View Full Version : Starter cultures

07-08-2016, 08:17 AM
I've searched some on the site and not found exactly what I am looking for - but perhaps my google-fu is weak.

From my beer brewing days, I have learned to pitch a lot of yeast in order to get things going and not give the bad things a chance to get hold. My mead making has followed a similar pattern - I've had good results - but with all the Fermaid O/K DAP discussions recently I am rethinking my starter.

Normal starter
4 oz honey in a 1 liter flask
0.8 liter water (I use my well water, a little hard, boiled and cooled) - makes about 1 liter total
1/8 tsp GoFerm
Smack Pack 1388, usually swells within 12 hours (placed next to flask so temperatures are the same, about 72 degrees F in the kitchen)
Yeast from the smack pack is added to the flask and placed on a stir plate.
I usually let this stir and multiply for 24 to 48 hours before pitching all into 5 gallons of must. (Usually 48 hours (2 days), sometimes 72 (3 days))

My big concern is whether or not I'm getting the big healthy robust high yeast population starter I think I am getting.

I am now questioning the use of GoFerm in the starter. As it is at least partially a re-hydration agent, and my yeast is liquid, is it the best choice? (I realize there are some nutrients in GoFerm)
Am I using enough GoFerm to fully feed the yeast for 2-3 days?
Should I perhaps be using/adding DAP, Fermaid K, of Fermaid O in my starter?

For the Primary Fermentation I use a BOMM/SNA like schedule of feeding DAP, Fermaid K, and Fermaid O (Dropping DAP after the second feeding and increasing K and O proportions, O becoming dominant, as the fermentation proceeds - adding the O early enough to allow for some lag in its utilization)

Anyway, I would very much appreciate observations, suggestions, or other commentary on the starter questions.


07-08-2016, 10:28 AM
You seem to be on the right track. Here is the protocol I use:

Better brewing through science!

See my brewing site at www.denardbrewing.com

See my Current Mead Making Techniques article here:

07-08-2016, 01:49 PM
Thank you.

According to your schedule it looks like I may be shorting the GoFerm by about a factor of 4. I'll boost that up to 1/2 tsp per liter. I note that you stir a bit longer than I do (3 days vs my usual 2), but I still suspect that there's not enough stuff (other than honey) in the starter.

Thanks ! This helps !