Homebrewers Association | AHA Forum

General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: Rattlesnake44 on February 27, 2015, 09:41:33 PM

Title: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: Rattlesnake44 on February 27, 2015, 09:41:33 PM
So, boiled up a batch of Arrogant Bastard clone a couple weeks ago. Hit my OG on the head at 1.068. Had a fresh vial of WLP 001, no starter, pitched that bad boy straight in my shaken up wort and threw it in the fermenteezer at 62F.  Got a good strong start to fermentation about 8-10 hours later. Big old krausen on top, airlock bubbling away, it was beautiful.  Bumped up the temp controller by 2 degrees every couple days until I got to 70F and then let it ride from there.   Fast forward to today... Just transferred it over to my keg. Did a little gravity test while I was at it. Boom! 1.010. The beer tastes like warm Arrogant Bastard. Clean, no off flavors that I could detect. Nice dry finish.
So why the extended prose you may ask? Well, this is my third batch where I've pitched a straight vial, no starter. Third time the beer has taken off quickly. Third time it's finished right at where I wanted or even a little lower. Third time it's come out tasting great.
So, in summary let me say this. Brewing beer seems to me to be 50% science and 75% art.
Relax, have a beer.
Cheers!
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: Slowbrew on February 27, 2015, 10:02:07 PM
I can't disagree that most of the time it works just fine for ales.  Lagers really do need starters to finish out properly though.  Every beer is different.  Making starters has become a habit for me so every beer gets one but they may not all need one.

Pual
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: duboman on February 27, 2015, 11:26:30 PM
Good on ya! Although I'm not really sure what your point is.

I don't really recall anyone saying not doing a starter won't produce a good beer, its just not best practice to under pitch and I'm not sure 3 batches should be extrapolated to mean consistent success;)

Not trying to be snarky, just saying that perhaps your next batch could be the one that doesn't work out so well....
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: klickitat jim on February 27, 2015, 11:47:59 PM
You can make beer with one yeast cell.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: Rattlesnake44 on February 28, 2015, 02:01:53 AM

Good on ya! Although I'm not really sure what your point is.

I don't really recall anyone saying not doing a starter won't produce a good beer, its just not best practice to under pitch and I'm not sure 3 batches should be extrapolated to mean consistent success;)

Not trying to be snarky, just saying that perhaps your next batch could be the one that doesn't work out so well....
It's the interwebz, is a point needed? . Honestly it was just a conversation starter (see what I did there?) about starters in general. I have never done em, and the beers have come out great. And yes, more than 3 .
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: S. cerevisiae on February 28, 2015, 02:18:05 AM
I have been stating that a White Labs vial has an enormous amount of yeast cells for quite some time.  In fact, White Labs entered the market with the claim that their cultures were "ready to pitch," which was believable when compared to an original smack pack.  Making a starter just gives the culture an opportunity to wake up and double or quadruple in cell count.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: bboy9000 on February 28, 2015, 03:04:28 AM

I have been stating that White Labs vial has an enormous amount of yeast cells for quite some time.  In fact, White Labs entered the market with the claim that their cultures were "ready to pitch," which was believable when compared to an original smack pack.  Making a starter just gives the culture an opportunity to wake up and double or quadruple in cell count.

I thought a White Labs vial had 70-90 billion cells.  For 5 gallons of 1.068 wort wouldn't one need more like 250 billion cells?   Mark, are you saying this isn't true?  Or is the yeast from White Labs so healthy and ready to go that the cell count doesn't doesn't matter?  Or am missing something else?  Will there be 250 billion cells by the end of the lag phase?  If so, why is it considered best practice to make starters?
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: Rattlesnake44 on February 28, 2015, 03:09:00 AM
In full disclosure I've only ever used dry yeast or White Labs vials. I have been contemplating actually doing a starter to see if I could detect any difference in the beer itself. Maybe on my next batch I'll give it a try.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: majorvices on February 28, 2015, 03:49:46 AM
Are you gonna let us know when you have a 72 hour lag? No? Didn't think so.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: Rattlesnake44 on February 28, 2015, 04:08:00 AM

