Author Topic: Do I need a starter?  (Read 1938 times)

Online gmac

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2024
  • London, Ontario
    • View Profile
Re: Do I need a starter?
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2010, 04:36:14 PM »
Well, now I know.

Looks like I'll be making a starter tonight.  I am hoping to brew later this week so I'd better get my butt in gear. 
Thanks for all the great advice.

Offline gordonstrong

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1355
    • View Profile
    • BJCP
Re: Do I need a starter?
« Reply #16 on: December 21, 2010, 07:05:46 AM »
+1 - you want to grow the yeast on a maltose diet. Growing them on sugar is like giving kids candy before dinner, and then being frustrated when they don't want to eat their broccoli.

Great analogy.  I am *so* going to use that.
Gordon Strong • Beavercreek, Ohio • AHA Member since 1997 • Twitter: GordonStrong

Offline majorvices

  • Global Moderator
  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *****
  • Posts: 6308
  • Polka. If its too loud you're too young.
    • View Profile
    • Yellowhammer Brewing Company
Re: Do I need a starter?
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2010, 07:29:15 AM »
+1 - you want to grow the yeast on a maltose diet. Growing them on sugar is like giving kids candy before dinner, and then being frustrated when they don't want to eat their broccoli.

Great analogy.  I am *so* going to use that.

Gordon - I would be honored!  ;D
Keith Y.
Self appointed "All Grain" section pruner

Offline Mikey

  • Brewer
  • ****
  • Posts: 397
    • View Profile
Re: Do I need a starter?
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2010, 07:47:52 AM »
So here's a dumb question. 
Can I put 4 liters of starter in a carboy, let it ferment for a day or two, put it in the cold room (about 2 degrees C right now), dump out the liquid and put my wort directly in on top? 
Can you use anything besides DME?  I only bought enough DME for the recipe I want to make.  I can get more but if I'm just gonna chuck it, why not just sugar boiled in water?
Thanks


Yes, you can use a carboy that way and it works very well. I've done it many times. One less vessel to clean.

Online gmac

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2024
  • London, Ontario
    • View Profile
Re: Do I need a starter?
« Reply #19 on: December 22, 2010, 02:55:12 PM »
Here's what I've done so far.
I boiled 400 grams of light DME in 4 liters of water and put most of it in a clean and bleached one gallon glass jug, cooled it down and pitched the yeast into the jug.  It is pretty much full to the top so I expect a good amount to blow out the neck of the bottle which I hope will be ok.  There is just tinfoil over the top.

OG of the starter is 1.032. 

How long do I let it sit for before I decant the liquid and pitch the sludge?  I was hoping to brew tomorrow but I can wait until Friday as I have either day available.  If I left it for 24 hours, would that be enough or should I wait until the day after?  Exactly what do they mean when they say "crash the starter"?

A bit more direction concerning how to handle the starter now would be appreciated.
Thanks

Offline jeffy

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2445
  • Tampa, Fl
    • View Profile
Re: Do I need a starter?
« Reply #20 on: December 22, 2010, 04:25:26 PM »
Here's what I've done so far.
I boiled 400 grams of light DME in 4 liters of water and put most of it in a clean and bleached one gallon glass jug, cooled it down and pitched the yeast into the jug.  It is pretty much full to the top so I expect a good amount to blow out the neck of the bottle which I hope will be ok.  There is just tinfoil over the top.

OG of the starter is 1.032. 

How long do I let it sit for before I decant the liquid and pitch the sludge?  I was hoping to brew tomorrow but I can wait until Friday as I have either day available.  If I left it for 24 hours, would that be enough or should I wait until the day after?  Exactly what do they mean when they say "crash the starter"?

A bit more direction concerning how to handle the starter now would be appreciated.
Thanks


A couple of things that you may want to change next time: 1) get a bigger jug, enough to contain the fermenting starter at about half full and  2) make sure you rinse the bleach really really really well or use a no rinse sanitizer instead.
That starter should be done and ready to pitch either day.  "Crash" means "crash cool" - put the jug into the fridge until all the cloudiness drops out and leaves a layer of yeast and trub at the bottom.
Jeff Gladish, Tampa (989.3, 175.1 Apparent Rennarian)
Homebrewing since 1990
AHA member since 1991, now a lifetime member
BJCP judge since 1995

Offline a10t2

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3163
  • Ask me why I don't like Chico!
    • View Profile
    • SeanTerrill.com
Re: Do I need a starter?
« Reply #21 on: December 22, 2010, 04:46:49 PM »
I boiled 400 grams of light DME in 4 liters of water ... OG of the starter is 1.032.

For what it's worth, you may want to check your instruments. At least one of those numbers has to be wrong.

Anyway, 24 hours may not be enough time for the starter to ferment out fully. Even 48 hours isn't guaranteed. As big a starter as this is, I would definitely suggest that you crash it until it clears and pour off the majority of the starter "beer". No sense putting almost a gallon of nasty low-gravity unhopped beer into your nice perfect batch of wort.
Beer is like porn. You can buy it, but it's more fun to make your own.
http://seanterrill.com/category/brewing/

Online gmac

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2024
  • London, Ontario
    • View Profile
Re: Do I need a starter?
« Reply #22 on: December 22, 2010, 05:39:50 PM »
I boiled 400 grams of light DME in 4 liters of water ... OG of the starter is 1.032.

For what it's worth, you may want to check your instruments. At least one of those numbers has to be wrong.


Which do you think is wrong?  I used a kitchen scale and took out 100 g from a 500 g bag.  The 4L was with a measuring cup.  Not exact science but I think probably close enough.  Or are you suggesting that I am reading the hygrometer wrong?
Thanks for the advice.

Online tygo

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2622
  • Sterling, VA
    • View Profile
Re: Do I need a starter?
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2010, 06:41:10 PM »
Probably your volume was a little higher than 4 liters.  Like maybe 4.5 liters or so.  400 grams in 4 liters would be about 1.036.  No big deal.
Clint
Wort Hogs

Fermenting: Wit
On Tap: Lucifer's Hammer Golden Strong Ale, Dopplebock, Old Fuzzynut's Ale

Online gmac

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2024
  • London, Ontario
    • View Profile
Re: Do I need a starter?
« Reply #24 on: December 24, 2010, 02:15:16 PM »
Well, the beer is made.  I decanted the "beer" off the yeast, left a 1/4 inch or so of liquid and swirled it into suspension and just pitched it.  There was activity in the air lock within 2 minutes.  Pretty impressive.

I had about a gallon left over from my boil and so I put that into the jug that had the yeast in it to see what would happen.  But, the mouth was a bit big and so when I put the rubber bung in, it slipped in too far.  When I went to pull it out, I got the airlock but no stopper.  So, there's a rubber stopper in the bottom of my 1 gal wort.  Anyone know if this is going to be a bad thing?  I am sure it isn't ideal but should I just dump it now or let it ferment out and get the stopper when I bottle.  I will definitely taste before I bottle.
Thanks.

Offline hokerer

  • I spend way too much time on the AHA forum
  • ********
  • Posts: 2634
  • Manassas, VA
    • View Profile
Re: Do I need a starter?
« Reply #25 on: December 24, 2010, 02:41:33 PM »
Stopper shouldn't hurt anything.  Go ahead and let if ferment out and retrieve the stopper afterwards.
Joe