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Starting Wyeast


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#301 Alex.Tas

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 07:12 AM

Hi guys. I've read through the majority of posts in this thread... But after a succinct answer - if that's possible on a forum!

I've recently purchased a number of smack packs with a friend, and we plan on splitting each one. The first one I plan to split is 4068 wheat.

I boiled up 4l of 1.040 wort last night and have it sitting in two 2l glass flagons.

I was planning on pitching whole contents of a smack pack to first flagon, then do the intermittent shaking method. Then when at the right stage, pour half the yeast into the 2nd flagon and repeat the process.

I wanna end up with three pack worth of yeast in three jars.

1. At what stage should I split the whole starter- once I get foam, high krausen or after it's fermented out?

2. Once I get to the stage of splitting, can I just refrigerate to drop the yeast out, decant the liquid and then split the solids?

3. Is there an easier way?

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#302 Spiesy

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 07:23 AM

1. After it's fermented out. 

2. Refrigerating will help isolate the yeast from the spent starter.

3. A stir plate and flask make this job a little easier, and arguably give better results. 


Edited by Spiesy, 19 August 2014 - 07:25 AM.


#303 TheWiggman

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 07:55 AM

Seeing as this thread's alive and I can't find info on it...

 

I've done ales in the past but more recently lagers. Since doing lagers, I've started using a stir plate. Previous process was standard 100g:1l with a 3l Erlenmeyer flask. Add yeast, wait 3-4 days and agitate as frequently as possible. Once no bubbles come out when agitated, it's ready to separate and pitch.

 

With my latest lager I made a 2.5l starter stepped up twice (500ml > 2.5l) using 2042.

  • 500ml for 3 days on stir plate using split yeast. Let sit for 24h at room temp. Decanted some clear liquid off then topped up to 2l with boiled LDM.
  • 2.5l on stir plate for 3 days, then let sit overnight.

All this happened between 14-17°C in the house. There is nowhere warmer.

 

I noticed the next morning that bubbles were still coming up from the bottom of the flask, so I agitated and it was clear it was still fermenting. I put it back on the stir plate for the day, let it sit once I came home home and noticed it was still fermenting. So I put it back on the stir plate.

All up this went for a week and there still appeared to be fermentation. Is it typical for lager yeasts to take so long on a stir plate? My first approach was 2l for only 48h, so I don't think there was a high enough yeast count and I'm pretty sure based on tasting I underpitched.

 

If this is common, it basically means I'm going to need to reschedule my yeast management for lagers.



#304 Yob

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 07:57 AM

Not arguably, will, with a stir plate you are keeping a steady supply of oxygen, shaking doesn't.

Seriously one of the best bits of brewery equipment I ever bought was the stir plate.

While the shake will get you a result, is it the best it could have been? When it comes to yeast health, don't scrimp.

#305 ianh

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 08:14 AM

 
 

Here's how i do it, whether it is easier I don't know but suits my method of brewing.

 

I smack the Wyeast pack and once it's swelled up split the smack pack into 5 parts.

I store these in my conditioning fridge at 1C.

When I brew I make 1.5 litres extra wort which is used for the yeast starter (all my brews <1.050 OG).

I put the fifth of the smack pack in 500mls of wort in a flask on a stirrer (I think this is very important) for 24 hrs at 18C.

Then add 1000mls of wort to the flask and stir for another 48hours at 18C.

I then remove the stir bar and put the flask in the conditioning fridge.

When needed I decant most of the liquor from the yeast and pour into the fermenter.

 

I dont know how much success you will have with the intermittent shaking method, to me a flask or similar vessel and a stirrer are the most important things.

 

 

 



#306 shaunous

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 12:30 PM

I do 1500ml starters for all my beers, standard 23L batch size no matter what the OG normally is, seems to work.

 

Anyone see a great problem with this?



#307 TheWiggman

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 12:50 PM

Sounds too simple, you need to complicate it somehow.



#308 Spiesy

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Posted 19 August 2014 - 01:14 PM

I do 1500ml starters for all my beers, standard 23L batch size no matter what the OG normally is, seems to work.

 

Anyone see a great problem with this?

 

Yep.

 

What about the age of your yeast? What is the concentration of your starter - this will effect growth rate. A 1075OG will have different requirement to that of a 1043OG beer. A lager has different requirement to an ale. Some wheat/wit yeasts like to be underpitched. Etc etc.

