Author Topic: Starter volume question  (Read 584 times)

Offline pryordr

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Starter volume question
« on: August 14, 2010, 01:25:46 PM »
I worded the topic starter volume question as opposed to starter amount question becuase I am wondering how the volume of the starter is accounted for in the total size of the batch. I have seen recipes for 5-gal high gravity beers that have called for as much as a 10 liter starter. You commonly see 2 and 4 liter starters recommended.

If you are brewing up a 5 gal batch, then add either a gallon or two more volume from the starter, you now have a 6 or 7 gallon batch. Of course the starter doesn't have the benefit of flavors from hops or specialty grains, so are you diluting the original wort ingredients by adding this starter? Are you supposed to compensate for that extra volume somehow? If you know you are putting in a gallon of starter do you calculate to come out of the boil with only 4 gal to end up with a 5 gal batch?

Thanks,

Offline hokerer

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Re: Starter volume question
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2010, 01:30:36 PM »
Simplest thing is to avoid the whole issue - decant the starter before use.  That is, stick it in the fridge overnight to get all the yeast to drop to the bottom and then carefully pour off the liquid (decant).  Add a little of your fresh wort, swirl  the slurry up real good, and pitch that.
Joe

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Starter volume question
« Reply #2 on: August 14, 2010, 01:42:54 PM »
Exactly what hokerer said, although I'd add that I decant and let the yeast warm to room/pitching temp just to avoid shocking the yeast with a big temperature swing.  It will probably be ok if you don't let it warm up, but it will definitely be ok if you do. 

The other option is not to refrigerate it if you don't want to, as long as the yeast settles well.  If you're using a stir plate,obviously you'll want to turn that off.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline pryordr

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Re: Starter volume question
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2010, 01:56:24 PM »
Thanks, those are great ideas. But I always thought you wanted to time the yeast starter as it was actively fermenting at the time you pitched it, I suppose that putting it in the fridge overnight to settle it out doesn't shut down the yeast if it is for a fairly short period. But on the other hand if you are pitching a slurry from a previous batch it would have been sitting a while after fermentation had peaked as well, and that obviously works.

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Starter volume question
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2010, 02:03:03 PM »
It's not really necessary to do it when it's actively fermenting, but if you wanted to you could add a small amount of some wort that is really close to the final beer the day you are brewing and go from there.  If you regularly brew the same or similar beers, you can make extra each time and pull off a liter or two to can for use making starters for the next batch.  Then you can just pitch the whole starter and not worry about it.
Tom Schmidlin