Are you gonna let us know when you have a 72 hour lag? No? Didn't think so.
Actually I've never had a beer lag more than 15-20 hours. I would be happy to let everyone on here know if/when that happens. I'll be sure to send you a special private message just to keep you in the loop buddy. cheers.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: majorvices on February 28, 2015, 04:11:14 AM

Are you gonna let us know when you have a 72 hour lag? No? Didn't think so.
Actually I've never had a beer lag more than 15-20 hours. I would be happy to let everyone on here know if/when that happens. I'll be sure to send you a special private message just to keep you in the loop buddy. cheers.

great! cause it is only a matter of time. (save the pm. and the emojis)
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: Rattlesnake44 on February 28, 2015, 04:16:02 AM


Are you gonna let us know when you have a 72 hour lag? No? Didn't think so.
Actually I've never had a beer lag more than 15-20 hours. I would be happy to let everyone on here know if/when that happens. I'll be sure to send you a special private message just to keep you in the loop buddy. cheers.

great! cause it is only a matter of time. (save the pm. and the emojis)
And you can save that bitterness for your next IPA. .
Title: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: bboy9000 on February 28, 2015, 04:35:15 AM
I've made good 60/- and bitter by just pitching a smack pack but would never consider not making a starter for something with a 1.068 OG.  I'd be afraid of too much yeast character with such a low pitch but all of the Chinook in Arrogant Bastard may cover any yeast flavors up.

EDIT:  actually I didn't make a starter for 5G of 1.060 beer a couple of months ago and it tasted bad.  This was the exact same recipe that I won a local competition with so I know the recipe and everything was solid.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: S. cerevisiae on February 28, 2015, 05:48:11 AM
I thought a White Labs vial had 70-90 billion cells.  For 5 gallons of 1.068 wort wouldn't one need more like 250 billion cells?   Mark, are you saying this isn't true?  Or is the yeast from White Labs so healthy and ready to go that the cell count doesn't doesn't matter?  Or am missing something else?  Will there be 250 billion cells by the end of the lag phase?  If so, why is it considered best practice to make starters?

If we are talking about achieving maximum cell density in a 5-gallon (19L) batch, well, it's a lot more than 250 billion cells, more like 3.8 trillion cells (200 billion cells per liter).  That's why I take the values that are quoted by yeast calculators with a grain of salt. 

Most home brewers assume that yeast biomass growth is linear when it is actually exponential.  Yeast cells bud into two cells roughly every 90 minutes after the exponential phase has been entered.  The difference between 90 billion cells and 250 billion cells is log(250 / 90) / log(2) = ~1.5 replication periods after pitching, where a replication period is roughly 90 minutes long.

If the maximum cell density for 5-gallons (19L) batch is 3.8 trillion cells, then the amount time necessary to reach maximum cell density starting with 90 billion cells is:

log(3,800 / 90) / log(2) = ~5.4 replication periods or 5.4 x 1.5 = 8.1 hours

If the maximum cell density for 5-gallons (19L) batch is 3.8 trillion cells, then the amount time necessary to reach maximum cell density starting with 250 billion cells is:

log(3,800 / 250) / log(2) = ~4 replication periods or 4 x 1.5 = 6 hours

What pitching a larger number of cells does when pitching high gravity wort is allow for cell loss due to osmotic  pressure.  Osmotic pressure is a phenomenon that causes water to be drawn to the side of a semi-permeable membrane that has the highest level of solute, which is the wort.  This loss of water causes the cells to lose something known as turgor pressure.  The loss of turgor pressure is known as plasmolysis.  Turgor pressure pushes the cell membrane against the cell wall. Loss of turgor pressure causes the cells to shrink, resulting in shock, if not outright death.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: bboy9000 on February 28, 2015, 06:04:04 AM

What pitching a larger number of cells does when pitching high gravity wort is allow for cell loss due to osmotic  pressure.

