Author Topic: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)  (Read 3573 times)

Offline denny

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Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
« Reply #30 on: February 28, 2015, 04:53:03 PM »
I respect and utilize science all the time.  But when my direct experience is at odds with that science, what am I supposed to do?  Contrary to what was stated above, I find stir plates DO make a difference.  My starters are ready to go much sooner since I started using one.  I prefer the results I get when I let the starter ferment fully, crash it and decant before pitching.  And when it comes to beers over 1.040 OG, every beer I've mad a starter for has turned out better than any beer I haven't.  It's not like I reached these conclusions in a vacuum.  I have tried many methods and these are what have worked the best for me.  At this point, I don't care about science (in these situations) or someone else's opinions....I've tried that stuff and this is how I make the best beer I can make.
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Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
« Reply #31 on: February 28, 2015, 05:05:35 PM »
When pitching to a lower gravity lager wort (say, 1.048 and 48*F) you also need big cell counts.  Is that because the low temp affects that 90 minute doubling time?

Yes, you are correct.  Cold fermentation slows metabolism, which, in turn, lengthens the replication period.

Offline reverseapachemaster

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Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
« Reply #32 on: February 28, 2015, 05:41:26 PM »
The details of OP's brewing environment certainly reflect upon his or her experience pitching without a starter. This is a case where the brewer is receiving a solid amount of extremely fresh yeast of a strain that is very reliable for producing relatively clean beer. Changing any of those factors could give significantly different results. I suspect if OP selected a less popular strain OP may find the yeast to be not quite as fresh. That is certainly the case at the local shops in my area. Similarly, a more sensitive yeast strain or a more expressive strain may not respond so amicably without a little help. So to the extent that OP's experiences accurately reflect his or her contention that a starter is unnecessary I would question that contention's value under any other conditions. 
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Offline jjflash

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Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
« Reply #33 on: February 28, 2015, 05:50:07 PM »
I have said this many times before in these forums and is just my opinion.  These low gravity worts 1.060ish are very forgiving of mistakes.  That is why any novice can produce reasonably good beer.  The real test of skills is high gravity 1.100+ worts, with these you need impeccable technique to achieve great beer.  That is where proper yeast management really counts.  I have learned the hard way that yeast management for me is much more critical than wort production.
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Offline jjflash

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Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
« Reply #34 on: February 28, 2015, 05:54:15 PM »
....also WLP 001 is a very easy to use yeast, not at all temperamental. Great beginners yeast and again very forgiving of mistakes.
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Offline Rattlesnake44

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Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
« Reply #35 on: February 28, 2015, 05:57:33 PM »

The details of OP's brewing environment certainly reflect upon his or her experience pitching without a starter. This is a case where the brewer is receiving a solid amount of extremely fresh yeast of a strain that is very reliable for producing relatively clean beer. Changing any of those factors could give significantly different results. I suspect if OP selected a less popular strain OP may find the yeast to be not quite as fresh. That is certainly the case at the local shops in my area. Similarly, a more sensitive yeast strain or a more expressive strain may not respond so amicably without a little help. So to the extent that OP's experiences accurately reflect his or her contention that a starter is unnecessary I would question that contention's value under any other conditions.
I'm not averse to the idea of a starter, it's just been my experience that my beer has come out the other end tasting fine. I'm planning to brew some time next week and I'll be doing a starter. I will be doing another batch of an amber ale I have on tap right now. I'd like to compare the two side by side to see what difference, if any, I can detect.
I'm always willing to try new things. If it works,I'll incorporate it. If there is little to no difference, I'll leave it out. K.I.S.S, the simpler the better for me.

