Starter sanitation necessary?

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Vini2ton

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If the missus has an issue with you using the kitchen for brewing related activities, just give her your credit-card and send her off shopping when ýou're doing it. Problem solved. Pressure cookers are great for making starter wort and bulk priming solutions. Starters are a critical control point in our operations. CCP. That means important. If you want to make starters from dried yeast, then you want to hunker down my friend. Good luck with it all.
 

Rocker1986

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I don't believe dry yeast packs contain anywhere near that many billion cells. The Fermentis site suggests their dry yeast contains >6.8x109 cells per gram, or thereabouts. That's something around >70 billion per pack. I'd like to think it's more than 70 billion but 220 billion is a bit of a stretch in my mind.

I make starters with dry yeast purely for the reason that I harvest my yeast from starters as opposed to the fermenter trub. I also make them with Wyeast packs even though they state they can be direct pitched, for the same reason and to ensure I have enough viable cells at pitching time. 100 billion cells ain't gonna be 100 billion cells after 4 months in the smack pack...
 

Barge

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I don't see why it would be okay for an extract brewer to add a packet of yeast directly to 20L of tap water mixed with extract but it's suddenly an issue to add it to 2L and then to 20L (or whatever).

Scenario 1. Yeast grows faster than unwanted organisms.

Scenario 2. Yeast grows faster than unwanted organisms. And then does it again.

I can't see how that's an issue.
 

Dubzie

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Barge said:
I don't see why it would be okay for an extract brewer to add a packet of yeast directly to 20L of tap water mixed with extract but it's suddenly an issue to add it to 2L and then to 20L (or whatever).

Scenario 1. Yeast grows faster than unwanted organisms.

Scenario 2. Yeast grows faster than unwanted organisms. And then does it again.

I can't see how that's an issue.
This was my thinking exactly, except i'm not using dry yeast, but rather making a starter from slurry or liquid yeast...
 

barls

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Dubzie said:
This was my thinking exactly, except i'm not using dry yeast, but rather making a starter from slurry or liquid yeast...
Barge said:
I don't see why it would be okay for an extract brewer to add a packet of yeast directly to 20L of tap water mixed with extract but it's suddenly an issue to add it to 2L and then to 20L (or whatever).

Scenario 1. Yeast grows faster than unwanted organisms.

Scenario 2. Yeast grows faster than unwanted organisms. And then does it again.

I can't see how that's an issue.
its more about preventing the presence of said unwanted organisms.
yes you can make decent beer with kits by pitching directly in.
you will make better beer with a boil and pitching the right amount of yeast.
this book covers most of the ideas behind it
Yeast: The Practical Guide to Beer Fermentation
 

WitWonder

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Barge said:
I don't see why it would be okay for an extract brewer to add a packet of yeast directly to 20L of tap water mixed with extract but it's suddenly an issue to add it to 2L and then to 20L (or whatever).

Scenario 1. Yeast grows faster than unwanted organisms.

Scenario 2. Yeast grows faster than unwanted organisms. And then does it again.

I can't see how that's an issue.
Micro organisms that ruin beer (eg bacteria) grow at an exponentially faster rate than yeast. If you have said bacteria in your starter (then subsequent beer) your beer is ruined. Simple. Yeast will not "out grow" bacteria and somehow make a good beer regardless of the bacteria present.

For the most part, tap water in Australia is free of such contaminates so yes you can pitch your yeast straight into a kit with tap water, same applies to a starter but the issue with that is the bacteria might come with the process associated with producing the yeast, the yeast nutrient, the dried extract, vessel, etc. In other words, more variables and therefore potential sources of contaminates.

Anything post boil (including yeast preparation) is very susceptible to an infection so sanitisation is paramount. Boiling your starter in an erlenmeyer flask is not hard. Leave it overnight with foil over the top then pitch the yeast the next day (or preferably prepare the starter beforehand, having stepped-up a couple of times so it's ready to pitch as soon as your wort is at pitching temps).
 

manticle

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Cost/risk/benefit analysis.

Or as witwonder said.

Presumably you moved away from kit brewing because you were looking for better results.
 

huez

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Rocker1986 said:
I don't believe dry yeast packs contain anywhere near that many billion cells. The Fermentis site suggests their dry yeast contains >6.8x109 cells per gram, or thereabouts. That's something around >70 billion per pack. I'd like to think it's more than 70 billion but 220 billion is a bit of a stretch in my mind.
Thats probably mr malty leading me astray there, he suggest 20billion per gram. I won't get into that argument but its on his website under pitching rates.
 

danestead

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Disregard ducatiboy stu talking about direct pitching wyeast. Yes that may be possible with a very fresh packet which has been handled in the best way possible but to say that it is direct pitchable in a general sense is just going to mislead someone who does not yet have much knowledge of liquid yeasts. Liquid yeast loses viabilty very quickly as compared to dry yeast and is very sensitive to the temperature it is stored at. To mislead a less experienced brewer into thinking they can just pitch 1 packet of wyeast into a batch of beer no matter how old it is is pretty poor. You generally create a starter for liquid yeasts to end up with a caculated number of yeast ideal for the brew you are doing as this number is very often more than the viable cells in 1 wyeast packet for a standard 20ish litre 1.050 brew.
 

Dubzie

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What are your thoughts on using water that has been sanitized through a filter that is also UV treated?
My filter destroys more then 99.99% of bacteria in water.

Since boiling doesn't sterilize the water, nor does spraying everything with starsan.
 

manticle

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My thoughts are that boiling is so easy and kills the organisms most likely to spoil your beer that it is an additional step I would always take.

Does the filter remove 99.9% of yeast cells too? If so, combined with boiling and starsan, you'll have taken great precautions with minimal effort. Also you can't filter the malt you're adding - just the base water.

Why not try boiling some water, adding malt and cover? Leave at room temp for 5 days.
Do the same with filtered water/extract.

Taste in 5 days.
 

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