1 Posted: Wednesday, August 31, 2016 10:45 PM

So ive been thinking that its time to move up to yeast starters and i need some advice on how best i do this.

my brew day is normally 3 coopers DIY recipes and 1 coopers craft recipe. have been known to use 4 different yeasts. how should i go about making starters for 4 batches? what equipment do i need?

2 Posted: Wednesday, August 31, 2016 11:03 PM

I am a bit confused about what you want. Do you want to use a single pack of dry or liquid yeast and build it up for use in all four batches? That would be a big operation and would require a stir plate and various size glass vessels.

Cheers!

Christina.

3 Posted: Wednesday, August 31, 2016 11:17 PM

i was thinking to make 4 different starters. i sometimes use 4 different yeasts.

4 Posted: Wednesday, August 31, 2016 11:28 PM

Are you going to use dry yeast to make your starters? Then you can start with something very simple, like four different 2L plastic jugs, and use manual shaking as your aeration method. That is what I use. Put 1.5L of wort in each. Make the wort using a 1:10 ratio of DME to water (150gm DME in 1.5L water). Boil it and cool it to pitching temp. Watch your sanitation.

Cheers! -Christina.

PS You have to rehydate your dry yeast first, so I guess that would require four different sanitized/sterililzed glass jars as well.

5 Posted: Thursday, September 01, 2016 1:30 AM

Are plastic jugs the same thing there as here? Cos shaking a jug would make shit go every where

6 Posted: Thursday, September 01, 2016 2:28 AM

juice bottles would work fine too , i make mine up in old moccona coffee jars with a bag or glad wrap covering the top loosely .
As Christina says just be careful with your sanitation and have fun !

7 Posted: Thursday, September 01, 2016 5:30 AM

CaffeinatedSentryGnome:

Are plastic jugs the same thing there as here? Cos shaking a jug would make shit go every where


Ha-ha. Probably does not mean the same thing….They are square and tall and have a built in handle. I leave the lid on loose, tighten it when I shake, then loosen it again. Sometimes it does overflow. I pitch my starter into the wort at the 24 hour point, at high krausen. Lag times are much reduced.

Cheers.

Christina.

8 Posted: Thursday, September 01, 2016 10:40 AM

Depends how much you're willling to spend. On an unlimited budget you could go with four 3 litre Erlenmeyer flasks, or maybe a couple of 5 litre ones as well for lager yeasts if you use them. Four heated stir plates from Digital Homebrew, because heated stir plates kick arse and are very useful for ale yeast starters in the cooler months. This would be the best option but it would cost hundreds.

9 Posted: Thursday, September 01, 2016 3:01 PM

Dont tempt me. I like overkill way too much

10 Posted: Thursday, September 01, 2016 5:32 PM

I have been looking into this subject a bit lately, although I am yet to even re-hydrate yeast for any of my beers.
That is planned for my next brew.
But I was wondering about the yeast starter process and have a few questions.
Am I correct in thinking If you pitch around 24 hours after making the starter, you pour the whole thing in ?
Also if you are storing the yeast in the fridge for a couple of weeks / months do you put the lid on air tight?
When reading about this I have heard of stored starters exploding in the fridge etc?

I don't have any Erlenmeyer flasks , mason jars, stir plates etc., just yet.
But from the previous comments on this thread, I was thinking if I cleaned and sanitised a 1.5litre soda water bottle and starsanned it ( same method I use for cleaning and sanitising PET bottles), would this be OK to make a starter?
I would just be shaking it up every few hours or so.
For storing over a period time a would a properly cleaned and sanitised old Moccona jar, be OK ?

Cheers

James

11 Posted: Thursday, September 01, 2016 8:35 PM

Hi James,
Yes around 24 hours you dump in the whole thing. This is known as pitching at high krausen; of course if high krausen occurs earlier or later then you would pitch it then. I started one last night and it was forming a krausen in 2 hours, after another 7-ish hours it was chugging along fully. If I was planning on pitching the whole thing I'd probably have given it another few hours and pitched it around the 14 hour mark.

If you plan on pitching the whole thing, then you should account for this in your recipe formulation, that is, do up your recipe as normal but hold back some of the malt when you mix it up in the fermenter as this portion will come from the starter being pitched. Also mix it up to a volume that is less the same as whatever the starter is e.g. for a 23L batch if you have a 2L starter going in then mix it to 21L as the starter will bring it up to 23L. I never pitch the whole thing into my batches, because it would be too much of a PITA to account for it in recipe formulation and also batch size is an issue. Making the batches smaller to account for the starter volume wouldn't work with cubes as there would be too much headspace.

My method is the crash and decant method, that is, let the thing fully or near enough to fully ferment out, then crash chill it in the fridge for a couple of days to drop the yeast out into a nice compact cake, then at pitching time it comes out of the fridge, the “beer” is decanted off the yeast save for a small amount to swirl up the cake with, and then this “slurry” is pitched into the batch of wort in the FV. The yeast is not let sit to warm up first, it is pitched cold. There is a thread on this that I started as well. The stir plate is not run for the entire time, only the first 24 hours for ales and a little longer for lagers.

With regards to storing the yeast, I make my starters bigger than needed and steal a portion of them into a mason jar for storage for later use. I stir up them again as they do settle out once the stir plate is turned off, then once it's all mixed evenly I simply tip some into the jar and put the lid on. This happens before the starter is crash chilled. The jar goes into the fridge with the lid slightly ajar, but I do tighten them more once it chills down properly. Have not had any issues doing this, and there is no pressure buildup when I open them again. On occasions I have forgotten to tighten them but this hasn't led to any problems (read: infections) either. I would think a Moccona jar would also be fine to store them in, they aren't really any different to mason jars except for the lids.

