter earlier (before fermentation is complete) would reduce the oxygen requirement (i.e. oxygenation of wort)?  So for someone who does not oxygenate, they would be better off pitching earlier rather than later?

It's always better to pitch at the end of the deceleration phase than it is after fermentation is complete.  Nothing is gained by allowing a starter to ferment out.  No net increase in yeast biomass occurs during the stationary phase, ergosterol and unsaturated fatty acid reserves are depleted, and the cells are subjected to increasing amounts of fermentation byproducts, including ethanol.  Allowing a starter ferment out also results in the cells being in the yeast equivalent of hibernation. 

At the end of fermentation, yeast cells go into survival mode where their cell walls thicken and they store carbohydrate as glycogen.  In effect, the cells are preparing for hard times.  It takes longer to exit this state than its does when the yeast cells are still in active growth mode; hence, lag times in addition to oxygen demands are also increased. 

There are only two scenarios that I come to mind where it is okay not to aerate a batch of wort.  The first scenario is when pitching a quantity of yeast that is large enough that the cells do not have to undergo much in the way of multiplication.  The second scenario is when pitching dry yeast. 

Dry yeast is propagated using a continuous process that is very different than that that is used to propagate liquid yeast.  Dry is yeast is propagated aerobically in a device known as a bioreactor (a.k.a. chemostat) where the glucose level is kept below the Crabtree threshold via continuous injection of medium (usually molasses with supplemental nutrients) and removal of yeast.  Aerobic propagation is a significantly more efficient process because no ethanol is produced. Aerobic propagation also leads to yeast cells that have fully charged ergosterol and unsaturated fatty acid reserves due to continuous injection of oxygen. Liquid yeast cultures are usually propagated in batches where the glucose level significantly exceeds the Crabtree threshold (the glucose levels found in beer production exceed the Crabtree threshold by a large margin).

Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 11, 2014, 07:46:41 PM
What is your recommended starter gravity? ~1.032?
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 12, 2014, 04:04:07 AM
Most of the starters that I make are in the range of 5% to 10% DME weight by volume (w/v).  I tend to shoot for a 7.5% w/v solution more often than not, which is roughly equal to 7.5 degrees Plato or a specific gravity of 1.030.  Degrees Plato is a weight by weight (w/w) unit of measurement.  A true 7.5% weight by w/w solution is made by dissolving 75 grams of DME into 925 milliliters or water, which will be the equivalent weight of 1L of water, but will not displace 1L of volume.  A 7.5% w/v 1L solution displaces 1L of volume.   I usually start with slightly more than a liter of water and boil down to 1L. 

As I ferment mostly 3.5 gallons batches, my standard starter volume is 600 milliliters.  I start with at most a 4mm nichrome loop of yeast taken from a slant on Tuesday night, and I have ready to pitch culture on Saturday morning.  We are talking about a huge amount of cell growth compared to pitching a White Labs vial into 1L of wort.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: Henielma on October 12, 2014, 08:21:43 AM
Here in the Netherlands most starters are 100 gram DME and 1 liter water. This has a SG of almost 1040.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 12, 2014, 02:42:43 PM
I wonder about the 1.040 starter gravity one reads often. Several people that are very knowledgable about yeast have said something in the 1.028 to 1.032 range is very good for growing cells.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: yso191 on October 12, 2014, 02:55:18 PM
This is a great thread.  I thought I knew all I needed to know about starters.  I've even printed a couple of posts for future reference.  Thanks S.C!
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: jtoots on October 12, 2014, 03:27:54 PM
This is a great thread.  I thought I knew all I needed to know about starters.  I've even printed a couple of posts for future reference.  Thanks S.C!

Ditto that!  Starters are where I'm putting a lot of my effort the last few batches, still working on it...  Thanks all!
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: denny on October 12, 2014, 04:15:00 PM
I wonder about the 1.040 starter gravity one reads often. Several people that are very knowledgable about yeast have said something in the 1.028 to 1.032 range is very good for growing cells.

AFAIK, Wyeast and others are around 1.020 for yeast propagation.  I try to keep to the low end, 1.030ish.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: jmitchell3 on October 12, 2014, 04:46:24 PM
Do any of you guys make allowances for yeast age and yeast viability?  Ive been using brewers friend yeast starter calc and/or the mr malty calculator...those usually have me doing at least 1L starters with one vial of white labs yeast for 3.5 gals  (Yeast is usually > 2 months old).  Usually target a starter gravity between 1.030 and 1.040.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: klickitat jim on October 12, 2014, 06:50:42 PM
So I tried this. 2L of pre canned 1.035 starter on stir plate 18hrs, chilled 6 hrs while I brewed, then pitched at 62 with temp controller set at 65. Pitched at about 8 pm yeserday. Checked it this morning and its rockin and rollin.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 13, 2014, 12:58:06 AM
AFAIK, Wyeast and others are around 1.020 for yeast propagation.  I try to keep to the low end, 1.030ish.

+1

I chose 1.030 as my basic starter gravity because it strikes a balance between optimum cell growth conditions and and preparing the cells for the higher osmotic pressures encountered in fermentation. 

With that said, a 5% w/v solution (1.020 S.G.) is optimum for basic cell propagation because it provides enough nutrient for cell growth while placing low osmotic pressure on yeast cell walls.  It's also easier to dissolve oxygen into 1.020 wort than it is 1.040 wort.   The autoclaved 40ml first-level starters that I inoculate from slant are 1.020. 

Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 13, 2014, 01:52:21 AM
Here in the Netherlands most starters are 100 gram DME and 1 liter water. This has a SG of almost 1040.

A true 10% w/v volume solution has an specific gravity (S.G.) of 1.040.  Mixing 100 grams of DME into 1L of water should result in a S.G. of approximately 1.036 because it is a 9% w/v solution.   If the solution is boiled for 15 minutes, the resulting S.G. should be between 1.038 and 1.040 after it has been cooled to room temperature depending on the evaporation rate.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: erockrph on October 13, 2014, 02:52:32 AM


AFAIK, Wyeast and others are around 1.020 for yeast propagation.  I try to keep to the low end, 1.030ish.

+1

I chose 1.030 as a basic starter gravity because it strikes a balance between optimum cell growth conditions and and preparing the cells for the higher osmotic pressures encountered in fermentation. 

With that said, a 5% w/v solution (1.020 S.G.) is optimum for basic cell propagation because it provides enough nutrient for cell growth while placing low osmotic pressure on yeast cell walls.  It's also easier to dissolve oxygen in 1.020 wort than it is 1.040 wort.   The autoclaved 40ml first-level starters that I inoculate from slant are 1.020.

More good info. I've always used 1.020 starter wort for my first step when culturing bottle dregs because I thought it was a good idea. Glad to get some validation of that practice.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: troybinso on October 13, 2014, 02:17:46 PM

As I ferment mostly 3.5 gallons batches, my standard starter volume is 600 milliliters.  I start with at most a 4mm nichrome loop of yeast taken from a slant on Tuesday night, and I have ready to pitch culture on Saturday morning.  We are talking about a huge amount of cell growth compared to pitching a White Labs vial into 1L of wort.

That sounds like a tiny bit of yeast that you are putting in to your starter. Can you estimate how many cells you are grabbing with your loop, and how many cells you end up with after your starter?
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: macbrews on October 13, 2014, 05:38:00 PM
Indeed, this is very interesting and likely to change my starter routine, but I have to ask, considering how the commercial breweries repitch their yeast at the end of primary fermentation (as well as many homebrewers) - how important is it in the final product?  I know that the breweries repitch for the economical reasons, but if it was an inferior product that resulted it would certainly affect their bottom line.

Is it quantity vs quality?  If you have daily access to gallons of yeast I guess you can pitch as much a you see fit.

