Author Topic: Yeast starter questions  (Read 714 times)

Offline Brewtweak

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 325
  • Rocky Mount, VA
    • View Profile
Yeast starter questions
« on: February 05, 2014, 07:58:11 PM »
Hi all. I'm brewing an English brown with an OG 1.051 using WLP002. Calculations suggest a 1 liter starter to pitch into my 2.5 gallon batch. Looking for opinions... Would it be better to go on my stir plate for 24-36 hours then pitch the whole thing or make my starter 3 days ahead, and then chill and decant so as not to dilute the flavors?

Also, is there a discernible difference in doing 24 hours vs. 36 hours on the stir plate before pitching or chilling/decanting?

Thanks,

Stevo
Corripe Cervisiam

If I ever go missing I want my picture on a beer instead of a milk carton , I want fun people to find me

Offline Steve in TX

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3278
    • View Profile
Re: Yeast starter questions
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2014, 08:08:59 PM »
Personally I would pitch the vial without a starter in that size batch of 1.050 beer, as long as it is relatively fresh. I'm sure others will disagree.

When I do make starters, I tend to make them a few days ahead, let them go for 2 days, and crash for a day or two depending on the strain. Some yeasts finish up faster.

I will sometimes pitch when the yeast is active, but only with smaller starters in 5 gallon batches.

Offline Jeff M

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 821
  • Currently upgrading to Brewery 3.0
    • View Profile
Re: Yeast starter questions
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2014, 08:13:16 PM »
Personally I would pitch the vial without a starter in that size batch of 1.050 beer, as long as it is relatively fresh. I'm sure others will disagree.

+1  Yeastcalulator.com suggests 89B cells at optimal pitch rate.  Assuming your vial is a week old or so you should be fine.  When i make starters i tend to let them sit on my stirplate for about 18 hours and then pitch them. I have yet to worry about cold crashing but that will start when my new setup is finished.

Cheers,
Jeff
Granite Coast Brewing Company.
Building a clone of The Electric Brewery to use as a pilot system for new recipes!

Online klickitat jim

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 5236
    • View Profile
Re: Yeast starter questions
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2014, 08:27:56 PM »
Pitch vial, you'll be fine. You should want some reproductive quality in your beer. A starter would give you too many cells.

Offline Brewtweak

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 325
  • Rocky Mount, VA
    • View Profile
Re: Yeast starter questions
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2014, 04:19:28 AM »
The production date on my vial is 12/23/13. Use by date 4/13/14. Yeast calc sets me at about 67% viability which puts me at about 67 bil cells needing 89 bil. but yeast calc estimates a 1 liter started on stirplate should yield about 180b cells which is double what I need. Intersting conundrum.
Corripe Cervisiam

If I ever go missing I want my picture on a beer instead of a milk carton , I want fun people to find me

Online morticaixavier

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7513
  • Underhill VT
    • View Profile
    • The Best Artist in the WORLD!!!!!
Re: Yeast starter questions
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2014, 05:04:57 AM »
The production date on my vial is 12/23/13. Use by date 4/13/14. Yeast calc sets me at about 67% viability which puts me at about 67 bil cells needing 89 bil. but yeast calc estimates a 1 liter started on stirplate should yield about 180b cells which is double what I need. Intersting conundrum.

You could make the starter, crash and decant and pitch half. Then you would have another pitch of yeast to do something with later
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time"
-A Einstein

"errors are [...] the portals of discovery"
- J Joyce

Offline Brewtweak

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 325
  • Rocky Mount, VA
    • View Profile
Re: Yeast starter questions
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2014, 05:53:26 PM »
The production date on my vial is 12/23/13. Use by date 4/13/14. Yeast calc sets me at about 67% viability which puts me at about 67 bil cells needing 89 bil. but yeast calc estimates a 1 liter started on stirplate should yield about 180b cells which is double what I need. Intersting conundrum.

You could make the starter, crash and decant and pitch half. Then you would have another pitch of yeast to do something with later
That sounds like a plan. Thanks everyone for the ideas.
Corripe Cervisiam

If I ever go missing I want my picture on a beer instead of a milk carton , I want fun people to find me

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3833
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: Yeast starter questions
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2014, 08:34:25 AM »
The production date on my vial is 12/23/13. Use by date 4/13/14. Yeast calc sets me at about 67% viability

If it's been refrigerated, that's a very conservative estimate. You probably have roughly the cell count you need. The problem is that there's no way to check the viability of the WL vials without making a starter.

*If* you're confident that it's been handled and stored properly, I would probably just pitch the vial. A 2.5 gal batch will be a good starter for 5 gal of a bigger beer, or 10 gal of average-gravity beer.
Sent from my Microsoft Bob

Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
seanterrill.com/category/brewing | twomilebrewing.com

Offline Brewtweak

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 325
  • Rocky Mount, VA
    • View Profile
Re: Yeast starter questions
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2014, 07:54:54 AM »
The production date on my vial is 12/23/13. Use by date 4/13/14. Yeast calc sets me at about 67% viability

If it's been refrigerated, that's a very conservative estimate. You probably have roughly the cell count you need. The problem is that there's no way to check the viability of the WL vials without making a starter.

*If* you're confident that it's been handled and stored properly, I would probably just pitch the vial. A 2.5 gal batch will be a good starter for 5 gal of a bigger beer, or 10 gal of average-gravity beer.
I can't say that I know how it was shipped from WL but I do know that I bought it from my LHBS and it is most definitely kept refrigerated. As well, we can only assume that since it was packaged mid December that it was shipped in the winter months... another plus. I can't imagine that it has suffered high temps at any point. I'm in that funny gray area where I could really go either way. Check my logic here. My gut feeling is that a possibility of *slightly* under pitching is better than introducing multiple opportunities of contamination by means of a starter (albeit a small chance, I'm a sanitizing freak) and limiting the chances of yeast shock to just the one.... a direct pitch. I could split a 1 liter starter but I plan on rinsing this batch anyway. The more I thinks on it the more I'm leaning towards... Pitch that sucker and let it ride.
Being short 5-10% I feel like a direct pitch would give me a little bit longer lag time but my 2.5 gallon batch would act as a *starter* and grow my yeast in the best possible environment, at correct fermentation temps and in it's intended wort. Clear logic, of fuzzy logic? :)
« Last Edit: February 08, 2014, 08:00:18 AM by swlusk »
Corripe Cervisiam

If I ever go missing I want my picture on a beer instead of a milk carton , I want fun people to find me

Offline euge

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 7658
  • Estilo Casero
    • View Profile
Re: Yeast starter questions
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2014, 09:47:49 AM »
Wow I've never had a vial that fresh. Probably wouldn't hurt to pitch it into a pint of wort 12-24 hours before brewday to wake the yeast up a bit.
The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool. -Richard P. Feynman