So how does less cell loss translate to quality of the finished product, in terms of flavor and FG?
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: Rattlesnake44 on February 28, 2015, 06:28:06 AM
And the difference in time to reach cell density for 5gl was only 2.1 hours... Interesting. How could this possibly affect the final product in terms of taste?
By the way, this is the type of conversation I hoped to start with my original post. Thank you S. cerevisiae
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: TMX on February 28, 2015, 06:57:35 AM
Fwiw, I never made starters for 5 gallon batches, and they were all I brewed for the first 5 years.  I only lost one to infection, and if there were off flavours, it was something other than the yeast, like water from a water softener, failing to clean and rinse the PBW out of the fermenter.....

Sometime I think the yeast boogeyman is over stated....
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: majorvices on February 28, 2015, 01:01:34 PM


Are you gonna let us know when you have a 72 hour lag? No? Didn't think so.
Actually I've never had a beer lag more than 15-20 hours. I would be happy to let everyone on here know if/when that happens. I'll be sure to send you a special private message just to keep you in the loop buddy. cheers.

great! cause it is only a matter of time. (save the pm. and the emojis)
And you can save that bitterness for your next IPA. .

Ha! That was a good one!

Reading my posts from last night I sounded a bit of a jerk, and I apologize.

That said, if you have extremely fresh vials and under 1.065 I agree you can usually get away without a starter. But on vials that are a little past their prime, and that can be only a month or two after their production date, you are playing roulette. Remember that vials bought at HBS may not have been handled as well as you have hoped.

I just made a starter with two vials of yeast that were close to expiration and they took 2 days in 4L stirred starter to start to show signs of activity. Sure am glad I made a starter first!

I am lucky enough to have literally gallons of fresh yeast at my disposal whenever I need it so on smaller batches with different yeasts I don't have on hand at brewery I have gotten lazy and have taken to not makings starters as religiously as I once did. But I usually start with a low gravity beer (1.050ish) and pitch two vials in 5-6 gallons just to be safe. Then use that yeast for the rest of my series of whatever beers come after.

Also, I remember when WL had half of the viable cells in them than they do now. It was 1998-99(?) when they launched with "pitchable" vials. Glad they have been quietly upping the cell count over the years. 'Cause what they started with as "pitchable" certainly wasn't (and arguably isn't now).
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: leejoreilly on February 28, 2015, 01:48:08 PM
In my experience, Wort WANTS to become beer, and there are few absolutes in brewing. You can make fine beer with minimal concern for sanitation, recipe design, mash times, water chemistry, yeast health, fermentation temperatures, carbonation procedures etc. But each point of increased care and attention adds a few percentage points to your chances of making GREAT beer, and reduces by a few points your chances of disappointment. Sure, you can bag the yeast starter, never use O2 or a stir plate, "sanitize" with tap water, and so on, and still do OK; maybe for a few batches, maybe for a bunch. But I think the odds favor those who take the extra effort along the way.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: pete b on February 28, 2015, 02:11:53 PM
You could also make several batches that came out great without sanitizing your equipment and come to the conclusion that sanitation doesn't matter. Its using best practices batch after batch that makes a good brewer. You can make a great beer with no starter and bad sanitation, but not every time.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: duboman on February 28, 2015, 02:23:42 PM
You could also make several batches that came out great without sanitizing your equipment and come to the conclusion that sanitation doesn't matter. Its using best practices batch after batch that makes a good brewer. You can make a great beer with no starter and bad sanitation, but not every time.
Exactly and that was my original point, best practice means consistency and knowing my hard work will pay off as expected each and every batch
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: Rattlesnake44 on February 28, 2015, 03:03:54 PM
I take my cleanliness and sanitation pretty seriously. That's never been a problem for me. I started brewing around '99-2000, always used dry yeast because it's what I could get by mail (no local HBS where I lived then). I've just started using White Lab vials fairly recently, last 3 years ish. It's what's available now at my LHBS and they get fresh in every Thursday. I usually pick one up a day or two before I brew, bring it home in a little cooler (usually with a growler or two, my local HBS is in the middle of about 5-6 local breweries). Put it in the fridge and take it out when I start my brew day.
I'm still not certain if I could tell the difference, in taste, between two batches where a starter was used in one and not the other. I have two taps on my kegerator though, so I'm willing to make the hard sacrifice here gents and maybe try a little experiment. It's for science!
And Major vices... Thank you for your post this morning.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: macbrews on February 28, 2015, 03:31:35 PM

