Yeast starter questions: Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale

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hambrook
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Yeast starter questions: Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale

Post by hambrook » Mon Apr 27, 2015 3:13 pm

I'm getting ready to do my first yeast starter so far I have :
2 x Wyeast Activator 1332 Northwest Ale
1 x Gallenkamp Magnetic Stirrer Hotplate
1 x 2 litre Borosilicate Glass Conical Flask
1 x 500 g light Dry Malt extract, and 1 x 1kg Coopers Light Malt Extract
10 x 30ml clear sample container test tube vial screw top

One of the Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale has a MFG Date of 27 Jan 2015, the other a MFG date of 10 March 2015. Yes I have challenged this and sent a bag of DME as a good will gesture from BrewUK. My plan is to use the 27 January one in a 2L starter to pitch into 23 litres of 1048 OG English Ale. The second pack I would like to split into 3 so I can use for future brews. I have Beer Smith 2 on my Mac and I have read / used Mr Malty's yeast guidance and calculator: http://www.mrmalty.com/calc/calc.html

FIRST QUESTION : Beer Smith 2 tells me that a Wyeast Labs Northwest Ale yeast pack with a MFG date of 27 Jan 2015 has 46.96 billion viable cells (or 47% viable). Beer Smith 2 tells me I only need this one old pack of yeast at 1.43L as Recommended Starter if Using Liquid yeast.

Mr Malty's calculator says the same yeast on the same MFG day is only 34% viable and that I would need 205 billion cells to ferment the same 23 litres of 1048 OG ale and that I need THREE packs of yeast. WHO IS CORRECT AND HOW MUCH YEAST DO I NEED?

SECOND QUESTION: What size stir bar should I get? Do they need to be bought in pairs to correctly store / maintain magnetism?
THIRD QUESTION: How long do you agitate yeast using a stir plate before letting it settle and separate?
FOURTH QUESTION: How do I know how many viable cells I have in a starter? Instead of using 2 smack packs can I make one starter; let it settle out then careful tip the wort out and add another weak DME starter to increase the yeast? Does it double each time or by what volume and how do I calculate.

Thanks for all replies in advance.
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MTW
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Re: Yeast starter questions: Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale

Post by MTW » Mon Apr 27, 2015 5:38 pm

OK - I will attempt a reply for you

Q1 - Pitch rate calcs (and the quantities achieved by stirring and shaking) are widely disputed. I have just used a similarly aged single vial of WLP001 in 22L of 1.072 DIPA and got down to 1.014 really well, just with a 2L starter with the hell shaken out of it. (I have a stir plate, but wanted to try without - see here) It tastes great too.

Q2 - My stir bar is about an inch or so long I think and triangle prism; 'no' to point #2 there.

Q3 - At least throughout the growth phase to drive off CO2, but again, see that link above for an alternative view and further info.

Q4 - i) Without a lab and some expertise, you don't. We guesstimate. ii) You're getting into 'stepped starters' there (have a look around). Use the Brewer's Friend pitch rate calculator for one view of what each step will achieve, but make sure each step is between 5 to 10 times bigger than the last. I've done so with good success in high gravity ales. You shouldn't need that for this though.
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YeastWhisperer

Re: Yeast starter questions: Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale

Post by YeastWhisperer » Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:28 am

A 2L starter for 23L of 1.048 wort is overkill. If you give my cheap and cheerful, shaken, not stirred starter method a shot (outlined in the thread that MTW linked), you may find yourself forgoing the use of a stir plate.

hambrook
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Re: Yeast starter questions: Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale

Post by hambrook » Tue Apr 28, 2015 12:16 pm

OK you have convinced me to go Shaken not Stirred. I smacked the Wyeast 1332 (MFG 27 Jan) this morning and put into my empty Brew Fridge at a temp of 21 degrees. I 'm planning to use a 5L empty mineral water bottle that I have swilled with StarSan.

