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Photon Brewing

One more about yeast starters

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I am trying a yeast starter because I have a big xmas brew that i am brewing in the next few days. It has a bunch of spices and such so I figured Muntons Gold is a nice fit. Problem is I only had (1) 6g packet and with the amt. of fermentables in this I dont think its enuf. So I boiled some water and tossed in some DME and put it in a mason jar. Pitched the packet of yeast at 78 degrees and covered with foil. Every time I walk by or give it a swirl. It bubbles up quite a bit but these arent fermentation bubbles. Is this normal for the jerry rigged yeast starter?

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How long has the yeast been in this starter wort? Sounds like you are doing things right, so I wouldn't be concerned unless it hadn't started an active fermentation in over 24 hours...

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"Photon Brewing" post=279233 said:

I am trying a yeast starter because I have a big xmas brew that i am brewing in the next few days. It has a bunch of spices and such so I figured Muntons Gold is a nice fit. Problem is I only had (1) 6g packet and with the amt. of fermentables in this I dont think its enuf. So I boiled some water and tossed in some DME and put it in a mason jar. Pitched the packet of yeast at 78 degrees and covered with foil. Every time I walk by or give it a swirl. It bubbles up quite a bit but these arent fermentation bubbles. Is this normal for the jerry rigged yeast starter?

I don't remember exactly what reasons were given for not making a yeast starter from dry yeast, but I'm pretty sure they were good ones. Of course the only way to really tell is to try it and see how it works out, as for me I've never tried doing anything more than rehydrate dry yeast before pitching it.

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Good point, Screwy. I missed the dry yeast part of this discussion. Here's the comment I've seen (not sure where I got it from, but I have it in my notes) regarding starters and dry yeast:

"A starter typically doesn't have enough nutrients in it to properly support complete cell growth from dried yeast. The cell wals of dried yeast are fragile due to the drying process. Pitching dried yeast that hasn't been rehydrated in straight water results a 50% loss of viability. Pitching dried yeast into a starter depletes the yeast of their energy reserves just coming out of the dried state while trying to cope with the starter environment. Creating a starter with dry yeast is bad for the yeast, and often creates an underpitching situation."

Now, that being said, I know some people who do starters with dry or liquid and seem to have fine results, so YMMV.

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The yeast has been in starter wort for about 4 hours now. I did remember reading that about dry yeast but forgot all about it. However, I didnt put a lot of stock into it when I read it and probably just as much now. Science is not lax and very structured and that little clip sounds awfully vague and subjective. Words like 'typically' and 'often creates' have no purpose in science. Hopefully Im correct. If it fails I do have many other yeasts but just like Muntons Gold and thought it would have gone well with this.

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When dry yeast only costs $3-$4 you just pitch an extra pack. It’s not that it is a bad thing to do a starter with dry, it’s just that it isn’t necessary. You do starters with liquid yeast because the cell counts are much lower than dry yeast and most people don’t want to pay $12-13 bucks to double pitch a Wyeast slap pack or White Lab vial. When you add the DME needed to feed the yeast it’s not much of a savings over just pitching two packs. Hydrate two packs per manufactures instructions and ditch the starter route with dry yeast.

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i think the OP did not have enuf yeast to start with.
why not rehydrate as per instructions, then pitch into a small starter.
a starter is just a small beer from what i have read.
just sayin.

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Well I got home last night and a nice milky layer of healthy yeast on bottom of jar awaited me so I guess it is OK. May not be able to brew til 2morrow so ghope it can sit for a day.

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I know you didn’t say what your OG is going to be or even your batch size, however if this is truly a big beer even at the LBK batch size I would worry that you are underpitching.

I would consider continuing to step up your starter to get the cell count up (although without a stir plate that is a bit tougher to do) or consider adding additional yeast.

http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html - Will help to determine what you need depending on your OG and batch size.

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I wont need to do that. I probably didnt even need to do this starter seeing as the OG will be around 1.060. I read somewhere that 1.070 and up is when u need one. even so it was a good experience and i can check yeast starter off the bucket list.

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"Photon Brewing" post=279447 said:

i can check yeast starter off the bucket list.

It's good to check things off your brewing bucket list. I remember how nervous I felt doing my first starter(or any number of brewing firsts) then going "Oh, that was it? Well that was easy."
The Borg sure has helped.

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