1 Posted: Saturday, January 07, 2017 5:24 PM

So today I kinda spontaneously decided that making a starter from wort might work. I added an extra 1.5L to the boil and drew that off into a pyrex jug at the start before cubing the rest. I then cooled that small amount down, diluted it a little (added about another 500mL of water) and put the yeast in that ahead of pitching it properly tomorrow.

Fingers crossed!

2 Posted: Saturday, January 07, 2017 7 PM

I've been doing an extra sparge on my bag before I wring its neck , boil the excess with grainy white bits down to about 1.04 for real wort starters

3 Posted: Saturday, January 07, 2017 8:32 PM

Starters are better without hops, or so I'm led to believe anyway, unless you're pitching the whole starter while active. Either way, it will still multiply and give you more cells for the pitch into the main batch. I hope you re-hydrated the yeast before pitching it into the starter too.

4 Posted: Sunday, January 08, 2017 5:54 PM

Made the starter with hops and was too lazy to reactivate, but the gravity of the starter would have been 1.040 so at least it had that going in its favour. It took off like a rocket anyway, and I've just pitched it, so the next task is to keep the temperature under control during the next few days of heat-wave.

Looks like 28.5L in total, which is a new personal world record for batch size for me.

5 Posted: Monday, January 09, 2017 12:38 PM

It's always recommended to re-hydrate dry yeast if you are pitching it into a starter. If you start with less cells from killing some of them dry pitching, you will grow less to pitch into the main batch. I figured the starter was made with hops though given it came from the same wort as the main batch

I have DME for making yeast starters so that they are unhopped. Consensus appears to be that unhopped wort is better for yeast health. In saying that, if you are using the pitching the whole thing while active method, it probably doesn't matter much.

6 Posted: Monday, January 09, 2017 3:08 PM

Yeah it sounds like I got the whole thing wrong, but I'm not at all concerned.

If I do it again I'll probably draw the starter off post mash and put it in the freezer to cool down, and definitely re-hydrate as well.

7 Posted: Monday, January 09, 2017 3:33 PM

Yeah it's probably a better way of doing it if you're gonna use the wort from a brew day. It's easier for me to just mix up some DME and water to make them, given most of the time they're over 2L in size. I use the crash and decant method of pitching though, rather than pitching the entire starter volume.

8 Posted: Monday, January 09, 2017 3:52 PM

Crash and decant?

9 Posted: Monday, January 09, 2017 4:40 PM

The crash and decant method involves putting the starter in the fridge for a day or two to drop more yeast out, then decanting most of the spent “beer” off the yeast cake, leaving just enough to swirl it up to mix and pitch into the main batch wort.

I've always used this method with my yeast starters, but more recently have begun not bothering to let them warm up before pitching - I pretty much take it out of the fridge, decant the ‘beer’ then swirl it up and pitch straight into the wort. I have noted much reduced lag times from doing this.

10 Posted: Monday, January 09, 2017 8:34 PM

Hey there

I also have always used this crash and decent method for both stepping up starters and pitching on wort…never new it had a name so that's cool to know!

I also have used the wort for starters without any issues but only the once time, if it works for you then that's great especially if the wort in the starter is going in the same batch of beer!

11 Posted: Monday, January 09, 2017 8:57 PM

Don't need to make it complicated , those hard earned sugars sitting stuck to the mashed grains deserve better than the bin !
put some over a 5-8 litre pot in a strainer and do a mini sparge with 75-78 C water , check the gravity and use a boil calc like this ( boil down to gravity , sterile starters in super mini cubes )
to see how much 1.04 starter wort you can get for free , i freeze mine and simply defrost when i need to make a starter.
i'm already bringing my main wort to boil while i do this so no extra time just another parallel task to watch over …i even manage it while i'm drunk so can't be that hard

12 Posted: Tuesday, January 10, 2017 12:10 AM

SWMBO wants to get a puppy at some point, so those grains will likely be turned into dog biscuits anyway. Or at least some of them will be, last time I made dog biscuits from a batch of spent grain I got like 200 biscuits out of it.

I must admit, that does sound like a lot more work than simply weighing out 200g of LDM and mixing it with 2L of water in a flask and boiling it on the stove. Besides, the time waiting for the wort to come up to boil and then the boil itself is a bit of down time for the brew day that I quite enjoy, just relaxing with a beer.

Last edited by Otto Von Blotto (Tuesday, January 10, 2017 12:10 AM)