Author Topic: 1st time using liquid yeast  (Read 6287 times)

Offline csu007

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 270
  • Littleton, CO
    • View Profile
1st time using liquid yeast
« on: February 15, 2012, 05:35:50 PM »
So my local homebrew store was out of dry yeast, so i bought some liquid yeast (English ale strain) . this will be my second attempt at homebrewing, i will be making a milk (sweet) stout using a extract recipe i have read/heard that i need to use a starter batch with liquid yeast, however, i'm not sure how to do starter batch? Can i just pitch the yeast into the primary fermenter and go from there or do i need to use a starter?
“Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drank, I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, “It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.

Offline hokerer

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2639
  • Manassas, VA
    • View Profile
Re: 1st time using liquid yeast
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2012, 05:50:48 PM »
It depends on the gravity you're expecting of your stout.  Unless the gravity will be very low, yes, you'll be much better off making a starter.  To see more precisely what you'd need, check out this Yeast Calculator

To make the starter, you just need an amount of 1.030-1.040 wort corresponding to what the calculator suggests.  Boil and cool it and then pitch your yeast into it and cover loosely with foil.  After a day or two, you can put it in the fridge and, once the cooling has caused the yeast to settle to the bottom, pour off the spent liquid on top and what you have left is what you can pitch into your brew.
Joe

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8195
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: 1st time using liquid yeast
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2012, 05:51:40 PM »
What is the OG  and volume of the beer you are making?  That will determine if you need to use a starter.  Exactly which yeast is it?  What number?
Tom Schmidlin

Offline csu007

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 270
  • Littleton, CO
    • View Profile
Re: 1st time using liquid yeast
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2012, 05:56:53 PM »
WLP002- English Ale Yeast , 5 gal
1 lbs  Black Patent Malt
1/2 lbs Carapils
1/2 lbs Crystal 80
3/4 lbs Chocolate Malt
1lb lactose
6lb light LME

1oz cascade
1oz Styrian Goldings

not sure on the OG as i haven't brewed enough to tell beforehand and haven't brewed yet period.

“Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drank, I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, “It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8195
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: 1st time using liquid yeast
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2012, 06:13:16 PM »
I get 1.057 as the OG for the beer without the lactose, so I would make a starter.  2 liters if you have the capacity, but that's me.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline tygo

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2622
  • Sterling, VA
    • View Profile
Re: 1st time using liquid yeast
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2012, 06:17:06 PM »
I get 1.047 without the lactose.  He's using LME.  Borderline I guess but I'd still make a starter.
Clint
Wort Hogs

Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Offline csu007

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 270
  • Littleton, CO
    • View Profile
Re: 1st time using liquid yeast
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2012, 06:17:48 PM »
ok thanks for the suggestions
“Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drank, I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, “It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 7591
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: 1st time using liquid yeast
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2012, 07:01:20 PM »
You really want to make a starter for liquid yeast. You will have much better luck, even if your starter only consists of getting the yeast active and pitching. you want the starter to be around 1.030 so it doesn;t take much DME. You can use just about any clean and sanitized container just be sure to aerate the starter well and often. Ideally you want to grow yeast (see pitching calculator at  www.mrmalty.com for details) but even pitching an active starter will be better than nothing.

Making a starter is easy, and as others have said: if you can;t make a 2L starter properly your gonna have lots of trouble with 5 gallons of beer.
Keith Y.

Vote Jonathan Fuller for Governing Committee!

Online Joe Sr.

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2818
  • Chicago - NORTH SIDE
    • View Profile
Re: 1st time using liquid yeast
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2012, 07:59:21 PM »
Are you better off making a starter?  Yes.

On the other hand, if you just pitch the liquid yeast and it will ferment and make beer.

The beer will likely be better beer if you make a starter, but honestly for your second batch you're probably fine without.

There are a lot of other variables you need to figure out/learn to control as well. Fermentation temperature is as important.

If the starter seems like a high hurdle at this point, don't worry about it.

But if you keep brewing, building up a starter is best practice and I wouldn't skip it.

