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What is your process for building starters from washed yeast?
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    How far ahead of brew day do you get your starter going? Do you start with a small starter and build it up over a couple of days?

    I am brewing my summer saison on Friday evening. The OG is 1.065 and I haven;t had a chance to get my starter going yet and I will do that task tonight. I believe 24 hours is long enough and I believe 1L starter should be sufficient.

    What are your thoughts?
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,890 Accepted Answer
    first, how much yeast do you have? since it's washed yeast, if you already have a good pitchable amount, all you're really doing with the starter is waking them up and getting them prepped for the wort.
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    I have maybe a vial of yeast. Hard to tell it fills the bottom of a quart mason jar
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,639
    It depends on the amount and age for me. If it is more than a month old or a small amount I plan on two steps to get to 1L. And a couple days. Especially that first step of it is very old.
    The last one I used was four months washed. It took 3 days to wake up. Then the second step was easy.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    This yeast is probably 6 months old. Was planning on brewing tonight after 24 hours. You think its too soon?
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,639
    Yeesh. In my very limited experience with starters, that is probably going to take a couple days to get going. At that age I would suspect you'll need a second step to get the volume of yeast you need.
    The good news is the second step takes off quickly and you could potentially pitch it at high krausen instead of chilling and decanting.
    How soon do you want to brew? I NEVER know exactly when I'm brewing so i usually build a starter in advance and let it chill for a couple days in the fridge before brewing.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    I built the starter last night. I was going to brew tonight. I may pitch anyway and see what happens. Even if the beer is slow to take off it should be ok.
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,639
    I'm sure it'll be fine.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,022
    It's beer, it will be ok
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,639
    @jlw post that pic in here that you put up last night. Now I'm concerned that my stir plate hid activity the last time I used washed yeast.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    Starter. I use the give a swirl when I walk by method:
    photo (18).JPG
    640 x 480 - 94K
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    Pic #2 from the side.
    photo (19).JPG
    640 x 480 - 108K
  • djsethalldjsethall
    Posts: 4,022
    There are some videos on the ole youtube. Basically, depending on how complicated you want to get, you will do a few batches of starter using the same yeast. You would start with a small amount from either a slant, agar plate or the yeast from a commercial beer such as SNPA usually has a bit of yeast sediment on the bottom. Once you start with a starter 125-250 ml, let it ferment and then you will allow it to settle (cold crash works well at this size) and then decant the fermented beer from the yeast sediment. Now you will add this yeast sediment to a slightly larger starter. If you double the amount of the starter each time, you should be good to go in 3-4 growth/decant cycles. It should take 2 weeks or so to go from a small sample to a full 1 liter starter with good concentration.