Author Topic: My first yeast starter  (Read 1242 times)

Offline donsmitty

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My first yeast starter
« on: March 27, 2013, 12:31:22 PM »
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?

Offline denny

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Re: My first yeast starter
« Reply #1 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.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: My first yeast starter
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2013, 12:42:42 PM »
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
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Offline factory

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Re: My first yeast starter
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2013, 12:50:57 PM »
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.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2013, 12:53:58 PM by factory »

Offline donsmitty

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Re: My first yeast starter
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2013, 01:14:52 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.

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? 
« Last Edit: March 27, 2013, 01:19:05 PM by donsmitty »

Offline a10t2

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Re: My first yeast starter
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2013, 01:45:07 PM »
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.

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Offline davidgzach

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Re: My first yeast starter
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2013, 01:45:44 PM »
I add 1/2 tsp nutrient to a 5G batch with 1/2 a Whirfloc tablet at 10 minutes left in the boil. 
Dave Zach

Offline donsmitty

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Re: My first yeast starter
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2013, 07:10:11 PM »
Thanks again David.....Friday is brew day... 

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: My first yeast starter
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2013, 09:30:24 PM »
I have had great success with a tip from Denny a while back to use 1.030 ish for starters. I don't have a stir plate yet so I give it a swirl about four times a day. For lagers or big ales I use 4 qts (2 qts day one, 2 more on day two, pitch on day 4) not terribly scientific but works for me. Age of the yeast plays into it too. The calculator is the better way, and an actual count would be best, but that's out of my league

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Offline donsmitty

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Re: My first yeast starter
« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2013, 10:42:42 AM »
Just to follow up....the starter is kicking...I can hear those cells jut chewing away.  I too have to stir it up for now but just ordered a stir plate.  I'll be ready next time.

Offline davidgzach

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Re: My first yeast starter
« Reply #10 on: March 28, 2013, 11:57:19 AM »
Just to follow up....the starter is kicking...I can hear those cells jut chewing away.  I too have to stir it up for now but just ordered a stir plate.  I'll be ready next time.

Good on ya!  Before my stir plate I would give it a good swirl every time I passed by.  It definitely helps.

Just made a 4L starter myself for 10G of Helles I'm brewing this weekend.  Can't wait to try the WLP860 Munich Helles Platinum Series!   :)

Dave
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Offline donsmitty

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Re: My first yeast starter
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2013, 07:58:19 AM »
I guess I was successful with the yeast starter.  I pitched it and a smack pack and there was activity in the airlock within hours.  Now the kraeusen is making its way into the airlock and I'm afraid it may clog.  The fermenter is a 6.5 gal plastic pail and only has a small hole for the airlock.  I may try to use a small blowoff hose and see what happens. 

Update:  I was able to set up a 3/8" hose into a bucket of water and all seems fine right now. 
« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 08:23:10 AM by donsmitty »