Quantcast

2l Starter Enough For A Big Belgian?

Aussie Home Brewer

Help Support Aussie Home Brewer:

JaseH

Well-Known Member
Joined
6/11/11
Messages
573
Reaction score
81
If I get a chance this weekend I'm going to try and brew a Belgian Trippel.

I have some Wyeast 1214 on its way and plan to split the pack and make a starter with half and store the other half. I have a stir plate and a 2L Erlenmeyer flask. This will be my first time using liquid yeast and first time using a starter.

My recipe specs are:

27L batch
OG: 1085
FG: 1014
ABV: 9.4%

Can I get away with a 2L liter starter for this beer?

I'm not sure how to create a bigger starter with the gear I have in the time frame otherwise?
 

brendo

Tap-whore
Joined
15/4/08
Messages
1,661
Reaction score
42
Location
Croydon, Victoria
If I get a chance this weekend I'm going to try and brew a Belgian Trippel.

I have some Wyeast 1214 on its way and plan to split the pack and make a starter with half and store the other half. I have a stir plate and a 2L Erlenmeyer flask. This will be my first time using liquid yeast and first time using a starter.

My recipe specs are:

27L batch
OG: 1085
FG: 1014
ABV: 9.4%

Can I get away with a 2L liter starter for this beer?

I'm not sure how to create a bigger starter with the gear I have in the time frame otherwise?
This is highly dependent on a number of factors - freshness of the yeast, are you using a stir plate, amongst others.

I usually use Jamil's calc to check my starter sizes (have the iPhone app).

yeast starter calc

I would think if you are splitting off, you might be a bit shy with just 2l at that OG.
 

white.grant

tum te tum
Joined
12/3/08
Messages
3,440
Reaction score
239
you won't get a 2l starter out of 2l flask, best you'll likely get is 1.5-1.8l which would be well short on half a smackpack. Maybe you should brew a smaller beer first and then harvest the slurry for your big boy.
 

JaseH

Well-Known Member
Joined
6/11/11
Messages
573
Reaction score
81
Ok, playing around with the MrMalty calc its telling me that for a 27L batch of 1.085 OG beer I need either:

2 packs in 1.6L starter

or

1 pack in a 3.9L starter

:(

Maybe if I pull the recipe back to a 24L batch and use the whole yeast pack in a 2L starter I'll get close enough(MrMalty is saying ideally a 3L starter in this case). Not ideal but will I be able to get away with this?
 

JaseH

Well-Known Member
Joined
6/11/11
Messages
573
Reaction score
81
you won't get a 2l starter out of 2l flask, best you'll likely get is 1.5-1.8l which would be well short on half a smackpack. Maybe you should brew a smaller beer first and then harvest the slurry for your big boy.
Or I could bite the bullet and grab a 5L flask from Keg King this weekend when I'm picking up my bulk buy grain <_<
 

brendo

Tap-whore
Joined
15/4/08
Messages
1,661
Reaction score
42
Location
Croydon, Victoria
Or I could bite the bullet and grab a 5L flask from Keg King this weekend when I'm picking up my bulk buy grain <_<
With a beer this big, pitch size for proper attentuation is going to be pretty important.

The alternative is to repitch the yeast from a smaller beer - I often do this with my bigger beers to ensure super healthy and plentiful yeastie beasties.
 

Nick JD

Blah Blah Blah
Joined
4/11/08
Messages
7,322
Reaction score
453
I've found that big Belgians that are big due to large whacks of simple sugaz suffer much less from underpitching than those big without much sugaz. Unless it's a Saison - that shit will start to eat your fermenter's plastic when it's hit FG at 35C.
 

JaseH

Well-Known Member
Joined
6/11/11
Messages
573
Reaction score
81
My recipe currently(not set in stone) has 700gm of normal cane sugar(research told me that its acceptable to use plain sugar in place of clear candi?). The plan is to add 200gm late in the boil and the remaining 500gm at various stages through the ferment. The rest is pilsner and a dash of light munich.

I'll probably grab the 5L flask I think - I plan to try some more big beers later so probably a good investment. After all its still going to work out cheaper than buying beer off the monks! ;)

I don't suppose it will be worth harvesting/washing the yeast from a beer this big? I might give it a go anyhow if I end up using the whole smack pack.
 

manticle

Standing up for the Aussie Bottler
Joined
27/9/08
Messages
25,707
Reaction score
6,120
Location
Glenorchy, TAS
So is 1082 the OG before adding the sugar or does it take into account the total fermentables as if all added in at the beginning?

If so, your actual OG might be 1070 (guessing) and therefore not require the same starter volume.

Good, consistent oxygenation of your starter will give better growth (although if you oxygenate it while it's fermenting, you will need to decant the starter wort when it's finshed).

When I make anything above 1060, I reserve the last runnings from the kettle, refrigerate, decant off the break material, reboil in the flask, cool, then add the full pack. Shake the crap out of it whenever I remember until I see any sign of bubbles or krausen then leave till it's at high krausen.

Last 1080+ beer I did, I did the same thing but with 4L in a stainless steel pot. I find Mr malty amounts sometimes appear unrealistic but you can play with the simple starter/O2 at the start/intermittent shaking/stir plate settings to reduce the starter volume etc.
 

JaseH

Well-Known Member
Joined
6/11/11
Messages
573
Reaction score
81
So is 1082 the OG before adding the sugar or does it take into account the total fermentables as if all added in at the beginning?
Good question! I was wondering that as soon as I finished writing that last post. I'm using Beersmith and added the 0.5kg of sugar in "After the Boil" so had to go back and check if it counted that in the OG, it does. So removing that it only brings the OG down from 1.085 to 1.078 - still quite big!

