Poll

Which yeast should I use for my WLP833 starter going into a 5.5G batch of Marzen tomorrow night?

Use 500mL of 30-day old slurry that warmed up to 70F for 24 hours
2 (66.7%)
Use 3 vials that are "barely expired"
1 (33.3%)
Throw the vials in with the slurry and put in all in the starter
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 3

Voting closed: June 08, 2016, 11:58:34 PM

Author Topic: Brewing Tomorrow Night - What to Do About Yeast Starter  (Read 1187 times)

Offline blair.streit

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Brewing Tomorrow Night - What to Do About Yeast Starter
« on: June 07, 2016, 11:58:34 PM »
I'm feeling conflicted about my yeast starter approach for tomorrow night, so I'd like to crowd-source an answer and see what comments I get. Basically I'm brewing a 5.5G batch of Marzen tomorrow night with WLP833 and need to get some yeast ready.

My plan is to do a SnS starter and pitch the whole thing at high krausen. Since I'm brewing a lager, I'm planning to do the starter tonight or first thing tomorrow and leave it in the ferm chamber at ~50F for 12-24 hours. That way I don't temp shock the yeast when I pitch them into 48F wort late tomorrow night.

I have two choices for yeast:

1) 500mL of WLP833 slurry from a Dortmunder (brewed 4/17, harvested 5/4, ~30 days old)
2) 3 vials of WLP833 that I already received from my LHBS (cheap since they expired on May 20)

The slurry performed well and has been stored ~38F. However, my GFCI tripped earlier this week so the chest freezer that the yeast was in warmed to ~68F over a period of ~12 hours. Once I discovered the issue I slowly decreased the temp back to ~38 over ~12 hours (to prevent shocking the yeast and/or breaking any glass bottles in contact with the walls of the freezer).

The vials were stored at the LHBS the whole time so I expect they've maintained proper temps.

Seems like either would work fine, but why make a decision and second-guess myself when there's such a great resource at my fingertips  ;)


Offline JT

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Re: Brewing Tomorrow Night - What to Do About Yeast Starter
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2016, 02:26:59 AM »
I'd get that starter going now if you're going to sit it at lager temps instead of room temp.  I have no experience pitching multiple vials in a starter or reusing slurry in a starter, but either yeast source sounds like it should work fine. 

Online tommymorris

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Re: Brewing Tomorrow Night - What to Do About Yeast Starter
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2016, 02:51:20 AM »
I do 3 gallon batches so, take that into context when reading my next comment.

My last 3 batches I have taken 1 liter of wort (from the batch) and done a shaken not stirred starter with that 1 liter. The remainder of the wort sits in my fermentation chamber overnight. I pitch at high krausen in the morning. I've done this with 2 lagers (wlp838) and an American Wheat. No ill effects.

Offline brewinhard

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Re: Brewing Tomorrow Night - What to Do About Yeast Starter
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2016, 01:16:43 PM »
I would probably pitch the slurry into a starter and get that going. The other 3 vials will have a much lower cell count since they are past expired.

Offline a10t2

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Re: Brewing Tomorrow Night - What to Do About Yeast Starter
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2016, 03:41:15 PM »
I voted for the slurry simply because I wouldn't have any confidence in the expired vials building up to a reasonable cell count by tomorrow (today?). 500 mL of normal slurry should be plenty of yeast even if the viability is a bit off.

FWIW, I just repitched some W206 (allegedly the same strain) that was 35 days old. The lag period was disconcertingly long (48-60 hr) but it's now five days later and nearly at FG. I did over pitch a little (1.8 M/mL-°P) to compensate.
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Offline blair.streit

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Re: Brewing Tomorrow Night - What to Do About Yeast Starter
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2016, 04:16:48 PM »
I voted for the slurry simply because I wouldn't have any confidence in the expired vials building up to a reasonable cell count by tomorrow (today?). 500 mL of normal slurry should be plenty of yeast even if the viability is a bit off.

FWIW, I just repitched some W206 (allegedly the same strain) that was 35 days old. The lag period was disconcertingly long (48-60 hr) but it's now five days later and nearly at FG. I did over pitch a little (1.8 M/mL-°P) to compensate.
Thanks. I'm kinda leaning the same direction. The brewing gods smiled on me and my wife's travel schedule changed, so I get to brew tomorrow night (Thursday) instead.

I'll make the starter early this evening and it will have a full 24 hours to do its thing. I use an O2 wand, so I can hit it with oxygen up-front and then once more a couple hours later. I'll also use plenty of nutrient in the starter.

Online klickitat jim

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Re: Brewing Tomorrow Night - What to Do About Yeast Starter
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2016, 04:43:06 PM »
I'm getting to the point where I think, on Homebrew scale, that proper sanitation (uninfected wort) - well oxygenated wort - and proper temp control are much more important than cell count or starter method. Obviously assuming your yeast isn't dead...

Offline blair.streit

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Re: Brewing Tomorrow Night - What to Do About Yeast Starter
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2016, 04:48:05 PM »
I'm getting to the point where I think, on Homebrew scale, that proper sanitation (uninfected wort) - well oxygenated wort - and proper temp control are much more important than cell count or starter method. Obviously assuming your yeast isn't dead...
They look happy enough, don't you think? No visible dark spots, but certainly more beige and less white than they were a few weeks ago:


Offline JT

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Re: Brewing Tomorrow Night - What to Do About Yeast Starter
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2016, 06:52:25 PM »
I see one of them waving.  Those yeast are ready to make beer. 

Offline a10t2

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Re: Brewing Tomorrow Night - What to Do About Yeast Starter
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2016, 07:42:34 PM »
I would pitch that and not think twice about it.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Brewing Tomorrow Night - What to Do About Yeast Starter
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2016, 09:17:03 PM »
I'm getting to the point where I think, on Homebrew scale, that proper sanitation (uninfected wort) - well oxygenated wort - and proper temp control are much more important than cell count or starter method. Obviously assuming your yeast isn't dead...

Perhaps so.  But long lag times freak me out.  48 - 60 hrs would have me repitching with a pack of dry yeast.
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Brewing Tomorrow Night - What to Do About Yeast Starter
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2016, 09:39:02 PM »
Perhaps so.  But long lag times freak me out.  48 - 60 hrs would have me repitching with a pack of dry yeast.

Not having an LHBS makes you a much more casual brewer.
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Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Brewing Tomorrow Night - What to Do About Yeast Starter
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2016, 10:24:04 PM »
Perhaps so.  But long lag times freak me out.  48 - 60 hrs would have me repitching with a pack of dry yeast.

Not having an LHBS makes you a much more casual brewer.

I keep an emergency stash of dry yeasts.  Lager, ale, wheat, saison.  Just in case.  Maybe I have issues?
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Offline a10t2

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Re: Brewing Tomorrow Night - What to Do About Yeast Starter
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2016, 03:11:00 AM »
I keep an emergency stash of dry yeasts.  Lager, ale, wheat, saison.  Just in case.  Maybe I have issues?

I'm pretty sure we wouldn't be here if we didn't. ;)

I do counts on my homebrew pitches, so it's just a *different* issue.
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Offline blair.streit

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Re: Brewing Tomorrow Night - What to Do About Yeast Starter
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2016, 01:04:10 PM »
Thanks all for the comments! I made a 1.5L solution with 135g of DME, so about 1.035. Foamed it up good with O2 around 11pm last night and tossed it into the ferm
chamber at 50F chamber temp.



8 hours later there's about 1/4" of krausen on top, so it looks like we have lift off.



Hopefully at ~24 hours when I pitch this they will be acclimated and ripping along.