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a starter vs two yeast viles/packs

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jagoff yinzer

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Post Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:30 pm

a starter vs two yeast viles/packs

Okay I know the benefits of yeast starters. After a few batches I have found that it is actually cheaper to buy to two viles of yeast rather than making a starter. If I were to do this how would this affect the final product. The problem I see is fact that yeast in the starter is already in the anaerobic respiration phase. Because of this the brew is less likely to gain some of the less desirable qualities that can be gained during aerobic respiration. Since I would be pitching the roughly the same amount is aerobic respiration even worthy of a concern since it wouldn't last very long?
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gregscsu

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Post Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:46 pm

Re: a starter vs two yeast viles/packs

jagoff yinzer wrote:Okay I know the benefits of yeast starters. After a few batches I have found that it is actually cheaper to buy to two viles of yeast rather than making a starter.

A yeast 2L starter costs me about a dollar to make and is far cheaper and provides better results then pitching two packs of yeast.

Check out Mr. Malty for info on making a starter.
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BRANDON

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Post Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:49 pm

Re: a starter vs two yeast viles/packs

gregscsu wrote:
jagoff yinzer wrote:Okay I know the benefits of yeast starters. After a few batches I have found that it is actually cheaper to buy to two viles of yeast rather than making a starter.

A yeast 2L starter costs me about a dollar to make and is far cheaper and provides better results then pitching two packs of yeast.


+1

and its vial, not vile
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jagoff yinzer

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Post Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:25 pm

Re: a starter vs two yeast viles/packs

Sorry about the spelling. At my homebrew shop I can only buy five pound bags of extract and its extremely expensive and it ends going bad by the time i can use most of it. Ill start getting one pounders online. Is it okay to use two in a pinch?
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Legman

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Post Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:41 pm

Re: a starter vs two yeast viles/packs

jagoff yinzer wrote:At my homebrew shop I can only buy five pound bags of extract and its extremely expensive and it ends going bad by the time i can use most of it.
What do you mean by "going bad"? And how long does it take for this to happen?
If you keep DME sealed up good from moisture and air, it should last for a good long time. Particularly if you're just using it for starters.
I keep a 5# bag in just a ziplock at room temp and I've never had one go bad on me. It lasts for months. :?
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onthekeg

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Post Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:42 pm

Re: a starter vs two yeast viles/packs

If you pitch at high krausen, you aren't in anerobic respiration just yet. I don't worry about it and haven't had issues in the past.

If you want permission to buy 2 packs of yeast, feel free. I'm just not that way. :mrgreen:
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hwcopela

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Post Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:10 pm

Re: a starter vs two yeast viles/packs

I am currently drinking a beer I just brewed using 2 smack-packs vs the starter and it tastes excellent. I couldn't tell you a difference from the other beer I have on tap brewed using a starter.

IMO, it's worth the extra $5 to avoid the hassle of making a starter. With the 2 yeast pack method you can brew in a pinch too; you don't have to wait on the starter to finish, cold-crash, decant etc...
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HummelBrew

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Post Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:34 pm

Re: a starter vs two yeast viles/packs

hwcopela wrote:IMO, it's worth the extra $5 to avoid the hassle of making a starter. With the 2 yeast pack method you can brew in a pinch too; you don't have to wait on the starter to finish, cold-crash, decant etc...


WOW! If your LHBS only charges $5 to buy liquid yeast then that sounds like a hell of a buy. It would probably take a long time for DME to go bad if kept at pretty good temps.
Nobody on here cares if you spend more money than you need to. In the end, we aren't brewing your beer....you are. Everyone is just trying to steer you in a better road traveled instead of the quicker road.

My 2 cents. Take that $5 for the 2nd smack pack and get a different strain of yeast. You open yourself up to different styles. PLUS if you save your yeast slurry in a sanitized jar, etc you'll stretch that $ even further. But if money isn't an item of concern, then go balls out!
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hwcopela

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Post Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:49 pm

Re: a starter vs two yeast viles/packs

HummelBrew wrote:
hwcopela wrote:IMO, it's worth the extra $5 to avoid the hassle of making a starter. With the 2 yeast pack method you can brew in a pinch too; you don't have to wait on the starter to finish, cold-crash, decant etc...


WOW! If your LHBS only charges $5 to buy liquid yeast then that sounds like a hell of a buy.


I was subtracting the estimated cost of grain/DME you would also use to make a starter. I'm sorry I wasn't crystal clear there.
The time I save by avoiding a starter is worth way more than the $5, wait - $6.99 of an extra pack of yeast...
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SienaBrewer

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Post Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:52 pm

Re: a starter vs two yeast viles/packs

hwcopela wrote:IMO, it's worth the extra $5 to avoid the hassle of making a starter. With the 2 yeast pack method you can brew in a pinch too; you don't have to wait on the starter to finish, cold-crash, decant etc...


