1 Posted: Wednesday, September 07, 2016 7:07 PM

In another thread longtime forum member porschemad911 posted a link to a description of a new low tech, low cost way of making starters. I thought it deserved its own thread on this forum too:

http://www.jimsbeerkit.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=70926

https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/forum/index.php?topic=24447.30?

In a nutshell, he makes a 1L starter in a 4L vessel, adds liquid yeast, and shakes the heck out of it for one minute, turning the starter into foam. Then he leaves it alone until it reaches high krausen (the time varies between yeasts, but about 12-18 hours), when he pitches the starter into the wort.

I haven't found out yet how to adapt the method to dry yeast, but the second thread is quite long and it may well be covered somewhere in there. If it turns out that the method is not suitable for dry yeast, at least it makes the jump to liquid yeast much less costly and less complicated.

Thanks for the link John!

Cheers,

Christina.

2 Posted: Wednesday, September 07, 2016 8 PM

I feel an experiment simulating the Wyeast “Smack Pack” coming on…

3 Posted: Wednesday, September 07, 2016 8:03 PM

Well my stir plate certainly won't be seeing an early retirement, that much is for sure.

I'd be interested to see the difference in cell growth between the two methods.

For dry yeast, couldn't you simply re-hydrate it and then maybe shake the crap out of the starter first and then pitch it?

The only issue I see with this method is during the colder months you would need something to keep the starter warm enough to actually reach high krausen. In my case, the heated stir plate I use covers this and does it very well.

4 Posted: Wednesday, September 07, 2016 8:35 PM

Otto Von Blotto:

For dry yeast, couldn't you simply re-hydrate it and then maybe shake the crap out of the starter first and then pitch it?


Yes, that might work. You'd probably have to shake it again to get the rehydration fluid foamed up too though, wouldn't you?

The study I linked to the other day about the viability of dry yeast post rehydration seemed to indicate that the rehydration process actually takes an hour to complete. If so, it might be a good idea to wait 60 minutes before exposing dried yeast to shear forces, in other words extending the rehydraton time from 30 minutes to 60 minutes….Might be time to try rehydrating in a weak wort (1.008-1.024), as Danstar suggests.

I'll try to read more of AHA thread this evening to see if the subject of dry yeast comes up.

Otto Von Blotto:

The only issue I see with this method is during the colder months you would need something to keep the starter warm enough to actually reach high krausen. In my case, the heated stir plate I use covers this and does it very well.


Good point. I would have to wrap the 4L jug is a towel or something to keep it warm.

Cheers,

Christina.

5 Posted: Wednesday, September 07, 2016 8:36 PM

I feel there is a link between rehydration & reactivation of yeast & it's usefulness within the process of propagating yeast volumes. I haven't spent any time investigating this area mainly because I'm out to make 20+ litres of great beer each time I brew, rather than jeopardizing the success of that through a carefree experiment.

The Wyeast “Smack Pack” is a re-activation vessel & serves to also test viability as part of the process, & to be honest I've not heard of any growth patterns that happen from the release of the so called nutrient within the pack once it is burst & released into the liquid yeast held within.

I've witnessed the reduced lag time before active signs of fermentation from re-activated yeast from a Wyeast Smack Pack & the very same reduced lag time from using re-activated bottle sourced Coopers commercial ale yeast. To me, the processes are effectively one & the same, though I admit the two timeframes of C02 production & rate of similar pressure do differ.

To increase yeast volume prior to pitching into the main brew wort, both can be pitched into a ‘starter’ wort with the same forward results.

Just my 2 cents,

Lusty.

6 Posted: Wednesday, September 07, 2016 8:37 PM

Well, now I am really confused!

I have been reading the Harvesting from Starter thread.
I was all psyched up to do about a 3.2L starter for a batch of around 1.052
My idea was to rehydrate a packet of Nottingham Ale yeast as per instructions.
Then pitch into starter wort ~3.1L
Just shaking every few hours or so.
Wait until high krausen (24-30hours later?)
Save around 1 litre (100Billion cells?) for the next batch, and pitch around 2L (~216Billion cells?)..
I will be using a 4L water container from Coles etc
I was using the yeast calculator site.

Any comments or thoughts on above method would be appreciated..
I think I will still go ahead with the 3.2L starter but it would be convenient if I could get away with a smaller one without shaking every few hours

It would be interesting to see if anyone tries this out though

Cheers

James

7 Posted: Wednesday, September 07, 2016 8:48 PM

You could get away with a smaller one but you'd need a stir plate to do it. Your method is exactly what I do although I don't harvest at high krausen, the only other difference being that you don't have a stir plate. It's worked extremely well for me since I began doing it and I see no reason to change my methods. They consistently produce great beer.