What pitching a larger number of cells does when pitching high gravity wort is allow for cell loss due to osmotic  pressure.  Osmotic pressure is a phenomenon that causes water to be drawn to the side of a semi-permeable membrane that has the highest level of solute, which is the wort.  This loss of water causes the cells to lose something known as turgor pressure.  The loss of turgor pressure is known as plasmolysis.  Turgor pressure pushes the cell membrane against the cell wall. Loss of turgor pressure causes the cells to shrink, resulting in shock, if not outright death.
[/quote]

Interesting stuff - brings up a few questions:

1)  What kind of cell loss should one expect when pitching directly from a vial, or smack-pack of commercial yeast?
2)  Does the fact that you are making a starter in a wort that is lower, but approaches the OG of your beer help buffer that loss/shock?
3) The math presented, I assume, is for optimum conditions.  Can we expect numbers that good for our homebrew if we add nutrients and oxygenate to a reasonable level?

Thanks,

Mac
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: HoosierBrew on February 28, 2015, 03:32:44 PM
In my experience, Wort WANTS to become beer, and there are few absolutes in brewing. You can make fine beer with minimal concern for sanitation, recipe design, mash times, water chemistry, yeast health, fermentation temperatures, carbonation procedures etc. But each point of increased care and attention adds a few percentage points to your chances of making GREAT beer, and reduces by a few points your chances of disappointment. Sure, you can bag the yeast starter, never use O2 or a stir plate, "sanitize" with tap water, and so on, and still do OK; maybe for a few batches, maybe for a bunch. But I think the odds favor those who take the extra effort along the way.

^^^^  Yep.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: erockrph on February 28, 2015, 04:12:43 PM
There are so many details beyond just pitch rate that affects fermentation. Oxygenation, fermentation temps and schedule, wort gravity, yeast health, yada yada, all come into play. If one of these factors is a little off, then paying close attention to the others will probably make up for it in the majority of cases.

Is it best practice to never make a starter? Probably not. But I'm sure the majority of the time you will still come out with beer that is just fine as long as you're not sloppy with your other practices.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: S. cerevisiae on February 28, 2015, 04:14:54 PM
Sure, you can bag the yeast starter, never use O2 or a stir plate, "sanitize" with tap water, and so on, and still do OK; maybe for a few batches, maybe for a bunch. But I think the odds favor those who take the extra effort along the way.

Steven Deeds and I have already proven that stir plates add little to no value when preparing a starter.  Stir plates were designed to prevent clumping in suspension cell culturing.  They crept into home brewing via people involved in cancer research, which is an area of science that is a big time user of suspension cell culturing.  Add in the fact that most home brewers propagate yeast incorrectly, and most stirred starters end up underperforming a simple shaken starter that is pitched at high krausen.


KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) is the best approach when propagating yeast.  Avoid introducing anything into the starter media that absolutely does not need to be there, including a stir bar.  Everything that comes into contact with the culture when it is small is an infection threat due to the fact that bacteria multiply eight-fold every time yeast cells double.  Boiling only kills vegetative cells, which is why I autoclave (pressure cook) the media that I use for my really small starters.

Dissolved O2 level matters, but one doesn't need to use pure O2.  The shaken, not stirred method (a.k.a. "James Bond Method") that I outlined in a couple of threads produces a very healthy starter.  It's a low-cost, low-tech, easy to perform method that produces excellent results. 
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: S. cerevisiae on February 28, 2015, 04:32:14 PM
Interesting stuff - brings up a few questions:

1)  What kind of cell loss should one expect when pitching directly from a vial, or smack-pack of commercial yeast?

