Author Topic: Best way to create a large enough starter for 15 gallon batch?  (Read 1321 times)

Offline Josh_Saratin

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Best way to create a large enough starter for 15 gallon batch?
« on: February 12, 2018, 11:40:53 PM »
I have made a few larger batches now and would really love to create a starter for this. What would be the most efficient way in which will also not add much extra liquid to the wort (except for the yeast themselves) to create this? Thanks in advance to everyone who has an answer for me!
-Joshua
-Josh

Offline BOB357

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Re: Best way to create a large enough starter for 15 gallon batch?
« Reply #1 on: February 13, 2018, 03:18:08 AM »
Using a multi step starter would be the best way. You could even get away with a 2 liter flask in most cases and a single pack of yeast, Decant off most of the liquid between steps and just prior to pitching. Here's a link to a calculator that works well for multi step starters: https://www.brewersfriend.com/yeast-pitch-rate-and-starter-calculator/
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 03:20:20 AM by BOB357 »
Bob

Offline Oginme

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Re: Best way to create a large enough starter for 15 gallon batch?
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2018, 05:26:27 AM »
I prefer the yeast starter calculator at brew united found at http://www.brewunited.com/yeast_calculator.php which also allows for overbuilding.

As far as not pitching too much of the starter wort, I recommend cold crashing to settle out the yeast and then decanting as much of the starter wort (beer) just before pitching.  If you ever taste the beer from a yeast starter, you will always choose to decant as much as possible before pitching.  If you have made an efficient starter, it will be oxidized and pretty blah in flavor.
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Offline jomebrew

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Re: Best way to create a large enough starter for 15 gallon batch?
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2018, 08:38:05 AM »
As far as not pitching too much of the starter wort, I recommend cold crashing to settle out the yeast and then decanting as much of the starter wort (beer) just before pitching.  If you ever taste the beer from a yeast starter, you will always choose to decant as much as possible before pitching.  If you have made an efficient starter, it will be oxidized and pretty blah in flavor.

+1 I always do the same when I make a starter.  Also, I encourage brewers to taste what they put in the beer (with the exception of toxic or nasty stuff like whirlfloc).  I wouldn't risk adding 2 liter of blah flavored starter in my precious beer. People will often say, lackadaisical, "it will be fine".  I've worked dozens of competitions and tasted their beer.  It isn't fine.

Offline durrettd

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Re: Best way to create a large enough starter for 15 gallon batch?
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2018, 12:07:03 PM »
You could brew a small, experimental batch of beer (two or three gallons) and pitching on the yeast cake.

Offline Josh_Saratin

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Re: Best way to create a large enough starter for 15 gallon batch?
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2018, 01:00:59 PM »
You all are so awesome,
This is definitely one of the best sites I have ever stumbled across for brewing... All my questions are always answered. I just want to say to you all whom I see reply to my posts more frequently thank you so much for the help you have given me so far!! Also, those who I don't recognize on here, thank you as well.
-Joshua
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Offline Ck27

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Re: Best way to create a large enough starter for 15 gallon batch?
« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2018, 01:33:56 PM »
As far as not pitching too much of the starter wort, I recommend cold crashing to settle out the yeast and then decanting as much of the starter wort (beer) just before pitching.  If you ever taste the beer from a yeast starter, you will always choose to decant as much as possible before pitching.  If you have made an efficient starter, it will be oxidized and pretty blah in flavor.

+1 I always do the same when I make a starter.  Also, I encourage brewers to taste what they put in the beer (with the exception of toxic or nasty stuff like whirlfloc).  I wouldn't risk adding 2 liter of blah flavored starter in my precious beer. People will often say, lackadaisical, "it will be fine".  I've worked dozens of competitions and tasted their beer.  It isn't fine.

Whirlfloc aren't toxic. Lol.

Offline merfizle

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Re: Best way to create a large enough starter for 15 gallon batch?
« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2018, 04:01:52 PM »
I've done both; decant and pitch all the wort at height of starter fermentation especially in a big beer. Trust me, it's fine. Treat starter wort like normal wort. Limit light, aeration, etc.

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Offline Oginme

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Re: Best way to create a large enough starter for 15 gallon batch?
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2018, 04:32:25 PM »
I've done both; decant and pitch all the wort at height of starter fermentation especially in a big beer. Trust me, it's fine. Treat starter wort like normal wort. Limit light, aeration, etc.

Mark

Limiting light is good advice if you are going to pitch the wort, even though there are no hops to cause skunking.  As for limiting aeration, you are also limiting cell growth and cell creation of sterols (for which they need the oxygen) which gives the cells healthy cell walls.  I've seen consistently thicker cell walls, greater growth rate, and more budding yeast cells since leaving a loose cap on my flasks to allow for greater oxygen absorption during stirring.

Mark is correct though that if you time it to pitch the starter at the height of the krausen development (maximum yeast activity), you should be able to get away with it.  I've been doing something similar in taking the sample I draw for gravity and pH reading at the end of the boil and adding the yeast to that.  As soon as it starts showing healthy activity, I pitch it into the carboy.  This also gives the wort in the carboy time to reach my preferred fermenting temperature.  It is a take on the 'vitality starter' concept.
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Offline jomebrew

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Re: Best way to create a large enough starter for 15 gallon batch?
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2018, 09:25:55 PM »
Whirlfloc aren't toxic. Lol.

But it is nasty.

Offline Ck27

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Re: Best way to create a large enough starter for 15 gallon batch?
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2018, 01:53:19 AM »

Offline jomebrew

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Re: Best way to create a large enough starter for 15 gallon batch?
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2018, 08:13:12 AM »
Whirlfloc aren't toxic. Lol.

But it is nasty.

?? I don't see how?

Eat some.  Maybe you'll like it but I thought it tasted gross.

Regardless, my point is there are somethings that taste bad in concentration but not in dilution in the beer like whirlfloc or chewing on a hop pellet or drinking a starter.  Most ingredients should, in my opinion, be tasted.  You  should like what is going into your beer.  However, back to the starter, decanting (pouring) off the excess wort down to the yeast cake is what I do as I do not want to dilute or risk affecting the beer with the wort from the starter.  All I want is several hundred billion yeast (which I don't think taste very good either though I haven't had smoked yeast which I may like).


Offline Ck27

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Re: Best way to create a large enough starter for 15 gallon batch?
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2018, 11:59:04 AM »
Whirlfloc aren't toxic. Lol.

But it is nasty.

?? I don't see how?

Eat some.  Maybe you'll like it but I thought it tasted gross.

Regardless, my point is there are somethings that taste bad in concentration but not in dilution in the beer like whirlfloc or chewing on a hop pellet or drinking a starter.  Most ingredients should, in my opinion, be tasted.  You  should like what is going into your beer.  However, back to the starter, decanting (pouring) off the excess wort down to the yeast cake is what I do as I do not want to dilute or risk affecting the beer with the wort from the starter.  All I want is several hundred billion yeast (which I don't think taste very good either though I haven't had smoked yeast which I may like).

Yeah I don't think yeast like that would taste good lol. But it would be full of vitamins.

I've been reading this thread since when I do my brews I don't use starters never needed to