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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: MattyAHA on December 05, 2019, 05:11:45 PM

Title: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: MattyAHA on December 05, 2019, 05:11:45 PM
it seems that 1 qt is the standard size starter for the SNS method, (assuming its for 5 gallon batch), what im curious is should we take the yeast pack age/viability into account? i mean its only obvious that a yeast pack that is 3 days old is gonna perform better then a month old pack regardless of starter method, for 10 gallon batches should we use a 2 qt sns starter? You know old habits die hard and i wanna convert over to SNS but i wanna understand it more, so far i gather the sns method makes the yeast very healthy but when did yeast quantity become unimportant? i get it yeast health is more important then amount but its hard for me to wrap my head around it, cause different beers require different quantities of yeast, i cannot imagine a 1.110 barleywine would perform with a 1 qt starter no matter how healthy the yeast is,  im just gonna ask a simple question to the sns starter users, Do you use 1 qt starter for every single style beer regardless of OG (5 gallon batches)?
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: denny on December 05, 2019, 05:33:36 PM
it seems that 1 qt is the standard size starter for the SNS method, (assuming its for 5 gallon batch), what im curious is should we take the yeast pack age/viability into account? i mean its only obvious that a yeast pack that is 3 days old is gonna perform better then a month old pack regardless of starter method, for 10 gallon batches should we use a 2 qt sns starter? You know old habits die hard and i wanna convert over to SNS but i wanna understand it more, so far i gather the sns method makes the yeast very healthy but when did yeast quantity become unimportant? i get it yeast health is more important then amount but its hard for me to wrap my head around it, cause different beers require different quantities of yeast, i cannot imagine a 1.110 barleywine would perform with a 1 qt starter no matter how healthy the yeast is,  im just gonna ask a simple question to the sns starter users, Do you use 1 qt starter for every single style beer regardless of OG (5 gallon batches)?

I've used packs 9 months and more old and still keep to 1 qt.  You've got to get past thinking in terms of cell count.  If you read the explanation Mark posted here, it's because the yeast is "nuclear" and grows so quickly once it's pitched.  And no, a 1.100 beer is not a good candidate for this.  In that case I use SNS to build a starter for a lower gravity batch and use the slurry from that for a high gravity batch.  But I use SNS starters up to 1.075-80 without problems.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: MattyAHA on December 05, 2019, 06:00:49 PM
it seems that 1 qt is the standard size starter for the SNS method, (assuming its for 5 gallon batch), what im curious is should we take the yeast pack age/viability into account? i mean its only obvious that a yeast pack that is 3 days old is gonna perform better then a month old pack regardless of starter method, for 10 gallon batches should we use a 2 qt sns starter? You know old habits die hard and i wanna convert over to SNS but i wanna understand it more, so far i gather the sns method makes the yeast very healthy but when did yeast quantity become unimportant? i get it yeast health is more important then amount but its hard for me to wrap my head around it, cause different beers require different quantities of yeast, i cannot imagine a 1.110 barleywine would perform with a 1 qt starter no matter how healthy the yeast is,  im just gonna ask a simple question to the sns starter users, Do you use 1 qt starter for every single style beer regardless of OG (5 gallon batches)?

I've used packs 9 months and more old and still keep to 1 qt.  You've got to get past thinking in terms of cell count.  If you read the explanation Mark posted here, it's because the yeast is "nuclear" and grows so quickly once it's pitched.  And no, a 1.100 beer is not a good candidate for this.  In that case I use SNS to build a starter for a lower gravity batch and use the slurry from that for a high gravity batch.  But I use SNS starters up to 1.075-80 without problems.
makes perfect sense, so what container do you use to shake it? Just to go over this method you need to use a container that is 4:1 minimum, shake the wort til its foam and pitch yeast. do you wanna continually shake it into foam? i wish someone made a video demo on this method cause i wanna know what makes this method different then what we used to do with the "intermittent shaking method" what differentiates this method from ISM?
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: denny on December 05, 2019, 06:09:02 PM
it seems that 1 qt is the standard size starter for the SNS method, (assuming its for 5 gallon batch), what im curious is should we take the yeast pack age/viability into account? i mean its only obvious that a yeast pack that is 3 days old is gonna perform better then a month old pack regardless of starter method, for 10 gallon batches should we use a 2 qt sns starter? You know old habits die hard and i wanna convert over to SNS but i wanna understand it more, so far i gather the sns method makes the yeast very healthy but when did yeast quantity become unimportant? i get it yeast health is more important then amount but its hard for me to wrap my head around it, cause different beers require different quantities of yeast, i cannot imagine a 1.110 barleywine would perform with a 1 qt starter no matter how healthy the yeast is,  im just gonna ask a simple question to the sns starter users, Do you use 1 qt starter for every single style beer regardless of OG (5 gallon batches)?