 

Of course, if you're happy with your results - no need to change, but you did ask  :)



#309 Engibeer

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 08:24 PM

Gents, is this visually enough yeast? 1000ml erlenmeyer flask... 23L ale 1.050 SG.

Wy1272 1/4 of a split pack.

First time using a stir plate....

Pic attached...

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#310 Engibeer

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 08:24 PM

And again

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#311 Engibeer

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 08:28 PM

It was on the stir plate for 3 days stepped up to 990ml in 330ml increments. Crashed at 2pm.

Sorry about the brievity and 3posts SWMBO is hassling me.

#312 TidalPete

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 09:25 PM

As it's for a 1272 (Ale) I'd say it will be fine Engibeer.

Surprisingly enough, TTBOMM I've never actually "smacked" a smack pack but have always split into 4 or more tubes before building up well past the recommended minimum (23 litre batches I think it is?) of 1000ml for ales & 2000mls for lagers just to be sure.

Works for me at 241 AG's & counting!



#313 Engibeer

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 10:50 PM

Thanks Pete. She's pitched now. I've only smacked the packs for things I brew infrequently / blends. E.g. Kölsch and I just made a flanders red with 3203-PC.

Up until now I've just been using a clear glass screw top bottle and shaking it. I've never had a problem with this method.

I sampled some of the liquid when decanting. Sure I could taste benzaldehyde. I think I've read about this but can't remember. No off flavors though. Anyone got a tip on the reason for the benzaldehyde formation?

Thanks

Matt

#314 Engibeer

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 09:08 AM

Must have been sufficient. 10hrs later and the air lock is bubbling once every 1.5 seconds.

I thought there was some empirical data for cell count based on volume of fresh yeast cake?

#315 Prince Imperial

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 08:46 AM

Hi guys, doing my first stepped starter (excluding an unscientific & unsuccessful coopers reculture) and I'm unsure about how soon I can step up. I started with 2L in a 3L flask & don't have a stir plate, so am shaking sporadically (shaking the flask, not me shaking like a chihuahua).
Do I wait for each "step" to attenuate fully before adding more wort (I intend to decant the fermented wort)?
Or, is the reproductive phase over after a period of time and it's reasonable to replace with fresh wort?

#316 TheWiggman

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 09:14 AM

Depends on your method. If you're decanting, best to wait until it's fully done its thing and settled on the bottom. That way you're not tossing out some of the babies with the bath water.
If adding / topping up, wait until that main phase is complete like you say and add the more concentrated mix to the starter so that the resultant gravity of the wort is around 1.040 once mixed.

#317 Prince Imperial

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Posted 05 October 2014 - 09:56 AM

Depends on your method. If you're decanting, best to wait until it's fully done its thing and settled on the bottom. That way you're not tossing out some of the babies with the bath water.


I am decanting but plan on cold crashing the starter first to drop out as many "babies" as I can. I guess I just don't want to interrupt the reproductive phase, though if that's likely to be over & done I'd like to move things along. Mr Malty tells me I need a 5L starter which will require 3 steps. Hopefully that's not going to take a week!

#318 jbaker9

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 11:07 AM

I made a starter for Bavarian lager for enough cells for 2 x 23L batches (as per BeerSmith).  I chilled the starter on Saturday, planning to brew on Sunday.  Unfortunately my plans were disrupted, so I'll be brewing next weekend.

 

I now have enough yeast cells for 46L of lager so I don't need to build it up anymore with a starter.  Should I be putting these into a small starter just to reactivate before my brew, or will they be good to go straight to the fermenter after a week refrigerated?

 

Regards

James



#319 Alex.Tas

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 02:30 PM

I made a starter for Bavarian lager for enough cells for 2 x 23L batches (as per BeerSmith).  I chilled the starter on Saturday, planning to brew on Sunday.  Unfortunately my plans were disrupted, so I'll be brewing next weekend.

 

I now have enough yeast cells for 46L of lager so I don't need to build it up anymore with a starter.  Should I be putting these into a small starter just to reactivate before my brew, or will they be good to go straight to the fermenter after a week refrigerated?

 

Regards

James

It will be fine pal. If you can get the yeast to the same temp as the wort temp before you pitch it it would be best. This avoids upsetting the yeast.