Author Topic: What is a vitality starter?  (Read 170 times)

Offline BiggieBig

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What is a vitality starter?
« on: December 16, 2017, 06:14:37 AM »
I read someone suggested doing a vitality starter.  I am using a yeast calculator, building my appropriate cell count on a stir plate and pitching.  If my starter volume exceeds 5% of the total volume, I crash and decant spent wort before pitching. 

Still not sure what a vitality starter is or what its used for?

Offline oginme

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Re: What is a vitality starter?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2017, 08:03:45 AM »
A vitality starter, from my reading and practice, is a starter that is made on the day of brewing.  It takes less wort than a traditional starter and the purported purpose is to pitch the yeast into a smaller starter of well oxygenated wort to allow the yeast to adapt to the new environment and start building the materials they need for rapid reproduction.  The yeast uses the oxygen in the wort to make sterols which are used to strengthen the cell walls, an action which is needed for repeated and rapid budding and cell replication.  Some sources compare it to 'proofing' dry yeast, but it really comes down to the health or vitality of the yeast cells providing enough nutrients to give a healthy fermentation.

In practice, I use both a traditional starter and a vitality starter.  I save about 300 cc of wort from the boil, which I use to check the gravity and pitch the appropriate number of yeast cells needed from a traditional starter or a new yeast packet.  It usually takes about 4 to 6 hours for that to start showing signs of activity and start building a head of foam on the top.  At this point, I pitch it into the carboy, which has been sitting in my fermentation chamber stabilizing to my preferred pitching temperature.


Offline BiggieBig

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Re: What is a vitality starter?
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2017, 07:41:50 AM »
A vitality starter, from my reading and practice, is a starter that is made on the day of brewing.  It takes less wort than a traditional starter and the purported purpose is to pitch the yeast into a smaller starter of well oxygenated wort to allow the yeast to adapt to the new environment and start building the materials they need for rapid reproduction.  The yeast uses the oxygen in the wort to make sterols which are used to strengthen the cell walls, an action which is needed for repeated and rapid budding and cell replication.  Some sources compare it to 'proofing' dry yeast, but it really comes down to the health or vitality of the yeast cells providing enough nutrients to give a healthy fermentation.

In practice, I use both a traditional starter and a vitality starter.  I save about 300 cc of wort from the boil, which I use to check the gravity and pitch the appropriate number of yeast cells needed from a traditional starter or a new yeast packet.  It usually takes about 4 to 6 hours for that to start showing signs of activity and start building a head of foam on the top.  At this point, I pitch it into the carboy, which has been sitting in my fermentation chamber stabilizing to my preferred pitching temperature.

Very helpful.  Thanks for the detailed reply.  I am thinking this vitality starter may also be helpful when I use a jar of harvested yeast that has been in the fridge. 

Online blatz

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Re: What is a vitality starter?
« Reply #3 on: Today at 08:40:55 AM »
I started this practice about 6 months ago, although I don't adjust the wort gravity and just divert part of the runoff to the fermenter to fill a flask along with saved yeast or a crashed and decanted yeast starter (if I was starting fresh).  i put that flask in the fermentation fridge next to the main fermentor at whatever my desired temp is.  once that starts to hit high krausen, dump into the fermenter and aerate.

I've found that my fermentation lag times are much shorter, as are the overall fermentation times - much closer to what my pro friends experience.
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