I've used packs 9 months and more old and still keep to 1 qt.  You've got to get past thinking in terms of cell count.  If you read the explanation Mark posted here, it's because the yeast is "nuclear" and grows so quickly once it's pitched.  And no, a 1.100 beer is not a good candidate for this.  In that case I use SNS to build a starter for a lower gravity batch and use the slurry from that for a high gravity batch.  But I use SNS starters up to 1.075-80 without problems.
makes perfect sense, so what container do you use to shake it? Just to go over this method you need to use a container that is 4:1 minimum, shake the wort til its foam and pitch yeast. do you wanna continually shake it into foam? i wish someone made a video demo on this method cause i wanna know what makes this method different then what we used to do with the "intermittent shaking method" what differentiates this method from ISM?

I use a gal. glass apple juice jug.  Don't freak out...there's really nothing to it.  You can certainly shake the container additionally...I often do.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: MattyAHA on December 05, 2019, 06:23:48 PM
ok so it is pretty much ISM with a new name
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: denny on December 05, 2019, 06:25:08 PM
ok so it is pretty much ISM with a new name

Kinda....but you start by filling the jug with foam.  At that point, additional shaking isn't really required.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: MattyAHA on December 05, 2019, 06:30:11 PM
ok so it is pretty much ISM with a new name

Kinda....but you start by filling the jug with foam.  At that point, additional shaking isn't really required.
gotcha, its that initial foam you pitch the yeast vs just pitching into wort that differentiates SNS vs IS, correct? sorry denny form turning a simple thing into a mind bender
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: denny on December 05, 2019, 06:38:23 PM
ok so it is pretty much ISM with a new name

Kinda....but you start by filling the jug with foam.  At that point, additional shaking isn't really required.
gotcha, its that initial foam you pitch the yeast vs just pitching into wort that differentiates SNS vs IS, correct? sorry denny form turning a simple thing into a mind bender

You are correct
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: Sasquatchpedalian on December 17, 2019, 03:05:32 AM
How long is this foam supposed to last? I've shaken the crap out a SNS in a gallon jar and the foam had subsided within an hour. The yeast by that time had dropped to a layer at the bottom of the jar. I also feel less comfortable sanitizing a jar vs. an erlenmeyer that I can bring to a boil over flame. My experience at guessing at high krausen seemed at best inexact and if this were really to matter one would be expected to time a brew day and subsequent yeast pitch to coincide with a starter's schedule. Seems like putting the cart before the horse. I didn't feel the results were necessarily any better than a stir plate, an appropriate slurry, or pitching more lab propped yeast.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: MattyAHA on December 17, 2019, 03:11:40 AM
ok so i used a gallon jug added 1 qt of 1.035 wort shook the hell out of it until foam, i pitched onto the foam the foam dissipate in less then a minute, now i'm wondering how less then one minute of foam makes this method any different then IMS i am really trying to find one logical reason why this is different then old school intermittent shaking, i guess i will have to see how the finished beer turns out, im praying this works cause it was such a easy way to make a starter no sir bar, no stir plate just like IMS and took less DME,less water, fingers crossed
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: MattyAHA on December 17, 2019, 03:12:44 AM
How long is this foam supposed to last? I've shaken the crap out a SNS in a gallon jar and the foam had subsided within an hour. The yeast by that time had dropped to a layer at the bottom of the jar. I also feel less comfortable sanitizing a jar vs. an erlenmeyer that I can bring to a boil over flame. My experience at guessing at high krausen seemed at best inexact and if this were really to matter one would be expected to time a brew day and subsequent yeast pitch to coincide with a starter's schedule. Seems like putting the cart before the horse. I didn't feel the results were necessarily any better than a stir plate, an appropriate slurry, or pitching more lab propped yeast.
foam subsided in less then 1 min for me with just a normal cap of foam you would have with IMS
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: jeffy on December 17, 2019, 12:30:41 PM
The point of shaking the vessel until it is foam-filled is simply for aeration.  You could do the same thing with an O2 stone, but this method uses less equipment.  The foam will subside quickly no matter what.  The point is to cheaply and quickly aerate the wort, then pitch the whole thing when it is vigorously fermenting.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: Kevin on December 17, 2019, 04:29:43 PM
Here is what I do step by step....

