Author Topic: Yeast starter question  (Read 451 times)

Offline Nate Adams

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Yeast starter question
« on: February 06, 2020, 09:09:21 AM »
Forum newbie....first post.

So I recently made the switch to AG brewing from extract. Santa brought me an Anvil.

I've made yeast starters for my last two batches.  Both 1500ml in volume on a stir-plate.

Tonight I was doing a little reading about yeast and making starters and discovered that I
should have chilled the starters after 24-36 hours and decanted the wort off the yeast bed.

My question is, since I pitched the entire 1500 ml into the fermenter, how much of a negative effect is that going to have on the finished product?

To be clear, both batches are still in primary. One is a Alaskan Amber clone and the other is a dunkelweizen.
Both starters were made with a amber DME.

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

Offline mainebrewer

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Re: Yeast starter question
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2020, 11:26:29 AM »
Adding 1.5 L of very oxidized beer to your batch certainly didn't improve the batch but it didn't ruin it either. The impact will depend upon the size of your batch of beer. As you noted, when making a yeast starter on a stir plate (or anytime you let the starter ferment to completion), it is best to  decant most of the beer and pitch the remainder.
Some homebrewers make a smaller volume starter, around 1 L, and then pitch the whole thing while it is actively fermenting.
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Offline Nate Adams

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Re: Yeast starter question
« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2020, 11:46:28 AM »
Thanks for the info.

Both batches were 5 gallons.

Guess I'll know in a couple weeks...

Much to learn.

Online dmtaylor

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Re: Yeast starter question
« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2020, 12:23:29 PM »
Not a critical topic of concern.  Millions of other homebrewers would use the entire yeast starter just as you did.

Cheers, welcome to the forum, and welcome to the awesome world of all-grain!
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Offline ynotbrusum

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Re: Yeast starter question
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2020, 12:23:49 PM »
Check out the threads here on the Shaken not Stirred method for making starters.  It is easy and it works great for me.
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Offline purduekenn

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Re: Yeast starter question
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2020, 03:42:02 PM »
I gave up making traditional starters and now use the Shaken not Stirred method too.

Offline spurviance

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Re: Yeast starter question
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2020, 03:48:04 PM »
Adding 1.5 L of very oxidized beer to your batch certainly didn't improve the batch but it didn't ruin it either. The impact will depend upon the size of your batch of beer. As you noted, when making a yeast starter on a stir plate (or anytime you let the starter ferment to completion), it is best to  decant most of the beer and pitch the remainder.
Some homebrewers make a smaller volume starter, around 1 L, and then pitch the whole thing while it is actively fermenting.
I don't see how adding oxidized starter wort would hurt the beer as any added O2 would aid the yeast in fermentation. 
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Offline narvin

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Re: Yeast starter question
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2020, 03:51:11 PM »
Adding 1.5 L of very oxidized beer to your batch certainly didn't improve the batch but it didn't ruin it either. The impact will depend upon the size of your batch of beer. As you noted, when making a yeast starter on a stir plate (or anytime you let the starter ferment to completion), it is best to  decant most of the beer and pitch the remainder.
Some homebrewers make a smaller volume starter, around 1 L, and then pitch the whole thing while it is actively fermenting.
I don't see how adding oxidized starter wort would hurt the beer as any added O2 would aid the yeast in fermentation.

I think the concern is that the oxidized starter wort has off flavors that won't go away.  That being said, my stirplate starters (when I use a stirplate still) don't smell or taste oxidized.

Offline goose

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Re: Yeast starter question
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2020, 05:08:19 PM »
Adding 1.5 L of very oxidized beer to your batch certainly didn't improve the batch but it didn't ruin it either. The impact will depend upon the size of your batch of beer. As you noted, when making a yeast starter on a stir plate (or anytime you let the starter ferment to completion), it is best to  decant most of the beer and pitch the remainder.
Some homebrewers make a smaller volume starter, around 1 L, and then pitch the whole thing while it is actively fermenting.
I don't see how adding oxidized starter wort would hurt the beer as any added O2 would aid the yeast in fermentation.

I think the concern is that the oxidized starter wort has off flavors that won't go away.  That being said, my stirplate starters (when I use a stirplate still) don't smell or taste oxidized.

Neither do mine.
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Offline Richard

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Re: Yeast starter question
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2020, 08:08:46 PM »
I don't see how adding oxidized starter wort would hurt the beer as any added O2 would aid the yeast in fermentation.
Oxidized material has already taken the free O2 and combined it chemically with something. You would not get any free O2 from adding something oxidized. For example, oxidized hydrogen is water. Adding water does not give oxygen to the yeast because it is bound up in the water molecule.
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Offline charlie

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Re: Yeast starter question
« Reply #10 on: February 07, 2020, 12:42:37 AM »
Tonight I was doing a little reading about yeast and making starters and discovered that I
should have chilled the starters after 24-36 hours and decanted the wort off the yeast bed.

My question is, since I pitched the entire 1500 ml into the fermenter, how much of a negative effect is that going to have on the finished product?

I doubt that you will notice it.

I went through the same process, and it always bugged me putting spent starter in the fresh wort. Eventually I came up with a process whereby I decant the starter(s) about 20 minutes before flameout and put fresh chilled wort (from my Thermonator) into the flask(s) and put them back on the stir plate until I'm ready to pitch the yeast.

I don't know if all these shenanigans make a difference, but they make me happy, and in the long run that's the same thing. :-)

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Re: Yeast starter question
« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2020, 12:42:54 PM »
Not a critical topic of concern.  Millions of other homebrewers would use the entire yeast starter just as you did.

Cheers, welcome to the forum, and welcome to the awesome world of all-grain!

We always pitch the entire contents. The harvested yeast from the previous brew was always fed with fresh sterile wort. It never failed to produce awesome beer.