Good, consistent oxygenation of your starter will give better growth (although if you oxygenate it while it's fermenting, you will need to decant the starter wort when it's finshed).

When I make anything above 1060, I reserve the last runnings from the kettle, refrigerate, decant off the break material, reboil in the flask, cool, then add the full pack. Shake the crap out of it whenever I remember until I see any sign of bubbles or krausen then leave till it's at high krausen.

Last 1080+ beer I did, I did the same thing but with 4L in a stainless steel pot. I find Mr malty amounts sometimes appear unrealistic but you can play with the simple starter/O2 at the start/intermittent shaking/stir plate settings to reduce the starter volume etc.
Does doing it that way leave a big lag time before pitching the yeast? I don't NC as I have a plate chiller and generally try to pitch within a couple of hrs of finishing the boil. So was planning on starting my starter a couple of days before hand, then cool and decant before pitching. I suppose there are pro's and cons for both ways?
 

manticle

Standing up for the Aussie Bottler
Joined
27/9/08
Messages
25,707
Reaction score
6,120
Location
Glenorchy, TAS
Only something you can do if you NC. Sorry, should have specified.

I like making identical wort starters and pitching when they are active.
 

JaseH

Well-Known Member
Joined
6/11/11
Messages
573
Reaction score
81
Only something you can do if you NC. Sorry, should have specified.

I like making identical wort starters and pitching when they are active.
Yeah I can see the advantages there.

Well I have a pretty good idea now, I should be able to bumble my way through it hopefully! Cheers guys!

I shall be known as Friar Frothie from here on! :icon_cheers:
 

argon

firmitas, utilitas, venustas
Joined
8/5/09
Messages
2,992
Reaction score
125
If you've got a stir plate and only a 2L flask, but you require a 4L starter, just get yourself a cheap 10L plastic bucket.

I recently made up a 4L starter from 1 pack of 1469 for 40L of 1060 ESB. Just poured the boiled wort into the sanitised bucket with the stir bar in it and put it on the stir plate. I let it go for a couple of days them decanted and pitched. Too easy. Don't see the point getting expensive glassware when a bucket will do the job.
 

JaseH

Well-Known Member
Joined
6/11/11
Messages
573
Reaction score
81
If you've got a stir plate and only a 2L flask, but you require a 4L starter, just get yourself a cheap 10L plastic bucket.
Good idea! You sometimes forget the ghetto options after you accumulate a few shiny toys!
 

troopa

Well-Known Member
Joined
12/11/08
Messages
616
Reaction score
15
Hey Manticle you say you like to pitch while the yeast is active but that you will want to decant the starter before you pitch if youve used a stir plate/O2.
How do you get the yeast to drop out of suspension to decant and still have the yeast active? This has been playing on my head for bloody weeks, Either im an idiot and cant see the light through the tunnel or the fogs so hazy i need to have a beer to clear my head and stop drinking these ciders :p
 

manticle

Standing up for the Aussie Bottler
Joined
27/9/08
Messages
25,707
Reaction score
6,120
Location
Glenorchy, TAS
Hey Manticle you say you like to pitch while the yeast is active but that you will want to decant the starter before you pitch if youve used a stir plate/O2.
How do you get the yeast to drop out of suspension to decant and still have the yeast active? This has been playing on my head for bloody weeks, Either im an idiot and cant see the light through the tunnel or the fogs so hazy i need to have a beer to clear my head and stop drinking these ciders :p
Sorry if I'm unlcear. I don't use a stir plate and don't oxygenate the wort once it's fermenting.

I then use the whole starter wort in an active state. If I did oxygentate while fermenting, I would let it ferment out, decant and pitch only the yeast. However, if I did that, I'd probably just use DME.
 

mikec

Well-Known Member
Joined
29/1/12
Messages
781
Reaction score
127
Could you just split the yeast across 2 x 2L starters?
 

RobW

The Little Abbotsford Craftbrewery
Joined
6/8/03
Messages
1,679
Reaction score
109
You want the yeast from a starter, not necessarily the whole thing.

You can make a 2 litre starter and let the yeast drop out, then add another 2 litres of wort, crash that, pour off the supernate and pitch the yeast.

Better yet, crash the first 2 litre starter a couple of days before you brew and on brew day draw a couple of litres from the boil after 10 or 15 minutes, cool it and pitch the yeast from the starter into that.

When that takes off pitch it into your brew. This way you are pitching an active fermenting starter that's the same composition as your main wort.
 

JaseH

Well-Known Member
Joined
6/11/11
Messages
573
Reaction score
81
Does anybody use the Beersmith Yeast Starter Calculator?

Whilst giving similar values for yeast numbers required, it gives quite different starter size than MrMalty. According to Beersmith I can get away with a 2L starter using a stirplate to reach required numbers?
 

black_labb

Well-Known Member
Joined
16/2/10
Messages
1,022
Reaction score
121
why not make a .5-1L starter on the stir plate (stop the stirring once fermentation has started as mentioned) and pitch to another 3 L in the fermentor before the final brew goes in. Just keep in mind that you are adding 4L of wort at starter og as opposed to the beers og when you calculate your beers final gravity. 4L in the fermentor can be shaken alot with all the headspace so you can aerate it quite nicely this way if you pass the fermentor a few times.
 

Latest posts

Top