General Category > Yeast and Fermentation

My first yeast starter

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donsmitty:
I'm ready to make my first yeast starter and have a couple questions.  1.  The recipe from Wyeast is as follows:  Recipe
0.5 cup DME (100g, 3.5oz)
½ tsp Wyeast Nutrient
1qt.(1L) H2O
Mix DME, nutrient, and water.
Boil 20 minutes to sterilize.
Pour into a sanitized flask or jar with loose lid or foil.
Allow to cool to 70°F.
Shake well and add yeast culture.

The recipe from John Palmer is close to the above but he says to use 1/4 tsp Nutrient and a pint of water.  So which do I use?
2.  The second question is:  I'm using Wyeast 1056.  Do I activate the "smack pack" or just pour it into my flask without activating it?

denny:
You can smack it if you want to, but you don't have to.  Take a look at mrmalty.com, yeastcalc.com, or http://www.brewersfriend.com/yeast-pitch-rate-and-starter-calculator/ to find a starter recipe that takes into account the age of the yeast.

davidgzach:
I would smack it as there is nutrient in the pack.  Let them get started.  I would not add nutrient to the a 1L starter though.  I add 1/2 tsp to 5 gallons so that seems like a lot.

And +1 to Denny to check out a yeast calculator to make sure you are making an appropriate size starter to the date of the yeast pack.

Dave

factory:
Jamil Zainasheff says to use a 10 to 1 ratio: i.e. 1 gram DME to every 10mL water and a 1/4 tsp of yeast nutrient. Boil 15-20 minutes, cool, and pitch yeast.

That's how I've always done it and it works well for me.  I'm not sure where the pint of water comes in, but that seems to me to make the starter wort OG jump up to 1.070 or 1.080ish, which would be way too high.  Starter wort should have an OG of 1.030 to 1.040 from what I've read.

Sounds like your initial "recipe" is spot on. if you are only making a 1L starter.  Like the others have said, you need to use a yeast pitching rate calculator to dial in the starter volume based on the predicted OG of your wort.  As far as using yeast nutrient with a smack pack?  I'm not sure about that one.  I'd follow the advice of the more experienced guys here.

donsmitty:

--- Quote from: denny on March 27, 2013, 12:38:05 PM ---You can smack it if you want to, but you don't have to.  Take a look at mrmalty.com, yeastcalc.com, or http://www.brewersfriend.com/yeast-pitch-rate-and-starter-calculator/ to find a starter recipe that takes into account the age of the yeast.

--- End quote ---

Used the calculator site and it is right in line with BeerSmith2.  I think I will follow what Wyeast says. Thanks for the help guys...   

David, when do you add the 1/2 of nutrient?  To the boil?  Primary fermenter? 

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