Starter Bottles

Share your experiences of using brewing yeast.
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Reg
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Starter Bottles

Post by Reg » Tue Feb 01, 2005 12:53 pm

I always used to use a drop of malt extract for mine, although some people satisfy themselves with ordinary sugar...

What's your method for getting your yeast started?

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Jim
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Post by Jim » Tue Feb 01, 2005 4:26 pm

I draw off some wort from the boiler and cool it under the tap. It gets about an hour to get going, which seems to be enough for the stuff I use (Gervin English Ale).

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Post by Reg » Tue Feb 01, 2005 5:48 pm

I use the tablespoon of malt extract method so I can get the yeast going whilst everything else is being sorted... I tend to do the starter bottle first on those grounds...

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Post by Jim » Sun Feb 06, 2005 2:29 pm

Yeah, there's something to be said for getting the starter on the go well before you have to pitch it.

Some books I've read suggest 24 - 48 hours!

I like to use the actual wort that the yeast will be fermenting, which is why I do it at a fairly late stage. Whether that makes a difference or not, I don't know; but as they say, if it works, don't fix it!

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Post by Reg » Fri Feb 11, 2005 2:28 am

Well if it's working that's great, I think the general idea of a "mature" starter bottle is so that the top fermenting yeast will multiply quickly and...

1) Get on with job in hand
2) Be healthy and avoid infection... probably more imprtant with live yeast
3) Cover the wort quickly with a head of yeast to protect it
4) Learn Swedish
5) Well Maybe not (4)
6) Did I mention the yeast head
7) Oh, yes I did
8) I'll shut up now...

9) No I won't I forgot to mention it helps to ensure the yeast will take
10) Although with most Gervin yeasts they are so well designed they don't fail
11) So I probably shouldn't have mention that one...

Reg

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Post by Jim » Fri Feb 11, 2005 8:54 pm

:D

I have to say, I'm seriously thinking of getting a proper yeast culture and trying to reuse it.

If I could get it to last over 5 batches, it would actually be cheaper than buying 5 yeast sachets at £1.20 a shot!

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Post by Reg » Fri Feb 11, 2005 9:28 pm

Well I've heard about people who do it, but have yet to see any actual evidence aside from the odd trip to a commercial brewery... Where they again TOLD me about it... :lol:

layangman

Post by layangman » Wed Jul 20, 2005 1:26 am

About starting the yeast.
I am an extract brewer, so the yeast comes in a packet with the can of extract.
The instructions says to add the yeasts into the wort (when it is cooled to desired temp) and give the wort a good stirring (aeration?).
Now you folks are doing a starter, so how does this compare? Is this a better method to ensure the yeast work better? :unsure:

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Post by Jim » Wed Jul 20, 2005 8:02 am

The crucial thing with any brew is getting the fermentation going quickly.

This prevents wild yeasts and other infections taking hold before your chosen yeast gets going properly.

When you use yeast straight from a packet, the yeast spends the first 8 - 12 hours multiplying until there are enough yeast cells to start the fermentation proper. During this time the wort is vulnerable to infection.

By using a starter, you are multiplying the yeast beforehand so that when you pitch it, fermentation begins almost immediately, thus reducing the chance of infection. I would imagine that in a very hot country such as yours, this is even more important.

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Post by Reg » Wed Jul 20, 2005 9:34 am

Hi Layangman...

As Jim has said re: the starter bottle, the key advantage is that you get the yeast culture going in a small amount of malt before pitching. This means that fermentation begins much more quickly and a yeast head forms to protect your brew from infection. What is more, if an infection begins in the yeast starter, then very few materials have been wasted.

However, in the UK, typically we use brewing bins with simple lids as our average summer temperature is 10-15 degrees Celsuis below yours. So with your airlocked brewing bins the risk of wild yeast infection will be reduced whilst the yeast is multiplying but may be greater whilst the wort is being prepared. So a strong, fermenting yeast starter may still help you.

Cheers!

Reg

layangman

Post by layangman » Wed Jul 20, 2005 1:53 pm

Well noted! Many Thanks.
I never realised that the yeast requires multiplication, I am enlightened :rolleyes:

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Post by Jaytee » Tue Jul 26, 2005 11:36 pm

Guys, I make up a starter using malt extract.

I get a starter going the day before I brew and pitch about a litre of fermenting wort/yeast and it's off like a rocket.

I've been using Wyeast W1275 Thames Valley Ale and W1968 London ESB yeasts for about 14 months, making up starters as I go.

Sure there was an initial outlay, but after 14 months and 50 batches, the cost is very effective.

Including cost of starter malt, each brew has cost me about $1.80 in yeast, compared to buying sachets at $2.95 to $3.95 each.

If you've got a brewery source of yeast, even better !

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Post by Reg » Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:33 am

QUOTE (Jaytee @ Jul 26 2005, 10:36 PM) Guys, I make up a starter using malt extract.

I get a starter going the day before I brew and pitch about a litre of fermenting wort/yeast and it's off like a rocket.

I've been using Wyeast W1275 Thames Valley Ale and W1968 London ESB yeasts for about 14 months, making up starters as I go.

Sure there was an initial outlay, but after 14 months and 50 batches, the cost is very effective.

Including cost of starter malt, each brew has cost me about $1.80 in yeast, compared to buying sachets at $2.95 to $3.95 each.

If you've got a brewery source of yeast, even better !
Sorry Jay... Just so I get you straight. Does this mean you are pitching less yeast in your starter?

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Post by Jaytee » Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:52 am

Hi Reg,

I made the original Wyeast pack progressivly up to 3 litres.
Boil 1/3 cup LME in 1 litres water, cool and add yeast.
When fermented out, add to another litre of LME solution etc etc
Then bottled these up as six individual starters of 500 ml

For a brew, I take one out of the fridge and add to a litre of cooled LME solution

When it's fermenting away happily (usually 24 hours) I pitch into my brew and
I get a really good start to fermentation.

When I have just one starter left in the fridge, I again progressivly make it upto three litres and bottle off into 500ml starters.

I read that you could go 6 or 7 generations - or about 36-42 starters from the one pack before the yeast goes dodgey. :unsure:

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Post by Reg » Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:57 am

QUOTE (Jaytee @ Jul 26 2005, 11:52 PM)Hi Reg,

I made the original Wyeast pack progressivly up to 3 litres.
Boil 1/3 cup LME in 1 litres water, cool and add yeast.
When fermented out, add to another litre of LME solution etc etc
Then  bottled these up as six individual starters of 500 ml

For a brew, I take one out of the fridge and add to a litre of cooled LME solution

When it's fermenting away happily (usually 24 hours) I pitch into my brew and
I get a really good start to fermentation.

When I have just one starter left in the fridge, I again progressivly make it upto three litres and bottle off into 500ml starters.

I read that you could go 6 or 7 generations - or about 36-42 starters from the one pack before the yeast goes dodgey.  :unsure:
Blige mate! :D

I've always just used starters to guarantee a good pitch!

What a muppet I've been!!! :blink: This is an incredibly good point about why starter cultures are a good thing...

(8(l) Doh!!!

How long have you been doing this for???

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