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How to Make a Large Yeast Starter for a Lager
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    Planning on brewing my Dopplebock on 1/12/13. This beer has an estimated OG of 1.095 and Mr. Malty says I need a 4.5 liter starter. The largest I can build is a 3 liter. How would you build a starter this size?

    I was thinking about building it in a glass carboy. I could also buy a 5000 ml erlenmyer flask. Any other suggestions?
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,123
    jlw said:

    Planning on brewing my Dopplebock on 1/12/13. This beer has an estimated OG of 1.095 and Mr. Malty says I need a 4.5 liter starter. The largest I can build is a 3 liter. How would you build a starter this size?

    I was thinking about building it in a glass carboy. I could also buy a 5000 ml erlenmyer flask. Any other suggestions?



    why not just do a 3 liter starter, let it floc, then decant and do another 3 l wort on toop of it.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    Lakewood said:

    jlw said:

    Planning on brewing my Dopplebock on 1/12/13. This beer has an estimated OG of 1.095 and Mr. Malty says I need a 4.5 liter starter. The largest I can build is a 3 liter. How would you build a starter this size?

    I was thinking about building it in a glass carboy. I could also buy a 5000 ml erlenmyer flask. Any other suggestions?



    why not just do a 3 liter starter, let it floc, then decant and do another 3 l wort on toop of it.


    Using my normal set up? Mr. Malty says I need three vials. Would I be able to step up from 1 vial? Or should I get or just get the three? Also, When I should I start building the starter?
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,123
    jlw said:

    Lakewood said:

    jlw said:

    Planning on brewing my Dopplebock on 1/12/13. This beer has an estimated OG of 1.095 and Mr. Malty says I need a 4.5 liter starter. The largest I can build is a 3 liter. How would you build a starter this size?

    I was thinking about building it in a glass carboy. I could also buy a 5000 ml erlenmyer flask. Any other suggestions?



    why not just do a 3 liter starter, let it floc, then decant and do another 3 l wort on toop of it.


    Using my normal set up? Mr. Malty says I need three vials. Would I be able to step up from 1 vial? Or should I get or just get the three? Also, When I should I start building the starter?


    From what I recall, the final cell count is dependent on the initial colony size, the propagation rate and the length of the cell division growth phase.

    The prop rate is pretty much constant (fry could chime in here, I'm no biologist but I think temperature will affect the cell propagation rate)
    The length of time in the division (mitosis?) phase lasts has a lot to do with how much food exists for them in the environment. (the amount of starter wort)
    And of course initial cell count is determined by how much you pitch to start.

    So you really only have two factors to play with. Initial Pitch amount and Starter Wort Volume.

    So if you pitch less, you will need a longer division phase, and thus more wort. Since you are limited to 3l wort batches, you would need to go for additional cycles of starter, decant, add more starter. I wouldn't want to do go more than 3 passes.

    As for time, I would expect each starter-decant cycle to last about 5 days. You want the yeast to floc out so you arent removing good viable yeast when you decant.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • jlwjlw
    Posts: 16,417
    Ok. Hmm. I don't know if I will have enough time to build it up. I may just go buy the erlenmyer flask.
  • FuzzyFuzzy
    Posts: 46,771
    1 gallon wine jug?
    "Oh, you were serious? I was drunk."-C_B
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    you can increase the prop rate by increasing temp. nothing crazy like 90 degrees but up around 75 or 80 and you'll get a doubling rate of an hour if you have a good balanced medium.

    and yeah, its mitosis. the really cool thing about yeast is that it divides by budding. little bumps form on the beasties and new beasties pop off that instead of the normal binary fission method where it splits in half.
  • ThymThym
    Posts: 103,123

    you can increase the prop rate by increasing temp. nothing crazy like 90 degrees but up around 75 or 80 and you'll get a doubling rate of an hour if you have a good balanced medium.

    and yeah, its mitosis. the really cool thing about yeast is that it divides by budding. little bumps form on the beasties and new beasties pop off that instead of the normal binary fission method where it splits in half.



    sweet. who says high school AP bio is useless.
    The only thing between me and a train wreck is blind luck..... - Kenny
  • frydogbrewsfrydogbrews
    Posts: 44,679
    Lakewood said:

    you can increase the prop rate by increasing temp. nothing crazy like 90 degrees but up around 75 or 80 and you'll get a doubling rate of an hour if you have a good balanced medium.

    and yeah, its mitosis. the really cool thing about yeast is that it divides by budding. little bumps form on the beasties and new beasties pop off that instead of the normal binary fission method where it splits in half.



    sweet. who says high school AP bio is useless.


    way more useful than math!
  • C_BC_B
    Posts: 77,314
    Well. I have no further input. Great info here.
    "On it. I hate software." ~Cpt Snarklepants
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 74,905

    Lakewood said:

    you can increase the prop rate by increasing temp. nothing crazy like 90 degrees but up around 75 or 80 and you'll get a doubling rate of an hour if you have a good balanced medium.

    and yeah, its mitosis. the really cool thing about yeast is that it divides by budding. little bumps form on the beasties and new beasties pop off that instead of the normal binary fission method where it splits in half.



    sweet. who says high school AP bio is useless.


    way more useful than math!


    So when you say doubling the rate you mean???
    "Again?"
    CurlyFat's 60,000th post
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    I might suggest starting with your smaller flask for 36 hours or so, then decant off and add to your bigger flask, that you are buying. Go another 36 hrs after adding more DME and decant off and pitch. That should get you to your recommended Mr. Malty rate.
  • JerryJerry
    Posts: 74,905
    I feel as though that starter program way over shoots what you really need (more is better i guess...). Lagers are a little different, the yeast moves slower, but at that temp so would an infection. As most of you don't sterilize you're wort (just a good sanitation), you need to add enough yeast cells so it can out compete whatever may be living in there. To rap this rambling up; you don't need as much as they say, and you need just a drop of yeast culture if you happen to have a really big autoclave, so just make what you can with ease and be clean.
    "Again?"
    CurlyFat's 60,000th post
  • BenvarineBenvarine
    Posts: 1,606
    To sterilize your wort, wouldn't you kill all your yeast? I boil my starters, so I guess I sanitize. I don't think you can go wrong with listening to Mr. Malty, no one has ever been recognized more for their home brewing than him. Just my opinion.