I made lots of beer before I started making starters.  I make better beer now.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline tschmidlin

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8195
  • Redmond, WA
    • View Profile
Re: 1st time using liquid yeast
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2012, 08:33:04 PM »
I get 1.047 without the lactose.  He's using LME.  Borderline I guess but I'd still make a starter.
I may have clicked DME :)  Too lazy to redo it.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline csu007

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 270
  • Littleton, CO
    • View Profile
Re: 1st time using liquid yeast
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2012, 09:10:00 PM »

Thanks for the tips. I will probably just pitch the yeast w/o a starter (as i lack the space and knowledge to do so right now) I agree i look forward to getting to the point when i have the room, equipment, and knowledge to make better beer.
“Sometimes when I reflect back on all the beer I drank, I feel ashamed. Then I look into the glass and think about the workers in the brewery and all of their hopes and dreams. If I didn’t drink this beer, they might be out of work and their dreams would be shattered. Then I say to myself, “It is better that I drink this beer and let their dreams come true than be selfish and worry about my liver.

Offline morticaixavier

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 7107
  • Davis, CA
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: 1st time using liquid yeast
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2012, 11:17:35 PM »

Thanks for the tips. I will probably just pitch the yeast w/o a starter (as i lack the space and knowledge to do so right now) I agree i look forward to getting to the point when i have the room, equipment, and knowledge to make better beer.
I gotta say, the equipment and space requirements are probably nill if you look at what you already have. I use a 1 qt mason jar 2/3 - 3/4 full of wort. space requirements are a square 4 inches on a side on your counter. but try it both ways and see.

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 7591
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: 1st time using liquid yeast
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2012, 06:15:30 AM »

Thanks for the tips. I will probably just pitch the yeast w/o a starter (as i lack the space and knowledge to do so right now) I agree i look forward to getting to the point when i have the room, equipment, and knowledge to make better beer.
I gotta say, the equipment and space requirements are probably nill if you look at what you already have. I use a 1 qt mason jar 2/3 - 3/4 full of wort. space requirements are a square 4 inches on a side on your counter. but try it both ways and see.

Agree. As I mentioned earlier if you can;t make a 2 liter starter you are going to have trouble with a 5 gallon batch of beer. But I also agree with the comments above about just pitching the yeast will make beer. That said, I'd highly recommend pitching two vials/packs instead of one if you don't intend to make a starter. Also, if the vial/smack pack is anywhere even kinda close to its exp. date don't be surprised if you have a several day lag (which I will also add will stress you out greatly). If the yeast is still fresh you are probably ok to just pitch, but be sure you aerate the hell out of it. And I mean the hell out of it. Sit down in front of the TV and shake off and off for as long as you can stand it, and then come back an hour or so later and give it a go again.

FWIW when I first started homebrewing the liquid yeast pitch they gave you was so small you had to make a starter if you expected to make beer. This was before the days of the interwebs wirh only  a copy of Charlie P's book as a guide, and I managed to make one without any problems. DME, water, small pot, sanitized 2 liter coke jug. IIRC .25 lb DME per quart/liter will get you the starter OG you need.

For more information check this out: http://forums.morebeer.com/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=23248
Keith Y.

Vote Jonathan Fuller for Governing Committee!

Offline bluesman

  • Global Moderator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 8808
  • Delaware
    • View Profile
Re: 1st time using liquid yeast
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2012, 07:50:43 AM »
Pitching an appropriate quantity of active and healthy yeast is paramount to producing very good beer. I highly recommend this in conjunction with good fermentation temperature control as they are the two biggest things one can do to make better beer. I think you'll be amazed by the results.
Ron Price

Offline richardt

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1227
    • View Profile
Re: 1st time using liquid yeast
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2012, 07:59:19 AM »
Agree with all of the above.  I took the simple path initially:  No starter, no temp control, just follow the directions on the kit.  Beer was OK, but not great.  Kind of hot, fusel-y tasting, with extract-twang.  But, there was so much to learn, and the confidence that comes with experience wasn't there yet.  You'll get there, eventually.

A starter isn't hard to do, and it makes a big difference.  It also does not have significant temperature or space requirements.  Cost is whatever you make it to be.  Buying the stir starter plates and flasks and magnetic stir bars will cost a bit, or you can make your own if you're resourceful.  I don't find the mr malty site that easy to use, personally.  I tend to just pitch into a 1.040 SG 1-liter starter, then chill/decant and pitch into a 1.040 SG 2-liter starter (2-step starter) then chill/decant before pitching into a total of 10 gallons of wort.  It seems to work fine.  The key is to have your yeast ready before you even begin your brew day.  If not, you're better off with dry packets of yeast if you're the spontaneous, impulsive brewer.

Temp control is key--if you live somewhere where temps swing around or go too high (over 64 F), then you'll want to ferment in a fridge with a Ranco temp controller.  Initially, I didn't think it mattered, but it really does.