1. make a 1 quart starter medium
2. cool and add it to a 1 gallon container
3. cap tightly and shake for 1+ minutes
4. let that sit capped for 15 to 30 minutes
5. add the yeast
6. pitch this starter 12 to 18 hours later at high krausen.

Complete details can be found in this article written by Mark under the pseudonym, YeastWhisperer; https://www.jimsbeerkit.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=70926
Title: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: BrewBama on December 17, 2019, 05:03:22 PM
Reading the link at Jim’s and the instructions Mark posted here on AHA, I never understood why folks shake then add yeast when he describes adding yeast then shaking.

Maybe just semantics. I guess it works either way.


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Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: denny on December 17, 2019, 09:42:09 PM
Reading the link at Jim’s and the instructions Mark posted here on AHA, I never understood why folks shake then add yeast when he describes adding yeast then shaking.

Maybe just semantics. I guess it works either way.


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I can't imagine that the order matters.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: Robert on December 17, 2019, 09:48:03 PM
Reading the link at Jim’s and the instructions Mark posted here on AHA, I never understood why folks shake then add yeast when he describes adding yeast then shaking.

Maybe just semantics. I guess it works either way.


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I can't imagine that the order matters.
You sure shaking the yeast doesn't introduce too much shear force?
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: Frankenbrew on December 18, 2019, 12:53:33 AM
Reading the link at Jim’s and the instructions Mark posted here on AHA, I never understood why folks shake then add yeast when he describes adding yeast then shaking.

Maybe just semantics. I guess it works either way.


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I can't imagine that the order matters.
You sure shaking the yeast doesn't introduce too much shear force?

I don't think the order is just semantics. The issue that the OP and others are having is that the foam dies down too quickly. Add the yeast first, shake and leave the cap on for 30 minutes--leaving the cap on with the yeast already present allows the foam to feed oxygen to the yeast longer than if you open to pitch after you shake.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: Frankenbrew on December 18, 2019, 12:56:58 AM
In addition, Mark addressed the problem with shear force, but suggested that it was less of a negative than a couple of days on a stir plate.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: stpug on December 18, 2019, 02:49:57 PM
Going off of memory here, but my recollection was that ORDER IS VERY IMPORTANT.

Add wort, yeast, and then shake to produce lots of foam.  The yeast become entrained in the surfaces that create every little bubble of the foam with air surrounding most of each yeast cell providing sufficient oxygen for those cells to generate sufficient sterol reserves needed for budding with enough reserves for the harsh environment late in the fermentation.  If you were to take the foam bubble's surface area and lay it out flat/2D, the surface area of the foam (i.e. the walls that makes up each bubble) is VASTLY greater than the ~5" diameter surface of a foamless surface found inside a growler/etc.  The cells also become suspended in the foam bubble walls where they are kept for a longer period of time to uptake the oxygen they are in contact with.  Finally, the yeast slurry that is added prior to shaking adds to the foam retention after shaking such that the yeast will have the longer time to be in contact with oxygen - granted, not infinite but longer nonetheless.  At least, that's how I recall it.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: denny on December 18, 2019, 02:51:06 PM
Reading the link at Jim’s and the instructions Mark posted here on AHA, I never understood why folks shake then add yeast when he describes adding yeast then shaking.

Maybe just semantics. I guess it works either way.


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I can't imagine that the order matters.
You sure shaking the yeast doesn't introduce too much shear force?

 ;D

I'm sure and I wouldn't care if it did unless I knew it has a negative impact on me.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: denny on December 18, 2019, 02:54:03 PM
In addition, Mark addressed the problem with shear force, but suggested that it was less of a negative than a couple of days on a stir plate.

Both of the issues you raise re more theoretical than real.  If therww is shear force in shaking, it's never had a negative effect on my beer.   And I've pitched forst and shaken first and it made absolutely no difference to the finished product.  That's what matters isn't it?
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: denny on December 18, 2019, 02:55:28 PM
Going off of memory here, but my recollection was that ORDER IS VERY IMPORTANT.

