Author Topic: Shaken not stirred lager starter?  (Read 21377 times)

evil_morty

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Re: Shaken not stirred lager starter?
« Reply #60 on: October 02, 2015, 08:08:10 pm »
So what would you suggest here.  I'm looking at making 10 gallons of 1.051 lager.  Since I mash overnight the night before the actual brew day I'll be able to pull some amount of 1.046ish wort off to make a "shaken not stirred starter" that would hopefully be ready the next day to pitch into the rest of the wort.

There is no need to step the starter.  The difference between a 1L starter and a 2L starter is one replication period. You will be incubating your lager starter at room temperature, so a 2L starter will require roughly 90 minutes of an additional incubation time (and a vessel of at least 8L in volume).  A 2L starter will be ready pitch if you make it the evening before you brew.  I would make the 2L starter with 200 grams of DME. If you do not have a scale that can weigh in grams, 200 grams is 7 dry ounces.   You should be able to get at least 300 billion cells in addition to the viable cells in the starter.   If you pitch that starter at high krausen, it will get the job done. 

If you want to eliminate the possibility of shock, you may want to start to cool your starter an hour or so before you pitch by placing it in your fermentation chamber.  When making lager,  I usually pitch a starter at 20C/68F into approximately 18C/65F wort and then place the fermentation vessel in my lager fermentation chamber set to hold the wort at 13C/55F.  I rarely if ever ferment a lager below that temperature.  Most production lager strains were selected for their ability to produce a quality product at 13C/55F.

a starter that small scares the hell out of me.  fermentation has always been like magic to me in that I follow instructions and guidelines and hope for the best.  why even make a starter?  what is the starter doing for me here?  is getting the yeast going in the right amount of starter the main issue and then after that it just doesn't matter much?  we are talking the difference between something like 80B cells and probably less than 200B cells (just guessing after making a 2L starter) when most experts out there would say I should be pitching close to 600B or more.

S. cerevisiae

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Re: Shaken not stirred lager starter?
« Reply #61 on: October 02, 2015, 08:49:45 pm »
a starter that small scares the hell out of me.  fermentation has always been like magic to me in that I follow instructions and guidelines and hope for the best.  why even make a starter?  what is the starter doing for me here?  is getting the yeast going in the right amount of starter the main issue and then after that it just doesn't matter much?  we are talking the difference between something like 80B cells and probably less than 200B cells (just guessing after making a 2L starter) when most experts out there would say I should be pitching close to 600B or more.

A 2L starter is not a small starter by any stretch of the imagination.  I do not know who the "experts" are, but I would love to see their sources.  I am willing to bet that their guidelines are based more on folklore passed down from other brewers who received the information as folklore from other brewers than anything grounded in science.  A 2L liter starter pitched into 10 gallons (38L) is a 1:19 step.  That's well within the realm of a healthy culture that is pitched into well-aerated wort.  It takes log(19) / log(2)  = 4.25 replication (doubling) periods for 400 billion cells to grow into 7.6 trillion cells.   It's just basic biological science. 

By the way, there are two major reasons why we use a starter.  The first reason is to lower the probability that wild microflora will gain control of the batch.  Bacteria multiply 8-fold in the same amount of time that yeast double.   The second reason why we make a starter is to bring the culture out of quiescence before pitching, which reduces lag time, which, in turn, allows the culture to start reproducing faster.  The faster a culture starts reproducing after being pitched, the lower the probability that house microflora will gain a foothold in the fermentation.  Every other reason is subordinate to these two reasons.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2015, 07:53:43 am by S. cerevisiae »

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Re: Shaken not stirred lager starter?
« Reply #62 on: October 02, 2015, 11:43:46 pm »
According to the Mr. Malty website, the metric used by that particular yeast calculator came from George Fix's book An Analysis of Brewing Techniques. 

Someone who owns a copy (I do not) might be able to trace it further.  Maybe it's been superseded at this point. 
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Re: Shaken not stirred lager starter?
« Reply #63 on: October 03, 2015, 04:47:38 am »

So what would you suggest here.  I'm looking at making 10 gallons of 1.051 lager.  Since I mash overnight the night before the actual brew day I'll be able to pull some amount of 1.046ish wort off to make a "shaken not stirred starter" that would hopefully be ready the next day to pitch into the rest of the wort.

There is no need to step the starter.  The difference between a 1L starter and a 2L starter is one replication period. You will be incubating your lager starter at room temperature, so a 2L starter will require roughly 90 minutes of an additional incubation time (and a vessel of at least 8L in volume).  A 2L starter will be ready pitch if you make it the evening before you brew.  I would make the 2L starter with 200 grams of DME. If you do not have a scale that can weigh in grams, 200 grams is 7 dry ounces.   You should be able to get at least 300 billion cells in addition to the viable cells in the vial.   If you pitch that starter at high krausen, it will get the job done. 

