Membership questions? Log in issues? Email info@brewersassociation.org

Author Topic: Yeast Starter for High Gravity Ale  (Read 2762 times)

Offline alekmager

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 21
Yeast Starter for High Gravity Ale
« on: November 22, 2018, 05:48:58 pm »
Just wondering how everyone goes about a starter for brew around 1.110 OG? Any tips on basic starters? Hoping for some awesome input:)

Offline joe_meadmaker

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 399
Re: Yeast Starter for High Gravity Ale
« Reply #1 on: November 22, 2018, 07:32:10 pm »
That gravity is in the range where I would probably go with 2 packs of yeast.  That's assuming you're using Wyeast or White Labs.  And I'd also increase the volume of the starter.  Take the normal 1/2 gallon up to around 3/4 gallon, adjusting your DME (or whatever is being used) proportionately.  I have a couple brown glass jugs I use for large starters that work great.

Offline Bob357

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 901
  • Consensus means nothing to me. I am who I am.
Beer is my bucket list,

Bob357
Fallon, NV

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8604
Re: Yeast Starter for High Gravity Ale
« Reply #3 on: November 22, 2018, 11:39:39 pm »
I treat them the same as normal beer. Active starter pitched to oxygenated wort, but I add extra O2 after a few hours and again in a few hours.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 27175
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Yeast Starter for High Gravity Ale
« Reply #4 on: November 23, 2018, 07:47:17 am »
I'd make a batchm of 1.050ish beer and use the slurry from that.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline alekmager

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 21
Re: Yeast Starter for High Gravity Ale
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2018, 07:54:06 am »
That gravity is in the range where I would probably go with 2 packs of yeast.  That's assuming you're using Wyeast or White Labs.  And I'd also increase the volume of the starter.  Take the normal 1/2 gallon up to around 3/4 gallon, adjusting your DME (or whatever is being used) proportionately.  I have a couple brown glass jugs I use for large starters that work great.

Even with a starter? Ever try step starters? I can make a starter, I suppose my question pertains to being sure you get enough cells for a healthy ferment without having too many

Offline joe_meadmaker

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 399
Re: Yeast Starter for High Gravity Ale
« Reply #6 on: November 23, 2018, 01:19:15 pm »
Even with a starter? Ever try step starters? I can make a starter, I suppose my question pertains to being sure you get enough cells for a healthy ferment without having too many

Yeah, the two packs of yeast goes in to the starter.  Stepping up is definitely another option.  For me it's just a time saver.  I'd rather use additional yeast in a slightly larger starter and be done with it.  Either route will work.  It's just about which one works better for you.

You can check out this link in regard to cell counts.  The site contains part of the chart from the Yeast book by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff.

https://homebrewacademy.com/stepping-up-a-yeast-starter/

Offline Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 4214
Re: Yeast Starter for High Gravity Ale
« Reply #7 on: November 23, 2018, 02:28:41 pm »
^^^^
When I need a bigger build, it's generally for lagers,  since I really don't do high gravity beers, but same principle.  I've also taken to two packs in a smaller starter rather than one pack in a really big one or stepping up.   The latter two options theoretically will result in more new cells, but it all seems to work the same in practice.   It's just a matter of what is most convenient or cost effective under the circumstances.  That chart is  a good starting point, and with oxygen or agitation you'll actually probably grow considerably more.  But remember that health trumps count, so don't worry too much about the exact numbers as long as you have yeast freshly grown with nutrient and plenty of oxygen, and you also provide sufficient oxygen in the pitched wort.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 27175
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Yeast Starter for High Gravity Ale
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2018, 08:42:09 am »
Even with a starter? Ever try step starters? I can make a starter, I suppose my question pertains to being sure you get enough cells for a healthy ferment without having too many

Yeah, the two packs of yeast goes in to the starter.  Stepping up is definitely another option.  For me it's just a time saver.  I'd rather use additional yeast in a slightly larger starter and be done with it.  Either route will work.  It's just about which one works better for you.

You can check out this link in regard to cell counts.  The site contains part of the chart from the Yeast book by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff.

https://homebrewacademy.com/stepping-up-a-yeast-starter/

FWIW, I recently had dinner with Chris and told him about the SNS starter method.  He said it was a great idea and that "homebrewers are too hung up on numbers".  Take that as you will.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell

Offline braufessor

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 354
Re: Yeast Starter for High Gravity Ale
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2018, 08:44:41 am »
I agree with Denny on this..... When I brew really big beers, I run my yeast through a simple, low gravity (no dry hop) beer like a blonde ale or something.  Then I harvest a nice big pitch of yeast and put it in a starter the day before I brew the big beer.  Need to plan two weeks or so in advance, but it is a great way to go in my opinion.

