Author Topic: Amount of Wyeast Nutrient in starter  (Read 3435 times)

Offline yso191

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Amount of Wyeast Nutrient in starter
« on: September 18, 2012, 04:22:09 PM »
Hi,

Getting very close to brewing my first batch and want to do it right.  My question is, how much of Wyeast's Beer Nutrient Blend do I put in my starter?  I'm thinking just a typical Ale starter using a single smack pack for a five gallon batch, started in a 2 liter Erlenmeyer flask on a stir plate, with 1.5 liters of DME wort at 1.040 gravity.

The instructions say 1/2 teaspoon 10 minutes before the end of the boil.  Also, if I use it in the starter do I also add it in the boil as instructed?

Thanks, Steve
Steve

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Re: Amount of Wyeast Nutrient in starter
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2012, 04:38:36 PM »
You do not need a lot. WYEASTS instructions say only 11 gms per bbl (a bbl is 31 gallons). In a 2 liter flask I always just dipped out a small amount on the edge of a butter knife and dropped it in.
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Offline konrad

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Re: Amount of Wyeast Nutrient in starter
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2012, 04:48:14 PM »
For the exact starter you describe, I put 1/32 teaspoon directly into the flask when mixing up the DME in the starter, before boiling.  When brewing the actual batch, I also add the 1/2 teaspoon with 10 minutes left in the boil, for a 5 gallon batch.  For this addition, I warm up around 50 ml of spring water in the microwave and mix in the 1/2 tsp of nutrient before adding to the boil.
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Offline tygo

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Re: Amount of Wyeast Nutrient in starter
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2012, 06:12:22 PM »
A pinch in the starter before it comes to a boil will work just fine. 
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Offline dcdwort

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Re: Amount of Wyeast Nutrient in starter
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2012, 12:21:59 PM »
Just curious as to how much benefit you get from the yeast nutrient addition.  I have not done this yet and after my current porter batch blowing through the fermentation lock 4 times in the last 3 days, I wonder if I need to ever add yeast nutrient.  Current wort temp is 64 degrees so it is not over heating.  I do make a 2.5L starter of about 1.040 SG, give it a swirl everytime I go by and have always had good fermentation starting within 12 hours.

Thanks
Don
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Offline narcout

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Re: Amount of Wyeast Nutrient in starter
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2012, 02:07:30 PM »
I've always gone with Northern Brewer's recommendation of 1/2 teaspoon per five gallon batch (added 10 minutes before the end of the boil) and 1/8 teaspoon per pint in starters.

http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/wyeast-brewer-s-choice-nutrient-blend-1-5-oz.html

Perhaps that is overkill, but it has worked well for me.

Offline oly

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Re: Amount of Wyeast Nutrient in starter
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2012, 09:55:17 PM »
Just curious as to how much benefit you get from the yeast nutrient addition.  I have not done this yet and after my current porter batch blowing through the fermentation lock 4 times in the last 3 days, I wonder if I need to ever add yeast nutrient.  Current wort temp is 64 degrees so it is not over heating.  I do make a 2.5L starter of about 1.040 SG, give it a swirl everytime I go by and have always had good fermentation starting within 12 hours.

Thanks
My understanding is that adding the nutrient is more about assuring yeast health in the case that you want to harvest the slurry for re-use, than it is about getting a good fermentation in the beer you add it to.  I think for normal gravity beers (~1.060 or lower) you can get away just fine for that beer without any nutrient, but if you want to harvest that yeast then nutrient is a good idea.  For big beers, nutrient may be a good idea whether or not you are going to harvest the yeast.

I don't have any reference to point to for this info, it's just what I've gleaned from various reading. Maybe someone else can chime in as I've wondered the same thing myself.

Offline dcdwort

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Re: Amount of Wyeast Nutrient in starter
« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2012, 11:49:45 AM »
Good point oly
I have not started harvesting yeast yet, but it is in the plans.  So I can save some nickels now by not using a nutrient and keep spending $$ buying yeast!
Don
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Offline garc_mall

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Re: Amount of Wyeast Nutrient in starter
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2012, 11:13:27 PM »
I am probably over doing it, but it works, and I don't mess with it.

I usually add 1/2 tsp to the starter (2qts or so) and then another 1/2 tsp to the batch 10 or so minutes before the end of the boil. I haven't noticed any off-flavors.

I am willing to admit, it may be a superstitious addition, same as my 1/4lb of wheat malt to each beer. But if it works, I am generally unwilling to change it.
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Offline duboman

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Re: Amount of Wyeast Nutrient in starter
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2012, 05:48:01 AM »
If using WYeast smack packs, IMO it is not necessary to use additional nutrient if you smack the pack prior to pitching the starter as there is a nutrient pack in the package. I do  use nutrient  during the last 10 minutes of the boil though.

As for the size of the starter I recommend you visit www.yeastcalc.com or www.mrmalty.com to calculate the proper sized starter for your specific beer.

Also, I'm a fan of weighing out the DME versus using a volume measure. Weight is much more accurate and it should be at a 10:1 ratio. In other words for a 1L starter you would use 100g DME to 1L of water.
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