Cell loss is strain, environment, and media composition composition dependent.  No yeast strain performs exactly the same way in two different environments.  Natural selection favors the cells that can handle the stress of the environment.  Environmental factors can cause beneficial mutations. That's why we have so many different yeast strains. 

Quote
2)  Does the fact that you are making a starter in a wort that is lower, but approaches the OG of your beer help buffer that loss/shock?

Starting low and stepping a starter up in gravity helps to buffer cell loss upon pitching into a batch of wort.  Starting low allows a culture that may have been in an extended period of quiescence undo the survival changes that it underwent in preparation for hard times without having to withstand high levels of osmotic pressure.  Stepping a culture up in gravity before pitching allows one to separate the wheat from the chaff cell-wise in a high cell count to wort ratio environment.   Natural selection kills off the weak cells removing them from competition with the strong cells. 

Quote
3) The math presented, I assume, is for optimum conditions.  Can we expect numbers that good for our homebrew if we add nutrients and oxygenate to a reasonable level?

Yes, the math is simplified for optimal conditions.  It does not factor in cell loss, which can be variable depending on the age and health of the mother cells.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: Philbrew on February 28, 2015, 04:37:04 PM
Question for S. cerevisiae and others.

"What pitching a larger number of cells does when pitching high gravity wort is allow for cell loss due to osmotic  pressure."

When pitching to a lower gravity lager wort (say, 1.048 and 48*F) you also need big cell counts.  Is that because the low temp affects that 90 minute doubling time?
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: S. cerevisiae on February 28, 2015, 04:47:25 PM
And the difference in time to reach cell density for 5gl was only 2.1 hours... Interesting. How could this possibly affect the final product in terms of taste?

The main threat from pitching low with high gravity wort is underattenuation. The problem with high gravity wort is not only osmotic pressure, but also the fact that it is harder to dissolve O2 into high gravity wort. 
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: narcout on February 28, 2015, 04:49:13 PM
And the difference in time to reach cell density for 5gl was only 2.1 hours... Interesting. How could this possibly affect the final product in terms of taste?

The amount of cell growth, the rapidity with which it takes place, and the temperature at which it occurs all affect the overall flavor profile of the beer.  There's more to fermentation than just lag time and reaching your target gravity.

It's up to you as the brewer to determine what pitch rate, oxygenation level, fermentation temperature, etc. to use to get to your desired result. 

Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: denny on February 28, 2015, 04:53:03 PM
I respect and utilize science all the time.  But when my direct experience is at odds with that science, what am I supposed to do?  Contrary to what was stated above, I find stir plates DO make a difference.  My starters are ready to go much sooner since I started using one.  I prefer the results I get when I let the starter ferment fully, crash it and decant before pitching.  And when it comes to beers over 1.040 OG, every beer I've mad a starter for has turned out better than any beer I haven't.  It's not like I reached these conclusions in a vacuum.  I have tried many methods and these are what have worked the best for me.  At this point, I don't care about science (in these situations) or someone else's opinions....I've tried that stuff and this is how I make the best beer I can make.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: S. cerevisiae on February 28, 2015, 05:05:35 PM
When pitching to a lower gravity lager wort (say, 1.048 and 48*F) you also need big cell counts.  Is that because the low temp affects that 90 minute doubling time?

