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K5MOW
03-26-2011, 05:30 PM
Hello,

I would like some information on how to start a yeast starter. I am a beer brewer and have a stir plate. My question is how much honey and how much water to use to start the starter? Also is it better to use a yeast starter rather than just pitch the yeast? I will be using Lalvin D-47.

Thanks Roger

wildoates
03-26-2011, 05:36 PM
I've used D-47 many times and have never used a starter--I just rehydrate it with Gro-Ferm about 15 minutes before the must is ready and pitch!

AToE
03-26-2011, 05:37 PM
When you used dried yeast you don't need a starter, dried yeasts have a hugely higher living cell count than liquid yeasts, so if you just rehydrate them and pitch as per the instructions on the packet (or better yet use goferm with the rehydration and then add the must in a couple steps to acclimatize, then pitch - this is the ultimate way to do it) you'll be totally totally fine.

The only time you need a starter is for special circumstances. For example, your using a yeast that you know sucks, like WYeast's sweat mead yeast (maybe it can make fine mead, but it sure likes to die...), or if you had a ferment stall, and you want to use a champagne yeast to restart it (slow acclimatization would also be in order in this case), or maybe if it was going to be a really really high gravity ferment.

akueck
03-26-2011, 07:28 PM
I'll hedge the previous replies with the following:

Usually it is less economical to make a starter with dry yeast when compared to buying enough yeast to pitch directly. The driving factor(s) should always be yeast health + cell count, not liquid vs. dry or starter vs. not. If you have enough dry D47 to get the cell count you need for your batch, rehydrating it with Go-Ferm, or even just plain water, per the instructions ensures the yeast health is good. If you're not sure about the viability of the yeast (10 year old package, opened in the fridge for a year, etc) or don't have enough yeast, then a starter is a good idea.

The only reason starters are popular for beer is the prevalence of liquid yeasts; slurries are both more expensive than dry yeast and have a shorter shelf life. So in that case the starter becomes a solid idea for both cost and viability.

K5MOW
03-26-2011, 09:06 PM
Ok thanks to all for all this great info. Well can I use Wyeast Vintner's Choice Nutrient Blend insted of Goferm. I dont have any of the Goferm but i have a lot of Wyeast Vintner's Choice Nutrient Blend.

Roger

K5MOW
03-26-2011, 09:08 PM
Ok thanks to all for all this great info. Well can I use Wyeast Vintner's Choice Nutrient Blend insted of Goferm. I dont have any of the Goferm but i have a lot of Wyeast Vintner's Choice Nutrient Blend.

Roger

I also would use Yeast Energizer.

Roger

wildoates
03-26-2011, 09:52 PM
There's a difference between a rehydration medium and a fermentation nutrient...don't get them mixed up. :)

akueck
03-26-2011, 11:01 PM
Yeah to expand on that, the DAP in most blended nutrients can be toxic to yeast during rehydration. Better to use just plain tap water than to mix in DAP. The Go-Ferm just pumps the yeast full of some basic vitamins/trace minerals to give them a slight step up. Using the energizer in your mead will give them the same stuff, just a few hours later. [I'd not add energizer during rehydration either unless the instruction specifically say it's ok. Better to be a few hours late than to add it early and kill the poor yeasties.]

K5MOW
03-27-2011, 07:13 AM
Ok agan thanks for this info. I will not be making a Yeast starter with dry yeast. But if I was going to use a liquid yeast and wanted to make a yeast starter how much honey and how much water should be used? Would I use Nutrient and Energizer?

Thanks Roger

fatbloke
03-27-2011, 08:58 AM
Ok agan thanks for this info. I will not be making a Yeast starter with dry yeast. But if I was going to use a liquid yeast and wanted to make a yeast starter how much honey and how much water should be used? Would I use Nutrient and Energizer?

Thanks Roger
The actual starter can be as large as you want it to be. After all, it depends on the size of the batch as to how larger cell count you'd need.

I generally, if making a starter, make it about 200 mls of water and a table spoon or two of honey. It just needs enough sugars to have something to get it's teeth into so it can feed and start cell reproduction.

Once it's foaming some, then that's usually fine for 5 gallons or so, if it's a bigger batch then it'd probably have to be more....

regards

fatbloke

K5MOW
03-27-2011, 09:01 AM
The actual starter can be as large as you want it to be. After all, it depends on the size of the batch as to how larger cell count you'd need.

I generally, if making a starter, make it about 200 mls of water and a table spoon or two of honey. It just needs enough sugars to have something to get it's teeth into so it can feed and start cell reproduction.

Once it's foaming some, then that's usually fine for 5 gallons or so, if it's a bigger batch then it'd probably have to be more....

regards

fatbloke

How long befor brew day do you start the yeast starter?

Roger

akueck
03-27-2011, 01:59 PM
Doubling your yeast population in a starter takes about 12-24 hours. So you can make your starter the day before and pitch it, or make it earlier than that and refrigerate it after about a day to get the yeast to compact into lees for easier removal of the weak-mead on top.

I would make starters with an OG of about 1.040.