Mac
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 13, 2014, 06:00:21 PM
Brewers repitch for more than economical reasons.  A yeast culture rarely performs at its best on the first pitch.  Repitching acclimates a yeast culture to one's brewery.  Environment impacts how a yeast culture expresses it's genotype (a.k.a. it's phenotype).  Environmental conditions can also cause genetic drift, not all of which are negative (i.e., if one repitches a yeast strain enough times, it will become a different yeast strain).  A good example is Harveys Brewery in Sussex, England.  Harveys has been repitching the same culture for over fifty years. 
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 13, 2014, 06:08:00 PM
Some small places I know will repitch until they see a need for a new order from the yeast supplier. This is done mainly by taste.

One speaker at the NHC said they go 5 repitches before reordering.

Some big breweries have yeast propagators, so they can grow up large pitches in house from their yeast bank. These breweries have labs with trained personnel to take care of the yeast.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 13, 2014, 07:02:39 PM
That sounds like a tiny bit of yeast that you are putting in to your starter. Can you estimate how many cells you are grabbing with your loop, and how many cells you end up with after your starter?

Growing yeast from a slant is not a single step process.  It requires one to two steps of growth before inoculating a 1L starter.  The standard step ratio is 10:1, that is, 10 milliliters of autoclaved 1.020 wort is inoculated aseptically from a slant.  That culture is stepped to 100 milliliters, which is used to inoculate a 1L starter. Each step requires an incubation period.  I am confident enough with my process at this point that I start by inoculating 40 milliliters of wort that has been autoclaved in a 100ml media bottle. I then step this culture to 600 milliliters, which is a 15:1 increase in volume. 

40 milliliters of autoclaved wort in a Corning 1395 100ml media bottle

(http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv356/tonestack/Brewing/MediaBottle_zpsdff03f83.jpg)

Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 13, 2014, 07:15:21 PM
Some small places I know will repitch until they see a need for a new order from the yeast supplier. This is done mainly by taste.

One speaker at the NHC said they go 5 repitches before reordering.

Some big breweries have yeast propagators, so they can grow up large pitches in house from their yeast bank. These breweries have labs with trained personnel to take care of the yeast.

A few of the Alan Pugsley-built breweries have repitched the same Ringwood culture since they opened.  I am fairly certain that Shipyard and Magic Hat are members of this group.   One of the beauties of Ringwood is that it is true top-cropper.   All of the Pugsley-built breweries top crop from open fermentation vessels.  Top cropping is the only way to go if one wants to repitch a culture indefinitely (Harveys also top crops).
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: kmccaf on October 13, 2014, 07:27:43 PM
Some small places I know will repitch until they see a need for a new order from the yeast supplier. This is done mainly by taste.

One speaker at the NHC said they go 5 repitches before reordering.

Some big breweries have yeast propagators, so they can grow up large pitches in house from their yeast bank. These breweries have labs with trained personnel to take care of the yeast.

A few of the Alan Pugsley-built breweries have repitched the same Ringwood culture since they opened.  I am fairly certain that Shipyard and Magic Hat are members of this group.   One of the beauties of Ringwood is that it is true top-cropper.   All of the Pugsley-built breweries top crop from open fermentation vessels.  Top cropping is the only way to go if one wants to repitch a culture indefinitely (Harveys also top crops).

Arcadia is supposed to be one as well.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: thcipriani on October 13, 2014, 08:18:12 PM
Minor thread hijack about starter gravity. I asked Chris White about this via email right before his yeast book came out (because I'm an impatient bastard)

Here is his reply:

Quote
Hello.  Thank you for your comments and for using our yeast.  To really eliminate the crabtree effect, you need to be down under 1.010, and slowly feed the yeast sugar.  But 1.025-30 is still a good range, and I think it is a good compromise to good yeast physiology and good fermentation.  So I think that is the best gravity, and brewers wort with grain, liquid, or dry malt are all good.  Thank you, enjoy the book,

 

Chris
Title: Yeast starter time question
Post by: Stevie on October 13, 2014, 08:27:36 PM
I use the 100 gram + 900ml water ratio because it does not require math. I think that gets me at about 1.036. I add the DME to the flask then fill the flask to my desired volume. Making a half strength starter is easy as well.

Edit. Fixed 900ml
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 13, 2014, 08:57:29 PM
Some small places I know will repitch until they see a need for a new order from the yeast supplier. This is done mainly by taste.

One speaker at the NHC said they go 5 repitches before reordering.

Some big breweries have yeast propagators, so they can grow up large pitches in house from their yeast bank. These breweries have labs with trained personnel to take care of the yeast.

A few of the Alan Pugsley-built breweries have repitched the same Ringwood culture since they opened.  I am fairly certain that Shipyard and Magic Hat are members of this group.   One of the beauties of Ringwood is that it is true top-cropper.   All of the Pugsley-built breweries top crop from open fermentation vessels.  Top cropping is the only way to go if one wants to repitch a culture indefinitely (Harveys also top crops).

Arcadia is supposed to be one as well.

Yes Arcadia uses Ringwood. One of the Brewers said it was a "Fussy b****" in that it would require more attention some times, ie rousing.

Grizzly Peak in Ann Arbor had a Pugsley system and would struggle with Diacetyl. They changed to Essex and the beers are much improved. They open ferment and top crop. The problem is they don't have the tank time for a long D rest, they were doing close to 1600 barrels on a 7 barrel system. WLP -022 produces clean beer for them.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 14, 2014, 01:09:59 AM
Minor thread hijack about starter gravity. I asked Chris White about this via email right before his yeast book came out (because I'm an impatient bastard)

Here is his reply:

Quote
Hello.  Thank you for your comments and for using our yeast.  To really eliminate the crabtree effect, you need to be down under 1.010, and slowly feed the yeast sugar.  But 1.025-30 is still a good range, and I think it is a good compromise to good yeast physiology and good fermentation.  So I think that is the best gravity, and brewers wort with grain, liquid, or dry malt are all good.  Thank you, enjoy the book,

 

Chris

Let's work out the amount of DME needed to get below the Crabtree threshold using Briess Pilsen Light DME, which is specified as containing 14% glucose (www.brewingwithbriess.com/Assets/PDFs/Briess_PISB_CBWPilsenLightLME.pdf).   The Crabtree threshold is 0.3% glucose w/v. With Briess Pilsen Light DME, the Crabtree threshold lies at  0.003 / 0.14 x 100 = ~2.14% w/v, or an S.G. of a little more than 1.008.    We need to stay below this value in order to maintain aerobic growth; hence, an S.G. of 1.008 should do it (0.02 x 0.14 x 100 = 0.28% glucose w/v).  We can go lower; however, we are talking about a nutrient source that will be consumed fairly rapidly.  Maltotriose and higher-order saccharides make up almost a third of Briess Pilsen Light DME.  Many strains are limited in their ability to break the glycosidic bonds that hold the three glucose molecules in maltotriose together.   Strains such as Windsor cannot do it at all, which is why it leaves a high terminal gravity.

In order to grow yeast aerobically, we need a way to maintain the carbon source (sugar) and the dissolved oxygen level at a steady state.  This type of process is known as a chemostatic process.  The device used by the big boys to produce dry yeast aerobically is called a bioreactor.  Bioreactors propagate yeast aerobically in a continuous process where yeast cells are drawn off while nutrients and oxygen are added. 

As an aside: a tower fermenter is a bioreactor in which beer is continuously drawn off of the top while nutrients are added at the bottom.  Whitbread B (a.k.a. NCYC 1026, Wyeast 1098, WLP007, and S-04) was selected for use in tower fermentators (click on strain information on this page: https://catalogue.ncyc.co.uk/saccharomyces-cerevisiae-1026).  That's why it's the cockroach of yeast strains.  Whitbread B is a seriously hardy yeast strain.
 
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 14, 2014, 02:14:32 AM
Yes Arcadia uses Ringwood. One of the Brewers said it was a "Fussy b****" in that it would require more attention some times, ie rousing.

Grizzly Peak in Ann Arbor had a Pugsley system and would struggle with Diacetyl. They changed to Essex and the beers are much improved. They open ferment and top crop. The problem is they don't have the tank time for a long D rest, they were doing close to 1600 barrels on a 7 barrel system. WLP -022 produces clean beer for them.

