"How to Brew" Yeast Starter Recipe is WRONG!

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Christopher Brown, Feb 15, 2019.

  1. Christopher Brown

    Christopher Brown New Member

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    #1 Christopher Brown, Feb 15, 2019
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2019
    I'm halfway through reading John Palmer's book "How to Brew". Decided to make my first yeast starter last night follow the starter wort recipe listed in his book, which is 1/2 cup DME to 2 cups of H20. I ended up getting a 1.090 gravity wort. I had to water it down and reboil, had a boil over and finally brought it down to 1.048. Many YouTubers and brewers in forums stand by this recipe. It's absolutely wrong. I learned from some fellow brewers that it should be 100 ml H20 per 1 gram of DME. Whats the deal?

    UPDATE!

    I was reading the 3rd edition. Palmer put out the 4th edition in 2017 and corrected this!
     
  2. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    I've always done 100 grams dme to 1 liter water. Don't have his book, but most say the starters gravity should be about 1.040.
     
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  3. Christopher Brown

    Christopher Brown New Member

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    yeah most people are doing measures of volume. next time i'll weigh out my DME by grams. I really wanna know why there are so many people swearing by that 1/2 cup to 2 cup ratio. IMG_9929.jpeg IMG_9930.jpg
     
  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Ditto. I'll have to check the reference.
     
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  5. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Likely a misprint. Should be a quart to a half cup DME. Use the 10g per 100 ml formula.
     
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  6. Christopher Brown

    Christopher Brown New Member

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    the guy on youtube says it at least 4 times during the video to instill it into your mind. this is the top video for yeast starters on YouTube lol. that video and the book had me thinking that was correct.

     
  7. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    What edition of How to Brew is that from? From what I've seen, JP is very good at correcting misprints and mistakes.
     
  8. Christopher Brown

    Christopher Brown New Member

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    3rd edition. has he corrected that?
     
  9. Christopher Brown

    Christopher Brown New Member

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    nevermind. found it. he did update it in the new edition
     
  10. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    That's the current one.
     
  11. thunderwagn

    thunderwagn Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately, the www is full of bad information, and JP's misprint or mistake just made matters worse. He's a trustworthy source, but mistakes do happen. Sorry you got run through the ringer on your first starter, but you're on the right path now.
     
  12. AHarper

    AHarper Well-Known Member

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    I Used the following recipe from this site - it didn't work (due the the info in the first line, it seems my liquid yeast was dead after all) but even this site's info has a confusing amount of water listed. I have just pitched some cheap dried yeast into the flask - just to see what happens - and I may use that if it survives.

    I got the snippet of info from here:
    https://www.brewersfriend.com/2009/08/19/how-to-make-a-yeast-starter-og-1040/


    ############################################################
    • If your yeast is old or past its expiration, stepping it up with a starter is safer, but you should always try to use the freshest yeast possible. Liquid yeast is pretty much completely dead after just under 5 months.
    • Yeast pitch rates is a complicated subject, click here to read our article Yeast Pitch Rates Explained.
    What you need to create a simple starter:

    • Extra light DME (3-4oz)
    • 1 quart water
    • 4-6 quart sauce pan with lid
    • Pyrex flask or a 1 gallon glass carboy
    • Tin foil
    • Room temperature liquid yeast or dry yeast that has been re hydrated in 95F-105F water
    The process:

    • Bring 1.5 quarts of water to a boil in the sauce pan.
    • Measure 3-4 oz of DME and introduce this to the boiling water, stir well, boil 10-15 minutes.
    • Remove from heat, placing lid on the sauce pan.
    • The boiling process should have reduced the volume to ~1 quart.
    • Cool the starter wort in a shallow, cold water bath or in the refrigerator until it reaches the target fermentation temperature of the beer you will brew with it.
    • Once cool, pour the starter wort into a sanitized flask or carboy.
    • Secure a piece of tin foil on the opening of the flask or carboy and shake vigorously to aerate the wort.
    • Pitch the yeast (add yeast into the flask / carboy containing the aerated wort).
    • Seal container with a clean piece of foil, or a cork fitted with an air lock.
    • Place starter in a dark area where it can maintain the proper temperature for fermentation.
     
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  13. Christopher Brown

    Christopher Brown New Member

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    Yeah! You live and learn lol. I’m ordering the newest edition today. you think my yeast will be fine to pitch? after the mishaps, I ended up getting the gravity to 1.048 and pitched 100 billion cells into about 800mL of wort
     
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  14. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    It'll be fine. Don't worry too much about the word "optimum," we never hit it. Go with fine. John's recipe was supposed to be for a one quart (1 liter) starter but it, either through his error or the publishers, went wrong. There's still a LOT of good information in his book (I've noticed a few other errors), so don't let the little things like this throw you.
     
  15. Hogarthe

    Hogarthe Well-Known Member

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    I think it was a case of one person's typo being repeated by others. But your starter at 1.048 should be fine. It's close enough to work. Heck I'm sure everyone who made their starters with the incorrect very high gravity recipe in the book did ok, maybe slightly stressed the yeast.
     
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  16. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    If you just use the yeast calculator from this site, just plug in the volume of your starter and the amount of DME you need to hit 1.036 is listed, albeit in weight not volume. Simple.

    I'm not a big fan of Palmer anyway, there are many ways to skin a cat or brew beer for that matter. For whatever reason his books are now elevated to brewing dogma. I have always taken the information from his book with a grain of salt. It was really useful when I first started brewing, but now that I have more experience, not so much.
     
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  17. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea what the gravity of my starters are usually. Never seems to hurt me but they're definitely on the lower OG end.
     
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  18. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I've never tested gravity on starter maybe if I had a refractometer I would but the hydrometer sample steels to much valuable yeast propagation wort. I eco the 100g DME / 1000ml of water easy on the brain that way...:rolleyes:

    These days my starter gravity is determined pretty much by my pre boil as I take my starters 10mins into the boil so can be as low as 1.035 or lower
     
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  19. oliver

    oliver Well-Known Member

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  20. Christopher Brown

    Christopher Brown New Member

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    does the calc compensate for water boil off?
     

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