If you want to eliminate the possibility of shock, you may want to start to cool your starter an hour or so before you pitch by placing it in your fermentation chamber.  When making lager,  I usually pitch a starter at 20C/68F into approximately 18C/65F wort and then place the fermentation vessel in my lager fermentation chamber set to hold the wort at 13C/55F.  I rarely if ever ferment a lager below that temperature.  Most production lager strains were selected for their ability to produce a quality product at 13C/55F.

Mark- is this math suggested for 5 or 10 gallons?


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evil_morty

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Re: Shaken not stirred lager starter?
« Reply #64 on: October 03, 2015, 05:30:59 am »
a starter that small scares the hell out of me.  fermentation has always been like magic to me in that I follow instructions and guidelines and hope for the best.  why even make a starter?  what is the starter doing for me here?  is getting the yeast going in the right amount of starter the main issue and then after that it just doesn't matter much?  we are talking the difference between something like 80B cells and probably less than 200B cells (just guessing after making a 2L starter) when most experts out there would say I should be pitching close to 600B or more.

A 2L starter is not a small starter by any stretch of the imagination.  I do not know who the "experts" are, but I would love to see their sources.  I am willing to bet that their guidelines are based more on folklore passed down from other brewers who received the information as folklore from other brewers than anything grounded in science.  2L liter starter pitched into 10 gallons (38L) is a 1:19 step.  That's well within the realm of a healthy culture that is pitched into well-aerated wort.  It takes log(19) / log(2)  = 4.25 replication (doubling) periods for 400 billion cells to grow into 7.6 trillion cells.   It's just basic biological science. 

By the way, there are two reasons major reasons why we use a starter.  The first reason is to lower the probability that wild microflora will gain control of the batch.  Bacteria multiply 8-fold in the same amount of time that yeast double.   The second reason why we make a starter is to bring the culture out of quiescence before pitching, which reduces lag time, which, in turn, allows the culture to start reproducing faster.  The faster a culture starts reproducing after being pitched, the lower the probability that house microflora will gain a foot hold in the fermentation.  Every other reason is subordinate to these two reasons.

the experts?  Chris White/Jamil or whoever contributed to the pitching rate calculators out there.  I'm not saying you are wrong or anything but you must at least realize what you are saying flies in the face of what most people have been doing for years.

page 122 of Yeast.  # cells to pitch = 1.5M * mL of wort * deg Plato, which is around 700B in the case of my example lager.

But back to your process...

can I make a shaken starter in a flask?  will foil on top keep things from leaking out and making a mess?  Also, in the case of the 10 gal of wort, can I over oxygenate it with pure O2 or is this simply not possible?
« Last Edit: October 03, 2015, 05:41:17 am by evil_morty »

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Shaken not stirred lager starter?
« Reply #65 on: October 03, 2015, 06:24:00 am »
I guess what mark is saying is that if your yeast are at healthy high krausen you don't need 700B because they will go from 300B to 600b to 1.2T in about an hour and a half

RPIScotty

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Re: Shaken not stirred lager starter?
« Reply #66 on: October 03, 2015, 06:50:53 am »

I guess what mark is saying is that if your yeast are at healthy high krausen you don't need 700B because they will go from 300B to 600b to 1.2T in about an hour and a half

This sounds like a ver succinct and accurate interpretation.

I think it's important to note that Mark isn't saying this method is a replacement for any others. It's just easier, less equipment intensive and guided by biology to provide an extremely active and healthy starter.


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Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Shaken not stirred lager starter?
« Reply #67 on: October 03, 2015, 07:48:08 am »
Looking at Mr Malty, the only thing contrary to what Mark says is that Jamil claimed a stirplate is the best way to continually add oxygen. Other than that, jamil says 1gm dme to 10ml water, oxygenated, pitched at high krausen, which he quotes Doss from Wyeast as esimated to occur with a fresh sample in a 2L starter in 12-18 hrs. What Mark is saying is not really contrary to the basics on the Mr Malty site. I think the discrepancy regarding recommended cell counts is due to the calculator being designed for using yeast starters that are fermented out, decanted and pitched, rather than at high krausen.

Im not as far along as Denny in my trial, but so far I can say that my oxygenated and shook starters of 1056 smelled fantastic as compared to my normal stirplated stanky ones. The fermentation took off like a rocket, I actually had some blowoff in my 30L Speidels that had 3 gallons of headspace with a 1.055 beer. That blowoff was just about 18 hrs in, thats when I found it, no idea exactly when it happened. The beer fermented out as usual in about the usual time.