Real Ringwood is a Yorkshire square multi-strain yeast culture that requires rousing and aeration during fermentation, or it will tend to produce a diacetyl bomb.  While the culture is named after the microbrewery Peter Austin built after he retired from the Hull Brewery, Ringwood originally came from Webster's Brewery (a.k.a. the Fountain Head Brewery) in Halifax, West Riding, Yorkshire.   

If one examines a Peter Austin designed/Alan Pugsley installed brewery closely, one finds a device that I like to refer to as a Yorkshire shower head.  This device is used to rouse and aerate the yeast during fermentation (yes, I said rouse and aerate the yeast during fermentation), as can be seen at time 0:12 in this video shot at the Blacksheep Brewery in North Yorkshire: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJmLNj14C_w.   It can also be seen in the following video, which was shot a Peter Austin designed /Alan Pugsley built brew pub in Baltimore, Maryland: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGIThQ7w0ls (the device is also used to aerate wort).
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: erockrph on October 14, 2014, 04:19:52 AM
Grizzly Peak in Ann Arbor had a Pugsley system and would struggle with Diacetyl.

Hell, Shipyard still does...
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 14, 2014, 01:33:37 PM
Yes Arcadia uses Ringwood. One of the Brewers said it was a "Fussy b****" in that it would require more attention some times, ie rousing.

Grizzly Peak in Ann Arbor had a Pugsley system and would struggle with Diacetyl. They changed to Essex and the beers are much improved. They open ferment and top crop. The problem is they don't have the tank time for a long D rest, they were doing close to 1600 barrels on a 7 barrel system. WLP -022 produces clean beer for them.

Real Ringwood is a Yorkshire square multi-strain yeast culture that requires rousing and aeration during fermentation, or it will tend to produce a diacetyl bomb.  While the culture is named after the microbrewery Peter Austin built after he retired from the Hull Brewery, Ringwood originally came from Webster's Brewery (a.k.a. the Fountain Head Brewery) in Halifax, West Riding, Yorkshire.   

If one examines a Peter Austin designed/Alan Pugsley installed brewery closely, one finds a device that I like to refer to as a Yorkshire shower head.  This device is used to rouse and aerate the yeast during fermentation (yes, I said rouse and aerate the yeast during fermentation), as can be seen at time 0:12 in this video shot at the Blacksheep Brewery in North Yorkshire: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJmLNj14C_w.   It can also be seen in the following video, which was shot a Peter Austin designed /Alan Pugsley built brew pub in Baltimore, Maryland: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGIThQ7w0ls (the device is also used to aerate wort).
Arcadia has the Pugsley system, I don't know if it is still in Battle Creek or at the new production brewery in Kalamazoo. The next time I see the brewer I will ask her more specifics on her feelings about Ringwood.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 14, 2014, 01:35:07 PM
Yes Arcadia uses Ringwood. One of the Brewers said it was a "Fussy b****" in that it would require more attention some times, ie rousing.

Grizzly Peak in Ann Arbor had a Pugsley system and would struggle with Diacetyl. They changed to Essex and the beers are much improved. They open ferment and top crop. The problem is they don't have the tank time for a long D rest, they were doing close to 1600 barrels on a 7 barrel system. WLP -022 produces clean beer for them.

Real Ringwood is a Yorkshire square multi-strain yeast culture that requires rousing and aeration during fermentation, or it will tend to produce a diacetyl bomb.  While the culture is named after the microbrewery Peter Austin built after he retired from the Hull Brewery, Ringwood originally came from Webster's Brewery (a.k.a. the Fountain Head Brewery) in Halifax, West Riding, Yorkshire.   

If one examines a Peter Austin designed/Alan Pugsley installed brewery closely, one finds a device that I like to refer to as a Yorkshire shower head.  This device is used to rouse and aerate the yeast during fermentation (yes, I said rouse and aerate the yeast during fermentation), as can be seen at time 0:12 in this video shot at the Blacksheep Brewery in North Yorkshire: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJmLNj14C_w.   It can also be seen in the following video, which was shot a Peter Austin designed /Alan Pugsley built brew pub in Baltimore, Maryland: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGIThQ7w0ls (the device is also used to aerate wort).
Arcadia has the Pugsley system, I don't know if it is still in Battle Creek or at the new production brewery in Kalamazoo. The next time I see the brewer I will ask her more specifics on her feelings about Ringwood.

Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: ynotbrusum on October 14, 2014, 06:22:41 PM
This could be a nominee for best thread of the year!

S.Cerevisiae - I think a follow up book to the yeast book is in order - if you are willing to collaborate with Chris White and Jamil Zainesheff...or at least a new chapter in the 2d edition?

Keep up the great posts.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: narvin on October 14, 2014, 11:09:43 PM
If one examines a Peter Austin designed/Alan Pugsley installed brewery closely, one finds a device that I like to refer to as a Yorkshire shower head.  This device is used to rouse and aerate the yeast during fermentation (yes, I said rouse and aerate the yeast during fermentation), as can be seen at time 0:12 in this video shot at the Blacksheep Brewery in North Yorkshire: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJmLNj14C_w.   It can also be seen in the following video, which was shot a Peter Austin designed /Alan Pugsley built brew pub in Baltimore, Maryland: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGIThQ7w0ls (the device is also used to aerate wort).

Yep, Steve Jones at Oliver's/Pratt Street Ale House in Baltimore (about a block from Camden Yards) still uses Ringwood and open fermenters in the 20 year old system... however, they're finally moving production out of the basement of the 1800s building to a dedicated brewery to expand capacity.  I hope they stick with open fermenters though.

He gets beastly atteuation and never has what I'd call "excessive" diacetyl for the style, and I think the rousing/aeration is definitely a big factor.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: Henielma on October 15, 2014, 06:18:56 PM
Here in the Netherlands most starters are 100 gram DME and 1 liter water. This has a SG of almost 1040.

A true 10% w/v volume solution has an specific gravity (S.G.) of 1.040.  Mixing 100 grams of DME into 1L of water should result in a S.G. of approximately 1.036 because it is a 9% w/v solution.   If the solution is boiled for 15 minutes, the resulting S.G. should be between 1.038 and 1.040 after it has been cooled to room temperature depending on the evaporation rate.

You are right. After boiling the SG is a bit less then 1040.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: erockrph on October 17, 2014, 04:50:05 PM
OK, time to put some of this new knowledge to practice. I have a 3L starter going now of 1.052ish wort using about 100mL of 3-week old slurry of WY1968 from a 1.045 batch. The batch I'm pitching into will be just under 3 gallons of ~1.088 Baltic Porter. It is right about 18 hours in and I still have a good krausen on the starter. But, despite all my reservations,  its's going in the fridge anyways. Wish me luck.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 17, 2014, 05:05:37 PM
OK, time to put some of this new knowledge to practice. I have a 3L starter going now of 1.052ish wort using about 100mL of 3-week old slurry of WY1968 from a 1.045 batch. The batch I'm pitching into will be just under 3 gallons of ~1.088 Baltic Porter. It is right about 18 hours in and I still have a good krausen on the starter. But, despite all my reservations,  its's going in the fridge anyways. Wish me luck.

Good luck!

How much slurry did you have available?
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: erockrph on October 17, 2014, 05:13:26 PM
OK, time to put some of this new knowledge to practice. I have a 3L starter going now of 1.052ish wort using about 100mL of 3-week old slurry of WY1968 from a 1.045 batch. The batch I'm pitching into will be just under 3 gallons of ~1.088 Baltic Porter. It is right about 18 hours in and I still have a good krausen on the starter. But, despite all my reservations,  its's going in the fridge anyways. Wish me luck.

Good luck!

