Author Topic: Can I make a starter with Saflager 34/70?  (Read 1577 times)

Offline Philbrew

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Can I make a starter with Saflager 34/70?
« on: June 27, 2015, 04:19:28 PM »
I screwed up and did not save slurry from my last lager batch.  But I have about 250 ml of dense slurry (WY2124) with 100 ml of beer on top in a sanitized 12 oz. jelly jar that has been in the brew fridge since 4/29.  I'm going to see if I can get a starter going with it.

As a plan B, I have a packet of Saflager 34/70 (also in the fridge).  Can I make a starter with dry yeast?  Can I make a large enough starter with it to pitch in a 6 gal. 1.050 lager?  I use the Shake-to-all-foam, Pitch-at-high-krausen (AKA shaken not stirred) method.
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

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Re: Can I make a starter with Saflager 34/70?
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2015, 04:36:16 PM »
If you want to attempt to maximize the number of cells from the slurry while removing most of the break and dead cells, you can try what I have been doing with older crops; namely, double-drop the starter.  Basically, pitch the entire crop, wait until the starter goes opaque, and then carefully decant the liquid into a sanitized vessel while leaving the sediment behind.  The liquid portion contains the viable cells.  It is an application of the old British technique of starting the wort in a large vessel and then dropping it into smaller vessels called pontos 12 to 18 hours into the fermentation.  This technique was used to get the young fermenting beer off of the break and dead yeast cells as well as to aerate the fermenting beer.

Offline a10t2

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Re: Can I make a starter with Saflager 34/70?
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2015, 05:14:32 PM »
At two months old, you shouldn't have any problem making a starter. Just use 50 mL or so of the solids.

But yes, you could make a starter with the dry yeast.

Are you pitching the entire starter (a gallon or so, I'd assume, for a lager) as opposed to decanting?
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Offline Philbrew

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Re: Can I make a starter with Saflager 34/70?
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2015, 05:20:06 PM »
If you want to attempt to maximize the number of cells from the slurry while removing most of the break and dead cells, you can try what I have been doing with older crops; namely, double-drop the starter.  Basically, pitch the entire crop, wait until the starter goes opaque, and then carefully decant the liquid into a sanitized vessel while leaving the sediment behind.  The liquid portion contains the viable cells.  It is an application of the old British technique of starting the wort in a large vessel and then dropping it into smaller vessels called pontos 12 to 18 hours into the fermentation.  This technique was used to get the young fermenting beer off of the break and dead yeast cells as well as to aerate the fermenting beer.
Thanks Mark, I'll try that.
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

Offline Philbrew

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Re: Can I make a starter with Saflager 34/70?
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2015, 05:26:53 PM »
At two months old, you shouldn't have any problem making a starter. Just use 50 mL or so of the solids.

But yes, you could make a starter with the dry yeast.

Are you pitching the entire starter (a gallon or so, I'd assume, for a lager) as opposed to decanting?
Yes, I pitch the entire starter.  But I've found that 2 quarts is more that plenty when pitching the starter at high krausen.
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

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Re: Can I make a starter with Saflager 34/70?
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2015, 05:54:09 PM »
Thanks Mark, I'll try that.

I forgot to mention that you should decant and discard the supernatant (clear liquid that lies above the solids) in the crop before pitching the slurry into your starter wort.   



Offline Philbrew

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Re: Can I make a starter with Saflager 34/70?
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2015, 08:32:13 PM »

But yes, you could make a starter with the dry yeast.

a10t2,
If I do need to use the dry yeast, should I hydrate it first in plain water or can I just pitch it into the starter wort dry?
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.

Offline a10t2

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Re: Can I make a starter with Saflager 34/70?
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2015, 08:39:56 PM »
I'd rehydrate first. No sense in killing off half the cells if your objective is to grow more.
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Offline Philbrew

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Re: Can I make a starter with Saflager 34/70?
« Reply #8 on: June 27, 2015, 09:01:55 PM »
I'd rehydrate first. No sense in killing off half the cells if your objective is to grow more.
Thanks, good point.
Many of us would be on a strict liquid diet if it weren't for pretzels.