Dry yeast starters.

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by BOB357, Jul 26, 2018.

  1. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    In the past if I wanted to step up the cell count of a dry yeast packet, I rehydrated first and then treated it as I would liquid yeast with good results
    . I'm trying something different now. Since most all dry yeast manufacturers tout direct pitching, I just direct pitched a pack of Mangrove Jack's Empire Ale into a starter wort with an OG of 1.036. It's on the stir plate as I type. Have any of you done this? Were you satisfied with the results? I'm committed now, but curious.
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    yes I just filled 6 - 45ml tubes with pure yeast slurry all from 1 dry packet but you certainly can make a quick or a day before starter with dry, I've done it every which way you can think of.

    the way I do it requires 2 flasks and a 34F freezer or fridge, takes a week swapping back and fourth
     
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  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Yes. Sprinkling on top supposedly kills about half the cells due to osmotic pressure on the cell walls. I almost always rehydrate dry yeast - exceptions when I'm doing 3 gal or less of beer. I've done starters of 34/70 up to 2.5 liters for lagers, again, rehydrating before pitching to preserve as many of those precious cells as possible.
     
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  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I've gone to the rout of saving wort off my batch that's been boiled for 15 minutes then stick it in the freezer chill it and pitch the yeast in that wort, and just let it come alive until ready to pitch, it actually starts fermenting faster
     
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  5. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Actually, Fermentis now says that you use very little by direct pitching. I had always heard the 50% loss thing too, but it appears to be BS.
    I've heard of people doing that before. Might be worth a try. Guess it'd be kind of like the shaken not stirred starter. only faster. Good for vitality.
     
  6. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    How would it not kill 50% rehydrating as well?
     
  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Water doesn't cause the osmotic pressure across the cell membranes wort does. Before the cell walls are rehydrated, they just allow sugars to pass through unimpeded and kill the cells. And let's see: People not associated with the producer have done viable cell counts and found the 50% loss vs. the producer saying the loss doesn't exist. I tend to believe the former, although I can't figure out what Fermentis would gain except perhaps a perception that dry is as good as liquid but you can bet, if they're publishing it, they think it will make them money. Bob, can you provide a link to the article? I'd be interested, as well.

    And I've also read - sorry, don't know where - that at least one of the manufacturers that do not recommend rehydration did so to keep people from contaminating the yeast.
     
  8. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I think what they mean is if just sprinkle on top and leave it, I always saturate all the yeast
     
  9. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I get a really strong cargo cult vibe from this.
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    We've been around this topic a few times.... Still nothing settled. So I'll offer this from Fermentis:

    https://fermentis.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Brochure_Tips_and_Tricks_GB_web_planche-bd.pdf

    Specifically, the site says:
    "Fermentis dry yeast looks like a compact sponge composed of micro balls tightened close together. This sponge is ready to absorb the water. The yeast cells need to recover the water they lost during the drying to start fermenting. The membrane of the yeast cell after drying contains circumvolutions, after its rehydration it becomes perfectly smooth."

    The entire PDF is a good little primer on yeast, specifically dried yeast.
     
  11. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    I'm pretty sure it was a podcast interview with Kevin Lane.
     
  12. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    You're right.
     
  13. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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  14. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    The method I've been using with very good success is doing a starter batch of low gravity beer to maximize cell count for lagers. I rehydrate t get the starter batch going and then use the full slurry for a 10 gallon batch of lager
    Not fundamentally different from making a good stir plate starter in terms of actual cell count.
     
  15. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Do you initially rehydrate the yeast or just pitch in into the first stage starter?
     
  16. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I pitch the dry yeast right into the starter and shake it up a bit and start the stir plate, the first one has a lag but foams out the top when it gets going, I Have 2000ml flasks and use 1700ml of wort, not much room, I'll detail it out tomorrow maybe I'm beat tonight
     
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  17. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    Don't worry about the details. Just wanted to know if you were direct pitching. Thanks for the clarification.
     

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