Author Topic: When to Start My Starter  (Read 3199 times)

Offline mihalybaci

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When to Start My Starter
« on: August 19, 2012, 08:38:26 PM »
I will likely be brewing up a Belgian-style tripel Next Saturday, and I figure I'll need a 3-4 liter starter. Usually my starters are about 1.5 L and I just pitch the whole volume, but I can't really do that with such a large volume. How long should I let the starter sit for maximum growth and how long should I cold crash it before brewing? Also, I'm guessing I should get the starter out of the fridge the morning of to let it warm up to room temp before pitching?

Offline Pinski

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Re: When to Start My Starter
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2012, 09:48:12 PM »
I like to have my starters on the stir plate for 36-48 hours and then crash for 24.  If you decant, you can get the pitch volume to room/pitch temperature in a couple hours.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: When to Start My Starter
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2012, 04:51:56 AM »
I'd start about 4-5 days ahead of time to make sure it has time to ferment out. If it goes more quickly than expected, a couple extra days in the fridge won't hurt. No need to warm it up before pitching, unless you want to add some wort on brew day.
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Re: When to Start My Starter
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2012, 08:09:38 AM »
I'd start about 4-5 days ahead of time to make sure it has time to ferment out. If it goes more quickly than expected, a couple extra days in the fridge won't hurt. No need to warm it up before pitching, unless you want to add some wort on brew day.

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Offline erockrph

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Re: When to Start My Starter
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2012, 08:38:35 AM »
I've only done a handful of starters, because I generally brew smaller batches. I don't have a stir plate or anything like that, so I try to give myself a week. I let fermentation go for 2-3 days at room temp, then cold crash for another 3-4 days or so. It's probably longer than I need, but it gives me peace of mind.

Followup question for those with more experience than me - do you find you need more time to cold crash certain yeast strains (like belgians, weizens or lagers)?
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Offline mihalybaci

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Re: When to Start My Starter
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2012, 11:13:50 AM »
Followup question for those with more experience than me - do you find you need more time to cold crash certain yeast strains (like belgians, weizens or lagers)?

Same question, do less flocculant strains need more time in the fridge? I'll be using White Labs 545 (Belgian Strong Ale) for the first time, so I don't have any experience with it.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2012, 11:41:40 AM by mihalybaci »

Offline mihalybaci

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Re: When to Start My Starter
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2012, 08:13:24 AM »
Follow-up question on my original post: When should I add yeast nutrient (say, Servomyces)? Should I add it to the starter, wait and add it to the tripel wort, or both?

Offline tygo

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Re: When to Start My Starter
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2012, 08:30:11 AM »
I usually add a pinch to the starter and then to the boil as well. 
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Offline Pinski

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Re: When to Start My Starter
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2012, 10:20:40 AM »
I usually add a pinch to the starter and then to the boil as well.
2nd that.
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Re: Re: When to Start My Starter
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2012, 10:38:44 AM »
Quote
Same question, do less flocculant strains need more time in the fridge? I'll be using White Labs 545 (Belgian Strong Ale) for the first time, so I don't have any experience with it.

Yes, they also form less dense slurries. I.e. you need to be more careful when decanting.

Kai

Offline jiggs26.2

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Re: When to Start My Starter
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2012, 04:28:34 PM »
I usually give my starters at least 36-48 hours on the stir plate.  (Starter for every 1L water = 1 cup extra pale extract, 1/2 tsp yeast nutrient{I also add during boil}) I cold crash in the fridge for at least 24 hours but would not recommend going over 4 or 5 days.  If you are worried about all the yeast not falling out in 24 hours you could leave it for 48, but 24 should be good.  I usually decant min e right before I start brewing then let it sit at room temp. 

Here is a good pod cast you can also find on itunes.
http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/Brew-Strong/Brew-Strong-12-22-08-Yeast-Starters
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Offline mripa

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Re: When to Start My Starter
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2012, 09:53:11 AM »
What is the purpose of cold crashing yeast starter?  I just dump straight from stir plate after 48 hours.  Is it dependent on type of yeast?

Offline Pinski

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Re: When to Start My Starter
« Reply #12 on: September 10, 2012, 10:03:34 AM »
Cold crashing your starter settles the yeast down so you can decant off the starter beer without losing a significant amount of yeast prior to pitching. Lots of folks don't want the starter beer to be pitched into their fresh wort.  I'm one of those folks.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: When to Start My Starter
« Reply #13 on: September 10, 2012, 10:54:21 AM »
What is the purpose of cold crashing yeast starter?  I just dump straight from stir plate after 48 hours.  Is it dependent on type of yeast?

Since I make smaller batches, when I need starters they're generally pretty large in comparison to my batch size. I don't want to end up dumping 3 liters of starter beer into my 2.5 gallon batch of lager/barleywine/IIPA/etc. By cold crashing I can just pitch the yeast slurry without diluting my beer with starter.
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Offline philm63

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Re: When to Start My Starter
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2012, 06:14:36 PM »
If the starter volume is much more than 5% of the batch volume AND you've used a stir plate, there's a good chance of introducing off-flavors to your brew should you pitch the whole enchilada.

Not being crazy about stepping (extra handling = higher risk of contamination) if it works out that I can get away with a 1.5 - 2L starter then that's what I'll do, and I'll let it ferment out for 48 hours on the stir plate then crash it for another 48 hours in the fridge. I'll decant the morning of my brew and let it come to pitching temp (usually a couple of degrees F lower than my final wort chill temp) and hold it there in a water-bath until it's time to pitch.

It's Monday night and there's a fresh 2L starter on my stir plate in the ferm fridge at 70F as I type, and it's getting pitched this Saturday afternoon.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 06:17:01 PM by philm63 »
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