Author Topic: Yeast Starter  (Read 2626 times)

Offline brewandski

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Yeast Starter
« on: January 11, 2011, 02:08:11 PM »
When I pitch yeast from a yeast starter, do I dump the whole thing right in the fermenter, or do I scrape off just the kraesen that has formed and put that in?  What is the best way to transfer the yeast starter?

Offline hamiltont

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Re: Yeast Starter
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2011, 02:12:18 PM »
I let the starter complete its fermentation, put in fridge for a day or so. Then on brew day I decant (pour off) the beer so there's basically just yeast, let it warm up to room temp, add some of the new wort (the real beer) to it to get the yeast to the same temp (usually 62F for Ales & 50F for Lagers) and then pitch it.  Cheers!!!
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Offline tumarkin

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Re: Yeast Starter
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2011, 02:13:06 PM »
you can pitch the whole starter, but a better practice is to crash cool it. the majority of the yeast will settle to the bottom. then you can pour off the supernatant (the liquid 'beer' portion) and pitch just the yeast that has settled out.
Mark Tumarkin
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Offline gimmeales

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Re: Yeast Starter
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2011, 02:16:09 PM »
+1 to all of this - typed up a nearly identical response.  Crash cool, decant starter beer, let warm to room temp before pitching.

Offline brewandski

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Re: Yeast Starter
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2011, 02:17:44 PM »
Thanks so much for the quick responses!  They make perfect sense.

Offline Pawtucket Patriot

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Re: Yeast Starter
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2011, 02:38:59 PM »
Unless you're brewing a pale lager (e.g., pilsner) it's ok to dump the whole thing up to 2L. At least, I haven't noticed any ill effects from doing so.
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Offline tomsawyer

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Re: Yeast Starter
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2011, 06:24:37 PM »
+1 to the above including decanting to be on the safe side.  Recently I've also started adding a little boiled wort to the decanted starter to get it working again.  while my wort drops the last 5-10 degrees F in the fermentation chamber (or swamp cooler), I can get the starter working again and give it plenty of oxygen from shaking.  When the wort is at temp the starter is krausening again and when you pitch you get rapid results.
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Offline tygo

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Re: Yeast Starter
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2011, 08:06:33 PM »
For any of the folks that let the starter come up to pitching temps before pitching:  Is there a reason you're doing that?  Have you tried pitching it cold right out of the fridge versus doing this?

I just pull it out of the fridge, decant, and pitch.  I do that cause it's easier.  But I've seen some comments, including the above that don't favor this.  Just curious if there's any consensus on if one way or another is better and why.
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Offline maxieboy

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Re: Yeast Starter
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2011, 09:07:43 AM »
I'm in the pull from the fridge, decant, swirl and pitch camp. Easy. No issues.
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Offline hamiltont

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Re: Yeast Starter
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2011, 09:36:22 AM »
For any of the folks that let the starter come up to pitching temps before pitching:  Is there a reason you're doing that?  Have you tried pitching it cold right out of the fridge versus doing this?

I just pull it out of the fridge, decant, and pitch.  I do that cause it's easier.  But I've seen some comments, including the above that don't favor this.  Just curious if there's any consensus on if one way or another is better and why.

The reason I do it is to slowly introduce the yeast to the temp of the beer to avoid shocking it.  Read it somewhere and have adopted it into my brewing practice. I have never pitched straight from the fridge so I can't say if it works or not. YMMV. Cheers!!!
If Homebrew & BBQ aren't the answer, then you're askin' the wrong questions... Cheers!!!

Offline denny

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Re: Yeast Starter
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2011, 09:41:33 AM »
The reason I do it is to slowly introduce the yeast to the temp of the beer to avoid shocking it.  Read it somewhere and have adopted it into my brewing practice. I have never pitched straight from the fridge so I can't say if it works or not. YMMV. Cheers!!!

FWIW, I've done it both ways and now I'm straight form the fridge and into the beer.  The temp shock theory is outdated and has been disproved.  The current theory is that the yeast will start using up their glycogen reserves once they warm up and become active and you want that to happen in the beer, not before the yeast gets there.  I find I get far better yeast performance by pitching cold.  I'd encourage you to try it a few times and compare for yourself.  At the very least, there's no downside.
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Offline hamiltont

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Re: Yeast Starter
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2011, 09:54:39 AM »
The reason I do it is to slowly introduce the yeast to the temp of the beer to avoid shocking it.  Read it somewhere and have adopted it into my brewing practice. I have never pitched straight from the fridge so I can't say if it works or not. YMMV. Cheers!!!

FWIW, I've done it both ways and now I'm straight form the fridge and into the beer.  The temp shock theory is outdated and has been disproved.  The current theory is that the yeast will start using up their glycogen reserves once they warm up and become active and you want that to happen in the beer, not before the yeast gets there.  I find I get far better yeast performance by pitching cold.  I'd encourage you to try it a few times and compare for yourself.  At the very least, there's no downside.

Okay, I'll try it with a slurry on Saturday.  Cheers!!!
If Homebrew & BBQ aren't the answer, then you're askin' the wrong questions... Cheers!!!

Offline Mark G

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Re: Yeast Starter
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2011, 10:19:52 AM »
The reason I do it is to slowly introduce the yeast to the temp of the beer to avoid shocking it.  Read it somewhere and have adopted it into my brewing practice. I have never pitched straight from the fridge so I can't say if it works or not. YMMV. Cheers!!!

FWIW, I've done it both ways and now I'm straight form the fridge and into the beer.  The temp shock theory is outdated and has been disproved.  The current theory is that the yeast will start using up their glycogen reserves once they warm up and become active and you want that to happen in the beer, not before the yeast gets there.  I find I get far better yeast performance by pitching cold.  I'd encourage you to try it a few times and compare for yourself.  At the very least, there's no downside.
I'm going to have to try this. I had no idea that the theory was disproved. Thanks! Now that I think about it, I just finished reading Yeast by Chris White and Jamil, and I don't recall them ever mentioning bringing the yeast up to pitching temps.
Mark Gres

Offline richardt

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Re: Yeast Starter
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2011, 10:39:19 AM »
A lot of good comments here.  In the "Yeast" book, I think JZ and CW discouraged two types of yeast pitching:
1.)  yeast into overly warm wort (it kills the yeast)--so wait until the wort gets down to 80F or less.
2.)  warm yeast (e.g., at 60-80 F) into cool/chilled wort (e.g., 40-50 F), as in a lager, as it might shock them into dormancy.

They do encourage pitching the cooler yeast slurry into the warmer wort as it tends to "wake them up for the party," so you should have no problem pitching straight from the fridge into the wort.  I do it routinely with my 2 L starters (w/o pouring off the supernatant or "spent" wort) with no observable downside.  Vigorous fermentation within 8-12 hours, and no off flavors/aromas in the finished product.

I don't discount the idea to decant the spent wort, however.  It does make logical sense.  But it hasn't had a noticable effect on any of my 10 gallon batches. If you do it, I would suggest cold-crashing the starter for at least 48 hours (IMO, 12-24 hours is not enough) to allow more time for the yeast to settle and the spent wort to clear.  Then, on brew day, you can decant, recover the flask, and let the yeast slurry slowly warm up to ambient (or pitching) temps.  I've had starters that haven't appreciably settled enough after 24-36 hours, so I just re-suspended the whole slurry and pitched the whole thing w/o detrimental effects on the beer.

Offline SoPHiSTo

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Re: Yeast Starter
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2011, 10:40:08 AM »
I assume this would apply to pitching WL tubes straight from the fridge as well??  I've always just "read the directions" which say to warm to 70-75.

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