Yes, you are correct.  Cold fermentation slows metabolism, which, in turn, lengthens the replication period.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: reverseapachemaster on February 28, 2015, 05:41:26 PM
The details of OP's brewing environment certainly reflect upon his or her experience pitching without a starter. This is a case where the brewer is receiving a solid amount of extremely fresh yeast of a strain that is very reliable for producing relatively clean beer. Changing any of those factors could give significantly different results. I suspect if OP selected a less popular strain OP may find the yeast to be not quite as fresh. That is certainly the case at the local shops in my area. Similarly, a more sensitive yeast strain or a more expressive strain may not respond so amicably without a little help. So to the extent that OP's experiences accurately reflect his or her contention that a starter is unnecessary I would question that contention's value under any other conditions. 
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: jjflash on February 28, 2015, 05:50:07 PM
I have said this many times before in these forums and is just my opinion.  These low gravity worts 1.060ish are very forgiving of mistakes.  That is why any novice can produce reasonably good beer.  The real test of skills is high gravity 1.100+ worts, with these you need impeccable technique to achieve great beer.  That is where proper yeast management really counts.  I have learned the hard way that yeast management for me is much more critical than wort production.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: jjflash on February 28, 2015, 05:54:15 PM
....also WLP 001 is a very easy to use yeast, not at all temperamental. Great beginners yeast and again very forgiving of mistakes.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: Rattlesnake44 on February 28, 2015, 05:57:33 PM

The details of OP's brewing environment certainly reflect upon his or her experience pitching without a starter. This is a case where the brewer is receiving a solid amount of extremely fresh yeast of a strain that is very reliable for producing relatively clean beer. Changing any of those factors could give significantly different results. I suspect if OP selected a less popular strain OP may find the yeast to be not quite as fresh. That is certainly the case at the local shops in my area. Similarly, a more sensitive yeast strain or a more expressive strain may not respond so amicably without a little help. So to the extent that OP's experiences accurately reflect his or her contention that a starter is unnecessary I would question that contention's value under any other conditions.
I'm not averse to the idea of a starter, it's just been my experience that my beer has come out the other end tasting fine. I'm planning to brew some time next week and I'll be doing a starter. I will be doing another batch of an amber ale I have on tap right now. I'd like to compare the two side by side to see what difference, if any, I can detect.
I'm always willing to try new things. If it works,I'll incorporate it. If there is little to no difference, I'll leave it out. K.I.S.S, the simpler the better for me.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: Hooper on March 01, 2015, 04:32:13 AM
I have said this many times before in these forums and is just my opinion.  These low gravity worts 1.060ish are very forgiving of mistakes.  That is why any novice can produce reasonably good beer.  The real test of skills is high gravity 1.100+ worts, with these you need impeccable technique to achieve great beer.  That is where proper yeast management really counts.  I have learned the hard way that yeast management for me is much more critical than wort production.
I think it could also take some amount of skill to brew a sub 1.060 and have it be quaffable. I'm not sure I believe all the science about starters but I like to at least know the yeast is viable a day or 2 before brew day...+1 for starters
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: bboy9000 on March 01, 2015, 07:50:05 AM

I'm not sure I believe all the science about starters
That's the nice thing about science.  It doesn't matter whether one believes.  Either it is or is not.  Now, whether what homebrewers post about starters is considered science...
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: majorvices on March 01, 2015, 12:06:57 PM
....also WLP 001 is a very easy to use yeast, not at all temperamental. Great beginners yeast and again very forgiving of mistakes.

Even better just to go with US-05. Especially if you aren't going to make a starter.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: Steve Ruch on March 01, 2015, 04:57:14 PM
....I've tried that stuff and this is how I make the best beer I can make.

That is what it's all about.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: narvin on March 01, 2015, 06:18:34 PM
....also WLP 001 is a very easy to use yeast, not at all temperamental. Great beginners yeast and again very forgiving of mistakes.

+1.  That yeast is a beast.  Just remember that every yeast does have it's own behavior.  People have been recommending starters not because it's a one size fits all approach, but because eventually you'll hit a style of beer that you absolutely have to pitch more than 100 billion cells for a 5 gallon batch to get the optimal flavor profile and attenuation.  More often than not, it's better to err on the side of a starter.  Of course, overpitching can also give you sub-optimal fermentation, but by commercial standards homebrewers almost always start by underpitching.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: narvin on March 01, 2015, 06:28:22 PM

Steven Deeds and I have already proven that stir plates add little to no value when preparing a starter.  Stir plates were designed to prevent clumping in suspension cell culturing.  They crept into home brewing via people involved in cancer research, which is an area of science that is a big time user of suspension cell culturing.  Add in the fact that most home brewers propagate yeast incorrectly, and most stirred starters end up underperforming a simple shaken starter that is pitched at high krausen.


KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) is the best approach when propagating yeast.  Avoid introducing anything into the starter media that absolutely does not need to be there, including a stir bar.  Everything that comes into contact with the culture when it is small is an infection threat due to the fact that bacteria multiply eight-fold every time yeast cells double.  Boiling only kills vegetative cells, which is why I autoclave (pressure cook) the media that I use for my really small starters.

Dissolved O2 level matters, but one doesn't need to use pure O2.  The shaken, not stirred method (a.k.a. "James Bond Method") that I outlined in a couple of threads produces a very healthy starter.  It's a low-cost, low-tech, easy to perform method that produces excellent results.

And, other people have found different results.

http://braukaiser.com/blog/page/2/

But, above all, it should be known that "Shaken, not stirred" is a terrible way to make a Martini.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: Hooper on March 01, 2015, 09:21:45 PM

That's the nice thing about science.  It doesn't matter whether one believes.  Either it is or is not.  Now, whether what homebrewers post about starters is considered science...
[/quote]

Science...fluoride in the water supply prevents cavities and is harmless...Really?
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: denny on March 01, 2015, 09:47:12 PM

Science...fluoride in the water supply prevents cavities and is harmless...Really?

Worked for me and a lot of other people I know.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: bboy9000 on March 01, 2015, 09:51:04 PM


Science...fluoride in the water supply prevents cavities and is harmless...Really?

Worked for me and a lot of other people I know.
You better be careful Denny.  Fluoridation may be a communist plot to control our minds. 
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: Hooper on March 01, 2015, 10:14:49 PM


Science...fluoride in the water supply prevents cavities and is harmless...Really?

Worked for me and a lot of other people I know.
You better be careful Denny.  Fluoridation may be a communist plot to control our minds.
It's your money they are after...your mind may already be controlled...
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: bboy9000 on March 01, 2015, 10:33:35 PM



Science...fluoride in the water supply prevents cavities and is harmless...Really?

Worked for me and a lot of other people I know.
You better be careful Denny.  Fluoridation may be a communist plot to control our minds.
It's your money they are after...your mind may already be controlled...

My mind is already controlled by C2H6O and my mash tun.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: Slowbrew on March 01, 2015, 10:50:43 PM



Science...fluoride in the water supply prevents cavities and is harmless...Really?

Worked for me and a lot of other people I know.
You better be careful Denny.  Fluoridation may be a communist plot to control our minds.
It's your money they are after...your mind may already be controlled...

My mind is already controlled by C2H6O and my mash tun.

Do NOT ride the bomb.   ;)

Paul
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: hopfenundmalz on March 01, 2015, 11:13:03 PM



Science...fluoride in the water supply prevents cavities and is harmless...Really?

Worked for me and a lot of other people I know.
You better be careful Denny.  Fluoridation may be a communist plot to control our minds.
It's your money they are after...your mind may already be controlled...

My mind is already controlled by C2H6O and my mash tun.

Do NOT ride the bomb.   ;)

Paul
Sterling Hayden and Slim Pickens are in my mind for some reason.
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: bboy9000 on March 01, 2015, 11:19:20 PM
If only we had a president named Merkin Muffley. 
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: erockrph on March 02, 2015, 04:01:05 AM
I gotta admit, I expected this thread to eventually fall off the rails when I first saw the title. But not like this.

(http://i.imgur.com/A1ln2.gif)
Title: Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
Post by: Rattlesnake44 on March 02, 2015, 05:50:32 AM

I gotta admit, I expected this thread to eventually fall off the rails when I first saw the title. But not like this.

(http://i.imgur.com/A1ln2.gif)
You're welcome ;P