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Starter/stir plate 10 gallon batches

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micsager:
I've decided to try and "dial in" an american amber ale from JZ and Palmer's book "brewing classic styles"  I have a ten gallon system. 

I have a stir plate, with a 2000ml flask. 

Should I start with two vials or smack packs, or can I grow enough yeast for a 10 gallon batch with only one?

hokerer:
You can grow enough yeast from just a single cell if you want so you certainly don't need two smack packs.  It's all about how many times you step up your starter.

a10t2:
Are you familiar with the MrMalty calculator?

According to that, 1.8 L on a stirplate will get you up to about 1.040, and with two packs up to about 1.060.

micsager:

--- Quote from: hokerer on April 02, 2010, 08:03:44 AM ---You can grow enough yeast from just a single cell if you want so you certainly don't need two smack packs.  It's all about how many times you step up your starter.

--- End quote ---

Can descibe "step up" for me.  I get the basics, but do you have specific instructions?

a10t2:

--- Quote from: micsager on April 04, 2010, 07:38:41 PM ---Can descibe "step up" for me.  I get the basics, but do you have specific instructions?
--- End quote ---

Essentially, you do everything the same, but you repeat the steps, increasing the size each time.

Generally you want to pitch a starter around 10-100 million cells/L. So even if you're starting from a very low cell count, say a billion, you could pitch that into about 25 mL of starter wort, let it ferment, then go to 100 mL, then 500 mL, then 2 L, and be back up to what you'd need for full five gallon batch. (Roughly, I didn't bother to do the math.) Which is handy when you need to build back up from an old and/or small slurry, like what would be at the bottom of a bottle. I actually do propagations like that pretty frequently: http://seanterrill.com/2010/03/23/yeast-ranching-and-you/

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