How much slurry did you have available?
I had a lot of trub so it's all guesswork, but I had a total of 3 jars with the equivalent of 80-100mL of thick slurry (a blob actually, this is Fullers :) ) in each. I pitched the jar that seemed to have the most slurry of the three.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: erockrph on October 18, 2014, 01:57:23 AM
OK, time to put some of this new knowledge to practice. I have a 3L starter going now of 1.052ish wort using about 100mL of 3-week old slurry of WY1968 from a 1.045 batch. The batch I'm pitching into will be just under 3 gallons of ~1.088 Baltic Porter. It is right about 18 hours in and I still have a good krausen on the starter. But, despite all my reservations,  its's going in the fridge anyways. Wish me luck.

Important consideration - when attempting to cold crash an active starter, make sure you take it below the low end of the yeast's active range. I had no idea that WY1968 would still ferment at 48F, but 7 hours later in my fridge it still had a thick krausen and was holding a couple of degrees above ambient with no sign of flocculation. Moved it to the 36F keezer and will check back in the morning.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 18, 2014, 02:24:02 PM
Many ale strains remain active down to the mid-forties.  Granted, they crawl at that temperature.  Four degrees Celsius (39F) is a good settling temperature.  I store my slants at 4C.  As you can see in the photos shown below, 4C pretty much slows yeast metabolism to a crawl.  When stored at higher temperatures, the condensation inside of the slant tends to cause the yeast on the surface to migrate to the outside of the media, which, in turn, produces gas that separates the media from the glass.  The result is that the media is pushed toward the mouth of the culture tube.

(http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv356/tonestack/Brewing/CCyeast1_zpsdc754fa7.jpg)


(http://i699.photobucket.com/albums/vv356/tonestack/Brewing/MyCurrentBank1_zps31b27281.jpg)
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: 69franx on October 21, 2014, 02:42:07 PM
S. Cerevisiae, in these "shaken not stirred" starters, you shake after pitching the yeast into the vessel? I was working on building a stir plate, but have not gotten to it yet and am brewing this weekend and I would like to try this out. I need 453B cells for 6 gallons of 1.054 lager wort. I am now planning on pitching 1 WL833 vial to 2L of 1.03 starter wort. Crashing and decanting, then re-pitching the slurry to 2.5L of 1.04 wort. Does this sound like what you would recommend? Or am I off somewhere? This schedule, per yeastcalc leaves me with about 457B cells to pitch on Sun/Mon. What do you think? This all assumes about 82% viability of the vial when I purchase tonight
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 21, 2014, 04:46:50 PM
S. Cerevisiae, in these "shaken not stirred" starters, you shake after pitching the yeast into the vessel?

I prefer to shake after inoculating the culture. Shaking before inoculating the culture is probably easier on the yeast cells.

The technique works better if there is significant head space in the starter vessel.  The vessel should be at least 3 times the volume of the starter.   I prefer to use a vessel that is 4 times the volume of the starter.   If you do not have access to a vessel that is 6 to 8 liters in volume, you can split the starter wort into two equal halves and use two one-gallon jugs.

Remember, we are talking about a serious shake, not a wimpy shake. One has to shake the starter until it is almost all foam; hence, this techniques requires a vessel with a screw-on cap that can be sanitized.  I have used a sanitized rubber stopper in a pinch, but one has to hold onto the wide end of the stopper while shaking to ensure that it does not come loose.

Quote
I was working on building a stir plate, but have not gotten to it yet and am brewing this weekend and I would like to try this out. I need 453B cells for 6 gallons of 1.054 lager wort. I am now planning on pitching 1 WL833 vial to 2L of 1.03 starter wort. Crashing and decanting, then re-pitching the slurry to 2.5L of 1.04 wort. Does this sound like what you would recommend? Or am I off somewhere? This schedule, per yeastcalc leaves me with about 457B cells to pitch on Sun/Mon. What do you think? This all assumes about 82% viability of the vial when I purchase tonight

A culture that contains 453 billion cells offers no significant advantage over a culture that contains 400 billion cells, as cell growth is exponential, not linear. 

6 U.S. gallons = 22.7 liters 

maximum_cell_density_for_22.7L = 22.7 x 200 billion =  4.54 trillion

replication_periods_453B_cells = log2(4.54 trillion / 453 billion)
                                         = log(4.54 trillion / 453 billion) / log(2)
                                         = log(10.02) / log(2)
                                         = 3.32 (4) replication periods

replication_periods_400B_cells = log2(4.54 trillion / 400 billion)
                                         = log(4.54 trillion / 453 billion) / log(2)
                                         = log(11.35) / log(2)
                                         = 3.5 (4) replication periods

If the wort is well aerated, one could get away with half of the pitching rate, as it only extends the number of replication periods by one.  The reason why 2x the ale pitch rate is suggested for lagers is too limit the amount of replication needed to reach maximum cell density; thereby, reducing ester production.  Additionally, I have yet to find hard data on how temperature affects doubling time with Saccharomyces pastorianus; however, as temperature affects metabolism, it has to affect doubling time.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: 69franx on October 21, 2014, 05:15:29 PM
Thanks, do those steps I put forth look good for starter OG? I will shoot for 400B cells then, and can split between either my 2&5L flasks or a 1G glass jug with lid to shake in. My steps will now be 1L of 1.03 and then 2.75L of 1.04 for a yield of approximately 402 by yeastcalc. I will shake it till mostly frothy, and post back. This will be my second lager, so not much to compare to, but I really appreciate your input
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 21, 2014, 06:27:45 PM
Thanks, do those steps I put forth look good for starter OG? I will shoot for 400B cells then, and can split between either my 2&5L flasks or a 1G glass jug with lid to shake in. My steps will now be 1L of 1.03 and then 2.75L of 1.04 for a yield of approximately 402 by yeastcalc. I will shake it till mostly frothy, and post back. This will be my second lager, so not much to compare to, but I really appreciate your input

Please do me a favor and stop using yeast calculators.  In my humble opinion, they are one step above toilet paper when it comes to growing yeast cultures.  No yeast strain that I have ever used performs as these calculators would lead one to believe.  Experience is the best teacher when it comes to growing cultures, as no two strains perform exactly the same when pitched into the same composition and gravity wort.

With that said, one needs to determine where one is and where one needs to be when growing a culture.  When purchased from a shop that experiences good stock turnover, a White Labs vial usually contains at least 50 billion viable cells.  Starting with that number of cells only requires 270 minutes on average to reach 400 billion cells after the lag phase has been exited.  You should be thinking about pitching this starter 12 to 18 hours after it has been inoculated (or at least arresting fermentation by cold crashing it).

As an aside, I grow 4mls of yeast slurry to 200 billion cells in one pass.  Four milliliters of yeast slurry contains approximately 1/10th the number of viable cells that are available in the average White Labs vial when it is pitched.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: Stevie on October 21, 2014, 06:41:28 PM
Asking people to stop using yeast calculators is a bit bold. While you may have the skill, equipment, and knowledge required, many of us do not. Sure yeast calculators generalize and make assumptions, but it is the best many of us can do. I for one have zero interest in buying a microscope, counting slides, dyes, and all the other equipment when a bit of software will get me close enough.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: narvin on October 21, 2014, 07:10:05 PM

Please do me a favor and stop using yeast calculators.  In my humble opinion, they are one step above toilet paper when it comes to growing yeast cultures.  No yeast strain that I have ever used performs as these calculators would lead one to believe.  Experience is the best teacher when it comes to growing cultures, as no two strains perform exactly the same when pitched into the same composition and gravity wort.

With that said, one needs to determine where one is and where one needs to be when growing a culture. 


Is that not the point of a yeast calculator?

You can't blindly input numbers and expect every beer to come out perfect.  But for determining your pitching rate, it's a good starting point before you start adjusting the other variables (oxygenation, increasing/decreasing pitching rate, etc).  And when I've done cell counts, they haven't been so far off that it makes using it as a guide worthless.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: dak0415 on October 21, 2014, 07:27:06 PM

As an aside, I grow 4mls of yeast slurry to 200 billion cells in one pass.  Four milliliters of yeast slurry contains approximately 1/10th the number of viable cells that are available in the average White Labs vial when it is pitched.
What size vessel do you use for that pass?
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 22, 2014, 12:19:38 AM

As an aside, I grow 4mls of yeast slurry to 200 billion cells in one pass.  Four milliliters of yeast slurry contains approximately 1/10th the number of viable cells that are available in the average White Labs vial when it is pitched.
What size vessel do you use for that pass?

