Author Topic: An alternative to starters  (Read 2115 times)

Offline beersk

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An alternative to starters
« on: December 19, 2012, 09:11:05 AM »
Saw this over on Homebrew Talk: http://woodlandbrew.blogspot.com/2012/12/no-more-wasteful-yeast-starters.html

Seems like a pretty good idea to me. Could put half of the wort into a sanitzed keg and seal it with CO2 for a day, then dump it into the fermenter.

Thoughts? Concerns?
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: An alternative to starters
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2012, 09:18:33 AM »
Interesting idea if you have a convenient, safe place to store some of the wort until later. It might save some money on DME, but I'm skeptical that it would save time.
 
In terms of propogating healthy yeast, I'm not sure that pitching into that volume of wort under fermentation conditions will have quite the same effect as making a starter. It is probably better than just pitching a vial into 5G and calling it a day though.
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Offline mmitchem

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Re: An alternative to starters
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2012, 09:23:53 AM »
I read an article on Kai's website regarding this method of fermenting. I thought it was an interesting read when I found it a year ago and it seems pretty neat. Have a look:

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Drauflassen
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: An alternative to starters
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2012, 09:32:19 AM »
I read an article on Kai's website regarding this method of fermenting. I thought it was an interesting read when I found it a year ago and it seems pretty neat. Have a look:

http://braukaiser.com/wiki/index.php?title=Drauflassen
Sounds good
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: An alternative to starters
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2012, 09:43:15 AM »
I'm always skeptical about storing wort.  I'm sure it works fine for others, but it makes me nervous.

I also just don't see the starter as something that has a cost impact.  I collect some wort from each batch and save it for starters so that cost is minimal.

For my money, I'd rather spend a little bit on the starter than have the whole batch get funky from stored wort.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: An alternative to starters
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2012, 09:48:58 AM »
Seems reasonable.  A couple of things that come to mind are:

1)  We rarely start with 100B cells.  The older the packet, the more you would need to leave it in the "starter" to build enough yeast to put it in the primary.  That opens up a can of worms for when to transfer and infection.
2)  Good for ales, obviously no good for lagers.

Dave
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: An alternative to starters
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2012, 09:51:47 AM »
Seems reasonable.  A couple of things that come to mind are:

1)  We rarely start with 100B cells.  The older the packet, the more you would need to leave it in the "starter" to build enough yeast to put it in the primary.  That opens up a can of worms for when to transfer and infection.
2)  Good for ales, obviously no good for lagers.

Dave

Kai's article says he uses it for lagers.  Unless I've mis-read badly.
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: An alternative to starters
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2012, 09:53:57 AM »
That opens up a can of worms for when to transfer and infection.

Great sanitation is definately needed to avoid infection of stored wort. For transfering though - transfer when fermentation is complete, same as always right?
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Offline mmitchem

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Re: An alternative to starters
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2012, 09:54:35 AM »
Something else that makes it a less practical is that you are either extending your brewday in terms of things you have to clean. If you are keeping it in the kettle, you have to clean it 24 hours later. If you are transferring to another carboy, you are cleaning that. At any rate, you are extending the commitment of your brewday.
I find it a lot easier to manage a starter leading up to brewday than adding new wort to a vessel of already fermenting wort and managing the risks involved there. If I screw up a starter, all I have to do is start a new one. If I mess that up, I just flushed a batch down the drain.
Michael P Mitchem
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Offline mtnrockhopper

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Re: An alternative to starters
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2012, 09:55:23 AM »
Kai's article says he uses it for lagers.  Unless I've mis-read badly.
It is a German technique, so good chance it is used for lagers.
Jimmy K

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Offline mmitchem

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Re: An alternative to starters
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2012, 09:57:03 AM »
Kai's article says he uses it for lagers.  Unless I've mis-read badly.

Seems like it would be good practice for any type as long as you are pitching enough yeast into the initial volume of wort and are well enough into growth phase...
Michael P Mitchem
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: An alternative to starters
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2012, 10:04:42 AM »
Kai's article says he uses it for lagers.  Unless I've mis-read badly.

Seems like it would be good practice for any type as long as you are pitching enough yeast into the initial volume of wort and are well enough into growth phase...

I'll have to read the article.  I can see many more potential pitfalls using this procedure with a lager.  I would also think your volumes would be much different if starting with one packet.
Dave Zach

Offline mmitchem

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Re: An alternative to starters
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2012, 10:07:35 AM »
I think you are right. The practice might be great for a very fresh, viable ale fermentation. But in my opinion it seems like it would be a bad practice in lagers. At best in a lager, it would reduce the starter size...
Michael P Mitchem
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Offline beersk

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Re: An alternative to starters
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2012, 09:00:21 PM »
I don't know...seems like a decent method to me.  As long as the vessel you're putting the unpitched wort into is sanitary, what could happen in 24 hours?  I guess making a starter isn't a huge deal, but if you can't make a starter, this seem like a method to try.
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Offline jds357

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Re: An alternative to starters
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2012, 09:57:27 PM »
Saying that yeast starters are too costly is not a great argument to use this method.  I can see the good in this technique but I probably wouldn't do this unless I had a closed circuit system or a completely sterile environment.  Yeast starters are too easy not to do.