Author Topic: Starter  (Read 1387 times)

Offline edvinjonsson

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« on: March 28, 2012, 06:45:36 PM »
I'm making a Hefeweizen this saturday, aiming for somewhere around 1.050. I have WLP300, should I make a starter? I've never made one before, I've always used dry yeast, but I guess there's a first time for everything. What should be the volume and gravity of the starter?

Offline davidgzach

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Re: Starter
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 06:49:51 PM »
Mr. Malty says 2 vials without a starter.  Honestly, if the production date of the yeast is within the past couple of weeks, I don't think it's a necessity.  However, if it's older than a month, a 1L starter will probably take away any worries.  Gravity should be around 1.035-1.040.

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Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Starter
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2012, 06:58:18 PM »
You want to double your yeast count essentially.

a 2L starter will accomplish just that with intermittent shaking(when you walk by the area just give your starter a shake).

No fancy equipment needed. You can even do a starter in the pan that you're boiling the wort in.

The ratio couldn't be simpler. 1 gram of DME to 10 mL of water. In your case youre gonna want 200 grams of DME and a half gallon of water, you can also add an 1/8tsp or so of nutrient.

Just bring the starter wort to a boil, boil for 15 minutes cool to room temp pitch yeast and shake. Cover the top of your vessel lossely with aluminum foil. No airlock necessary, you want the starter to breathe and get oxygen intake. Your purpose here is yeast growth and health not drinkability.

I always recommend doing a starter in any beer over 1.040 SG, and even then I usually wake the yeast up with a tiny 500mL starter or so. If you are making the switch to liquid yeast then I would highly recommend investing in a stir plate and 2L erlenmeyer flask with a stir bar. is a great place to get all of this in one shot for about 75 clams.  Pitching the appropriate amount of yeast and controlling ferm temps is the MOST crucial aspect to making better beer if you ask me. Hope this helps!
-Head Brewer, Brewtus Brewers in the Shenango Valley. Hopefully opening a brewpub/nano brewery in the next couple years.

Offline zen_brew

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Re: Starter
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2012, 03:08:41 AM »
 I regularly make a Hef that clocks in around 1.050-1.052. I like to make a 1000mL starter on a stir plate for it. Making the starter increases the yeast cell count, but it also helps wake the yeast up and get them prepared for the upcoming job ahead. I usually include about 1/8 tsp of yeast nutrient in the starter as well. Most packs of liquid yeast you buy are at least a couple weeks old and it helps revitalize the yeast that have been sitting dormant without food for a while. Using the Mr Malty calculator is always a good reference point to see how much is recommended.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Starter
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2012, 12:45:02 PM »
Hefeweizen is one of the few styles where you might not want to make a big starter.  The increased yeast growth required from modest underpitching can be helpful in creating a fruitier ester profile in the flavor. 

I make big starters for my typical ales and that includes my Hefe's.  I could enhance the fruitiness if I cut that starter size back a bit.  I still suggest that a starter is always a good idea for 'proofing' your yeast and enhancing their glycogen reserves. 
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