Author Topic: 5 gallon starters and you drink them.  (Read 3710 times)

Offline Hydro

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5 gallon starters and you drink them.
« on: August 01, 2012, 07:22:21 AM »
My starters range from 4-5+% (1.040-1.055) and I drink them.   These are 5 gallon starters.

Hi Fred,
I know that I am comming a bit late to the party, although you mentioned a couple of things which interest me. 
1. You are making 5 gallon starters.  Are you using glass carboys?  I would assume that a stir plate would not work well due to the shape of the bottom of the carboy, therefore you must be adding oxygen via a centerstone or what ever method you normally do.  Then let it ferment just as a regular batch of beer would.  I find this interesting because I am starting to ferment in Sanke kegs.  I could create just one starter in the Sanke. Instead of having to go through a couple of starter steps to get to the volume which I need.  Once it has completed it's starter phase, rack off the liquid.  Add the wort, oxygenate and stream line my efficency.  This would be vary helpful when needing to create large starters for big beers.
2. You drink the starter liquid after the process has completed.  Of course this is a low grade of beer, 1.020 - 1.040 SG.  I have not done this and it sounds interesting. Have you come up with ways to make this more palatable after the beer has been racked off the yeast cake?  You must be adding hops to the starter wart for a preservative, since you plan on keeping it.  So many questions come to mind, although I will just focus on this right now.  I like the idea of a fresh yeast cake to keep the flavors of the beer I am actually wanting to make, not be affected by other background residual flavors.  So as an example, I would like to make a Strong Scotch Ale using 1728 yeast, 1.086 SG, 12 Gal, ferminted at 60F.  The starter could be 5.25 Gal. boil volume, 5 Gal. batch volume, wort gravity 1.040 from Amber DME, add yeast neutrent, hops same type going into main brew.  Hops 1.5 oz. pellet @ 4.5 % AA, 30 minute boil.  Total bitterness 16.48 IBU.  Cool to 60F, add oxygen, and pitch 2 Wyeast 1728 smack packs.  This hopefully should create enough of a yeast cake 706 Billion cells needed for the 1.086 wart to follow, and also add enough hops for preservative, and flavor of the starter beer. 

Is this what you do or have you come up with something else to improve the process and flavor?
« Last Edit: August 01, 2012, 07:24:29 AM by Hydro »
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2. American Amber Ale
3. Kolsch
4. Scotch Ale
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Re: 5 gallon starters and you drink them.
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2012, 07:33:26 AM »
I think he was being clever. The idea is simply to brew a low gravity beer just as you normally would. I am fond of brewing an ordinary bitter (1.035ish) and reusing the yeast for a barley wine, or brewing a table saison and follow it with a really big saison, belgian golden --> tripple, scottish 40/- --> wee heavy etc. no stir plate, normal preferment oxengenation
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Offline roffenburger

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Re: 5 gallon starters and you drink them.
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2012, 07:34:51 AM »
I think what he's talking about is re-pitching the yeast from a batch in the 1.040-1.055 range. Just make a batch of beer as normal, keg/bottle, and save the yeast in the bottom of your fermenter for another batch. Its a great way to save some money as well as the additional effort of a starter.
Travis R.

Offline Hydro

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Re: 5 gallon starters and you drink them.
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2012, 08:04:14 AM »
Thanks for the update guys.  It makes since. 
Like killing two birds with one stone.
More then one way to skin a cat.
Oh, don't want to make any animal advocates out there agitated.
Just a joke.
For the Love of Beer,
Hydro

On Tap Now:
1. Irish Red Ale
2. American Amber Ale
3. Kolsch
4. Scotch Ale
5. Strong Scotch Ale
6. Key Lime Pie (11%) Chilled to 29 deg. F. you can not even taste the alcohol.

It is time to start brewing again.

Offline beersk

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Re: 5 gallon starters and you drink them.
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2012, 08:36:55 AM »
I do this essentially with the first pitch of a new yeast.  I'll make a starter, then brew a 1.045ish batch of something fairly light, then use the yeast cake for slurry for future batches.  You get a nice light drinker and a few pitches of fairly clean looking yeast out of it.
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Offline majorvices

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5 gallon starters and you drink them.
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2012, 10:43:50 AM »
I will admit a little something. I have not made a starter in two years or so. I just make 10 gallons of low gravity beer and pitch 2 or 3 vials (or 1 vial for low gravity belgians and wheats if they are fresh) per carboy and aerate very well. Then I keg that and drink it while I use that harvested yeast to make my other beers. Yeah, the harvested yeast does tend to make better beer very often, but the 2-3 vials per makes perfectly acceptable beer.