A 4L screw cap Erlenmeyer, but I used to use a 1-gallon glass jug.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 22, 2014, 01:46:45 AM
Is that not the point of a yeast calculator?

You can't blindly input numbers and expect every beer to come out perfect.  But for determining your pitching rate, it's a good starting point before you start adjusting the other variables (oxygenation, increasing/decreasing pitching rate, etc).  And when I've done cell counts, they haven't been so far off that it makes using it as a guide worthless.

If there is one thing on which Kai Troester, Steven Deeds, and I agree, it's that real world numbers do not always correlate with the numbers produced by yeast calculators.  For example, how does a yeast calculator know that a culture is 59% viable after 2 months.  I have cultures that will remain viable for up to two years on slant.  I have other cultures that I have to subculture within six months or risk losing the culture.  The only thing that will teach a brewer how to pitch correctly is experience with a particular yeast culture. 

Yeast cultures are a little like atomic bombs in that one does not have to get all that close to the optimum calculated pitch rate in order for the culture to do its job correctly.  The difference between 200 billion cells and 300 billion cells is insignificant when making a starter because yeast cells grow exponentially at a rate of initial_cell_count x 2n, where n equals the time in minutes since exiting the lag phase divided by 90.  The difference between 200 billion cells and 400 billion cells is 200 x 21, which is 90 minutes of propagation time. 

Given two cultures of the same strain that are not drastically different in cell count (i.e., not several multiples), the limiting factors are always going to be dissolved oxygen, available carbon and nutrients, and initial yeast health.  A 1L starter that is pitched at the end of the deceleration phase will almost always perform as well if not slightly better than a 2L starter of the same strain that is allowed to ferment out.

Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: a10t2 on October 22, 2014, 01:58:57 AM
Yeast cultures are a little like atomic bombs in that one does not have to get all that close to the optimum calculated pitch rate in order for the culture to do its job correctly.

Having built both, I'm not sure how I feel about this analogy. :o
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 22, 2014, 02:36:56 AM
Asking people to stop using yeast calculators is a bit bold. While you may have the skill, equipment, and knowledge required, many of us do not. Sure yeast calculators generalize and make assumptions, but it is the best many of us can do. I for one have zero interest in buying a microscope, counting slides, dyes, and all the other equipment when a bit of software will get me close enough.

Learning how any given culture behaves does not require one to own any lab equipment.  You would be surprised to discover how much can be learned about any given yeast culture using little more than one's senses, a writing implement, and paper (I have kept a paper log since I started brewing in the early nineties).  Scientists have been working this way for thousands of years.  For example, Dr. John Snow proved that cholera was a waterborne disease using a writing implement and paper.   He did so by tracking the number of deaths at each address in London's Soho District during a major cholera outbreak.  Dr. Show noticed that the only address on Broad Street where there were no cholera deaths was the Lion Brewery (Huggins and Company, Ltd).  While the Lion Brewery shared the same water supply as the affected area, the people who worked at the brewery did not contract cholera because they drank beer instead of water and the brewing process kills the microbe that causes the disease.  What's even more surprising is that Dr. Snow made this discovery before Louis Pasteur founded the field of microbiology.



Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: narvin on October 22, 2014, 04:03:45 AM
If there is one thing on which Kai Troester, Steven Deeds, and I agree, it's that real world numbers do not always correlate with the numbers produced by yeast calculators.  For example, how does a yeast calculator know that a culture is 59% viable after 2 months.  I have cultures that will remain viable for up to two years on slant.  I have other cultures that I have to subculture within six months or risk losing the culture.  The only thing that will teach a brewer how to pitch correctly is experience with a particular yeast culture. 

Yeast cultures are a little like atomic bombs in that one does not have to get all that close to the optimum calculated pitch rate in order for the culture to do its job correctly.  The difference between 200 billion cells and 300 billion cells is insignificant when making a starter because yeast cells grow exponentially at a rate of initial_cell_count x 2n, where n equals the time in minutes since exiting the lag phase divided by 90.  The difference between 200 billion cells and 400 billion cells is 200 x 21, which is 90 minutes of propagation time. 

Given two cultures of the same strain that are not drastically different in cell count (i.e., not several multiples), the limiting factors are always going to be dissolved oxygen, available carbon and nutrients, and initial yeast health.  A 1L starter that is pitched at the end of the deceleration phase will almost always perform as well if not slightly better than a 2L starter of the same strain that is allowed to ferment out.

Sure, the viability calculator is bunk.  The Wyeast one doesn't even have that feature. If you're buying new yeast to make a starter, the calc will give you 90%+ anyways.  For fresh yeast, viability isn't as important since a continuously aerated starter is where you're most likely to get the maximum yeast growth per liter of wort (i.e. an atomic bomb). 

Yeast cell growth in standard brewing conditions, with one initial aeration, is considerably less.  Even one fewer phase of reproduction can make a big difference in the final amount of yeast.  It will "do the job", but will you get the ester profile you want or the attenuation?

There's no problem with pitching less if you're doing it on purpose, but I wouldn't suggest that people new to the hobby pitch less than 0.75 mil/ml/Plato.  And at the homebrew level, you're almost always overestimating (at least, that's what I've found from doing cell counts). 

I would suggest using a yeast calculator because a repeatable process is the first step to learning what works.  Then you can adjust your SWAG from there.  It's better than dropping the bomb on your beer and hoping for the best.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: erockrph on October 22, 2014, 04:11:58 AM
I would suggest using a yeast calculator because a repeatable process is the first step to learning what works.  Then you can adjust your SWAG from there.  It's better than dropping the bomb on your beer and hoping for the best.

Bingo. It's very much like using an IBU calculator. You're not likely to hit the measured number. You're probably not even particularly close. But you need some sort of benchmark for measuring your initial conditions, and some way to quantify what changes you make for subsequent batches. The calculator doesn't need to give you a number that equates to anything in the real world. It just needs to model conditions close enough where you can compare and adjust between batches.

And at that point the pencil and paper become the more important tools. In the end, we brew for ourselves and our own palates. A number like 55IBU or 250 billion cells means nothing until you can quantify the results with your own palate.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: klickitat jim on October 22, 2014, 05:34:59 AM
Im learning to like this guy more each day. I quit using a calculator after doing several repitches. It became apparent to me that at my level ballparking my pitch was just as good as a calculated guess. My routine now is 3/4 cup of liquid (meaning not solid) repitch for ales, a full cup for lagers or huge ales, or a fresh smack pack in 2L stir starter for ale, and two packs in two 1.5L starters for lager. And all of that is fudged here and there depending on gravity or desired ester profile.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: HoosierBrew on October 22, 2014, 12:27:01 PM
I would suggest using a yeast calculator because a repeatable process is the first step to learning what works.  Then you can adjust your SWAG from there.  It's better than dropping the bomb on your beer and hoping for the best.

Bingo. It's very much like using an IBU calculator. You're not likely to hit the measured number. You're probably not even particularly close. But you need some sort of benchmark for measuring your initial conditions, and some way to quantify what changes you make for subsequent batches. The calculator doesn't need to give you a number that equates to anything in the real world. It just needs to model conditions close enough where you can compare and adjust between batches.

And at that point the pencil and paper become the more important tools. In the end, we brew for ourselves and our own palates. A number like 55IBU or 250 billion cells means nothing until you can quantify the results with your own palate.