Add wort, yeast, and then shake to produce lots of foam.  The yeast become entrained in the surfaces that create every little bubble of the foam with air surrounding most of each yeast cell providing sufficient oxygen for those cells to generate sufficient sterol reserves needed for budding with enough reserves for the harsh environment late in the fermentation.  If you were to take the foam bubble's surface area and lay it out flat/2D, the surface area of the foam (i.e. the walls that makes up each bubble) is VASTLY greater than the ~5" diameter surface of a foamless surface found inside a growler/etc.  The cells also become suspended in the foam bubble walls where they are kept for a longer period of time to uptake the oxygen they are in contact with.  Finally, the yeast slurry that is added prior to shaking adds to the foam retention after shaking such that the yeast will have the longer time to be in contact with oxygen - granted, not infinite but longer nonetheless.  At least, that's how I recall it.

But in the real homebrew world, it just doesn't matter.  At least not in my testing.  If someone else wants to test it, I'd love to hear their results.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: stpug on December 18, 2019, 03:13:19 PM
Going off of memory here, but my recollection was that ORDER IS VERY IMPORTANT.

Add wort, yeast, and then shake to produce lots of foam.  The yeast become entrained in the surfaces that create every little bubble of the foam with air surrounding most of each yeast cell providing sufficient oxygen for those cells to generate sufficient sterol reserves needed for budding with enough reserves for the harsh environment late in the fermentation.  If you were to take the foam bubble's surface area and lay it out flat/2D, the surface area of the foam (i.e. the walls that makes up each bubble) is VASTLY greater than the ~5" diameter surface of a foamless surface found inside a growler/etc.  The cells also become suspended in the foam bubble walls where they are kept for a longer period of time to uptake the oxygen they are in contact with.  Finally, the yeast slurry that is added prior to shaking adds to the foam retention after shaking such that the yeast will have the longer time to be in contact with oxygen - granted, not infinite but longer nonetheless.  At least, that's how I recall it.

But in the real homebrew world, it just doesn't matter.  At least not in my testing.  If someone else wants to test it, I'd love to hear their results.

My recollection is that Mark indicated that it DOES matter - maybe not to you, but to the yeast.  Chances are that there is some kind of difference, but that the difference is either lost on you (too minor to distinguish) OR not important to you (yeast health becomes more important on successive pitches and if you're not going generations deep then not an issue).  Also, given that the difference would likely be flavor/aroma/nuance, you may simply be missing it due to your inability to reliably smell/taste (by your own words, see below), or it could be so minor that it's "no big deal" to you.

I'm 68 and I've retired from judging because I can't taste or smell reliably any more.  Some days it's fine, others it fades in and out.  I finally decided it wasn't  vair to comp entrants to judge their beer if I wasn't t my best.  So I'd say it depends on why you want BJCP certification.  If it's for your own enjoyment and edification, go for it.  If it's so you can judge, be realisitic.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: Kevin on December 18, 2019, 03:45:33 PM
Am I wrong here? For some reason I was under the impression that S. Cerevisiae, Mark Van Ditta and YeastWhisperer were all names used on different forums but the same person?
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: BrewBama on December 18, 2019, 04:05:31 PM
Am I wrong here? For some reason I was under the impression that S. Cerevisiae, Mark Van Ditta and YeastWhisperer were all names used on different forums but the same person?

I believe you are correct.


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Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: denny on December 18, 2019, 04:55:42 PM
Going off of memory here, but my recollection was that ORDER IS VERY IMPORTANT.

Add wort, yeast, and then shake to produce lots of foam.  The yeast become entrained in the surfaces that create every little bubble of the foam with air surrounding most of each yeast cell providing sufficient oxygen for those cells to generate sufficient sterol reserves needed for budding with enough reserves for the harsh environment late in the fermentation.  If you were to take the foam bubble's surface area and lay it out flat/2D, the surface area of the foam (i.e. the walls that makes up each bubble) is VASTLY greater than the ~5" diameter surface of a foamless surface found inside a growler/etc.  The cells also become suspended in the foam bubble walls where they are kept for a longer period of time to uptake the oxygen they are in contact with.  Finally, the yeast slurry that is added prior to shaking adds to the foam retention after shaking such that the yeast will have the longer time to be in contact with oxygen - granted, not infinite but longer nonetheless.  At least, that's how I recall it.

But in the real homebrew world, it just doesn't matter.  At least not in my testing.  If someone else wants to test it, I'd love to hear their results.

