Author Topic: A "modified" starter  (Read 1504 times)

Offline edward

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A "modified" starter
« on: February 11, 2010, 05:54:55 AM »
I made a newbie mistake last week when I bought supplies for this weeks 10 gallon batch of pilsner and I dont have quite enough DME for the starter.  Mr. Malty recommends a 5.7 liter starter and I only have enough DME for 5 quarts (4.7 liters) at 1.040.  I dont have a stir plate so I use the intermittent shaking method.

My question is this:  Would adding corn sugar or brown sugar to the starter hurt the vitality of the yeast during the fermentation?  I can add plenty of yeast nutrient in the starter to help make up for not using DME. If I do add sugar to the starter it would be ~18% of the total fermentables in the container.

Is there a type of sugar that I should or should not be used?  Would my 4.7 liter starter be big enough?

Offline ndcube

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Re: A "modified" starter
« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2010, 06:22:53 AM »
If you have some hopbags maybe mash a small amount of grain in a pot to get some wort.

Offline tygo

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Re: A "modified" starter
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2010, 06:45:29 AM »
What's the projected OG and what yeast are you going to be using?
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Offline hokerer

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Re: A "modified" starter
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2010, 07:08:42 AM »
I made a newbie mistake last week when I bought supplies for this weeks 10 gallon batch of pilsner and I dont have quite enough DME for the starter.  Mr. Malty recommends a 5.7 liter starter and I only have enough DME for 5 quarts (4.7 liters) at 1.040.

That's the top end of the range.  Starter wort should be between 1.030 and 1.040 so maybe you could just use a little more water and get the volume you want of 1.030 wort (disclaimer: haven't done (too lazy) the calculations)
Joe

Offline hamiltont

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Re: A "modified" starter
« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2010, 12:40:20 PM »
I made a newbie mistake last week when I bought supplies for this weeks 10 gallon batch of pilsner and I dont have quite enough DME for the starter.  Mr. Malty recommends a 5.7 liter starter and I only have enough DME for 5 quarts (4.7 liters) at 1.040.

That's the top end of the range.  Starter wort should be between 1.030 and 1.040 so maybe you could just use a little more water and get the volume you want of 1.030 wort (disclaimer: haven't done (too lazy) the calculations)

Good point!!  I use a ratio of 3 oz. DME per quart (after boil) for starters. ~1.034. Never had a problem with it & save a few pennys along the way.
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Offline dontblake

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Re: A "modified" starter
« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2010, 12:55:10 PM »
I wouldn't add the simple sugars.  Just go with the 1.030 gravity starter,.  if you're a bit shy on the volume, it won't be the end of the world.
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Offline mikeypedersen

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Re: A "modified" starter
« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2010, 01:24:02 PM »
I wouldn't add the simple sugars.  Just go with the 1.030 gravity starter,.  if you're a bit shy on the volume, it won't be the end of the world.

+1.  I know i've read somewhere that exposing them to simple sugars at that phase can negatively affect the yeast's ability to chew up the more complex sugars in your wort.

Offline edward

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Re: A "modified" starter
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2010, 01:37:39 PM »

I'm brewing 10 gallons of a German Pils with an OG ~1.048, using the Wyeast Pilsen Lager.

It seems like everyone is universally against the simple sugar add.  I have heard a few negative things about using simple sugars but mostly concerning the lack of nutrients. 

I had already considered steeping some grain but the only grain I have on hand is for this batch coming up.

Another thing I had considered since I am using two fermenters is to pitch the all the yeast into one fermenter, wait 24 hours, and then thoroughly mix the two batches together.  I would get 24 hours of yeast growth in fermenter #1 which should generate enough yeast to ferment both batches.

My most likely course of action will be to dilute the starter to a lower gravity, split it, and pitch it.


Offline hamiltont

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Re: A "modified" starter
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2010, 02:10:16 PM »
For a 10 gallon lager you're going to need to step 2 vials of yeast up at least 3 times times (1 qt. - 1/2 gal. - 1 gal. - 2 gal.) & pitch a gallon in each 5 gallons of wort. You'll need about 3 lbs. DME to do that. (3 oz. - 6 oz. - 12 oz. - 24 oz.)
« Last Edit: February 11, 2010, 02:13:39 PM by hamiltont »
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Online Kaiser

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Re: A "modified" starter
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2010, 03:25:32 PM »
The problem with adding simple sugar is that sugar, or carbohydrate in general, are not the limiting nutrient for yeast growth. Nitrogen, e.g. amino acids, and oxygen are. Becase of that more sugar does not mean more yeast. This is in addition to the concern that yeast will get lazy and not ferment maltose as well.

This is the idea behind Drauflassen. I have been suggesting that as a way to deal with a less than optimal amount of yeast and have been using it many times with sucess.

Kai

Offline edward

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Re: A "modified" starter
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2010, 04:47:09 PM »
Interesting concept Kai.  I dont know what I think about leaving wort laying around for a day though, even if you keep it sanitized/covered.  Its pretty similar to what I had in mind, except instead of leaving the wort in the pot I would keep it in the fridge at pitching temp (45F) in a fermenter. 

I only use buckets (6.5g and 7.9g) so I was thinking of 1) pitching the yeast into 3.5 gallons of wort into the small fermenter, 2) wait 24 hours, 3) add 2 gallons of wort to the small fermenter, 4) stir up, 5) transfer the wort/fermenting beer back and forth to get it thoroughly mixed.

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Re: A "modified" starter
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2010, 05:53:44 PM »
Since you can only introduce and not remove contaminants when you transfer wort it is safer to leave the wort in the pot if you can place the pot in the fridge. This doesn't mean that tranfering to a sanitized fermenter will always cause spoilage. You could always use a wort stability test to check the cobtaminan level in the non pitched wort.

Kai

Offline seajellie

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Re: A "modified" starter
« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2010, 06:29:13 PM »
+1 for Drauflassen. I've been doing this for a couple years because of some unusual conditions I have to deal with, and it works great. The proof is in the pudding: The beer has consistently turned out great. And I don't have to mess with starters in advance of brew day.

I never even knew drauflassen was a "real" technique used by those uberlords of the beer world, professional German brewers. I just thought it was some goofy thing I had decided to start doing. Then I checked out Kai's website a couple months ago....


Online Kaiser

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Re: A "modified" starter
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2010, 07:09:08 PM »
Yes, it's not somthing I came up with either. I just thought that it can be applied to home brewing in one way or another. In American and English brewing it's also known as double batch. I have also heard of the Texas two step which seems to be similar. 

The key is sanitation but aside from that it does have a lot of benefits. Most of my Bock beers are pitched that way which allows me to use less yeast compared to what I would need otherwise.

Kai

Offline a10t2

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Re: A "modified" starter
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2010, 08:29:43 PM »
I realize the discussion has moved on, but I'd just make the 4.7 L starter. You're more or less guessing at the starter size anyway, so being off by 6% isn't going to make much difference.
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