Yeast Starter Questions

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Lucky Duck, Dec 22, 2018.

  1. Lucky Duck

    Lucky Duck New Member

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    Hello all! I am wondering if I can substitute Pale 2-row for DME in building a yeast starter with stir plate. I will be harvesting yeast from bottle conditioned brews, as well as fermenters and using fresh yeast.

    The pale 2 row malt will be blasted in my Vitamix to a flour consistency.

    Any opinions if this will work? What should my quantities of water to grist be?

    Any tips would be highly appreciated!
     
  2. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    Are you mashing the grain first ?
    If not then you'll only have starches, not sugars.
    You can mash and boil 2 row or any base malt to make starter wort
     
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  3. Lucky Duck

    Lucky Duck New Member

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    I see, so I guess people like using DME because it can save more time, less cleanup, etc?
     
  4. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    Yup, some people save some wort from a batch so they will have it for their next starter.
    I see you are new here so I would like to point you to the beginners brewing forum. There is a tutorial posted up front that answers a lot of questions like you are posting. Everybody here is glad to help once you understand the basic concept of brewing. As Mark said grain needs mashed to get the sugars out. If you just pulverized the grain and expect it to make food for yeast you are stepping into odd flavors to say the least.
     
  5. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Malted barley like 2-row contains enzymes that are activated at certain temperatures. Holding the ground up malt in water at those temperatures allows the enzymes to convert the starches to sugar in the form of maltose. The resulting sugar/water mixture is rinsed from the spent malt and is boiled to concentrate the sugars, kill microbes, drive off certain molecular by-products and becomes wort that can be fermented. If the wort is further concentrated into a thick syrup. it's LME. If it's dried by some means it becomes DME. It's a concentrated form of sugar, not ground up grain.
     
  6. Mark D Pirate

    Mark D Pirate Well-Known Member

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    Clear, concise and accurate... Kudos sir
     
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  7. Lucky Duck

    Lucky Duck New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback. Yes, I am new here to Brewer's Friend, but not necessarily new to brewing, but no where near an expert either. I am currently on my 25th all grain batch, hooray for progression! I am new to yeast propagation. So, being that I was seeking more experienced opinions, I posted on this thread.

    From my understanding, a yeast starter should be around 1.020 for yeast thats been "washed" from fermenters, or harvested from bottle conditioned brews. Allowing for the yeast to have a somewhat relaxed rejuvenation, instead of possibly stressing yeast with a 1.030-1.040 starter wort.

    That being noted, I left out of my thinking that I would not be able to obtain the gravity needed from "powdered" pale 2-row alone. That an additional sugar would be needed if I didn't mash the grains slipped my mind!

    Along with J A's addition, I understand fully now. I suppose I should have researched more thoroughly and realized the obvious. Obvious being, malted barley(grain) does need a starch conversion for the fermentable sugars to be present.
     
  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    As was noted, you can make starter wort and save it for the times you want to use it. You could even make a batch of very strong wort concentrate by boiling down to a very high-gravity concentration and then save that and reconstitute it, thereby saving space. The convenience of DME or LME is is why it's the go-to method. :)
     
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  9. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    When you started talking about pulverizing 2 row for a starter my first thought was tannin extraction from the husks in the starter. Most malt is well modified and it doesn't take much to get good conversion but you do need to convert(mash) and even pulverized you dont want whole grain in the wort. Good luck on your yeast endevor! Let us know how it comes out.
     
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  10. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    What you could do is make extra wort when you brew and save the extra for making starters, which is what I do. But yeah, pre-mashed grain isn't going to help you, DME is the way to go for that as all the work has been done.
     
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  11. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I do the same if I let my mash set for a hour, I always get at least 3 gallons of gunky wort out, perfect for starters the only issue is it needs to be boiled at least a few minutes but better for 15 to boil it down a bit but at the same time I get lazy and just order a 3 pound bag of dme for making multiple starters
     
  12. Mase

    Mase Well-Known Member

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    Admittedly I use the Fast Pitch yeast starters. Consistent yield and makes for an easy yeast starter.
     
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  13. Lucky Duck

    Lucky Duck New Member

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    More of it for me is the cost savings and the joy of the process. #beergeek
     
  14. Lucky Duck

    Lucky Duck New Member

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    This is a great idea. I can see where the process side would be fun, but more involved and time consuming. LME/DME seems to be the quick, tried and true method.
     
  15. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    I actually use this method. I make starters quite often. I use two row and make a 1.075-80 wort. I boil it like any beer, but I allow the trub to settle out. I then siphon out trub free wort. I put it in 1 pint and 1 quart freezer containers and freeze it. When I make a starter I grab the what wort I need from the freezer, dilute it with equal part water, 1 minute boil, cool it and then pitch yeast. Trub free wort leaves only yeast at the bottom of the flask. It’s super cheap and a really high quality wort.
     
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  16. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    I'm probably going to get burned by this but I've started just using a gallon milk jug to collect whever is extra and freeze it in my deep freeze. Haven't needed a boil but I'm running on the mental equation weeks of -15C are doing it for me.
     
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