My recollection is that Mark indicated that it DOES matter - maybe not to you, but to the yeast.  Chances are that there is some kind of difference, but that the difference is either lost on you (too minor to distinguish) OR not important to you (yeast health becomes more important on successive pitches and if you're not going generations deep then not an issue).  Also, given that the difference would likely be flavor/aroma/nuance, you may simply be missing it due to your inability to reliably smell/taste (by your own words, see below), or it could be so minor that it's "no big deal" to you.

I'm 68 and I've retired from judging because I can't taste or smell reliably any more.  Some days it's fine, others it fades in and out.  I finally decided it wasn't  vair to comp entrants to judge their beer if I wasn't t my best.  So I'd say it depends on why you want BJCP certification.  If it's for your own enjoyment and edification, go for it.  If it's so you can judge, be realisitic.

My senses are still good enough most of the time to tell. Abd while it may make a theoretical difference to the yeast,  it seems to make no difference to the beer.  Try it yourself and tell me if I'm wrong.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: hopfenundmalz on December 18, 2019, 08:04:05 PM
Am I wrong here? For some reason I was under the impression that S. Cerevisiae, Mark Van Ditta and YeastWhisperer were all names used on different forums but the same person?

Same person. Some of the posts to Jim's beer kit were just about identical. I think he link from here to there once.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: ynotbrusum on December 18, 2019, 08:10:31 PM
Why not shake, add yeast and shake again?
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: denny on December 18, 2019, 08:24:13 PM
Why not shake, add yeast and shake again?

If you get the same amount of air as you would with the other method, that's fine.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: Frankenbrew on December 19, 2019, 12:50:26 AM
Why not shake, add yeast and shake again?

Yes, that sounds like it would work just fine.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: Frankenbrew on December 19, 2019, 12:51:32 AM
But, leave the cap on for 30 minutes after your last shake!
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: MattyAHA on January 03, 2020, 12:55:07 AM
i did 2 beers recently with the SNS method and all i can say is the beers started fermenting nice and fast and are looking very healthy, i have not tasted the beers yet but i have high hopes and it made this process alot more enjoyable and simple so if the beer turns out as expected im 100% sold on the SNS method
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: MattyAHA on January 13, 2020, 07:50:21 PM
i know this thread is dead but wanted to follow up with my experience with the SNS method, First off i'm sold on this method, my double IPA went from 1.072 to 1.009 in 12 days, no off flavors, very clean  thumbs up
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: denny on January 13, 2020, 09:08:18 PM
i know this thread is dead but wanted to follow up with my experience with the SNS method, First off i'm sold on this method, my double IPA went from 1.072 to 1.009 in 12 days, no off flavors, very clean  thumbs up

I just made an SNS starter with an 11 month old smack pack of 1450.  Had big time fermentation in 12 hours.  Haven't check the gravity yet, but it appears to be done.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: MattyAHA on January 13, 2020, 09:28:32 PM
i know this thread is dead but wanted to follow up with my experience with the SNS method, First off i'm sold on this method, my double IPA went from 1.072 to 1.009 in 12 days, no off flavors, very clean  thumbs up

I just made an SNS starter with an 11 month old smack pack of 1450.  Had big time fermentation in 12 hours.  Haven't check the gravity yet, but it appears to be done.
yeah the yeast rip when they are healthy , Thanks Denny cause you are the one who brought this method to my attention cheers
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: MattyAHA on February 04, 2020, 10:15:11 PM
i'm testing the waters, just finished 4.5 gallon 1.060 dortmunder, curious to see if a 1 liter SNS will get the job done, little paranoid but i took the leap of faith, lets see what happens \m/ \m/
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: BrewBama on February 04, 2020, 10:32:36 PM
I think you’ll be pleased.


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Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: ynotbrusum on February 04, 2020, 11:00:48 PM
I used to make a 2.5 gallon batch, then step up on the first re-pitch to 5 gallons and then re-pitch serially into my standard 10 gallon batches, but with SNS, I make a 5 gallon batch pitching one package of SNS yeast starter into it and then step up to a 10 gallon batch from there.  No problems yet.

