Vitality Starter

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Vitality Starter

Post by vacant » Wed Jun 21, 2017 9:30 am

For my next brew I'm thinking of trying a vitality starter.

"So make a starter on a stir plate and pitch it after 4 hours without oxygenating the wort"

Anyone who has tried this got advice they want to pass on?
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Re: Vitality Starter

Post by McMullan » Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:14 pm

Sounds like a load of bollocks, to me. Imagine using a few months old liquid yeast :? I think the key is having a vigorous starter in the first place. After storing my starters in the fridge for a week or two, sometimes three or four, I decant the spent starter wort and replenish with sweet wort from the day's brew, then pop it on the stir plate for up to 60 minutes, until fully resuspended and showing signs of activity. Then pitch. Vigorous primary within hours. The best 'vitality' pitches involve top cropping directly into a fermenter full of sweet wort. Pitched one about 5 hours ago and it's rocking already 8)

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Re: Vitality Starter

Post by Kev888 » Sat Jun 24, 2017 9:56 am

For me a normal starter is one way of roughly ensuring a given number of cells. Vitality is very important, but so are sufficient numbers; if you don't grow them up before pitching would you be confident in how many there were?

Some of the arguments for the vitality starter are that cells from traditional starters become more dormant afterwards. But that ignores the practice of pitching starters at high krausen, which to me offers the best of both worlds - large, roughly known numbers of cells that are highly active. As above, if the starter has passed high krausen, waking with some fresh wort later on brew day can make up for this and reduce lag time noticeably.

There are some brewers who aerate the starter but not the FV's wort, though they usually pitch a lot of cells. However I recall someone (I think from whitelabs) suggesting that whilst such a fermentation may work, the cells aren't in such good shape afterwards, which may impact harvesting and re-use (amongst other things).

Unfortunately I can't say anything helpful about making/using a vitality starter, I've not tried it myself (as you may guess, I'm a bit unconvinced). But if you do try it I'd be interested to hear how it compares to a traditional type, whether good, bad or indifferent.

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