Author Topic: Minimum time needed for a starter  (Read 2351 times)

Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Minimum time needed for a starter
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2010, 10:57:55 AM »
How much yeast are you using?  Liquid/dry?

A stirplate would speed things up if you were so inclined.

I use a fully swollen Activator.  I've been given a couple stirplates by kind people, but they were both very old and died soon after I started using them.  I haven't felt like investing in a new one at this point, but I'm considering it.  If my brewery/garage renovation comes in under budget, that's a possible use for the "extra" money.
I'm not trying to mess with your process or anything, but I think if you used the smack pack when it was nearly swollen rather than fully swollen it might go faster.  Might.  By the time you get to the fully swollen pack it might have been fully swollen for a while and the yeast might have started settling again.

But the stirplate is definitely the easier way to go to speed things up, you can build one for relatively little money.  I assume you've seen the hard drive magnet/computer fan ones?
Tom Schmidlin

Offline denny

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Re: Minimum time needed for a starter
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2010, 11:00:35 AM »
I'll give your suggestion a try, but to tell ya the truth I'm not usually in a biog hurry and I can schedule around the yeast being ready.  It's just become part of my plan.  OTOH, if there's a method I can use to ensure that my yeast population is larger and healthier, it's worth a try.  And I real familiar with the do it yourself plans, but generally I prefer to buy rather than build.  I'm just lazy that way....:)
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Offline dak0415

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Re: Minimum time needed for a starter
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2010, 11:04:01 AM »
It won't happen instantaneously, but they will start to grow as quickly as they can when the conditions are right for growth.

So, hit the starter with O2 every 8 hours for a couple of days?
Dave Koenig
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Minimum time needed for a starter
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2010, 11:57:46 AM »
I'll give your suggestion a try, but to tell ya the truth I'm not usually in a biog hurry and I can schedule around the yeast being ready.  It's just become part of my plan.  OTOH, if there's a method I can use to ensure that my yeast population is larger and healthier, it's worth a try.
You want to make sure your yeast population is larger and healthier?  Get a stir plate.  Check out this picture from the Falcons website yeast page.



And I real familiar with the do it yourself plans, but generally I prefer to buy rather than build.  I'm just lazy that way....:)
I hear that :)

So, hit the starter with O2 every 8 hours for a couple of days?
Sure, although that might not be as good as a stirplate.  It foams up pretty quickly so there's only so much O2 you can bubble through it.  Some foam control and/or a larger vessel would help.  But the stirplate is set and forget, so I like that solution better.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline Slowbrew

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Re: Minimum time needed for a starter
« Reply #19 on: September 15, 2010, 12:07:46 PM »
I did a Winter Warmer a couple weeks ago on the same schedule as you have.  It worked fine.

Made the starter on Thursday morning, decanted and pitched it into the beer on Saturday around Noon.  Fermentation was going strong by 4:30 to 5:00.  Into the secondary 8 days later and it's ready to keg whenever I have time.  The sample I took on the way into the secondary was down to 1.011 and tasted great!

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Offline dak0415

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Re: Minimum time needed for a starter
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2010, 01:01:45 PM »
So, hit the starter with O2 every 8 hours for a couple of days?
Sure, although that might not be as good as a stirplate.  It foams up pretty quickly so there's only so much O2 you can bubble through it.  Some foam control and/or a larger vessel would help.  But the stirplate is set and forget, so I like that solution better.
No, no, you misunderstand.  2 or 4 liter starters in a 6 liter flask on a stirplate, with .5 micron sintered stone!
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Minimum time needed for a starter
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2010, 01:26:02 PM »
So, hit the starter with O2 every 8 hours for a couple of days?
Sure, although that might not be as good as a stirplate.  It foams up pretty quickly so there's only so much O2 you can bubble through it.  Some foam control and/or a larger vessel would help.  But the stirplate is set and forget, so I like that solution better.
No, no, you misunderstand.  2 or 4 liter starters in a 6 liter flask on a stirplate, with .5 micron sintered stone!
Wow, ok, that's a lot of O2.  There is some small danger of actually hitting them with too much O2, and between the stirplate and the O2 tank you might be getting close.  I would just stick with the stirplate and some kind of cover that will keep stuff from falling in but allow air to flow through.  Like a cotton ball or loose aluminum foil or something.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline dak0415

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Re: Minimum time needed for a starter
« Reply #22 on: September 15, 2010, 01:49:49 PM »
OK, back up and regroup.  Hit with O2 for one minute, every 8 hours, for a couple of days.  Just enough flow to see the foam coming up from the stone and swirl with the starter.  I figure the O2 that does not go into solution will stay in the flask.  The foam only persists for a few minutes and doesn't get more than 1" thick.  Is that still to much?
Dave Koenig
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Minimum time needed for a starter
« Reply #23 on: September 15, 2010, 02:50:39 PM »
Is that still to much?
I can't say for sure, but it would probably be fine.

To some extent it will be strain specific, because there are different genes that protect against oxygen toxicity.  It also will depend on how much O2 is getting dissolved, and I don't have a good answer for that.
Tom Schmidlin

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Re: Minimum time needed for a starter
« Reply #24 on: September 15, 2010, 02:56:43 PM »
You want to make sure your yeast population is larger and healthier?  Get a stir plate.  Check out this picture from the Falcons website yeast page.

That's a great article overall, but I find it dubious to suggest that a stirplate will result in a four-fold increase in yeast growth over a shaken starter. (FWIW I found the increase to be about 13%.) Access to oxygen is the key.
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Offline tschmidlin

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Re: Minimum time needed for a starter
« Reply #25 on: September 15, 2010, 03:49:54 PM »
You want to make sure your yeast population is larger and healthier?  Get a stir plate.  Check out this picture from the Falcons website yeast page.

That's a great article overall, but I find it dubious to suggest that a stirplate will result in a four-fold increase in yeast growth over a shaken starter. (FWIW I found the increase to be about 13%.) Access to oxygen is the key.
I've never met MB personally, but if she says she got 4x as much I believe her.  I don't know how her conditions may have differed from yours though, so that may affect the results.
Tom Schmidlin

Offline chezteth

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Re: Minimum time needed for a starter
« Reply #26 on: September 15, 2010, 09:19:00 PM »
I realize it may not be ideal but I recently started a scottish ale with a 1L starter.  I used the Wyeast Scottish Ale and I let it fully expand before I made my starter.  I made the starter 2 days in advance and would shake it every time I would walk by it.  The beer was at full krausen within 8 hours of pitching temp.  Hope this helps.

Happy Brewing,
Brandon

Offline bluesman

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Re: Minimum time needed for a starter
« Reply #27 on: September 16, 2010, 06:30:38 AM »
You want to make sure your yeast population is larger and healthier?  Get a stir plate.  Check out this picture from the Falcons website yeast page.

That's a great article overall, but I find it dubious to suggest that a stirplate will result in a four-fold increase in yeast growth over a shaken starter. (FWIW I found the increase to be about 13%.) Access to oxygen is the key.

I was quite surprised to see this data.  It's really hard to imagine the magnitude of growth from shaken to stirred.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2010, 06:33:34 AM by bluesman »
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Offline cosmo

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Re: Minimum time needed for a starter
« Reply #28 on: September 28, 2010, 09:57:03 AM »
Take a look at the starting cell count for that study.  Much less than a smack pack.  I think with that much growth, the 02 is limiting.  The stir plate adds continuous 02.  I'm assuming that is the difference.  With an Activator pack, I don't think the percentage increase would be as much.