Cheers!
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: Saccharomyces on July 28, 2020, 09:29:28 PM
I know that this thread is old, but I would like to clarify things.  I developed this method in 1993 when I was younger and much stronger.  In reality, it was serendipity.  I was not setting out to create a starter method.  I was just trying to get my yeast mixed well with the starter medium.  Having a been a body builder for most of my twenties, I still very strong, so I shook the starter like it owed me money.  I started with a repurposed half-gallon glass Cran Raspberry bottle.  When I moved up to a repurposed gallon glass apple juice jug, I noticed that the starter medium foamed like crazy (I was making quart starters at the time, so ratio was four to one). I also noticed that fermentations experienced shorter lag periods, attenuated better, and had few, if any off-favors. It was not until I started to think of the problem in engineering terms that I understood what was going on.  Foam has a very high specific surface area compared to liquid; therefore, it is easier for oxygen to diffuse into it.  In essence, I stumbled across an improved, low cost starter method just because I was strong. It took engineering and science to understand why the method worked well.

In reality, if one shakes and pitches, one has to shake a second time to disperse the yeast cells.  I have debated whether or not the heavy initial shake damages cells, but empirical knowledge tells me that shaking to disperse the yeast cells is part of the magic.  Inoculating and shaking often leads to a shorter starter lag time.  The same thing happens when a carboy is shaken after the yeast culture has been pitched.  In the early days, I used a repurposed 6.5 gallon acid bottle for a primary.  Unlike the 6.5 gallon acid bottles that were sold after the homebrew trade became more established, the early bottles came with a screw-on cap, which allows the bottle to be laid on its side and rolled back-and-forth vigorously after the culture had been pitched.  That step definitely shortened lag times by at least an hour.
Title: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: BrewBama on July 29, 2020, 02:15:58 PM
... shortened lag times ...

Mark, I’ve often wanted to get your take on lag time.

I understand viability is absolutely important but I’ve heard some homebrewers swing the pendulum so far as to say that cell count is nearly irrelevant and viability of even a small colony is ALL that matters as long as it’s viable.

I realize you could theoretically add one viable yeast cell in a wort and eventually it would create enough biomass to ferment to beer. Of course, this would take forever as the mother of all lag times.

The question(s):

Pitch rate calculators prescribe a certain pitch rate based on mfr recommendations. Are these calculators irrelevant based on SnS viability starters? ...or does the ‘solution to pollution is dilution’ mantra apply?

What do you consider a reasonable lag time?

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Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: ynotbrusum on July 29, 2020, 05:28:50 PM
Mark can correct me (and I may be wrong), but "vitality" in this sense is key - i.e., the starter yeast is firmly involved in fermentation at the point of introduction to the main wort, so the yeast cell numbers are not as critical.  "Viability" to me is more of a determination that a yeast cell "can ferment" (as in live to metabolize and reproduce), rather than how well it is prepared to be introduced to the final medium.

Maybe it is just semantics, so please don't take me wrong as to intentions on this question.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: Saccharomyces on August 01, 2020, 10:15:13 PM
The question(s):

Pitch rate calculators prescribe a certain pitch rate based on mfr recommendations. Are these calculators irrelevant based on SnS viability starters? ...or does the ‘solution to pollution is dilution’ mantra apply?

What do you consider a reasonable lag time?

Given that a 19L (5-gallon) batch needs approximately 3.8 trillion cells to reach maximum cell density and the average 1 liter starter contains 200 billion cells, we need to increase the cell count by a factor of 19 (3.8 trillion divided by 200 billion).  However, since yeast cell growth is exponential and not multiplicative (yeast cells grow at a rate of 2^n, where the symbol "^" denotes raised to the power of), we are looking log(19) / log(2)  = 4.25 (rounded up to 5) replication periods.  The average replication period for yeast is 90 minutes, so the average exponential growth period is 5 * 90 / 60  = 7.5 hours.  What figure means is that the average culture that is pitched at high krausen should start to produce a head at around 12 hours +/- 2 after pitching.  If it is taking more than 12 hours for a fermentation to reach that point either the initial cell count is low or the yeast was not healthy when pitched; therefore, requiring longer lag and exponential growth phases.  All dry strains that are not old should easily reach this point in 12 hours if enough cells are pitched.  My take on strains such as Lallemand BRY-97 is that it needs two packs per 5 gallons because the viable yeast cell count is low at the time of pitching (i.e., its shelf life is shorter than most of the other dry strains).  Something about that yeast strain is odd.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: Saccharomyces on August 01, 2020, 10:40:56 PM
Reading the link at Jim’s and the instructions Mark posted here on AHA, I never understood why folks shake then add yeast when he describes adding yeast then shaking.

