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View Full Version : Short on yeast - should I make a starter?



Tiwas
03-27-2011, 12:26 PM
Just checked my supply of yeast and noticed I only have to packs of liquid yeast left. It says it's good for 5 gallons on each packed, but I'm going to make 24,5l x 2, so I'm a little short. Should I just mix up some honey and water and get them going before I can start the next batch next weekend?

Cheers! :)

Chevette Girl
03-27-2011, 12:42 PM
It certainly wouldn't hurt to make a great big starter with it... I'd think a gallon of actively fermenting must for each big batch oughtta do it, but then, I don't brew that big yet :)

Medsen Fey
03-29-2011, 05:09 PM
I'd make a starter. I'd probably use one pack and make a big starter and save the other pack for later if I was planning on 2 batches at the same time. A pack of yeast costs only a few Euros, but hey, every one counts.

Tiwas
03-30-2011, 12:01 AM
Medsen,
Is that mainly to save money, or is it better for the yeast? If it's just better, how would I make one? I think some beer guy said water, raisins and water...

The only reason I can think of *not* to make one is that one of the batches is meant for comparing to my first batch, so I want to keep the recipe as close as possible. I actually don't know if it will do anything to the taste or not, but the bag comes with energizer...

Cheers!

Medsen Fey
03-30-2011, 09:30 AM
With most of the liquid yeast pouches, they claim there are enough yeast for a 5-gallon batch, but the number of live yeast is much lower than what comes with a packet of active dry yeast. Since we tend to aerate our musts this issue with liquid yeast generally is not a problem because the yeast are able to grow to maximum biomass with aeration. Beer brewers, who generally avoid aeration after pitching, have to be more concerned and are usually wise to make a starter (even for a 5-gallon batch). So aside from the cost, creating a larger population of yeast before pitching can be helpful in some cases.

If you are wanting to compare this batch with a near-identically prepared batch, then handling the yeast the same way is a good idea and I would probably do that.

To make a starter, I typically use either some dilute must (gravity around 1.050) or some apple juice, and I'll usually add GoFerm (even with liquid yeast) to make sure they have plenty of minerals and sterols.

For some starter instructions, you can do some searching.
This thread (http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10593&highlight=make+a+starter) has Oskaar's recommendations.
John Palmer's "How to Brew" instructions (http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter6-5.html) may also be helpful.

Tiwas
03-30-2011, 11:13 AM
Thanks! I think I'll go the same route as last time, which means I need to get more yeast. Next time around, I'm going to experiment with other yeasts as well, and I'll try to use a starter then instead :) My first batch got two bags of yeast, so to make it identical (except for anything I cannot control) I'll give this one two bags as well. At least then it won't stall and cause me to wonder if any difference was because I tried to save a measly $12 on a $200 batch :p