+2.  Brewers, especially new ones, need something to get them in the ballpark,ie., a basis to pitch enough yeast to make a good beer. I agree that experience with a particular strain really helps in assessing any future changes needed, just as experience with a particular malt, hop or water profile, for that matter. Of course viability numbers are undoubtedly 'ballpark' at best, but the calculators have helped a lot of brewers pitch roughly enough yeast to meet their goals.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: 69franx on October 22, 2014, 12:56:16 PM
Quote HoosierBrew: +2.  Brewers, especially new ones, need something to get them in the ballpark,ie., a basis to pitch enough yeast to make a good beer. I agree that experience with a particular strain really helps in assessing any future changes needed, just as experience with a particular malt, hop or water profile, for that matter. Of course viability numbers are undoubtedly 'ballpark' at best, but the calculators have helped a lot of brewers pitch roughly enough yeast to meet their goals.

Exactly. I have made about 15 batches of ales and only 1 lager. Almost all of the ales were made with WLP001 or S05. The Märzen I made used WLP820. My questions here were in regard to WLP833 which I have never used, so the calculator helps me get in the ballpark, and maybe by the fourth or fifth time I use it, I will know where to be starter wise. My main questions were about volumes and gravities, and I think those have been handled previously in this thread. Thanks for all who helped out, even though I kind of high jacked the thread for my specific needs
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 22, 2014, 03:31:38 PM
It's very much like using an IBU calculator. You're not likely to hit the measured number. You're probably not even particularly close. But you need some sort of benchmark for measuring your initial conditions, and some way to quantify what changes you make for subsequent batches. The calculator doesn't need to give you a number that equates to anything in the real world. It just needs to model conditions close enough where you can compare and adjust between batches.

One does not need an IBU calculator either.  All one needs is a unit of measure because we have no idea if the alpha acid rating on the package accurately reflects that current state of the hops.  Amateur brewers used HBUs/AAUs long before IBU approximations became the rage. An HBU/AAU-based hopping rate combined with a boil length is no less valid than a calculated IBU value when it comes to repeatability, and hopping schedules based on HBUs/AAUs can be calculated in one's head.

The same thing can be said about extraction efficiency calculations. Efficiency calculations only reflect reality to point where the dry basis, fine grind (DBFG) or hot water extract (HWE) values used in the calculations reflect reality.  These values can change from malting to malting and season to season.   Once again, there is a simpler unit of measure available for the job.  It's known as points per pound per gallon (or points per kilogram per liter for those who use the metric system), and its directly usable without having to enter numbers into brewing software. If a brewer knows that his/her average extraction rate is 30 points per pound per gallon (the extract from one pound of grain in a one gallon solution has a specific gravity of 1.030), all he/she needs to do to obtain the weight of the grist is to calculate the total number of gravity points in the target batch and divide by his/her PPG value.

Example:

Sierra Nevada Pale Ale has an original gravity (O.G.) of approximately 1.053.  Our average extraction rate is 29 points per pound.  How many pounds of grain do we need to make six end of boil gallons of wort in our brew house using points per pound?

Step 1.) convert the O.G. to gravity points

1.053 = 53 gravity points

Step 2.) Calculate the total number of gravity point required in the end of boil volume

6 x 53 = 318

Step 3.) Calculate the grist weight

318 / 29 = 11 pounds (rounded)

From here, it is merely a matter of breaking the grist down into percentages. SNPA is American 2-row and caramel malt. I have seen caramel percentages ranging from 3% to 10% of the grist.  Let's pick 5% for our example.

11 x 0.95 = 10.45 pounds of 2-Row
11 x 0.05 = 0.55 pounds of caramel

Or if we want to simplify measuring

10.5 pounds of 2-Row
0.5 pounds of caramel

It's that easy.

Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: morticaixavier on October 22, 2014, 04:29:12 PM
yes, it's easy to calculate this stuff in your head or on paper. but then you have to remember, or write down, what you have done in order to have repeatability. I do not trust my memory all that much and honestly if I write something down on paper I will either lose it, or not be able to read my hand writing when I find it. If however I enter into a convenient, electronic, portable, and highly organized computer program it's all right there for me to find and interpret even years later. If that program has all sorts of calculators so it goes.

I acknowledge the importance of understanding the processes and basic science involved but I don't see the problem with using a tool to help organize the information. if you are more comfortable with a tool like pencil and paper then great. I'm more comfortable with a computer as are a lot of people. Come the apocalypse I'll start using pencil and paper again. At least once the power runs out.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: narvin on October 22, 2014, 04:32:31 PM

One does not need an IBU calculator either.  All one needs is a unit of measure because we have no idea if the alpha acid rating on the package accurately reflects that current state of the hops.  Amateur brewers used HBUs/AAUs long before IBU approximations became the rage. An HBU/AAU-based hopping rate combined with a boil length is no less valid than a calculated IBU value when it comes to repeatability, and hopping schedules based on HBUs/AAUs can be calculated in one's head.

It is less valid as a model of bitterness, though.  Whether or not the model is accurate given variances in hop age, batch size, and other factors is another question.  However, "why try to predict something that can never be 100% accurate" seems like a Luddite excuse to me.

http://www.realbeer.com/hops/research.html
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: narvin on October 22, 2014, 04:37:25 PM

The same thing can be said about extraction efficiency calculations. Efficiency calculations only reflect reality to point where the dry basis, fine grind (DBFG) or hot water extract (HWE) values used in the calculations reflect reality.  These values can change from malting to malting and season to season.   

And, country malt will give you the lot analysis for the specific bag of malt you bought.  Keep it in a sealed container and even moisture content shouldn't change much over time.

http://countrymaltgroup.com/maltlot.asp
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 22, 2014, 06:32:55 PM
It is less valid as a model of bitterness, though.  Whether or not the model is accurate given variances in hop age, batch size, and other factors is another question.  However, "why try to predict something that can never be 100% accurate" seems like a Luddite excuse to me.

http://www.realbeer.com/hops/research.html

I can assure you that the ephitet "geek" fits me better than "luddite."  :)  The following posting will give you insight into my formal background: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=20713.msg262726#msg262726. 

Keeping the things we can control simple because the things that we cannot control are complex is something that every technical professional worth his/her salt learns early on in his/her career.   For example, I can almost always determine the relative experience level of the software engineers who built a piece of software when reviewing the source code or reverse engineering  it.  Software that is built by bright, but inexperienced software engineers is almost always an order of magnitude more complex than it needs to be to do the job. 

Complexity for complexity's sake adds no value.   The same thing can be said about calculating IBUs, pitching rates, and efficiency percentages at the scale at which most amateur brewers work.  Sure, calculating these values is a nice intellectual exercise that offers us interesting numbers, but the acid test for accepting additional complexity should always be, does a complex calculation add significant value to the process over a less complex calculation? 
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 22, 2014, 07:05:56 PM
We had a saying in the lab "measure with a micrometer, mark it with chalk, cut with an axe". Sometime one would add "file to fit, paint to match it up".

Any simulation needs accurate input data. Validation of predictions are also needed rather than blind faith on the computed results.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: narvin on October 23, 2014, 03:27:33 AM

I can assure you that the ephitet "geek" fits me better than "luddite."  :)  The following posting will give you insight into my formal background: https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=20713.msg262726#msg262726. 

Keeping the things we can control simple because the things that we cannot control are complex is something that every technical professional worth his/her salt learns early on in his/her career.   For example, I can almost always determine the relative experience level of the software engineers who built a piece of software when reviewing the source code or reverse engineering  it.  Software that is built by bright, but inexperienced software engineers is almost always an order of magnitude more complex than it needs to be to do the job. 

Complexity for complexity's sake adds no value.   The same thing can be said about calculating IBUs, pitching rates, and efficiency percentages at the scale at which most amateur brewers work.  Sure, calculating these values is a nice intellectual exercise that offers us interesting numbers, but the acid test for accepting additional complexity should always be, does a complex calculation add significant value to the process over a less complex calculation?

I understand simplicity, repeatability, and the limitations of a model.  What I don't understand is what you are advocating, aside from avoiding any methods that you haven't embraced.

