Author Topic: Noob question #29  (Read 1267 times)

Offline yso191

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 642
  • Yakima, WA
    • View Profile
Noob question #29
« on: December 15, 2012, 12:17:46 PM »
I'm going to make a starter today.  I have done ale starters at room temperature (70*), but since this will be a lager I'm wondering if I should ferment the starter in a cooler environment.  Obviously I'm not worried about the 'beer' quality, but yeast health.  Is 70* OK for a lager starter?

Steve
Steve

Offline erockrph

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2436
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • Critical Tastings
Re: Noob question #29
« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2012, 12:23:42 PM »
Ale temps are fine for lager starters if you're going to decant and pitch the slurry.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • I must live here
  • *****
  • Posts: 11688
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • View Profile
    • Dennybrew
Noob question #29
« Reply #2 on: December 15, 2012, 01:29:49 PM »
The purpose of a starter is to grow yeast and yeast grows better at room temps.  Between doing that and the size of the starter you need for lagers, you definitely want to decant.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

Offline yso191

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 642
  • Yakima, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Noob question #29
« Reply #3 on: December 15, 2012, 09:19:03 PM »
Ah the questions are endless it seems... and I read the Yeast book!

Anyway, if I make a 1.5 liter starter wort and pitch a smack pack into it, will it result in a higher yeast count than if I make a 1 liter starter wort and pitch the same smack pack into it?

Steve
Steve

Offline erockrph

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2436
  • Chepachet, RI
    • View Profile
    • Critical Tastings
Re: Noob question #29
« Reply #4 on: December 15, 2012, 09:42:00 PM »
Ah the questions are endless it seems... and I read the Yeast book!

Anyway, if I make a 1.5 liter starter wort and pitch a smack pack into it, will it result in a higher yeast count than if I make a 1 liter starter wort and pitch the same smack pack into it?

Steve

Yes it will. If you're not using a pitching rate/starter size calculator like the one on Mr Malty, YeastCalc, or Brewer's Friend, I highly recommend it - especially if you're brewing a lager.

I'm not sure what you're planning for the batch size/gravity of the lager you're brewing, but for a 5-gallon batch of an average gravity lager you're probably looking at a starter size in the 2-3 liter range to get up to the pitching rates you want.
Eric B.

Finally got around to starting a homebrewing blog: The Hop Whisperer

Offline yso191

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 642
  • Yakima, WA
    • View Profile
Re: Noob question #29
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2012, 09:54:32 PM »
Ah the questions are endless it seems... and I read the Yeast book!

Anyway, if I make a 1.5 liter starter wort and pitch a smack pack into it, will it result in a higher yeast count than if I make a 1 liter starter wort and pitch the same smack pack into it?

Steve

Yes it will. If you're not using a pitching rate/starter size calculator like the one on Mr Malty, YeastCalc, or Brewer's Friend, I highly recommend it - especially if you're brewing a lager.

I'm not sure what you're planning for the batch size/gravity of the lager you're brewing, but for a 5-gallon batch of an average gravity lager you're probably looking at a starter size in the 2-3 liter range to get up to the pitching rates you want.

See?!  Another question!  But first, yes I am using the calculator in Beersmith.  When one references a '2-3 liter starter', I assume it means the whole starter not 2-3 liters of yeast cake after one decants the starter beer off the top, right?

Steve
Steve

Offline ynotbrusum

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1004
  • Da mihi sis cerevisiam.
    • View Profile
Re: Noob question #29
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2012, 06:04:17 AM »
Yes, the starter size referenced is the whole starter prior to decanting.  For what it is worth, you might want to plan on harvesting the slurry from your initial batch (use about half) for your subsequent batch.  If you time your brewing, you can rotate lagers pretty well. (I have 2 going at any one time and simply rack the first one for the third one, then the second one for the fourth and so on.)  I primary in 15 gallon plastic barrels (10 gallon batches) and then lager in kegs, so it is just a matter of making sure kegs are available.

Cheers and welcome to the cold side!
Hodge Garage Brewing: "Brew with a glad heart!"