Yeast Starter

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by Bigtwist, Jan 25, 2017.

  1. Bigtwist

    Bigtwist New Member

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    Here is the procedure that I use to create my yeast starters and would appreciate any comments because my beers tend to finish on sweet side.

    Culture one Wyeast smack pack in 1.6 liters of water with 160 grams of boiled and cooled dry malt extract. Using a flask with a stir plate, I let the culture grow for about 36 hours. Then I separate the starter into equal portions into canning jars that have been boiled to sterilize for creating new starters at a later date. I use the same procedure to create starters for pitching using one of the portions. Should I separate the initial starter into two or four equal portions? Could I feed the subsequent starters more DME to increase the cell count. I don't count the yeast cells. Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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  3. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    A beer that finishes a little sweet can have many different sources. The yeast variety can naturally finish a little sweet (1318), the beer doesn't attenuate well due to fermentation problems (poor aeration, under pitching, sometimes overpitching, yeast stalling, etc). Even water salts can effect the perception of sweetness/dryness, not to mention mash temps or extracts that finish sweet despite your best efforts.

    I think your starters are not the source of your troubles, unless they are done without a stir plate, which would give you a lower cell count.

    I would review your recipe and start there. You can dry a beer out with an addition of sugar if you brew with extract.

    More information about your brewing methods, yeast and ingredients would help get your question answered more accurately.
     
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  4. Bigtwist

    Bigtwist New Member

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    Sorry about that. I am an all grain brewer. Infusion mash--fly sparge. My favorite base malt is Rahr 2-row when I can get it. I typically brew 10 gallons at a time using a 10 gallon igloo with a false bottom as my mash-tun. I usually mash for one hour and try to keep the mash between 149 and 152 degrees. I typically brew beers in the 5 to 7 percent abv range. I both bottle and keg my beer. I use Wyeast 1272 or Wyeast 1098.
     
  5. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    Do you use a yeast calculator for your brews big twist ? That way you know your pitching enough yeast to get the job done. Good,luck mate what's your FG usually I'd be happy with 1.012 Finnish. Attenuation around 75+ would be fine in my book . I get close to 80% attenuation on average I let the ferment rise toward the end of fermentation to encourage complete attenuation too. If you want to get some better attenuation youse some of that amelase enzyme to get a few more points outta your yeast.
     
  6. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    Okay. Rahr 2 row is an awesome malt, it usually finishes fairly dry. Your mash temps aren't too high, but it's not unusual to mash at 144-146 for beers that you want a little dryer. 1098 is a dryer yeast and 1272 isn't really sweet either, but your pitch rate for a 10 gallon beer (assuming you're using a 1.6 liter starter) is a little on the low end (.6). But a slight under pitch isn't a big problem if the wort is aerated enough at pitching. I have started lowering my pitches when I use English strains to @ .5 million cells/mL/degree Plato and with a good shot of oxygen the beer ferments as well as when I pitch .75 to 1, but it is a little more malty with the lower pitch. So upping the pitch to .75 to 1 (2.5 to 3 liter starter) and aerating with pure O2 for @60-90 seconds will have a tendency to dry the beer out slightly.

    I guess if you don't use pure oxygen to aerate your wort, I would suggest you try that. I think that made a huge difference for me and made my beer much better. Short of that, you can try a dryer yeast like WLP007, that I know for sure will give you a dry finish.
     
  7. Bigtwist

    Bigtwist New Member

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    I have the tool to hit the wort with pure oxygen. I typically use O2 only on my higher gravity brews. I will start using O2 on all batches and mash at a lower temperature. One more question. I split a 1.6 liter starter into four equal size portions. When I prepare my starter for brewing this Saturday, what ratio of DME to water should I use?
     
  8. jmcnamara

    jmcnamara Well-Known Member

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    i shoot for 1.040 for starters, so whatever the heck that equates to. it's been a while since i've done one
     
  9. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    I personally use more than most, 1 cup of dme to 1700ml of water, then norm I think is 1/2 cup to 1000ml
     
  10. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    I use 1.040 SG. I use the yeast calculator to give me the grams of DME to use to achieve my desired OG for my starter size which varys depending on ale or lager brew.
     
  11. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    I would use Brewers Friend Yeast Calculator, it will tell you how much DME to use to achieve the desired starter gravity (for a 1.6 liter starter, use @ 6 ounces to get 1.036).

    I personally go for @ 1.036, I wouldn't go above 1.040 as to avoid any stress on the yeast. If you make a 1.6 liter starter with 1.040 yeast and compare it with the same starter at 1.036, you will find the higher gravity will produce slightly more yeast, just use the calculator and play around with the numbers. I have found that calculator to be very useful and I refer to it for nearly every beer I brew.
     
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  12. Bigtwist

    Bigtwist New Member

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    I cut back on the DME this batch and the porter I made went from 1.062 to 1.012 in less that a week. The Krauesen had fallen and the beer tasted nice. Maybe the yeast I was pitching was tired or overworked.
     
  13. HighVoltageMan!

    HighVoltageMan! Well-Known Member

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    When maker a starter from older yeast, I think building the yeast from a smaller amount of old yeast will grow more fresh yeast cells. If you put too many old cells in the starter, there's not enough "room" and food to produce the young cells needed for a healthy fermentation. Your starter has a maximum cell density, the idea is not only to have enough viable cells, but their vitality or "health" needs to be high too. Younger cells are better fermenters.
     

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