Maybe just semantics. I guess it works either way.

The Shaken, not Stirred method was the result of serendipity.  I did not set out to create a new way to create a starter.  It was just the result of me being very strong at the time and wanting to disperse my yeasst culture in my starter. If one desires to shake until the media is mostly foam before pitching that is cool; however, the lag time will increase by a few minutes to an hour or so as the yeast strain distributes in the solution.  There is no magic in this method from a shaking point of view. The method works because it provides a high-level of oxygenation at the beginning where it is needed followed by pitching at the optimum time (brewers who think that yeast cells require continuous oxygenation in a solution that is above the Crabtee threshold are misinformed).  I was talking to Denny via the back channel on this site about how unnecessarily complex the hobby has become (trust me, the homebrewing community used to be a lot more fun and non-competitive in the early days than it is today).  People honestly believe that they need a stir plate to create a healthy yeast culture, which is complete nonsense.  Finding a way to oxygenate the wort before pitching or shortly thereafter and pitching at high krausen is what maters. 

I am currently in a discussion with a Ph.D. physiologist on a different topic, but what he fails to understand and what most seasoned engineers know is that the real world rarely matches the scientific model.  Crap happens that throws one's model off as there are outliers that mess things up.  That is why engineering and medicine are theory plus practice disciplines.  Theory gets us on the page, but practice is what determines how well the theory matches real world conditions.  As much as we want to model cells, there is genetic variance that does not match our thesis from which we can learn if our mind is open to new information.  Anything more than that borders on arrogance that reveals a person's insecurity.  Trust me, I work at a research university where this level of arrogance is on display every day.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: Richard on August 02, 2020, 12:20:47 AM
I tried the SNS method a couple of times, but was not sure that I was pitching at the proper time, and I didn't see any improvement that seemed worthwhile to me. I was using a 1 gallon plastic milk jug rather than a glass container. Is that OK or is there some reason it is not recommended?

I generally start brewing around 8 or 9 in the morning and pitch my yeast around 2 or 3 PM. I made the SNS starter first thing in the morning, but that was only 6-8 hours before pitching. To pitch at 12 hours would require me to wake up in the middle of the night to make the starter or delay pitching for hours after I have finished brewing. Neither of those options is convenient for me. If I make a starter ahead of time and refrigerate it then it is one less thing I have to do on brew day and I know it will be ready when I want to pitch it.
Title: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: BrewBama on August 02, 2020, 12:08:20 PM
Thank you!  As always great answer. You’ve explained ‘viability + pitch rate matters’ and recommended lag time very clearly.

With Bry-97, which is the strain I use +90% of the time, following the mfr pitch rate calculator I get ~14-18 hrs ‘blip’ on my constant read floating hydrometer.  I consider this blip the start. I could very well have foam at that point or earlier but I can’t see the fermentation because I use a stainless bucket.

It took some time but I’ve gained confidence in that strain.  I pitch as the fermenter is filling along with 2 tsp Fermax nutrient. Using this method I get a very predictable start, complete job, and fast finish. The results are everything I am looking for: clean and clear.


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Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: Saccharomyces on August 02, 2020, 02:22:55 PM
I tried the SNS method a couple of times, but was not sure that I was pitching at the proper time, and I didn't see any improvement that seemed worthwhile to me. I was using a 1 gallon plastic milk jug rather than a glass container. Is that OK or is there some reason it is not recommended?

Glass is always better when dealing with cultures because it is easier to sanitize.  I do not know where you are located, but most better homebrewing suppliers carry 1-gallon glass jugs.  One-gallon glass jugs filled with apple juice can often be found in grocery stores after the apple harvest; however, glass has been replaced plastic in a lot of places.  If you are willing to pony up the dough, my preferred SNS container is a 5L borosilicate glass media.  However, this size media bottle is not cheap, even used.  Here is a photo of my old Corning 1395-5L 5-liter media bottle (I gifted it to a talented young brewer I know when I stopped brewing four years ago):

(https://i.imgur.com/4pzkAgo.jpg)


Quote
I generally start brewing around 8 or 9 in the morning and pitch my yeast around 2 or 3 PM. I made the SNS starter first thing in the morning, but that was only 6-8 hours before pitching. To pitch at 12 hours would require me to wake up in the middle of the night to make the starter or delay pitching for hours after I have finished brewing. Neither of those options is convenient for me. If I make a starter ahead of time and refrigerate it then it is one less thing I have to do on brew day and I know it will be ready when I want to pitch it.

