Author Topic: Starter temperature questions  (Read 592 times)

Offline HydraulicSammich

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Starter temperature questions
« on: March 11, 2011, 06:03:16 AM »
Being new at stir plates and starters, would someone be so kind as to clue me in on ambient temps when producing starters?  For example, should a lager starter be kept at the same low fermentation temp as the wort itself during fermentation?  Any info would be appreciated.
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Offline tumarkin

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Re: Starter temperature questions
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2011, 06:08:24 AM »
when you're doing a starter; your goal is to grow yeast, not to make tasty beer. most folks crash cool the yeast and pour off the supernatent (liquid portion) anyway, leaving just enough to swirl the yeast as you pour it into your wort. so you're not as concerned about temp. yeasts like (and create) warm temp as they ferment. just your ambient room temp is fine.
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Offline HydraulicSammich

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Re: Starter temperature questions
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2011, 06:11:21 AM »
Thank you, I appreciate that.  That makes things lots simpler. 
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Offline Tristan

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Re: Starter temperature questions
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2011, 10:18:27 AM »
To piggy back off this question, what would you consider the maximum and minimum temperature ranges for ale and lager strains?  I am currently running a starter on my heated stir plate.  The plate itself is around 95 and the starter (WLP001) liquid is around 75-80.  I'm curious to see if this speeds up the process or has deleterious effects.
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Re: Starter temperature questions
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2011, 11:04:24 AM »
To piggy back off this question, what would you consider the maximum and minimum temperature ranges for ale and lager strains?

Assuming we're talking exclusively about starters, I'd say 70-80°F is ideal for both. Minimum probably depends on the strain, but I've been doing mine at 59°F during the winter, just to save on electricity. No problems so far.
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Offline bluesman

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Re: Starter temperature questions
« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2011, 11:30:03 AM »
I typically grow all of my starters (lager and ale) in the 65-70 range. The objective is to grow yeast so flavor's not an issue at this stage of the game.
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Offline mabrungard

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Re: Starter temperature questions
« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2011, 12:39:03 PM »
The new Yeast book goes a little further than recommending a high fermentation temp for a starter. 

For ale yeast, temps in the 70 to 80F should be OK.  But for lager yeast, they indicated that lager brewers making large starters should step up the starter size incrementally and decrease the starter fermentation temp with each step to better acclimate it to lager temps. 

So in the case of lager yeasts, I would say that you might want to keep those beasties in the 60 to 70F range instead of assuming more elevated temps.
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Offline Tristan

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Re: Starter temperature questions
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2011, 08:27:16 PM »
Thanks fellas!  I took a temp of the liquid inside to double check today and it was at 73 degrees. I had to rush things a bit and thought this was a good time to try out the new stir hot plate.  I pitched 3 tubes (24ml total, with 2-3ml of slurry each) into 900ml of 1.030 wort last night.  These were propagated from a vial of WLP001 a month ago.  I usually give it more time but decided to brew on a whim  ;D  I fed it another 900 ml of 1.038 wort this morning and by 11:30AM Krausen was starting to form.  I was relieved when it took off as planned! The starter smelled great.  Now I'll have to see what the lag time is from potentially underpitching a tad.
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