The yeast growth, IBU, and extract potential calculations that I've referenced are all based on solid data.  More importantly, I'd argue that they take meaningful inputs and produce usable, repeatable results for homebrewers that are more than just an arbitrary number on paper. Showing that a possible error exists is not a reason to revert to a worse model.

I won't get into credentials in a public forum, since I think that's kind of pointless.  But I will say that you come across as someone who is, above all, set in your ways.  I have a significant amount of engineering experience, and this is one of the biggest red flags we see.  You can teach people with inexperience...
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: ynotbrusum on October 23, 2014, 04:13:40 AM
You who are technically inclined, please keep up the debate.  Civil debate among the trained and experienced is what brings us homebrewers closer to the ultimate point of meaningful input.  I appreciate all that has been posted here and I think that your high level debate advances our hobby immensely!  Plus, what a wonderful example of civil discourse.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: hopfenundmalz on October 23, 2014, 09:54:04 AM
All models are wrong, but some are useful.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: jeffy on October 23, 2014, 11:26:22 AM
In theory, theory and practice are the same, except in practice.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 23, 2014, 10:24:44 PM
I have a significant amount of engineering experience, and this is one of the biggest red flags we see.  You can teach people with inexperience...

Once again, your assumption is incorrect.  One does to enjoy a technical career as long as I have without the ability to take in new data and remain current. 

With respect to models, well, most models of complex processes are loaded with errors, as they are based on what we know, and what we do not know often outstrips what we know by several orders of magnitude.  A decade ago, we were certain that Saaz-type lager strains were diploids with one set of S. cerevisiae chromosomes and one set of S. eubayanus (S. bayanus at the time) chromosomes.  Now, we know that they are actually triploids with one set of S. cerevisiae chromosomes and two sets of S. eubayanus (S. bayanus at the time) chromosomes.  In ten years, this knowledge will be replaced with knowledge that we could only dream of having today.


With that said, the only way to know for certain that one has the correct pitching rate with any given yeast strain is to experiment, collect data, and adjust one's pitching rate from that data.  Assuming that a pitching rate calculator provides anything other than an arbitrary number is placing faith where it does not belong.  A pitching rate calculator has absolutely no idea of how the yeast cells that are grown in a starter are going to behave once pitched into a batch of wort. 

I have yeast culture from the old ACME Brewing Company.  It is a bear to grow on solid media.  We are talking about a major pain in the backside.   If I based what this yeast culture would do based on that observation, I would seriously consider pitching a different strain.  However, this strain performs beautifully when pitched into wort.  That's what I am try to get at when I say that yeast calculators on the Internet are of little use when determining the proper pitch rate. 


Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: morticaixavier on October 23, 2014, 10:34:23 PM
I have a significant amount of engineering experience, and this is one of the biggest red flags we see.  You can teach people with inexperience...

Once again, your assumption is incorrect.  One does to enjoy a technical career as long as I have without the ability to take in new data and remain current. 

With respect to models, well, most models of complex processes are loaded with errors, as they are based on what we know, and what we do not know often outstrips what we know by several orders of magnitude.  A decade ago, we were certain that Saaz-type lager strains were diploids with one set of S. cerevisiae chromosomes and one set of S. eubayanus (S. bayanus at the time) chromosomes.  Now, we know that they are actually triploids with one set of S. cerevisiae chromosomes and two sets of S. eubayanus (S. bayanus at the time) chromosomes.  In ten years, this knowledge will be replaced with knowledge that we could only dream of having today.


With that said, the only way to know for certain that one has the correct pitching rate with any given yeast strain is to experiment, collect data, and adjust one's pitching rate from that data.  Assuming that a pitching rate calculator provides anything other than an arbitrary number is placing faith where it does not belong.  A pitching rate calculator has absolutely no idea of how the yeast cells that are grown in a starter are going to behave once pitched into a batch of wort. 

I have yeast culture from the old ACME Brewing Company.  It is a bear to grow on solid media.  We are talking about a major pain in the backside.   If I based what this yeast culture would do based on that observation, I would seriously consider pitching a different strain.  However, this strain performs beautifully when pitched into wort.  That's what I am try to get at when I say that yeast calculators on the Internet are of little use when determining the proper pitch rate.

so are you saying that there is no way beyond empirical observation and exhaustive documentation to decide how much yeast to pitch in a given batch of beer? you have offered several algorithms for determining yeast population after time given starting population and starter volume but now you seem to be saying that no algorithm can possibly offer anything but an arbitrary number. it's possible that your algorithms are more accurate than those used in the current yeast calculators but from what you are saying I'm getting the message that this can't possibly be true because any model short of empirical knowledge is hopelessly flawed.

Am i missing something?

and by the way, as a lowly software engineer who has been in the industry for a mere 15 or so years I can say that there are PLENTY of folks in this tech industry who have been here a very very long time without taking in new data or learning new methods.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: HoosierBrew on October 23, 2014, 10:44:20 PM
I can only speak for myself, but when I use a new strain for the first time, obviously having no prior experience with it, I use a calculator which gets me in the ballpark of what I need to pitch. And it does. But now having used it once, the calculator doesn't override my experience the second time I use it. I consult my notes as to prior starter quantity and method, lag time, attenuation, etc., as well as final impressions on the beer/yeast character. I'm sure several others here do something similar. A calculator is just a tool in the toolbox. I don't throw away my ball peen hammer because the claw hammer was the better tool for a given job.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: 69franx on October 23, 2014, 10:48:46 PM
What resources are there for a rookie brewer with no experience with a given strain. Are you saying such a brewer should plod through several trials with such strain hoping for success but tracking all results? How long will it take me blindly trying before I can hit the sweet spot without an idea of where to start? I'm new enough that I'm willing to change, but I'm just looking to be on the right playing field. If all data from"these online calculators" is worthless, where do I start? I, like others I'm sure, cannot afford ingredients to experiment with over and over, and would rather have something give me an idea where I should be. I'm not the smartest brewer by a long shot but I do have a desire to learn.


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Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: HoosierBrew on October 23, 2014, 11:00:23 PM
I'm not the smartest brewer by a long shot but I do have a desire to learn.



That's 95% of the fight, Frank. Do what I do on that last post, or for that matter use a calculator every time, entering your info carefully, and you WILL make good beer consistently.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: 69franx on October 23, 2014, 11:08:37 PM
Thanks Jon, think I just type slow. I was starting my post and while typing it, you and Jonathan pretty much got in there and said exactly what I was trying to say, only better. You're method is what I have been trying to do, and it has been working well, but I have not been remaking very many batches yet to compare. I really need to settle down and get one recipe down as well as my processes. Now is the time to get to it, as I now have a new, bigger kettle as well as a new, bigger, stainless fermenter. Time to learn my new system
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: Wort-H.O.G. on October 24, 2014, 12:27:30 AM
I can only speak for myself, but when I use a new strain for the first time, obviously having no prior experience with it, I use a calculator which gets me in the ballpark of what I need to pitch. And it does. But now having used it once, the calculator doesn't override my experience the second time I use it. I consult my notes as to prior starter quantity and method, lag time, attenuation, etc., as well as final impressions on the beer/yeast character. I'm sure several others here do something similar. A calculator is just a tool in the toolbox. I don't throw away my ball peen hammer because the claw hammer was the better tool for a given job.
amen +100

or in the words from Rev. Bubba Flavel of Porky's - "so sayeth the shepherd, so sayeth the flock"
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 24, 2014, 12:42:11 AM
so are you saying that there is no way beyond empirical observation and exhaustive documentation to decide how much yeast to pitch in a given batch of beer? you have offered several algorithms for determining yeast population after time given starting population and starter volume but now you seem to be saying that no algorithm can possibly offer anything but an arbitrary number. it's possible that your algorithms are more accurate than those used in the current yeast calculators but from what you are saying I'm getting the message that this can't possibly be true because any model short of empirical knowledge is hopelessly flawed.