I figure it costs about the same to pitch 2 vials per carboy than it does to make two starters when you count in the DME.
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Offline beersk

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Re: 5 gallon starters and you drink them.
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2012, 10:47:40 AM »


I figure it costs about the same to pitch 2 vials per carboy than it does to make two starters when you count in the DME.
Well, I think it's a little cheaper to make the starter, but it depends on how much your time is worth to you versus paying a little extra to just pitch the yeast and not worry about it.
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Offline hokerer

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Re: 5 gallon starters and you drink them.
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2012, 10:55:18 AM »


I figure it costs about the same to pitch 2 vials per carboy than it does to make two starters when you count in the DME.
Well, I think it's a little cheaper to make the starter, but it depends on how much your time is worth to you versus paying a little extra to just pitch the yeast and not worry about it.

..and lots cheaper if you can up extra wort from earlier brews.
Joe

Offline saintpierre

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Re: 5 gallon starters and you drink them.
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2012, 11:14:35 AM »
Do you guys "rinse" the yeast cake prior to repitching or just rack the fresh wort onto the yeast cake?  I tend to "rinse" the yeast but am wonder if this step is really worth the time...
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Offline denny

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Re: 5 gallon starters and you drink them.
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2012, 11:16:24 AM »
Do you guys "rinse" the yeast cake prior to repitching or just rack the fresh wort onto the yeast cake?  I tend to "rinse" the yeast but am wonder if this step is really worth the time...

IME, no, it's not.
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Offline beersk

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Re: 5 gallon starters and you drink them.
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2012, 12:30:34 PM »
Do you guys "rinse" the yeast cake prior to repitching or just rack the fresh wort onto the yeast cake?  I tend to "rinse" the yeast but am wonder if this step is really worth the time...
I dump the yeast cake into a couple sanitized mason jars, cover with cling wrap, then put the jar lid on. No rinsing.  Usually just pitch a whole jar, or I'll add some of the cooled wort to a growler, pitch the yeast into that to get it going, while the main wort is cooling further in the chest freezer.  Seems to work out pretty well.
I don't usually pitch yeast from a darker beer to a lighter beer. But I wonder if that matters...
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Re: 5 gallon starters and you drink them.
« Reply #11 on: August 02, 2012, 11:45:49 AM »
I reuse yeast by saving in a ziplock gallon plastic bag.  If I use it within a month, I pitch directly with approximately a third, a half, three quarters or all (based on weeks from harvest).  After a month, I will rinse and make a starter or consider tossing it.  I write the date of harvest on the bag, along with yeast type.  I have used dark slurry for lighter beers without any appreciable effect on color of the repitched beer.  YMMV.

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Offline beersk

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Re: 5 gallon starters and you drink them.
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2012, 01:53:41 PM »
I reuse yeast by saving in a ziplock gallon plastic bag.  If I use it within a month, I pitch directly with approximately a third, a half, three quarters or all (based on weeks from harvest).  After a month, I will rinse and make a starter or consider tossing it.  I write the date of harvest on the bag, along with yeast type.  I have used dark slurry for lighter beers without any appreciable effect on color of the repitched beer.  YMMV.


Nice to know, thanks. 
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Offline Alewyfe

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Re: 5 gallon starters and you drink them.
« Reply #13 on: August 02, 2012, 02:24:36 PM »
I reuse yeast by saving in a ziplock gallon plastic bag.  If I use it within a month, I pitch directly with approximately a third, a half, three quarters or all (based on weeks from harvest).  After a month, I will rinse and make a starter or consider tossing it.  I write the date of harvest on the bag, along with yeast type.  I have used dark slurry for lighter beers without any appreciable effect on color of the repitched beer.  YMMV.
Why the plastic bag? 


« Last Edit: August 02, 2012, 03:11:51 PM by dbeechum »
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Offline beersk

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Re: 5 gallon starters and you drink them.
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2012, 06:52:58 AM »
I reuse yeast by saving in a ziplock gallon plastic bag.  If I use it within a month, I pitch directly with approximately a third, a half, three quarters or all (based on weeks from harvest).  After a month, I will rinse and make a starter or consider tossing it.  I write the date of harvest on the bag, along with yeast type.  I have used dark slurry for lighter beers without any appreciable effect on color of the repitched beer.  YMMV.
Why the plastic bag? 



Easy to cut a corner and squeeze the yeast out I guess, like a smack pack. Plus they're assumed sanitary on the inside.
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