My first starter

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by Optimus Prime, Dec 15, 2019.

  1. Optimus Prime

    Optimus Prime New Member

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    My next batch is a high gravity wit. The calculator says my smack pack is not enough and I need to grow more yeast. It says 2L of starter is enough.

    Question 1: as I watch videos, I see a lot of people making smaller starters, and each day increase the size of it until they have what they need. Is this necessary? Or can I simply start with 2L of water and the appropriate amount of DME and call it a day?

    Question 2: if I’m not trying to stick to matching a particular style, is there any reason not to start with the starter wort to finish filling to 5 gallons? Otherwise, I need to buy another bag of DME.

    Thanks for your feedback.
     
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  2. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Id go the 2lt straight up starter that will need aprox 200g DME spin that up and dump the whole shebang into your cooled wort ready to go.

    I cant see how adding multiple increments of dme could be a sanitary way of propagating yeast and what a drawn out process of boiling and cooling multiple times in a second vessel.

    Do it all at once in the one vessel easier and less risk of contamination.
     
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  3. BarbarianBrewer

    BarbarianBrewer Well-Known Member

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    For Question #1:
    The reason for stepping up a starter in stages is that the yeast life-cycle will be affected by how much food is available to them. Yeast with good amount of sugars to chew on will propagate differently and be more healthy than yeast with an ocean of sugars to feed on. I only do this when I need to make a starter larger than 2L.

    For Question #2:
    Yeast in a starter have a different job that yeast in fermenting wort. When creating starter you don't care about temperature. In fact warmer is better (up to a point). But when you add yeast to your wort, it is very important to keep the wort in the optimum temperature range for that particular yeast strain. If you get too far out of range, the flavor of your beer will suffer. Plus the DME you use for your starter is very unlikely to be the same as the beer you are brewing. So the beer you make with a starter will not taste anything like the beer you intend to brew. To prevent adding undesirable flavors into my beer I cold-crash and decant any starter 2L and larger. For a 1L starter, I just pitch the whole starter because the starter volume is not that much. I don't have any hard evidence for this....just makes sense to me. So I do it this way.
     
  4. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    #4 Trialben, Dec 16, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
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  5. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I would say don't overthink it, make a 2 liter starter. Either decant and pitch or just pitch the whole lot. You could even wait to see if your volume is a little low, or a little high before deciding to decant before pitching or not.
     
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  6. Craigerrr

    Craigerrr Well-Known Member

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    I have done both, and have not been able to detect any difference.
     
  7. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I just make the whole amount and go to town on it too, there is a lot of "wisdom" out there especially on youtube that I can't find any basis in reality for.

    I could be wrong, but a lot of it seems like cargo cultism.
     
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  8. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Beer lore.
     
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  9. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    More than one way to brew a beer....:rolleyes:
     

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