Author Topic: Yeast propagation at White Labs  (Read 5445 times)

Offline narvin

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Re: Yeast propagation at White Labs
« Reply #30 on: June 19, 2015, 08:59:33 am »
Yes, but I didn't love the' standard' beer of any style.  The closest was the hefe with 300, but it still wasn't my favorite.
I wouldn't expect to love any of their beers though.  I would just expect them to be middle of the road examples (something I would score in the mid-30s in a comp for example).  Their goal isn't to make beers I love.  It's to propagate and sell yeast.  They only have a tasting room to highlight what the yeast can do.

Agreed.  I wasn't necessarily disappointed since the comparison was interesting, but I wouldn't follow their brewer's advice for making beer above all others.

Offline hopfenundmalz

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Re: Yeast propagation at White Labs
« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2015, 09:04:29 am »
When I got my stir plate, a friend in the club gave me some stir bars that have a "raised ring" in the center that the bar rotates on. He said that those were easier in the yeast than a flat stir bar.

Any thoughts?
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Yeast propagation at White Labs
« Reply #32 on: June 19, 2015, 09:21:54 am »
So, get a stir plate?

You do not need waste money on a stir plate.  Do yourself a favor search the forum using the terms "shaken, not stirred" and "James Bond Method."  You probably already own everything that you need to make a healthy starter using this method.

Fortunately, one was given to me, so no money wast wasted.  And I still can't reconcile my personal results with your "best practices".  My own experience is that using a stir plate and decanting produces better beer at my house than shaking the starter and pitching at high krausen.  I respect the science, but I must be in some sort of Bermuda Triangle of non-science since it doesn't work like that for me.

You two need to agree to disagree and stop arguing about stir plates.  You're going to drive me mad.

Personally, I like my stir plates.  I think they've helped me to improve my pitching rates.  But do whatever works for you. 

People get too dogmatic about things sometimes.  There is more than one route to the production of great homebrew, and that's one of the great things about the hobby.

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Offline denny

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Re: Yeast propagation at White Labs
« Reply #33 on: June 19, 2015, 09:25:13 am »
When I got my stir plate, a friend in the club gave me some stir bars that have a "raised ring" in the center that the bar rotates on. He said that those were easier in the yeast than a flat stir bar.

Any thoughts?

Don't know if they are or not, but that's what I use.  I also use a gal. jug for my container, so I'm at least somewhere in the ballpark of Mark's comment about limiting wort size.
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Offline erockrph

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Re: Yeast propagation at White Labs
« Reply #34 on: June 22, 2015, 09:28:46 pm »
I have never used a stir plate, so I cannot comment on their effectiveness or detriment, but I can say that they are absolutely not necessary. I have always followed the "shake it whenever you walk by it" method of aerating starters, and it has always worked fine. I did notice a big improvement when I started using the "Shaken, not stirred" method of starter aeration. My starters have taken off more rapidly, smell better (I take this as a subjective sign of yeast health), and have noticeably shorter lag times when pitched.

I'm not saying that everyone needs to toss their stir plate, but it is by no means a required piece of equipment. Your money is much better spent on a temp controller, a new keg, a sack of grain, etc. - unless you're a gadget addict and just want one for the fun of it.
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Offline denny

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Re: Yeast propagation at White Labs
« Reply #35 on: June 23, 2015, 09:32:29 am »
I have never used a stir plate, so I cannot comment on their effectiveness or detriment, but I can say that they are absolutely not necessary. I have always followed the "shake it whenever you walk by it" method of aerating starters, and it has always worked fine. I did notice a big improvement when I started using the "Shaken, not stirred" method of starter aeration. My starters have taken off more rapidly, smell better (I take this as a subjective sign of yeast health), and have noticeably shorter lag times when pitched.

I'm not saying that everyone needs to toss their stir plate, but it is by no means a required piece of equipment. Your money is much better spent on a temp controller, a new keg, a sack of grain, etc. - unless you're a gadget addict and just want one for the fun of it.

I don't think anyone was implying that you have to have a stir plate (or shaker table!).  I know I certainly wasn't.  I did the shake thing for years and it worked fine.  I've found that a stir plate lets me make starters in a shorter period of time, but I still wouldn't have one of someone hadn't given me an old one.
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Re: Yeast propagation at White Labs
« Reply #36 on: June 23, 2015, 09:19:21 pm »
I did notice a big improvement when I started using the "Shaken, not stirred" method of starter aeration. My starters have taken off more rapidly, smell better (I take this as a subjective sign of yeast health), and have noticeably shorter lag times when pitched.

There's nothing magical about my method. It's just a low cost, low-tech way to dissolve O2 into wort that's based on physics.  Wort in foam form has a huge amount of surface area compared to wort in liquid form.  Foam maximizes the gas to liquid interface because gas-liquid foams have a very high specific surface area.  The yeast analogy of Denny's claim that malt wants to become beer is yeast cells want to multiply if given O2, carbon, and room to multiply. 

Online majorvices

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Re: Yeast propagation at White Labs
« Reply #37 on: June 24, 2015, 04:11:02 am »
Keith, I haven't found detriment to my stirred starters since I typically stir slowly and use a 3" stir bar. But I don't doubt that a shaken vessel could be better than stirred. My point is that this appears to be a case of 'good and better'. Stir plates are still good and should be used, if you have one. Most of us won't have the opportunity to move up to a shaker like White Labs has.

No disagreement from me. I don't use a stir plate very often any longer but I can honestly say that it improved the quality of my homebrew over standard starters. I also have great, perhaps better, luck with constant aeration starters. I'm sure a shaker table is the best of both worlds, and from a lab perspective Mark is absolutely correct. But from a practical perspective he is way off the mark. It's like telling someone they can't get to work in their Honda Civic because a BMW435i is the preferred method by Car and Driver magazine.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2015, 04:20:27 am by majorvices »

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Re: Yeast propagation at White Labs
« Reply #38 on: June 24, 2015, 10:51:06 am »
I stand by my assertion that a stir plate is an unnecessary expense that most modern home brewers are led to believe is a necessary expense.  Agitation does not buy much with most brewing strains because they are NewFlo strains.  The keys to healthy growth are adequate O2 and carbon.

Offline denny

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Re: Yeast propagation at White Labs
« Reply #39 on: June 24, 2015, 11:01:48 am »
I stand by my assertion that a stir plate is an unnecessary expense that most modern home brewers are led to believe is a necessary expense.  Agitation does not buy much with most brewing strains because they are NewFlo strains.  The keys to healthy growth are adequate O2 and carbon.

My stir plate was free.  And it does a demonstrably better job for me than just shaking the jug when I go by.
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