Fresh Wort Starter Vs Dme Starter

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micblair

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I reckom Mr malty overestimates but even so, 1060 is the uppermost limit of the wyeast recommendation. 1070 is above that and by enough to make me want to grow some more yeast.

Anything above about 1050 ish, I make starters (often make them below as well but only because I often recoup some of my worty trub by allowing separation overnight).

To answer the first question - I make all my starters from the same wort that will be fermented. I rarely dilute.
So relatively early in the boil before the gravity creeps past 1.060, or perhaps 1.050 even? I like the idea of a fresh wort starter, seems like a better representative of what the yeast will be exposed to anyway upon inoculation of the remainder of the batch.
 

Wolfy

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Direct pitch up to 1.060 and 5 gallons of Wort? I wonder if the microbiologists at Wyeast aagree with Jamils calculator? Based on 1.060, u would still need 2 packs without a starter.
I presume so, the data was determined by many scientific based tests, however (as Manticle suggested) the 'industry standard pitching rate' which is what the calculator uses is considered by many home brewers and other published home-brew authors to be a conservative (over) estimate.
In addition:
1) 5 US gallons is 18.9L, most Australian brewers brew 22-24L single batches.
2) Even after 1 month (lets assume the pack was made on the 15 June) about about 30% of the yeast will have died, so you already have signifcantly less yeast than was manufactured (or available to American home brewers who do not have to deal with freight/distance/time issues).
2) 1.070 is above 1.060.
According to wyeasts faq page, anything over 1.065 requires a doubling in pitching rates.

http://www.wyeastlab.com/faqs.cfm?website=4#r17
And it says that 1.085 requires triple the rate, so at 1.070 so the 2.5 times estimate I suggested is exactly what Wyeast are also saying.
So relatively early in the boil before the gravity creeps past 1.060, or perhaps 1.050 even? I like the idea of a fresh wort starter, seems like a better representative of what the yeast will be exposed to anyway upon inoculation of the remainder of the batch.
Yeast starters should be about 1.040 (as per the Wyeast page you linked above, and the 'Yeast' book), there is no advantage - and a number of disadvantages - to growing yeast in higher gravity starters (but it's easy to dilute wort to achieve the required gravity).

If you are going to pitch the full-starter-volume when the yeast is most active (at high krasuen) there is some advantage to growing the yeast in the same wort it will be pitched into. However - as I've said many times before - I make starters with the intention of growing healthy yeast, not making good beer (so it is well oxygenated) and as a consequence I prefer to let the starter finish fermenting (the yeast build up their sterol and food reserves), decant the spent starter beer and pitch only the yeast (the yeast then uses those food reserves to accumulation to the new wort). So in that scenario, so long as the yeast is healthy, strong and grown with adequate nutrient supplies, the exact wort composition is much less relevant.

Yeast is a living thing, it will grow, adapt and likely produce a decent beer if you pitch anywhere close to the 'correct' pitching rate (and even if you pitch 1 slightly old pack into an over gravity, over volume beer) - so do what you like as it seems you've made up your mind anyway - it's likely the yeast will do their best help you produce beer you are happy with.
 

micblair

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^^Thanks Wolfy, went for a fresh wort starter at approx. 1.045 OG, required a fair bit of water to get it down from 1.070, so i capped it slightly higher than the planned 1.040 recommendation in a 2L starter (final volume 2.7L after dilution). None the less, inoculated the big batch with the little one and it was fermenting in no time (in a matter of hours). Fermentation seems to be taking place with quite a high Krausen, and quite a lot faster when compared with Safale US05. Hopefully it was the worth the extra work. I'm not sure if I would use this approach again however, as taking fresh wort only 15 mins into the boil seemed susceptible to a lot of pre hot break/particulate material. I think I understand the rationale now for making a starter for healthy yeast rather than to make great tasting beer, arguably one follows into the other.
 

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