The questions remains; what size should I make my starter? The Beer is Gales HSB with a goal SG of 1048 and a FG goal of 1013; = 4.9%. I have DME ready but not sure on what size of starter due to the conflict of Mr Malty vs Beer Smith 2.

Beer Smith 2 tells me that a 2 litre starter with this Wyeast 1332 MFG 27 Jan 2015 will produce 137 Billion Yeast Cells. If I reduce my batch size to 23 litres thats 6 billion cells per litre. Does the 137 bn calculation seem correct? Im very much leaning on YeastWhisper's guide viewtopic.php?f=12&t=70926#p743798 that lower pitching rates in English ales create a sweeter, fruity malt flavour.
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Re: Yeast starter questions: Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale

Post by YeastWhisperer » Tue Apr 28, 2015 1:46 pm

One thing that you need to know is that Beer Smith is chock full of incorrect calculations, which is why I believe it is better impart knowledge than hand a person a piece of software. The maximum cell density for a 1L starter is approximately 200 billion cells. Depending on the strain, one can expect to grow between 1 and 1.5 billion cells per gram of extract. Hence, starting with 50B cells, on should expect to have a starter that contains approximately 150 to 200 billions cells. That cell count is more than high enough to get the job done. The difference between 150 and 300 billion or 200 billion and 400 billion cells is one replication period, which is roughly 90 minutes at 25C. The replication period increases as fermentation temperature is reduced, but we talking about one replication period.

What most home brewers and yeast calculator writers do not take into account is yeast health plays a much larger role than absolute cell count. The pitch rates that are commonly thrown around are for repitched bottom-cropped yeast, which is usually composed mostly of old cells that have depleted ergosterol and unsaturated fatty acid reserves. A starter made with lab propagated yeast (i.e., a Wyeast smack pack or White Labs vial) is a totally different animal because of the distance between the seed culture and the cells in the starter is much shorter, meaning that one is pitching younger cells. Furthermore, by pitching at high krausen instead of waiting for the starter to ferment out, we are pitching cells that have ergosterol and UFA reserves that merely need to be topped off before they can go to work.

hambrook
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Re: Yeast starter questions: Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale

Post by hambrook » Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:28 pm

09:30 this morning I smacked the Wyeast pack and put in fermentation fridge at 21 degrees, by this afternoon it had swelled nicely.
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So 15 hours ahead of brew day start I have made a 2 litre batch; cooled to 21 degrees and pitched the MFG 27 Jan 2015 into the 5L plastic container. EVERYTHING was StarSan'd including bottles, funnel, scissors, smack pack etc. I shook like a man possessed for a minute to a minute and a half and then put into fermentation fridge at 21 degrees.
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I vented the cap for a second 30 mins later but already was looking flat so gave a quick swirl. Anything else I need to do? Any more swirling or shaking ahead of pitching it tomorrow?
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YeastWhisperer

Re: Yeast starter questions: Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale

Post by YeastWhisperer » Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:14 pm

All you need to do is wait for the starter to reach high krausen.

With 2L of starter wort, you may want to attempt to force the yeast out of suspension at high krausen, which is hit or miss depending on the pitched yeast strain's level of cold tolerance. Many ale strains will settle if taken from 20 to 21C down to 2 or 3C fairly rapidly. The supernatant (clear liquid above the solids) has to be decanted immediately after the starter is removed from one's refrigerator because the yeast will go back into suspension as the temperature rises. Alternatively, one can boil one's wort down a liter or two to account the dilution of the starter. I prefer the latter to the former. I find that it is easier to account for dilution than it is to force yeast out of suspension at high krausen. In the future, you really only need a 1L starter for 23L of 1.048 wort. I have pitched as little as 300ml into 19L of wort, and that was yeast that was grown from slant. That volume has a maximum cell density of 60 billion cells, which is a pitch rate of 3 billion cells per liter. You should try Young's culture (Wyeast 1768) at 3 billion cells per liter in a 1.050 or less gravity beer.

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Re: Yeast starter questions: Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale

Post by MTW » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:01 pm

You have loosened that cap or vented it permanently in some way now, I guess?