You certainly could use a soda bottle or any suitable sized container like that for making starters as long as it is cleaned and sanitised. The main advantage of the flasks is that other than being able to be put on stir plates, they can also be boiled on the stove - so you can simply boil the starter wort in the flask and save yourself the job of sanitising it.

What I do is rinse the flask out with hot water, rinse off the stir bar and put that in the flask, mix up the LDM with some water in a measuring jug and dump that into the flask, then top up with additional water to the required volume. This then gets boiled on the stove, once it has boiled for a few minutes I turn off the stove and let it settle, then put an al-foil cover over the neck of the flask, bring it back to the boil for a minute or so and then turn it off and let it cool to room temp, basically a mini no-chill. Once at room temp the yeast is pitched from the harvested jar, once again pitched cold after decanting most of the “beer”, and then the whole fermenting the starter, harvesting some of it, crash chilling it, & decanting and pitching it into the main batch etc. cycle goes around again.

I've re-used yeast numerous times with this process since about March or April last year. I still have an Urquell lager yeast going that I bought in March last year, as well as a US-05 bought nearly a year ago, and some newer 1469. I love hardly having to buy yeast anymore, it certainly brings down the cost of each batch especially with the liquid strains.

Cheers

Kelsey

12 Posted: Thursday, September 01, 2016 9:25 PM

Otto Von Blotto:

With regards to storing the yeast, I make my starters bigger than needed and steal a portion of them into a mason jar for storage for later use. I stir up them again as they do settle out once the stir plate is turned off, then once it's all mixed evenly I simply tip some into the jar and put the lid on. This happens before the starter is crash chilled. The jar goes into the fridge with the lid slightly ajar, but I do tighten them more once it chills down properly.


Do you measure this out so you know roughly how many cells you have saved? When re-using do you just pitch the entire jar straight into the next starter?

Also, are you just using DME for your starters?



Cheers.

13 Posted: Thursday, September 01, 2016 9:34 PM

Venerator:

Do you measure this out so you know roughly how many cells you have saved? When re-using do you just pitch the entire jar straight into the next starter?

Also, are you just using DME for your starters?.

Yes I use the Yeastcalc calculator to work out how big to make the starters in regards to cell count. I outlined my process for this in the Yeast Harvesting from Starter thread, it's on the third page. I pitch the entire jar of yeast yes, after decanting most of the “beer” off the top of it first.

Yep just DME and water at a rate of 100g per litre.

14 Posted: Friday, September 02, 2016 3:55 PM

Thanks to everyone for th excellent advice.

And so the journey continues!

Gotta love the Coopers forum!

Cheers

James

15 Posted: Friday, September 02, 2016 4:35 PM

Indeed. The adventure continues

16 Posted: Saturday, September 03, 2016 10:33 AM

Once harvested how long can the yeast be stored for?

17 Posted: Saturday, September 03, 2016 12:29 PM

I've successfully re-started yeast that's been stored for about 3 months. Normally only a month or two for mine but I imagine they can be stored longer than that. Liquid yeast usually has a best before of 6 months after the manufacture date.

18 Posted: Saturday, September 03, 2016 12:47 PM

Otto Von Blotto:

I've successfully re-started yeast that's been stored for about 3 months. Normally only a month or two for mine but I imagine they can be stored longer than that. Liquid yeast usually has a best before of 6 months after the manufacture date.

Gday Kelsey. How do you measure the amount of yeast you use from your culture. Is it the measure marks on the side of the flask?

19 Posted: Saturday, September 03, 2016 12:57 PM

Rob44:

Otto Von Blotto:

I've successfully re-started yeast that's been stored for about 3 months. Normally only a month or two for mine but I imagine they can be stored longer than that. Liquid yeast usually has a best before of 6 months after the manufacture date.

Gday Kelsey. How do you measure the amount of yeast you use from your culture. Is it the measure marks on the side of the flask?

I'm not sure I understand quite what you mean? When I make the starter I work out how big it needs to be then pitch all the yeast from the original pack or the harvested jar into it. After harvesting a portion of it into the jar, I then pitch all the remaining yeast in the flask in to the main batch.

The marks on the flasks aren't all that accurate either on some flasks, but the graduations are well above the level of where the yeast settles out anyway.

20 Posted: Saturday, September 03, 2016 1:09 PM

Otto Von Blotto:

Rob44:

Otto Von Blotto:

I've successfully re-started yeast that's been stored for about 3 months. Normally only a month or two for mine but I imagine they can be stored longer than that. Liquid yeast usually has a best before of 6 months after the manufacture date.

Gday Kelsey. How do you measure the amount of yeast you use from your culture. Is it the measure marks on the side of the flask?

I'm not sure I understand quite what you mean? When I make the starter I work out how big it needs to be then pitch all the yeast from the original pack or the harvested jar into it. After harvesting a portion of it into the jar, I then pitch all the remaining yeast in the flask in to the main batch.

The marks on the flasks aren't all that accurate either on some flasks, but the graduations are well above the level of where the yeast settles out anyway.

I really need to read more before I ask about your method. It would be good if it were all in one place, or is it?
I know you started out with liquid yeast so you could gauge with some accuracy how many cells you started out with.
How do you make starters and pitch with accuracy, from your harvested jars?
So the amount of wort you use for the starter determines the amount of yeast cells you end up with regardless of how much yeast you used to begin with.