Author Topic: More starter questions  (Read 628 times)

Offline 69franx

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More starter questions
« on: August 05, 2014, 03:19:13 PM »
So I am working on stepping up my WLP820 for My Märzen this weekend. I started with 1 vial (BB Date 10/23/14) and 1.8L wort in a 2L flask. Once chilled, I decanted most of the spent wort. The next step is 2.5L and was supposed to go into a 1Gallon wine bottle. Therein lies the problem. Once the 2.5L of fresh wort was in there and the slurry from original was added, It was just too much to be contained in the gallon bottle. I did use fermcap in both of the steps. The step sizes came from yeastcalc.com, supposed to yield 421B cell of my needed 423B cells. (this is all being done without a stir plate, only intermittent shaking) So here come the questions:

1. Upon realizing that I did not have enough room, I swirled the gallon container and then poured off 1.2L back into the erhlenmeyer flask. There were no visible solids upon this transfer so I feel that the yeast was well suspended. Will this arbitrary splitting yield 2 viable starters that can both be added to my wort on Saturday?

2. I have more DME if the consensus is that I need more volume, and will likely delay pitching till Sunday, so time is not a deterrant for any suggestions out there

So what say you all? Your thoughts and insights are greatly appreciated on this my first lager attempt. And a stir plate is in the works for future batches. Thank you in advance

2
Frank Laske
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Fermenting: House IPA
Conditioning: The Queen's Diamonds EBW
In Bottles: Nothing Special About It (ordinary, now Special Bitter),Ringler Pilsner from Ron Price recipe in the wiki
In the works: German(?) Style IPA with Pils, Munich, Vienna. Bittered with Herkules, late Mandarina Bavaria and Hull Melon,More Pilsner(yes its that good,) You're my Hero Hazelnut Double Brown

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: More starter questions
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2014, 03:29:21 PM »
splitting it is fine. you can choose to step it up again if you want or not.

without doing cell counts you are estimating anyway so I wouldn't worry. you are pretty close to where you should be.
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Offline 69franx

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More starter questions
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2014, 04:55:39 PM »
Thanks Jonathan. Sorry for the typo
« Last Edit: August 06, 2014, 03:58:11 PM by 69franx »
Frank Laske
Franx Brew Works
Fermenting: House IPA
Conditioning: The Queen's Diamonds EBW
In Bottles: Nothing Special About It (ordinary, now Special Bitter),Ringler Pilsner from Ron Price recipe in the wiki
In the works: German(?) Style IPA with Pils, Munich, Vienna. Bittered with Herkules, late Mandarina Bavaria and Hull Melon,More Pilsner(yes its that good,) You're my Hero Hazelnut Double Brown

Offline mattybrass

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Re: More starter questions
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2014, 12:20:29 PM »
Splitting it would be fine, the only thing if you wanted to get insanely anal about it (i see no point since we're homebrewers) is making sure the yeast/starter was evenly distributed which again, i wouldnt bother to do. Im in the market for a 5L flask for when I do lagers, really high ABV batches, or my 10 gallon single strain batches for this same reason.

Offline woodlandbrew

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Re: More starter questions
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2014, 05:36:15 PM »
Dont sweat it, what you did is fine.  your cell count might end up higher than estimated.  I've found that the final cell count of a starter is the same for stirred or intermittently shaken starters.  The big difference I have seen is the time the take to complete.  The main driver of cell count is the amount of extract.  1g of sugar will yield about 1 billion cells.  This follows the Balling Observation.

I'm working on a cell density meter that would let you know when you have reached the cell count you need for your beer.
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Offline 69franx

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Re: More starter questions
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2014, 04:05:09 AM »
That sound like a useful tool
Frank Laske
Franx Brew Works
Fermenting: House IPA
Conditioning: The Queen's Diamonds EBW
In Bottles: Nothing Special About It (ordinary, now Special Bitter),Ringler Pilsner from Ron Price recipe in the wiki
In the works: German(?) Style IPA with Pils, Munich, Vienna. Bittered with Herkules, late Mandarina Bavaria and Hull Melon,More Pilsner(yes its that good,) You're my Hero Hazelnut Double Brown

Offline woodlandbrew

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Re: More starter questions
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2014, 04:13:10 AM »
Thanks, I hope it will be useful to brewers at all levels.  More details here: http://www.woodlandbrew.com/2014/07/cell-density-meter.html
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Offline petermmitchell

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Re: More starter questions
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2014, 12:05:26 PM »
I have 1 large starter I am planning to divide for 2 5 gal carboys (to ferment a 10 gal overall).

When you split a starter, would it be more accurate to pour half into another container before decanting?  I am thinking it would be easier to estimate what half would be with more liquid.  Then you can cold crash both.  Or am I over thinking this?   :)

Offline Steve in TX

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Re: More starter questions
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2014, 12:10:04 PM »
I have 1 large starter I am planning to divide for 2 5 gal carboys (to ferment a 10 gal overall).

When you split a starter, would it be more accurate to pour half into another container before decanting?  I am thinking it would be easier to estimate what half would be with more liquid.  Then you can cold crash both.  Or am I over thinking this?   :)


You can do this, but then you are bringing in another point of potential contamination. Most likely not a big deal, but the risk is still there. If your sanitation is solid, go for it.


While not easy to do evenly in an Erlenmeyer flask, I decant, swirl, and eyeball it.

Online Jimmy K

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Re: More starter questions
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2014, 06:50:52 AM »
I have 1 large starter I am planning to divide for 2 5 gal carboys (to ferment a 10 gal overall).

When you split a starter, would it be more accurate to pour half into another container before decanting?  I am thinking it would be easier to estimate what half would be with more liquid.  Then you can cold crash both.  Or am I over thinking this?   :)
It would probably be more accurate to divide that way. I would get a couple mason jars of suitable size and boil the jars and lids before dividing.
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