Best Yeast Starter Process?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by AGbrewer, Aug 31, 2020.

  1. AGbrewer

    AGbrewer Active Member

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    Is it better to do a 2 Liter starter or a 1 Liter starter twice as a step up?

    In other words, is it better to do a step up process or just a single huge starter?
     
  2. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    2 liter. The step-up method doesn't increase cell count much on the second iteration. Huge starter is the best way to propagate, recommended is stepping up by 10x each step: 10 ml --> 100 ml --> 1l...
     
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  3. AGbrewer

    AGbrewer Active Member

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    I've done stepping up in the past because my erlenmeyer flask wasn't very big so I had to step up. Now I've got a 5000 mL flask, so I don't need to step up any more. Just wasn't sure which one was better.
     
  4. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    The 2 liter method works better because the yeast density can only go so high. Once the maximum cell density is hit, there is no more growth. A one liter starter tops out @ 250 billion cells at the very most, it's more like 200 billion in most cases. Once it hits that density, it won't grow even when it's has more food. A 2 liter obviously produces twice that amount.

    I still use a step starter when I build up yeast for a lager beer with a liquid yeast. One liter, followed by a 3-4 liter starter. Dry yeast starters for lagers I use one 11 gram packet and do a single 3-4 liter starter. Both work really well. Ales are a little simpler, 2 liter starter for a 7-1/2 gallon beer and done.
     
  5. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    I do 1-2 liter starters in one step and 3-4 liter starters in 2 steps. I mostly use liquid yeast so age of the yeast sometime plays a role in the size of my starter. I only do a 3-4 liter starter when brewing a high gravity ale, like a Wee Heavy, or a lager; so not that often.
     
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  6. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    Great question!
     
  7. AGbrewer

    AGbrewer Active Member

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    I may look dumb, but it's just a disguise...
     
  8. hundel

    hundel Member

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    It depends on what you are starting with. I’d have no problem pitching a packet of dried 34/70 lager yeast onto a 3L starter. But I would start very small (like 50ml) and step up twice if I were starting with harvested yeast from a 3rd party bottle or krausen. Years ago I was noticing flavor changes from stressed yeast which I believe to be due to underpitching in the starter even when the pitch rate in the wort was high so I go with Palmer’s recommendations in How to Brew pretty consistently for starters now.
     
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