What I provided was little more than simple growth rates.   I kept the calculation simple to demonstrate that yeast grow exponentially, not linearly.  If I attempted to do what the yeast calculators attempt to do, I would have given you a way to determine the exact time that a culture was ready to pitch. The times that I quoted leave a lot of room for variability.  If you track cell growth in a lab, I can guarantee that you will find starters that are ready to pitch in as little as 4 hours.

Quote
and by the way, as a lowly software engineer who has been in the industry for a mere 15 or so years I can say that there are PLENTY of folks in this tech industry who have been here a very very long time without taking in new data or learning new methods.

That's not been my case.  I have been a computer scientist and engineer for thirty-five years (the first machine on which I worked was a MIL-SPEC computer that had discrete logic and ferrite-core memory).  I have seen a lot of people come and go during my career.  Most did not go of their own free will. 

Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 24, 2014, 01:29:08 AM
What resources are there for a rookie brewer with no experience with a given strain. Are you saying such a brewer should plod through several trials with such strain hoping for success but tracking all results?

What is your batch size and normal gravity ranges?  If you are 5-gallon brewer who brews mostly 1.065 or lower ales, a 1L starter made with 1.030 to 1.040 gravity wort will get you into the ballpark.  If your brewing 5-gallons of lager in the same gravity range, double the starter size. 

A 1L starter is capable of supporting up to 200 billion viable cells (double that amount for 2L).  You should be able to approach 400 billion cells in a 2L  starter of the gravity listed above if you are using a relatively new White Labs vial.  However, the thing remember here is that starters are like atomic bombs in that you do not have to be exact.  You just do not want to be off by an order of magnitude.  The only way to be off by an order of magnitude when pitching a normal gravity beer is to pitch an old White Labs vial without making a starter, and even then, I guarantee that the sky will not fall.  I knew a guy who routinely pitched the old-style Wyeast smack packs of 1056 without making a starter (something that I would never recommend), and his beers turned out fine. The old smack packs were smaller than the current smack packs.

In my humble opinion, high gravity beers are best fermented with slurry cropped from a 1.050 to 1.060 beer (see my post about stepped starters if you insist on growing a starter).  Three to four hundred milliliters of thick slurry should attenuate 5-gallon batches up to 1.100 if you aerate the wort well.  You are on your own above that gravity range.

Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: 69franx on October 24, 2014, 01:39:39 AM
Ok so here's a new variation on my question S.: I am brewing a Dunkel Sunday. 6 gallons at 1.054. My WLP833 was harvested 9/15/14 and (I'm sorry for the reference) beersmith roughs it in at almost 70% viability. I have 2L, 5L, and 1G vessels. What is my best path to about 400-450B cells? I made a 1.25L starter of 1.031( measured) tonight and pitched to this with the plan of then crashing, decanting and pitching to 2.75L of 1.04 wort. Am I in good shape, or in the future would you suggest just a larger 1 step starter. This plan came mainly from my understanding of what you had stated earlier in the thread
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 24, 2014, 01:45:11 AM
A calculator is just a tool in the toolbox.

That's the correct way to look at it.  Software is a tool, not a replacement for knowledge. 
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: Wort-H.O.G. on October 24, 2014, 01:49:29 AM

Ok so here's a new variation on my question S.: I am brewing a Dunkel Sunday. 6 gallons at 1.054. My WLP833 was harvested 9/15/14 and (I'm sorry for the reference) beersmith roughs it in at almost 70% viability. I have 2L, 5L, and 1G vessels. What is my best path to about 400-450B cells? I made a 1.25L starter of 1.031( measured) tonight and pitched to this with the plan of then crashing, decanting and pitching to 2.75L of 1.04 wort. Am I in good shape, or in the future would you suggest just a larger 1 step starter. This plan came mainly from my understanding of what you had stated earlier in the thread

I like that plan. I two step my lagers at 1.030 from 1800-2000 volume. It works and I all have is an educated guess based upon experience and yes, a tool


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Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: S. cerevisiae on October 24, 2014, 02:36:23 AM
Ok so here's a new variation on my question S.: I am brewing a Dunkel Sunday. 6 gallons at 1.054. My WLP833 was harvested 9/15/14 and (I'm sorry for the reference) beersmith roughs it in at almost 70% viability. I have 2L, 5L, and 1G vessels. What is my best path to about 400-450B cells? I made a 1.25L starter of 1.031( measured) tonight and pitched to this with the plan of then crashing, decanting and pitching to 2.75L of 1.04 wort. Am I in good shape, or in the future would you suggest just a larger 1 step starter. This plan came mainly from my understanding of what you had stated earlier in the thread

You are fine.  The 5L vessal is your best bet, but you need a way to seal it while shaking.

You could have pitched the White Labs vial into 2L of 1.040 wort and been with it. 

Let me know how the fermentation turns out.  If you have the time to monitor the fermentation closely, take good notes.  Any change in the fermentation should be logged.  The log entry should include the date, time, fermentation temperature, and any observation.  The goal here is to get a better handle on how the yeast culture behaves after being pitched.
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: 69franx on October 26, 2014, 03:07:45 AM
Thanks S. I will report back as best as possible. It will be in a chest freezer set at 50, and I won't be pitching till next morning before work,( having a bit of a warm spell here in low 70's) I will try to make observations before and after work all week. The second step is going great, just about 2.5L and been shaking regularly. Really cool to hear all the CO2 escaping from under the foil as I shake. Plan is to crash in the morning in same freezer I will be chilling wort in overnight, then decant and pitch Monday morning
Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: 69franx on October 28, 2014, 11:07:05 PM
My starter wound up in 2 steps: about 1.25L and 2.75L. I pitched Monday morning about 7am. There were a couple random bubbles popping through the airlock by about 6pm and it was going good when I took the dogs out before bed around 11. It is steady chugging along  now and I posted(or tried to post) a cell phone video with audio of it sitting in my Vessel in the chest freezer. Link is in beer recipes under "BCS Dunkel" thanks for all the help


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Title: Re: Yeast starter time question
Post by: hopfenundmalz on November 02, 2014, 07:02:38 PM
Yes Arcadia uses Ringwood. One of the Brewers said it was a "Fussy b****" in that it would require more attention some times, ie rousing.

Grizzly Peak in Ann Arbor had a Pugsley system and would struggle with Diacetyl. They changed to Essex and the beers are much improved. They open ferment and top crop. The problem is they don't have the tank time for a long D rest, they were doing close to 1600 barrels on a 7 barrel system. WLP -022 produces clean beer for them.

Real Ringwood is a Yorkshire square multi-strain yeast culture that requires rousing and aeration during fermentation, or it will tend to produce a diacetyl bomb.  While the culture is named after the microbrewery Peter Austin built after he retired from the Hull Brewery, Ringwood originally came from Webster's Brewery (a.k.a. the Fountain Head Brewery) in Halifax, West Riding, Yorkshire.   

If one examines a Peter Austin designed/Alan Pugsley installed brewery closely, one finds a device that I like to refer to as a Yorkshire shower head.  This device is used to rouse and aerate the yeast during fermentation (yes, I said rouse and aerate the yeast during fermentation), as can be seen at time 0:12 in this video shot at the Blacksheep Brewery in North Yorkshire: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJmLNj14C_w.   It can also be seen in the following video, which was shot a Peter Austin designed /Alan Pugsley built brew pub in Baltimore, Maryland: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGIThQ7w0ls (the device is also used to aerate wort).
Arcadia has the Pugsley system, I don't know if it is still in Battle Creek or at the new production brewery in Kalamazoo. The next time I see the brewer I will ask her more specifics on her feelings about Ringwood.

She said the pumps had to be turned on (not sure she said when), as the years drops in 3 days if done or not.

The best time for them to top crop was at 1.022. They thought they would have the timing figured out, but sometimes it would be much earlier, which had some stories associated.

After fermentation, she said the beer had to be kept away from O2 to the point that they would purge the tanks and transfer lines. Just a little air would create diacetyl from the leftover precursors.

There was a much that had to be done to make beer with low diacetyl, according to her.