That's kind of how I feel. Since my LHBS only carries the propagator packs (I didn't realize these were actually still sold until I saw them there for $7 a pack!!), and they are always closed by the time I get off of work, and they are an extra 40 minutes out of my route home, I always end up having to buy yeast online. I can't justify spending 7.99 on shipping for one pack of yeast, therefore, I usually buy two or three. Yeah it is more expensive, but I buy all my other ingredients in bulk and I always reuse the yeast. So in the end the cost of my yeast goes down with each batch. The moral of my long diatribe is that I usually don't make starters because I don't have the time to either buy the yeast or make the starter, so I buy multiple packs of yeast and it serves me just fine. When I do have the time, which is usually never, I will make a starter.
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rustyhoover

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Post Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:34 pm

Re: a starter vs two yeast viles/packs

In case it wasn't clear from the above responses, I don't believe there is anything technically wrong with using multiple yeast packs as long as you can get the cell-count you need for your beer.

Up to now, I've often steered clear of the hassle of making a starter as well, either with multiple packs or using dry yeast where the cell count is much higher for a single pack than liquid. In my mind, brewing is a creative process, and extra time used to make a better or more unique product is well worth it. I do not, however, feel the same way about making starters--it's a tool. Sure, there is some technical challengeinvolved (nothing that isn't already covered in the brewing process), it's not creative in the same way that most processes in brewing are.

I could totally be wrong, but again I suspect that as long as your cell-count is appropriate, it will not make any difference whether your grew or bought those cells...
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gbrewer

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Post Wed Jul 28, 2010 9:47 pm

Re: a starter vs two yeast viles/packs

For me, it comes down to how much extra time I have. I believe it is cheaper for me to make my own starter from DME since I usually have some sort of DME on hand. It comes down to time.
I will admit, I recently moved and my new kitchen is very handy at making a starter (quickly). When I say quickly, I am referring to the amount of time to boil and cool, not watching the stir plate and stir bar.

If I am doing an unplanned brew day, which happens often, I simply use two containers of yeast. Be it a smack pack or liquid vial.

I don't have an opinion if one makes better beer than the other. Both methods seem tasty to me.

It comes down to if I want to spend the extra $7.00 on the beer I am brewing.. The answer for me is "sometimes".
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jagoff yinzer

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Post Wed Jul 28, 2010 10:22 pm

Re: a starter vs two yeast viles/packs

Where I am living I don't have air conditioning. My basement is a moisture pit. Pittsburgh is insanely humid. No matter where or how it is stored it seems to taste very stale after a month or so. I was just assuming it was bad because of how different it tasted, I could be completely wrong. My main concern was prolonged aerobic respiration. I can see now that isn't so much an issue. Thank you for your responses it is greatly appreciated.
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mccabedoug

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Post Thu Jul 29, 2010 5:40 am

Re: a starter vs two yeast viles/packs

I make starters a couple nights before I brew. Say, Thu eve for a Sat brew. Sometimes I make it before that and then just stick it in the fridge if it's done before I can start brewing. I make starters after the kids go to bed and it takes no more than 10 minutes to do. So time is not an issue if I have to sacrifice a couple min of TV watching at 9:00 PM or so.

I have DME that I use for starters in a 1 qt Ziploc bag that I keep in my fridge - about a lb or two that I keep in the back of the fridge just for starters. I just poured / scooped out a couple lbs from a larger bag into a 1 qt ziploc bag. Took a minute to do. Stored as it is, I cannot imagine that it will EVER go bad. Does sugar go bad as long as you keep it dry and keep the bugs out? Don't think so. Since it is hygroscopic, the challenge is keeping it dry and that is why it's in a sealed bag in the (dry) fridge.

If you don't mind buying multiple vials / smack packs, that's cool. It's just WAY cheaper to use and make starters. My LHBS does not even carry liquid yeasts, I have to travel to another shop that is much further away or order them on-line. Still, I would never consider using more than one in a batch, no way - I'm too cheap. :mrgreen:
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ynotbrusum

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Post Thu Jul 29, 2010 6:21 am

Re: a starter vs two yeast viles/packs

I like pitching from slurry that I have saved - it has a short shelf life as viable slurry, but the 3rd generation seems to be the best for many strains. If it sits more than a month, I usually will make a starter. Tracking generations is easy - I just put some masking tape on the mason jar that is covered with foil. I am going to try some 4th generation yeast against a starter from 2nd generation in about a week (10 gallon batch split between the two). I am wondering if there will be a difference.... Whichever route you go, as long as you are happy with the end product, then I don't see any problems - I have spent money on brew gadgets that save time, so saving time by avoiding a starter is also sensible, but you are first generation on yeast each time that way and I think there is a subtle flavor benefit from the older generation yeast (as well as a contamination risk, admittedly, with the older generation yeast). With lagers, you need so much yeast that I think the starter is the only realistic way to go, though.

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