I dont doubt Mark's comments about shear stress on a stirplate, I just haven't seen it with my own eyes. It makes sense though I dont know that its like the Bataan death march. You can't duspute that a lot of great beer has been made with stirplate yeast.

I just think that Marks method does not fly in the face of current theory
« Last Edit: October 03, 2015, 08:04:05 am by klickitat jim »

S. cerevisiae

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Re: Shaken not stirred lager starter?
« Reply #68 on: October 03, 2015, 07:55:09 am »
Mark- is this math suggested for 5 or 10 gallons?

10 gallons

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Re: Shaken not stirred lager starter?
« Reply #69 on: October 03, 2015, 08:56:26 am »
A couple questions.

1.  Can this shaken method also be viable when using a not super fresh pack/vial of yeast (i.e. as in a couple mos old?)

2.  When doing a lager starter at warmer temps (70-75F) once it hits high krausen, the starter can be cooled to 50F prior to pitching into a chilled 50F batch of wort to minimize shock stress and off flavors of pitching into a warmer wort to obtain a cleaner lager profile?

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Re: Shaken not stirred lager starter?
« Reply #70 on: October 03, 2015, 09:02:18 am »
I think the discrepancy regarding recommended cell counts is due to the calculator being designed for using yeast starters that are fermented out, decanted and pitched, rather than at high krausen.

I am curious as to where the calculator writers acquired their data.  What I believe is going on with respect to pitching rates is that they are based on cropped yeast, which is a different animal.  The stresses placed on yeast cells at the home brewing level are much lower than the stresses placed on yeast cells in a commercial brewery.  Most home brewing fermentations have a fluid column that is around one foot tall. 


S. cerevisiae

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Re: Shaken not stirred lager starter?
« Reply #71 on: October 03, 2015, 09:08:17 am »
A couple questions.

1.  Can this shaken method also be viable when using a not super fresh pack/vial of yeast (i.e. as in a couple mos old?)

Yes

Quote
2.  When doing a lager starter at warmer temps (70-75F) once it hits high krausen, the starter can be cooled to 50F prior to pitching into a chilled 50F batch of wort to minimize shock stress and off flavors of pitching into a warmer wort to obtain a cleaner lager profile?

I have already answered this question in this thread (page 4).
« Last Edit: October 03, 2015, 09:22:12 am by S. cerevisiae »

Offline klickitat jim

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Re: Shaken not stirred lager starter?
« Reply #72 on: October 03, 2015, 09:14:55 am »
I think the discrepancy regarding recommended cell counts is due to the calculator being designed for using yeast starters that are fermented out, decanted and pitched, rather than at high krausen.

I am curious as to where the calculator writers acquired their data.  What I believe is going on with respect to pitching rates is that they are based on cropped yeast, which is a different animal.  The stresses placed on yeast cells at the home brewing level are much lower than the stresses placed on yeast cells in a commercial brewery.  Most home brewing fermentations have a fluid column that is around one foot tall.
And "commercial" is not all the same, right? Are Budweisers fermenters the same size as Walking Man in Stevenson? The difference between commercial and home brewing may not be drastic when talking recipe percentages, water profile, hopping ratios and methods, but it seems like it has to be when it comes to yeast.

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Re: Shaken not stirred lager starter?
« Reply #73 on: October 03, 2015, 11:43:26 am »
Mark, I've been following these "shaken not stirred" threads with great interest.   Watching home-brewing knowledge progress is like a model of society at large;  established dogma from "elders/experts" gets challenged by new data, followed by some pushback from the community, followed by acceptance as the "new dogma".  Repeat.   Otherwise I would be still be pitching bread yeast into lager wort at 65 degrees, chilling to 50 after pitching, then racking to a secondary after the bubbles in my airlock slow to less than one per minute... :)

What do you recommend for very high gravity worts of 1.090 and above?   Wouldn't the higher osmotic stress in these worts indicate a larger starter is required?


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Re: Shaken not stirred lager starter?
« Reply #74 on: October 03, 2015, 11:52:16 am »
the key, as Mark has pointed out, is that the difference between 200 billion cells and 400 billion cells is ~ 90 minutes of lag time. as long as the cells are really healthy and have a good reserve of sterols and o2 they are fully capable of reproducing the rest of the way in your wort without throwing stress flavors. It's a different paradigm than the yeast calculators use.

has anyone tested this out with a lager yet?

I have not.

I'm planning to brew next week and while I will likely use a stir plate for the first small step of my starter I was planning on pulling about 1.5 gallons (out of 10 gallons) and using this as my second "starter" before pitching the whole 1.5 gallons into the remaining 8.5 gallons at high krausen.  on the 1.5 gallon ferment I don't plan on constantly aerating it or anything.

How long for the "second" starter?  In theory I don't see any big red flags with your plan.
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