I read that too about the 60 minutes, but, if they use up the trehalose before that and once again become more vulnerable to osmotic pressure from wort, then it seems counterproductive to let it sit for an hour before pitching. It's the same logic behind cold pitching vs. letting it warm up for hours on end first, and a few of us have noted reduced lag times from doing this.

8 Posted: Wednesday, September 07, 2016 11:38 PM

Im confused as to what this ‘new’ method is about. Isnt he making a starter with liquid yeast, only difference is hes shaking once vigorously and not stepping up. Me'h. He says himself hes seriously underpitching. Stick with rehydrating dry yeast, proper liquid yeast stepped starters or Ottos brulosophy method. Ive only saw positive things said with culturing and harvesting your own yeast stores. Only thing is without a microscope, regardless of numbers, you cannot check yeast health.

ChristinaS1:

The study I linked to the other day about the viability of dry yeast post rehydration seemed to indicate that the rehydration process actually takes an hour to complete. If so, it might be a good idea to wait 60 minutes before exposing dried yeast to shear forces, in other words extending the rehydraton time from 30 minutes to 60 minutes….Might be time to try rehydrating in a weak wort (1.008-1.024), as Danstar suggests.


Gday Chris.
If its the ‘jenkins’ experiment you are referring to, and without going over to check it again, the graph shows that the yeast viability stays the same at about 75-80% at the 30, 45 and 60 minute mark. And at the lowest level at thefirst 15 minute mark, obviously as the yeast are still re-hydrating. Feel free to correct me if im wrong.
Cheers.

9 Posted: Thursday, September 08, 2016 1:17 AM

Hi Rob. Yes, it is the Jenkins study that I am referring to. For those interested, here is the link:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/j.2050-0416.2011.tb00482.x/epdf

I guess what is different about the Shaken not Stirred method is the 4:1 ratio between vessel size and starter, so that there is enough headroom to shake the starter into a foam. The other bit about pitching at high krausen is done by many starters-makers already. It is one reason the SNS method works so well; the yeast are in peak health and do not have to come back from a dormant state. This reduces lag time….It has been said before that yeast health is more important than yeast numbers.

Cheers!

Christina.

10 Posted: Thursday, September 08, 2016 4:47 AM

Works better with a ribbed sided jug to create more foam, since discovering this easier for me method have not used my stir plate again. Really like how you pitch earlier instead of waiting for the starter to fully complete.

Have only used this Shaken Not Stirred method to re-pitch later some of my own saved trub yeast again, and also no longer wash/rinse yeast to save just pour the entire trub contents as is into bottles/jars for cold storage. Another great tip from some guru that works better for me at least.

Thanks to all the helpful people who made me a better brewer.

11 Posted: Thursday, September 08, 2016 6:42 AM

You can still pitch at high krausen using a stir plate. I fail to see how this method has any advantage over using a stir plate and pitching at high krausen. To me, it's simply an alternative for those who don't have stir plates, or for whatever reason don't want to use them anymore. There is nothing to say that it is in fact, better.

In any case I won't be switching. For one thing it would render my flasks useless since they can't be sealed in order to shake the shit out of them. Well they could, but that would be more expense to buy stoppers. You can't boil plastic containers so it's an extra thing to clean and sanitise.

Using the crash and decant method and pitching cold yeast sees my lag times for ales at around 12-18 hours tops, usually towards the low end of that range. They ferment out fine within expected timeframes, and the beer tastes excellent. One would have to think that the yeast health is perfectly fine for this to happen.

That said, I'm not saying don't use this other method, given you have no stir plate it is worth trying. But I would suggest getting a stir plate anyway at some point and trying that method too, then deciding which is best for your situation. If you decide against using the stir plate I'm sure you could either sell it on to another home brewer or find other uses for it in the house. As I said, mine gets used for more things than just yeast starters.

Cheers

Kelsey

12 Posted: Thursday, September 08, 2016 8:12 AM

ChristinaS1:

It has been said before that yeast health is more important than yeast numbers.

Cheers!

Christina.

With all the conjecture lately on yeast pitching rates im surprised that you say this. Numbers and health should be of equal importance.



