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RaleighBrewer

Yeast Starter in Place of DME During Hop Boil?

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Hi All,

Now that I have brewed several recipes successfully, I was planning to try a 30 min Saaz hop boil for the first time to add some extra bitterness and flavor to a pilsner I will be brewing.

I stopped by a local brewing store and since most of their DME was in larger portions for 5+ gallon brews (I've read some of this needs to be in the hop boil, in order to achieve the bitterness and/or flavor of the hops, which wouldn't happen as well if only boiling them in water alone), they suggested I could also use a small 3.5 oz yeast starter pack in the wort.  They told me this would help to achieve results somewhat similar to a DME in terms of having something in the water for the hops.

I haven't seen this mentioned in the past, so I was curious to know if anyone had feedback on this approach?  If it should work, how much of the 3.5oz should I use, considering I have 1 oz of Saaz hops.

I'm not sure if it matters, but I will be using an approx 3.5 lb can of Munton's Pilsner LME with Safale US-05 yeast.

Thanks!

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If the 3.5 oz is the amount of malt extract that's probably about right for about a quart or two of water. Palmer recommends a 1.040 wort for a starter; if there are directions with it for making up the starter I'd follow them and once you have the starter wort, boil it with the hops. I haven't seen such a kit at the LHBS; any idea who makes it and whether it's widely available?

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Thanks for the feedback!

There are no directions with the yeast starter, as it was entirely separate from the Munton's kit, the LHBS just recommended using that since their DME and UME were all in significantly larger portions.  Since 3.5 oz is a little bit under 1/4 lb, I thought perhaps I should use most of it, since I would think it'd be a similar amount if boiling a portion of DME or UME along with the hops.  I suppose this will be an experiment, so I will certainly post the outcome.

From what I have read on the web, this Munton's Pilsner kit has an OG of 1.040 to 1.044, that would be in the range. Although, since I'm using the yeast starter a bit differently for the hops, not sure if that matters, although I am fairly new to this so it's all a fun learning experience!

In terms of your question about the kit, were you asking for more info on the Munton's kit?  They seem to be pretty widely available and what's nice is you get 3.3 to 4 lbs of LME for < $20.  I tried their 3.3 lb LME Cerveza kit with only a yeast packet and it came out good, even though Munton's is intended for a 5 gallon batch.

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Hi Raleigh,

I think there must've been some confusion at the homebrew store. You could just as easily buy a large bag of DME (I'm assuming they sell 3 pound bags?), then just weigh out the amount you need for 1 quart to make a 1.040 gravity wort, which would be about 3.5 oz. Then have extra DME for whatever recipe or yeast starters. I've made a hop utilization calculator with excel I could send you via email if you'd like.




			
		

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I agree with the DME.  I keep a bag around for reasons such as that, when I need a little kick, gravity comes out lower than I planned, and when I do Mr. Beer recipes.  Even though my LHBS will weigh out any silly amount of bulk I want like 0.2146oz, it saves on having to make a trip across down.  Not that it is far, but when going to the LHBS to pick up 0.2146oz of LME I usually walk out with a lot more than a bucks worth of malt.

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DME would have been my preference as well, next time I'll be sure to pick up a bag even if more than I need, then use as necessary.  

I guess my question is:  Will the yeast starter still work (even to some extent) in the hop boil, in terms of having something in the water for the hops to bond to?

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If you boil your yeast starter you're going to kill all of the viable yeast cells? To make a starter first figure out how many cells your going to pitch into the starter, then you'll know how large a starter you need. For example I pitch a whole packet or vial of liquid yeast into a 2 liter starter made from 1.035 - 1.040 gravity wort.

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