Offline Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 4214
Re: Yeast Starter for High Gravity Ale
« Reply #10 on: November 24, 2018, 08:52:21 am »
I agree with Denny on this..... When I brew really big beers, I run my yeast through a simple, low gravity (no dry hop) beer like a blonde ale or something.  Then I harvest a nice big pitch of yeast and put it in a starter the day before I brew the big beer.  Need to plan two weeks or so in advance, but it is a great way to go in my opinion.
True.   In fact almost all of my beers are made with repitched yeast,  so starters are something I only have  to worry about couple of times a year usually.  That way I always have an oversupply of fresh, healthy yeast and can add just as much as I think I need. Direct repitch,  no starter.  The best plan, IMHO.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline joe_meadmaker

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 399
Re: Yeast Starter for High Gravity Ale
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2018, 10:12:21 am »
Even with a starter? Ever try step starters? I can make a starter, I suppose my question pertains to being sure you get enough cells for a healthy ferment without having too many

Yeah, the two packs of yeast goes in to the starter.  Stepping up is definitely another option.  For me it's just a time saver.  I'd rather use additional yeast in a slightly larger starter and be done with it.  Either route will work.  It's just about which one works better for you.

You can check out this link in regard to cell counts.  The site contains part of the chart from the Yeast book by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff.

https://homebrewacademy.com/stepping-up-a-yeast-starter/

FWIW, I recently had dinner with Chris and told him about the SNS starter method.  He said it was a great idea and that "homebrewers are too hung up on numbers".  Take that as you will.

Agreed.  I don't mean to imply that the charts and numbers are the final word.  Just a good starting point.

Offline Robert

  • Official Poobah of No Life. (I Got Ban Hammered by Drew)
  • *********
  • Posts: 4214
Re: Yeast Starter for High Gravity Ale
« Reply #12 on: November 24, 2018, 07:02:30 pm »


FWIW, I recently had dinner with Chris and told him about the SNS starter method.  He said it was a great idea and that "homebrewers are too hung up on numbers".  Take that as you will.
Numbers provided by... Chris. ;) 

But it also occurs to me that yeast is subjected to far less stress in a properly conducted homebrew scale fermentation than a commercial one.  Another reason cell count is probably less significant.  Health is important on any scale.
Rob Stein
Akron, Ohio

I'd rather have questions I can't answer than answers I can't question.

Offline klickitat jim

  • I must live here
  • **********
  • Posts: 8604
Re: Yeast Starter for High Gravity Ale
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2018, 08:05:34 pm »
Even with a starter? Ever try step starters? I can make a starter, I suppose my question pertains to being sure you get enough cells for a healthy ferment without having too many

Yeah, the two packs of yeast goes in to the starter.  Stepping up is definitely another option.  For me it's just a time saver.  I'd rather use additional yeast in a slightly larger starter and be done with it.  Either route will work.  It's just about which one works better for you.

You can check out this link in regard to cell counts.  The site contains part of the chart from the Yeast book by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff.

https://homebrewacademy.com/stepping-up-a-yeast-starter/

FWIW, I recently had dinner with Chris and told him about the SNS starter method.  He said it was a great idea and that "homebrewers are too hung up on numbers".  Take that as you will.
+100000000000

Offline denny

  • Administrator
  • Retired with too much time on my hands
  • *****
  • Posts: 27175
  • Noti OR [1991.4, 287.6deg] AR
    • Dennybrew
Re: Yeast Starter for High Gravity Ale
« Reply #14 on: November 25, 2018, 08:52:41 am »


FWIW, I recently had dinner with Chris and told him about the SNS starter method.  He said it was a great idea and that "homebrewers are too hung up on numbers".  Take that as you will.
Numbers provided by... Chris. ;) 

But it also occurs to me that yeast is subjected to far less stress in a properly conducted homebrew scale fermentation than a commercial one.  Another reason cell count is probably less significant.  Health is important on any scale.

That irony did not escape me.  And you make an important point....most of the BA  Elements series books are aimed at commercial brewers, rather than home brewers.  For a number of reasons, homebrewers kind of assumed that the books were aimed at them.
Life begins at 60.....1.060, that is!

www.dennybrew.com

The best, sharpest, funniest, weirdest and most knowledgable minds in home brewing contribute on the AHA forum. - Alewyfe

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts." - Bertrand Russell