I thought the main consideration of vessel size was in relation to the size of the starter required to ferment the wort. Is it fair to say that this method advocates shaking yeast at a 1:4 ratio and pitching it without any consideration to pitch rates of the wort?
Shaking yeast is not new. I did it years ago when i recultured CCA yeast. Its here in the instructions by PB2:

Method

4. Pour the sugared water equally into each bottle, cover with cling-wrap and secure with a rubber band.
5. Shake the bottles then place them in a dark spot at a temperature in the mid 20\u2019s.
6. Give the bottles a shake in the morning and at night to keep the yeast in suspension.
7. After around 2 to 3 days the yeast should become active and begin forming a head.
8. Pitch the active yeast into a brew immediately or store in the fridge for about a week. Just remember to pull it out of the fridge to warm for couple of hours prior to pitching


Coupled with this information, may give an idea of yeast numbers in your starter.
PB2:

Secondary ferment should see the yeast population increase to 3 - 5 million cells per ml. So best case scenario would be 1.875 billion cells in a 375ml bottle but there will still be some yeast suspended in the beer decanted off.

Of course reactivating the yeast increases the population by about double or more, depending on how effective your process is.

Yes, I recall saying the Mr Malty calculator had some flaws but I haven't looked closely at the latest version - it may be okay One point of note, the calculator is odds on to be based on the optimum pitching rates in the “Yeast Book”. Somewhere in this book, can't remember what page, there is a comment to say that a brew will ferment perfectly well at half the optimum pitching rate recommended - not exactly in those words…


Ed- I wanted to add this from BYO. I compared the below with brewersfriend yeast starter calculator and the results are at odds with eachother. Can someone like Otto who is making yeast starters chime in on this. Cheers.

Yeast in a starter will grow to roughly 50 million cells per milliliter of wort or 1.5 billion per ounce of wort no matter what the starting number of cells.

13 Posted: Thursday, September 08, 2016 8:52 AM

Rob44:

ChristinaS1:

It has been said before that yeast health is more important than yeast numbers.

Cheers!

Christina.

With all the conjecture lately on yeast pitching rates im surprised that you say this. Numbers and health should be of equal importance.


Hi Rob. They are both important of course, but at the same time it is also true that a lot of cells in poor condition probably won't do as good a job as fewer cells in peak condition. That is kind of what PB2 was getting at I guess.

Rob44:

Is it fair to say that this method advocates shaking yeast at a 1:4 ratio and pitching it without any consideration to pitch rates of the wort?


Close, but that is probably an over-statement. In the first link I posted he gives some pitching rate targets: “3 to 5 billion cells per liter for normal gravity British-style ales and 5 to 8 billion cells per liter for normal gravity American-style ales.” That works out to 69-115B cells/23L for British styles and 115-184B cells/23L for American styles. He does not double them for lagers, but he does for >1.070 brews.

In terms of dry yeast, the only thing I have read so far is that he doesn't seem to have a good opinion of them. “While the quality of dry yeast is light years better than it was when I first started brewing, it still pales in comparison to a well-managed liquid culture or a culture grown from a slant. Aerobic propagation in a bioreactor coupled with fluid bed drying appears to alter the performance of the reference strains. For example, I have yet to drink a beer that was made with US-05 that is as off-flavor free as one that was fermented from a well-managed BRY 96 culture (that is the Chico strain).” That is interesting, considering my recent problem with phenolic flavours using US-05.

Cheers!

Christina.

14 Posted: Thursday, September 08, 2016 9:16 AM

Nice. Cheers Christina.
Ahh. I think what ive just learnt is the reason that Liquid yeast is the preferred yeast of serious home brewers is because of the manufacturing process of Liquid yeast means it works better.
It makes me wonder, so cell for cell, liquid vs dry, if liquid yeast cells are better due to liquid/dry processes or because the strains that are available as only one or the other, or a combination of both things.
Oops sorry i got way off topic:/

15 Posted: Thursday, September 08, 2016 12:39 PM

Those pitching rates might work for his tastes as I suspect with them being underpitching that they would create more esters, hence the difference in pitch rates he uses between British and American ales. Maybe that's what he enjoys, and if so then terrific, it works for him. It doesn't mean it will work for everybody. They would not work for my tastes as I don't like a lot of esters from yeast in my beers, I prefer to taste the malt and hops, even in English style ales.

I don't see the logic in not doubling the rate for lagers though, unless he's pitching warm. These are beers that usually have minimal esters and very clean flavours so you'd be trying to do everything you can to eliminate them - starting with pitching the proper amount of yeast to start with. Recommended pitching rates have been around for a long time and they exist for a good reason. And then you get random cats on the internet trying to debunk the science based on garage experiments with 4 or 5 people tasting the results. Not saying that's the case in this instance but it does happen.

Pitch rates also don't work in blocks e.g. pitch 150 billion cells in 20 litres for OG up to X, and then suddenly double it when the OG is Y. The recommended pitching rate gradually increases as the SG does. The same goes for the size of the batch. Two different batch sizes of the same OG will require different amounts of yeast.

