First time making a starter

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by RAtkison, May 14, 2018.

  1. RAtkison

    RAtkison Member

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    I am going to make a starter for a 10 gallon batch i'm doing this weekend. Haven't done this before so I'm not too familiar with the starter calculator here. If I add 7.2 oz of DME, how much water do i need in a 2L flask? I plan using 2 liquid yeast packs to meet the requirement.

    Does anyone add hops to their starter? The recipe only uses Perle hops and I bought an extra ounce just in case.
     

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  2. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    For 2l starter you'd need 2l of water. Also, from past experience, a 2l flask is too small for a 2l starter. Once fermentation starts, you'll be overflowing. Especially on a stir plate.
    I've never added hops to a starter.
     
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  3. RAtkison

    RAtkison Member

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    I guess if that's the case there is no problem with splitting it up and making 2 starters? After the first just transfer to a mason jar and begin the second, what do you think?
     
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  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    1. No need for hops in a starter.
    2. General recipe for a starter is 1 g DME for every 10 ml water. A 2-liter starter is two liters of water and 200 g DME. As mentioned above, your flask will likely not be big enough.
    3. Your idea could work. There's a slight risk of infection due to the transfer.

    Good luck with it.
     
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  5. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    With 2 liquid packs and a starter I wouldn't honestly worry about going beyond 2L. Just fill it to around 1600ml and keep the stir plate going so krausen doesn't go nuts.
     
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  6. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    my first flask was 1 lt and quickly discovered thats too small. then got 3 lt that is good for my 21lt batches but double might go 5lt.

    good luck keep it clean and covered yeast are floating about everywhere.
     
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  7. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I have a 2L Erlenmeyer and it works well enough. I wouldn't mind something bigger but so far I haven't had any issues.
     
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  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    I have a 3-l for lagers.
     
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  9. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    yep i think 3lt are a good all rounder.

    like with the kettle scenaro you can always brew a smaller batch in a big kettle but not the other way around (with ease).
     
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  10. Michael_biab

    Michael_biab Member

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    Using a fermentor should work well too in making a large starter. The only downside is the inability to use the stir plate. I've never actually done it but after thinking about how some brewers pour their new wort over the yeast cake of a prior batch, I thought, why not use the fermentor?
     
  11. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    If you get a big enough stir plate you can put the fermenter on it. I think northern brewer has one you can put a carboy on.
    That said I use a 3 liter flask.
     
  12. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    So what's the outcome difference between using a starter vs rehydration vs pitching dry?
     
  13. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Kind of depends who you ask, in my experience i haven't honestly seen a difference. I just use liquid yeast and I make starters so that I can save some of it for the next batch to save money. I've only ever rehydrated dry yeast once and I don't think I would do it again, not worth the effort in my opinion.
     
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  14. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    I have 1, 2 and 5 liter Erlenmeyer flasks. I use the 1 liter for rehydrating dry yeasts, and the others for starters, mostly for drys after rehydrating. If I need a bigger cell count, I'll just brew a session beer and use the yeast cake. In the event that I buy dry yeast, which is rare, I'll use the 5 Liter to propagate enough to store 3 or 4 vials for future use.
     
  15. Ward Chillington

    Ward Chillington Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I have heard via some podcasts, that rehydrating dry gets you a higher count that makes sense for when you have a high gravity wort that you are starting fermentation on but when does the starter help out in that manner? Am I wrong to see these as 2 different methods of doing the same thing?
     
  16. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    There are many people who don't rehydrate dry yeast and brew good beer. When it comes to the percentage of yeast cells killed by direct pitching, I've read and heard numbers ranging from 10% to 50%. Regardless of what the actual percentage is, for what little effort it takes I choose to rehydrate.

    Once dry yeast is rehydrated it's like liquid yeast. If you need a higher cell count than the packet is said to contain, you can either make an appropriately sized starter or pitch multiple packets. From what I've read, the consensus is that a 2 liter starter with a gravity of 1.036 using a stir plate will double the cell count contained in the average dry yeast packet.

    Unless you're actually counting cells and testing for viability you're relying on educated guesses when it comes to the true cell count. With few exceptions, under pitching is much more likely to cause fermentation problems and impact final product quality than over pitching. I like to err on the side of caution, so rehydrate and make a starter for lagers and beers with an OG of 1.060 and above.
     
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  17. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    A large number of my first kit batches were around 1.055 or less and I just direct pitched a single packet in so if you're not going strong beers I expect it's a preference thing. I've never tried it for anything larger, it's pretty easy to build something up just to be safe, or pitch 2 packages.
     

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