View Full Version : Are these yeast starters good enough?

11-21-2006, 01:02 PM

I have just made some yeast starters, but I don't know for sure if there are good enough. Before I made this, I had made some starters in a saucepan, but they did not begin to foam. That was probebly because of the lack of sanitation. But I read somewhere that the nutrient has to be added after the yeast, and that could be an other fault. Then, to make sure that I can make yeaststarters, I made one with orangejuice, and that worked. (But I would like to have a starter out of honey)
Now I made two yeaststarters. First I sanitised everything with Chemipro Oxi. Then I boiled some water, put in some honey(1:1). When it was cooled down, I put in some extra sugar and the yeast, and covered it with foil. After an hour they foamed. After a couple of ours one foamed a lot more. But now(24 hours later) they are like this:

The amount of foam is not very much, or is this natural? (The yeaststarterout of orangejuice foamed a lot more.)
... So; can I put this into my must or not?

Also I have some other questions:
I have got some sulfite powder from a friend of mine. He said that he sanitised everything with it. Should I do it with Chemipro Oxi, or with this Sulfitepowder.?
And should I add some sulfite as preservation(1gram on 10liter) or not?

I hope someone will answer my questions.

Thanks in advance,


11-21-2006, 04:20 PM
I've only made a starter once, so I'll tell you what I know so far.

Starters don't look like fermentation. You're encouraging the yeast to reproduce, not turn sugar into alcohol. So starters won't foam as much, if at all.

You want to keep the SG of your starter solution pretty low, so that the yeast stay in reproduction mode--unless you're planning on letting it ferment for a week or so, having the yeast go dormant and harvesting that. Usually with the starters that you want to pitch a day or two after you make them, the yeast should still be in the growth phase. Low is like 1.040ish.

I'm guessing your OJ starter foamed more because there was more natural nutrients/turbidity in the OJ than in the honey water. Also probably less sugar so the yeast ate through it faster.

Last bit of advice: aerate your starters. A lot. All the time. Oxygen helps yeast reproduce and keeps them out of full-on fermentation mode.

I made my starter with malt extract (3 tbsp in 3 cups water). I shook mine up about once an hour. I got a fivefold increase in the yeasty layer at the bottom in 7 hours. It never foamed.

Good luck!

11-21-2006, 05:41 PM
wow. i have resortetd to just pitching lots of yeast, 20g dry, or 2 activators wet... lol..... maybe i should work on my starter crafting skills...

11-24-2006, 06:10 PM
I have never used a starter before. I just rehydrate and pitch the yeast straight in. 1 packet per 5 gallon batch. I have never been disappointed that I did. Starters help sure but if you have one I dont think it can be anything but good enough. Maybe not the best but still good enough to get the job of fermentation done.
One of the others should be able to give starter specific info for you.

11-26-2006, 01:57 AM

I like fooling around with starters because I like pitching a big batch of healthy yeast. This is the method I have come up with that has worked really well. My lag time is very short and I get a strong fermentation.

Make sure to leave plenty of room for the kreusen and monitor the temperature if you pitch a huge starter. It can get pretty wild for a day or two!

The starter doesn't foam all that much in my experience. It's clear something is going on, but it doesn't look much like what fermenting mead looks like.

My Basic starter recipe:
Yeast packet (5 gm)
Around 2 cups of boiled, cooled to about 111 F water
1.25 grams of Go Ferm per gram of dry yeast (about 1.25 tsp. for a packet)
Large sterilized measuring cup
Clean cloth

Heat your water to 111 F and mix in the GoFerm gradually.
Let cool to 104 F and sprinkle yeast over the top of the warm liquid.
Cover with clean cloth and let sit for 15 minutes. Stir well. You can pitch at this point if you’re in a hurry or only brewing a gallon.
To grow the starter: Take above mixture and whisk in ¼ cup of Dried Malt Extract (DME). Cover and place in a warm dark place (70-80 F) for 2 days.
After 2 days:
Make up a mixture of warm water and honey that is half-strength of your projected must.
Pour clear liquid off the top of the starter; leave the yeast in the bottom behind. Whisk half-strength must mixture into yeast. Cover and place in a warm dark place (70-80 F) for 2 days.
After 4 days:
Make up a mixture of warm water and honey that is the strength of your projected must.
Pour clear liquid off the top of the starter; leave yeast in bottom behind. Whisk in must mixture. Cover and place in a warm dark place (70-80 F) for 2 days.
After 6 days:
Pour clear liquid off the top of the starter, pitch yeast.

As for your question about sanitizers - I use StarSan and love it. Haven't heard of the two names you mention. I'd look them up on-line and see what you can find out.