Offline Hooper

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Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
« Reply #36 on: March 01, 2015, 04:32:13 AM »
I have said this many times before in these forums and is just my opinion.  These low gravity worts 1.060ish are very forgiving of mistakes.  That is why any novice can produce reasonably good beer.  The real test of skills is high gravity 1.100+ worts, with these you need impeccable technique to achieve great beer.  That is where proper yeast management really counts.  I have learned the hard way that yeast management for me is much more critical than wort production.
I think it could also take some amount of skill to brew a sub 1.060 and have it be quaffable. I'm not sure I believe all the science about starters but I like to at least know the yeast is viable a day or 2 before brew day...+1 for starters
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Offline bboy9000

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Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
« Reply #37 on: March 01, 2015, 07:50:05 AM »

I'm not sure I believe all the science about starters
That's the nice thing about science.  It doesn't matter whether one believes.  Either it is or is not.  Now, whether what homebrewers post about starters is considered science...
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Offline majorvices

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Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
« Reply #38 on: March 01, 2015, 12:06:57 PM »
....also WLP 001 is a very easy to use yeast, not at all temperamental. Great beginners yeast and again very forgiving of mistakes.

Even better just to go with US-05. Especially if you aren't going to make a starter.

Offline Steve Ruch

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Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
« Reply #39 on: March 01, 2015, 04:57:14 PM »
....I've tried that stuff and this is how I make the best beer I can make.

That is what it's all about.
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Offline narvin

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Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
« Reply #40 on: March 01, 2015, 06:18:34 PM »
....also WLP 001 is a very easy to use yeast, not at all temperamental. Great beginners yeast and again very forgiving of mistakes.

+1.  That yeast is a beast.  Just remember that every yeast does have it's own behavior.  People have been recommending starters not because it's a one size fits all approach, but because eventually you'll hit a style of beer that you absolutely have to pitch more than 100 billion cells for a 5 gallon batch to get the optimal flavor profile and attenuation.  More often than not, it's better to err on the side of a starter.  Of course, overpitching can also give you sub-optimal fermentation, but by commercial standards homebrewers almost always start by underpitching.

Offline narvin

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Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
« Reply #41 on: March 01, 2015, 06:28:22 PM »

Steven Deeds and I have already proven that stir plates add little to no value when preparing a starter.  Stir plates were designed to prevent clumping in suspension cell culturing.  They crept into home brewing via people involved in cancer research, which is an area of science that is a big time user of suspension cell culturing.  Add in the fact that most home brewers propagate yeast incorrectly, and most stirred starters end up underperforming a simple shaken starter that is pitched at high krausen.


KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) is the best approach when propagating yeast.  Avoid introducing anything into the starter media that absolutely does not need to be there, including a stir bar.  Everything that comes into contact with the culture when it is small is an infection threat due to the fact that bacteria multiply eight-fold every time yeast cells double.  Boiling only kills vegetative cells, which is why I autoclave (pressure cook) the media that I use for my really small starters.

Dissolved O2 level matters, but one doesn't need to use pure O2.  The shaken, not stirred method (a.k.a. "James Bond Method") that I outlined in a couple of threads produces a very healthy starter.  It's a low-cost, low-tech, easy to perform method that produces excellent results.

And, other people have found different results.

http://braukaiser.com/blog/page/2/

But, above all, it should be known that "Shaken, not stirred" is a terrible way to make a Martini.

Offline Hooper

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Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
« Reply #42 on: March 01, 2015, 09:21:45 PM »

That's the nice thing about science.  It doesn't matter whether one believes.  Either it is or is not.  Now, whether what homebrewers post about starters is considered science...
[/quote]

Science...fluoride in the water supply prevents cavities and is harmless...Really?
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Offline denny

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Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
« Reply #43 on: March 01, 2015, 09:47:12 PM »

Science...fluoride in the water supply prevents cavities and is harmless...Really?

Worked for me and a lot of other people I know.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

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Offline bboy9000

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Re: Yeast starter? Psshhhhhh.... Whatever ;)
« Reply #44 on: March 01, 2015, 09:51:04 PM »


Science...fluoride in the water supply prevents cavities and is harmless...Really?

Worked for me and a lot of other people I know.
You better be careful Denny.  Fluoridation may be a communist plot to control our minds. 
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