Yeast Starter - 1L before or after adding yeast?

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Nagging Wife Brewery, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. Nagging Wife Brewery

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2015
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Juneau, AK
    When I'm calculating a yeast starter size, is the calculator counting on my total volume, with yeast, to be a 1 liter (or whatever the calculator tells me)?

    This is the assumption I've been operating under for a few years but have questioned it as I don't see anybody else is doing exactly what I am. I've been using the calculator to tell me what size starter I need, let's say 1 liter. At that size for 1.040 gravity, I need 4 oz DME. I've been weighing that out, adding somewhere around 800 ml water and boiling that for 15 min. After chilling, I add the yeast from a smack pack, yeast slurry, etc. I'm generally a little under 1L at this point so I add some pre-boiled (and then cooled) water to get to 1L total.

    I feel like this is the way to go, especially if you're doing a multi-step starter. If going from a 500ml starter to a 1.5L you'd end up making a 2L starter in the end if you didn't decant and short the initial volume of water to account for the volume of yeast right?

    And yes, I'm aware I've overthinking this.
     
  2. ACBEV

    ACBEV Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2016
    Messages:
    217
    Likes Received:
    100
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Berkshire - UK
    I always start with the specifed volumn of wort before addng yeast. But cant see much of an issue oing it either way.
     
  3. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    Messages:
    9,400
    Likes Received:
    6,643
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Aurora, CO, USA
    Yep, serious overthinking. I'm assuming you're thinking about the Wyeast packets, the smack packs? Each has 125 ml of liquid inside and here's how they work: The stuff inside the packet is a nutrient solution - read starter - and what's "smacked" is a packet with the yeast. So what you're doing when you smack the smack pack is release yeast into, wait for it, starter wort. So you're adding wort to wort (the starter you made), overall effect negligible. If you're talking about actual slurry, the stuff from manufacturers like White Labs, the volume is yeast, what you're trying to grow. Again negligible.

    Working metric is the easiest way to go: Add 10g DME for every 100ml of water (a 1 liter starter would be 100g DME). Optional: some yeast nutrient and I use a bit of metabisulfite to dechlorinate the tap water. Boil, cool and pitch.
     
    I_playdrums likes this.
  4. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2015
    Messages:
    836
    Likes Received:
    816
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Big Lake MN
    Really what causes the yeast growth is the amount of food (DME) available. The idea is to get around 1.030-.1040 gravity for the health of the yeast. Technically/theoretically you could grow twice as much yeast in a one liter starter if the gravity was 1.080, but it's probably not very good for the yeast or so goes the idea. So the amount DME is key and hitting that range of 1.030-1.040, if you want more yeast add more DME and you will need to add more water to get the gravity right. It's really not that specific, you just need to get close.
     
  5. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2016
    Messages:
    3,476
    Likes Received:
    2,694
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    I'd have to bet that small discrepancies in starter wort volume would be near the bottom of the list of things that could adversely impact a brew. ;)
     
  6. Ozarks Mountain Brew

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2012
    Messages:
    7,767
    Likes Received:
    3,976
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Managment
    Location:
    The Ozark Mountains of Missouri
    I've been making yeast for years and over the years I've cut corners to save time and reduced my obsession with the perfect process and you would not believe what I do today. first I always have a saved colony of slurry to use and its compacted into a dense paste by the time I use it so it's 1 teaspoon of paste per 5 gallons then I add that and about a cup of dme to the flask but I don't measure anymore and don't even boil it, then add enough water to hit my 1700ml mark and shaking it up until the foam reaches the top.

    use the stir plate for 24 hours or until no foam is visible, I take a two-gallon baggie add the flask and store in the keezer at 34F for 3 days, pour the liquid off dump 90% of the yeast into a sealed container then start the process all over, I have two flasks now and it makes it much faster. now that's how I build my colonies, I stop at about 10 oz and when I need it. for a beer I just use the slurry at the same rate 1 teaspoon of paste per 5 gallons, if left over 6 months I will test it in a starter the night before I brew

    I do use plenty of star-sans but this process has been flawless for 4 years strait so don't be afraid to not boil
     
    Starter Hops, thunderwagn and Vallka like this.
  7. Nagging Wife Brewery

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2015
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Juneau, AK
    Wow, yeah my CDO (the letters should be in alphabetical order) would stop me from getting to that level but it definitely tells the rest of us to calm down about some of the over-thought details.
     
  8. Nagging Wife Brewery

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2015
    Messages:
    22
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location:
    Juneau, AK
    What I'm mostly thinking about is overbuilt starters. For the smack packs, there's really not that much volume but I typically will make a starter 500ml or so larger than what I need and save that for future batches. (I normally make 1.060+ beers which I've been told are a little too stressful for repitching slurry.) I can decant most of the 500ml in the mason jar full of yeast and spent starter wort but it mixes up easier if I can just swirl up the yeast on the bottom and pour in the whole thing.
     
  9. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2017
    Messages:
    3,746
    Likes Received:
    2,980
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    IT Manager
    Location:
    Edmonton
    I just take the extra wort from the mash tun into bottles, freeze it and then use it for starter. No boiling involved either. I just keep small jars of yeast in the fridge and use the wort to build up a starter and then take some of the starter and put it back in the jar.

    I honestly don't measure jack.
     

Share This Page

arrow_white