Author Topic: Yeast Starter Tool  (Read 4258 times)

Offline Lucas Zimmerman

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Yeast Starter Tool
« on: December 28, 2011, 07:31:10 PM »
Hello, New to Beersmith.  I have been messing with Beersmith, and created two recipes, so far this is pretty cool software.  I do have one question. I base most of my knowledge and practice from the book: How to Brew by John J. Palmer.  Here is my example: I have a recipe that has an OG of 52 points, Palmer's states that a wort of 1.055 or less would require 110 billion max, BS2 Yeast starter tool suggest 199.2 billion. I am obviously confused.  Why is there such a difference between the two? Do i need to make any changes to the settings of the yeast tool? ???
         

Offline Bootlegbrewer

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Re: Yeast Starter Tool
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2011, 06:47:02 AM »
I don't know that their is a definitive answer to your question, but IMO all of the information out there varies to some degree. I have read the "Yeast" book by Jamil & Chris White and I have read some other yeast related material from other sources, and none of these resources agree 100% to everything.  I can only tell you what my experience has been in the last 10 years that I have been culturing my own yeast.

It is really hard to try and do actual cell counts at home so everything we do as home-brewers in this regard is an approximation. I culture from slants and my process involves stepping the yeast up before pitching. I start with a 50ml test tube with 1.030 wort I grow this for 2 days and then pitch into a 500ml beaker on a stir plate, I grow this for 2 days. I then pitch into 1600ml of a 1.050 wort and grow for 2 days on a stir plate. This is a 6 day process for me and I use this method for a 5.5 gallon batch. I have never had attenuation problems or off-flavors as far as I can tell. I can use this same amount of yeast in a high-gravity beer as well with no issues. My process yields a fairly high amount of viable cells and in most cases I am probably over-pitching. But, over-pitching on a home brew scale wont cause any issues that I have experienced.

Hope this helps?

Offline Lucas Zimmerman

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Re: Yeast Starter Tool
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2011, 08:22:15 AM »
This does help as long as there isn't a possibility of overpitching on a homebrew scale. I have never had a problem with fermentation/lag time based of my calculations off the charts provided in Palmer's book( I have had fermentation begin 8-10 hours after pitching).  I would just worry about overpitching as well as on an economic stand point( having to use more DME for my starters).  Do you feel 199Bili compared to 114Bili is a huge difference, or not that much?  I would just think with same information out there the two processes would show closer results. :-\

Offline Duboman

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Re: Yeast Starter Tool
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2011, 09:23:21 AM »
I do not use starters at all since my brewing habits are a little too spontaneous! I have begun using 1/2 tsp of nutrient though at the 10 minute mark of my boils and my fermentation now is beginning somewhere around 6-8 hours and  I just use 1 smack pack/vial. This is very economical and might be worth a try since you are still at the 8-10 hour mark. You also don't need to worry about making a starter ahead of time  :)
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Offline Ghosttrain

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Re: Yeast Starter Tool
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2011, 01:54:38 PM »
You can still over pitch on the homebrew scale.    The impacts of overpitching are going to depend on a number of factors including the beer style and you practice.     Too much yeast growth along with too little yeast growth can produce some of the off  flavors and aromas in beer.   

One of my brew club friends always pitched directly onto an existing yeast cake and got very rapid fermentation.  We split a 10 gallon batch of his ESB and pitched half on his yeast cake and half onto what we calculated to be the appropriate pitch of yeast.  Fermented side by side in his converted freezer.    When we did a triple blind taste test at a club meeting the beer from the starter was identified as the better beer 78% of the time.    The beer from the yeast cake had more higher alcohol flavors and less esters than the beer from the starter.   

If you want to know if a 100 vs. 200 billion cell count pitch makes a difference do a similar test and see what a tasting panel says.   

For my lagers I will pitch 300-500 Billion cells from a slurry or a big starter.   

I hope that helps some.

Offline Lucas Zimmerman

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Re: Yeast Starter Tool
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2011, 05:51:57 AM »
thank you everyone for your help.  I think i am going to do the math myself on the starters.  i think adequate pitching is enough especially when the suggest rate is nearly double.

Offline Ghosttrain

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Re: Yeast Starter Tool
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2011, 02:54:27 PM »
Unless you are counting cells under a microscope you can only estimate the number of cells with a fairly wide uncertainty, but the fermentation by products are fairly forgiving for many beer styles.    I try to build my starters a little larger than the calculated pitching rate to be on the safe side.   However, that probably isn't necessary.

One thing to note though, there are even differences between pitching rate calculations in Beer Smith 2.0, Mr. Malty, and the Wyeast page.    I think there may be an error in the BS2 calculation as I noted in another post  so you may want to use one of the other calculations.     If you calculate you need 240 Billion Cells and you estimate your starter at 200 Billion you will be fine.       I just wouldn't pitch a single vial with only 50 billion viable cells.

 

 

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