Yeast calculators aren't rocket science or complicated and personally I'd rather give myself the best chance of producing great beer by making sure everything is done as well as it can be in a home situation, rather than cutting corners and being lazy about certain aspects just because it worked for some numpy in Bumf#@% Idaho…

16 Posted: Friday, September 09, 2016 10:18 AM

ChristinaS1:

I haven't found out yet how to adapt the method to dry yeast, but the second thread is quite long and it may well be covered somewhere in there. If it turns out that the method is not suitable for dry yeast, at least it makes the jump to liquid yeast much less costly and less complicated.


Just an update. I have read all 29 pages of the AHA thread and the subject of how to adapt the process to dry yeast never came up. I take it from his comments on the other forum that he doesn't recommend dry yeast.

There were many nuggets in those 29 pages, including “Depending on the cell size, you are going to max out at approximately 200 billion cells with a 1L starter.” The SNS method also targets a 50:50 split between mother cells, which have been subjected to sheer stress, and daughter cells, which have not. If you pitch a pack of dry yeast into a 1L starter it seems you would have too many mother cells, and not enough growth. The SNS method may not be appropriate for dry yeast….

For dry yeast it may be better to shake the starter before adding the rehydrated yeast, as Kelsey suggested earlier, and make it slightly larger, like 1.5L– which I was doing before actually. But I think I will increase the size of the jug I use for starters from 2L to 4L, to get as much foam as possible, and only shake once, at the beginning.

Cheers!

Christina.

17 Posted: Friday, September 09, 2016 10:43 AM

Otto Von Blotto:

I'd rather give myself the best chance of producing great beer by making sure everything is done as well as it can be in a home situation, rather than cutting corners and being lazy about certain aspects just because it worked for some numpy in Bumf#@% Idaho…


Fair enough Kelsey, but are you talking about Mark V.? Mark is not your average numpy from Idaho. He is extremely knowledgeable about yeast and has used the SNS method for twenty years. I don't think he does it because he wants to cut corners or is lazy.

People who tried the method commented on how good the starters smelled vs when they made them with stir plates. Something to do with sheer stress maybe? I have never smelled a starter made on a stir plate….On a stir plate daughter cells would have been subjected to sheer stress too.

Cheers!

Christina.

18 Posted: Friday, September 09, 2016 12:15 PM

No I'm not saying he is, but they do exist. The chucking all the kettle trub into the fermenter thing springs to mind and although I don't think Marshall is a numpy either, every piece of brewing literature I've seen has provided excellent reasons based on actual science to keep the crud out of the FV. You can't just debunk that in a single backyard experiment when the beer is not even left to age long enough for the potential effects of fermenting on hot break to occur in the first place.

I have to say my starters on the stir plate smell perfectly fine once the “beer” is decanted and it's all swirled up, just like yeast, no off smells or anything - the yeast actually smells worse in the smack packs than it does after being in a stirred starter in my experience. The “beer” smells crap because it's usually fermented at a higher temperature.

I'm not saying the SNS starter method is bad or worse either. It's merely an alternative and I'm sure it works fine. It just isn't practical for my brewery due mainly to the fact that I no-chill in cubes. It could work for 25L batches if I put them in 20L cubes at slightly more concentrated OG and IBU figures, but it wouldn't work for 21L batches because the cubes wouldn't be able to be filled properly to account for the whole starter volume being added later, and that's an infection risk. I can't steal wort from them to make the starter for the same reason. That being the case it's easier to just use the same method on every batch.

19 Posted: Friday, September 09, 2016 12:43 PM

Otto Von Blotto:

I have to say my starters on the stir plate smell perfectly fine once the “beer” is decanted and it's all swirled up, just like yeast, no off smells or anything - the yeast actually smells worse in the smack packs than it does after being in a stirred starter in my experience. The “beer” smells crap because it's usually fermented at a higher temperature.


Sounds like you have a system that works great, so why mess with it. I often wish I could taste one of your beers.

But back to the smell thing, I got the impression the people who commented on the difference in smell where fermenting the SNS starters at the same temp they used before with their stir plate starters, but I might be wrong. They used warm ambient temps in any case. How high does the stir plate motor drive the temp of a starter?

Cheers!

Christina.

20 Posted: Friday, September 09, 2016 12:52 PM

Well maybe one day if you make it to Aus you can

I can't speak for other stir plates but the one I have produces very little heat at all. The pad that the flask sits on can be heated, which I find extremely useful over the cooler months especially with ale yeasts. You have to manually set the temperature of it; the default running mode is with heating off. In the warmer months I just do them at ambient, I don't really care what the starter beer smells like, because it doesn't get pitched and the yeast itself smells fine and the beers are all good too.