You can start a culture the previous day or evening, let it grow for 5 to 7 hours, and then retard activity by placing it in the refrigerater (the culture will still be active, but it will be working at a reduced metabolic rate).  The culture should be removed from the refrigerator in the morning as soon as you get up. Placing a starter in one’s refrigerator to retard growth is not remotely the same thing as allowing it to ferment out before storing it in a refrigerator. The cells that are in a fermented-out starter are in a state called quiescence.  Yeast cells that are in quiescence have undergone morphological changes where the cell wall thickens in order to prepare for a lack of carbon to transform into energy. These changes have to be undone when a culture is pitched, lengthening lag time.

With that said, 12 hours is not a hard and fast number. However, the starter should be pitched within 18 hours of inoculation for best results, which means that if your brew day ends at 3, you should inoculate your starter no earlier than 9pm (experience with a strain will teach one how early is too early).  Retarding a culture will buy one more time, but it takes experience to know when a retarded culture will reach high krausen after being removed from one's refrigerator.  In the spirit of keeping things simple, one just needs to be mindful of pitching a starter within 18 hours of inoculation.  Also, remember that there are cultures like BRY 97 that take a little longer to reach high krausen because there is nothing average with respect to how long that strain takes to reach high krausen.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: EnkAMania on August 02, 2020, 07:23:18 PM
Yesterday I did my regular vitality starter (pitching 4-5 hours) with shaken not stirred method.  The shaking is a bit of pain, but I treated it like exercise and walked around the house walking and shaking.  After 24 hours, my 1.070 wort is down do 1.032.  This is a yeast slurry of Conan from 5-29, fourth beer for this yeast.  You might have a convert here.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: Richard on August 02, 2020, 08:39:22 PM
Great suggestion on cooling down the starter to slow the growth. That should work for me. I am sure I can find a glass jug somewhere, even in these days where plastic is taking over. Does cheap wine still come in glass jugs with handles? I could buy some and use it for cooking. Actually, after thinking a bit more, I will stick with gallon plastic jugs. I don't have any problems sanitizing those and they are plentiful and essentially free.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: Saccharomyces on August 03, 2020, 04:23:49 AM
I am sure I can find a glass jug somewhere, even in these days where plastic is taking over. Does cheap wine still come in glass jugs with handles? I could buy some and use it for cooking. Actually, after thinking a bit more, I will stick with gallon plastic jugs. I don't have any problems sanitizing those and they are plentiful and essentially free.

If you look long enough, you can probably find a 1-gallon jug for free.  I personally would never propagate starters in plastic.  Most infections are pitched with the starter and plastic is more difficult to sanitize than glass because it is porous. My local homebrew supply store sells 1-gallon glass jugs for $6.00. That is cheap insurance.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: millstone on August 03, 2020, 11:28:23 AM
I am sure I can find a glass jug somewhere,

I have been using the SNS method for a few years and use a one gallon pickle jar that has a nice wide mouth. I need to make sure I have a good seal on the lid so that during the shaking, wort does not come out through the lid.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: goose on August 03, 2020, 02:57:04 PM
How about using a growler from a brewery?  Some breweries still sell growlers made of clear glass (not a really great idea when transporting them without taking steps to keep sunlight from skunking the beer).  I have several here that I use for blow-off containers for my conicals.  I am sure you can find one somewhere, plus you can get some beer as well and "keep the glass".

Just remember not to boil anything in them and then immdeiately put them in cold water.  You will shatter the glass and end up with a mess.
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: ynotbrusum on August 04, 2020, 01:06:49 AM
I seem to recall that the starter vessel needs to be at least 4 times the volume of starter medium.  But I could’ve misremembered....
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: denny on August 04, 2020, 02:04:26 PM
I seem to recall that the starter vessel needs to be at least 4 times the volume of starter medium.  But I could’ve misremembered....

You are correct
Title: Re: SNS method and yeast pack age
Post by: Saccharomyces on August 04, 2020, 10:31:18 PM
I seem to recall that the starter vessel needs to be at least 4 times the volume of starter medium.  But I could’ve misremembered....

It needs to be at least four times the volume of the starter.  I use a 5L media bottle to make 1L starters.