Tiwas
03-27-2011, 03:38 PM
How big starters would you make? I need to get some more yeast before I pitch them (got enough for 5 gallons, but making a little more than 6). It's in another thread, but figured I might get some answers by hijacking someone else's thread :p

AToE
03-27-2011, 04:16 PM
I wouldn't worry about the difference between 5, 6, 7 gallons. 5g of yeast is plenty for any of those as long as they're not super high SG, you just might experience a longer lag time. Starters certainly won't hurt anything though, plus I can tell you're in the stage where you want to experiment and control and tinker as much as possible! (I remember that stage, fun times! Now I'm lazy).

Tiwas
03-27-2011, 04:54 PM
Thanks. I'm aiming for 1.108-ish (as it's to compare with my first batch, which was 1.108).

AToE
03-27-2011, 05:47 PM
Ok then, make a starter if you think it'll be fun, but it's definitely nothing to worry about - wine kits routinely come packaged with 5g of yeast for a 6 gallon batch.

Tiwas
03-27-2011, 11:09 PM
Ok then, make a starter if you think it'll be fun, but it's definitely nothing to worry about - wine kits routinely come packaged with 5g of yeast for a 6 gallon batch.

Written communication is fun :) I was trying to convey that I'm going to skip the starter :)

AToE
03-27-2011, 11:46 PM
Ha, yeah - until one's first huge miscommunication via the written word I think most people don't realize how much of language is simple tone of voice, timing, and body language!

TheAlchemist
03-28-2011, 12:09 AM
Ha, yeah - until one's first huge miscommunication via the written word I think most people don't realize how much of language is simple tone of voice, timing, and body language!

Years ago in my psych classes they'd say "Communication is 90% nonverbal." I wasn't convinced. Then I moved to France. Didn't speak a word of it...got on fine...

Turns our 90% of communication is nonverbal...

Tiwas
03-28-2011, 01:51 AM
I totally agree with you! I try to use a lot of smileys to try to mimic nonverbal communication to some degree, but too many people use them incorrectly (I actually wrote the manual on them back in the days ;) ), which makes it even harder. Add to that the lack of body positioning, where do you keep your hands? Nose flair etc etc...Written communication, especially in a casual setting, is *hard*

fatbloke
03-28-2011, 02:03 AM
It's just a shame that "rolleyes" is the closest you can get to sarcasm ! ;-D

Tiwas
03-28-2011, 02:18 AM
It's just a shame that "rolleyes" is the closest you can get to sarcasm ! ;-D

Orly? How's this (http://www.google.se/images?hl=sv&client=firefox-a&hs=Exl&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&biw=1194&bih=772&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=1&q=face+palm&aq=f&aqi=g10&aql=&oq=) for getting your point across? :p

TheAlchemist
03-28-2011, 10:39 AM
... Nose flair...?!

Ha! Nice touch!

Chevette Girl
03-28-2011, 03:08 PM
Orly? How's this (http://www.google.se/images?hl=sv&client=firefox-a&hs=Exl&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&biw=1194&bih=772&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=1&q=face+palm&aq=f&aqi=g10&aql=&oq=) for getting your point across? :p

LOL, my favourite is the implied facepalm, which you really can't do with smileys, in fact most people can't even do it with their own eyebrows... nothing can compare to that withering glare to tell you you've just said/done something monumentally stupid...

But back to starters, a few posts ago, K5MOW asked about using nutrient or energizer in a starter... don't use nutrients, as Akueck pointed out a few posts earlier than that, DAP (active ingredient in most "yeast nutrients") can cause problems with new yeasties and a lot of energizers do contain some percentage of DAP, so I would either follow one of the many staggered nutrient addition schedules or just add them to your must before pitching.

TheAlchemist
03-30-2011, 09:44 AM
I need help!
I will be trying to make a yeast starter from a
"good strong ale"
for my attempt at the 1717.
Do you have any pointers for establishing a hearty yeast starter from ale that's actively fermenting?

Medsen Fey
03-30-2011, 12:40 PM
Do you have any pointers for establishing a hearty yeast starter from ale that's actively fermenting?

Uhh.., if you have an actively fermenting ale, then you essentially have a starter. How big is the batch of ale?

TheAlchemist
03-30-2011, 12:56 PM
Uhh.., if you have an actively fermenting ale, then you essentially have a starter. How big is the batch of ale?

I think I'll be working with one bottle of unfinished ale. Should I feed it something? What should I feed it? How can I make it robust and happy?

Medsen Fey
03-30-2011, 01:02 PM
If you have 1 cup (8 fl. oz) of fermenting ale, I would acclimate it to the must I intend to add it to. I would add 8 fluid oz of must, and then when bubbling good, I would add 16 fluid oz of must. When that gets going you will have a 1 quart starter that should be fine for a 5-gallon (or more) batch.

TheAlchemist
03-30-2011, 01:03 PM
If you have 1 cup (8 fl. oz) of fermenting ale, I would acclimate it to the must I intend to add it to. I would add 8 fluid oz of must, and then when bubbling good, I would add 16 fluid oz of must. When that gets going you will have a 1 quart starter that should be fine for a 5-gallon (or more) batch.

This will be a 1gal batch of Thomas Cook (1717) variation.

Medsen Fey
03-30-2011, 01:56 PM
For a one gallon batch, you don't need a big starter. If you have a cup of fermenting ale, that will be plenty.