Nice pics by the way!
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hambrook
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Re: Yeast starter questions: Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale

Post by hambrook » Tue Apr 28, 2015 10:16 pm

Eeek no I had not loosened the cap so just darted down to the garage and unscrewed and hiss the bottle shrank a bit! I have left the cap on but very loose allowing co2 out. I've also increased the temp to 22 degrees so it is right in the middle of the ideal yeast range. Fingers crossed!
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hambrook
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Re: Yeast starter questions: Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale

Post by hambrook » Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:38 am

Well high krausen never happened 6am today and the same few fluffy white clouds on the top but on mad foaming action. Gave it a swirl, which did produce some foaming and left it in the 22 degree brew fridge as I start the mash. Not sure why it did not erupt as planned, especially as the swollen Wyeast Smack Pack showed lots of promise.
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MTW
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Re: Yeast starter questions: Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale

Post by MTW » Wed Apr 29, 2015 9:04 am

It may not quite have happened yet. I allow 12-18 hours, making them mid/late evening for a mid afternoon pitch the next day. It's also just about possible that you've missed it overnight (though less likely in my experience), though you may expect to see some deposit on the sides where it's been. I would swish mine around a little again regardless, but not out of concern.
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hambrook
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Re: Yeast starter questions: Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale

Post by hambrook » Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:15 pm

Well any kind of foamy head failed to realise unless I gave it a swirl. So I put the plastic paddle on the cordless drill and aerated the wort in the FV until a 6 inch foam was on top after 10 mins then pitched in he yeast 18 hours after I made the starter into 21 litres in the FV at 23.5 degrees. I basically reduced the sparge by 2 litres to be made up by the 2 litre starter. Will report on it's progress as it sits happily in the brew fridge.

FYI It was disclosed to by the former Head of QC at the former Gales Ales, Horndean had the fermentation at 23.5 degrees for the first 24 hours that then down to 20 degrees with FG finishing at 1013.... thats the goal with a fruity yeast like Wyeast 1332, which apparently originates from a Gales Ales yeast strain in the UK via Hales Ales in the USA
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Re: Yeast starter questions: Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale

Post by YeastWhisperer » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:36 pm

Wow! That's warm. Do you know if 23.5C is the fermentation vessel internal temperature or the ambient room temperature?

I have been telling American home brewers that having to start a fermentation in the 15C to 16C range in order to produce an off-flavor-free product is a sign of poor sanitation and/or yeast management for quite some time. Most American home brewers stare at me like I am from outer space when I make that claim. Starting a fermentation at 15C to 16C retards the growth of wild microflora; thereby, giving the domesticated yeast culture an even greater competitive advantage. The yeast culture owns the wort by the time the temperature rises high enough to support rapid wild microflora growth.

Why did lager beer come to dominate the world market when influential brewing scientists like Dr. Max Wallerstein considered well-made ale to be a more flavorful product? Well, mechanical refrigeration coupled with lager yeast (a.k.a. Saccharomyces pastorianus, S. pastorianus) made brewing a consistently high quality product on a scale never seen before possible. S. pastorianus works at temperatures where wild microflora growth is severely retarded. One only needs to open one's refrigerator to see this wild microflora growth limiting phenomenon in action. Food that will spoil in a couple of hours at room temperature will last a week or more at 4C. That's because the temperature retards the growth of food spoiling microflora.

Piscator

Re: Yeast starter questions: Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale

Post by Piscator » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:18 pm

I've seen it said by Fullers that some of the Gales character came from Brett in ther unlined wooden fermenters.

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Re: Yeast starter questions: Wyeast 1332 Northwest Ale

Post by f00b4r » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:38 pm

So I have been following a couple of these Bond method threads and the question that had always occurred to me is how to time high krausen to occur at the right time for pitching, does this only come by experience for each yeast? I guess my concern is around either having chilled wort sitting around for hours or at the other end the worry of the worry not being ready in time (not sure how long high krausen lasts for).

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