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Containers for yeast starter

A lot of what I have read/watched recommends a 2000ml flask for yeast starters. Is a 1000ml flask sufficient? I ask because there is a significant difference in cost between the 2000 and 1000ml. Anyone had success with something else?

I keep both on hand, as well as re-purposed jars (that once contained kimchee).
They all serve a purpose. Gnerally, the 2000ml flask is the last in the line when propagating.

You really only need a flask if you have a stir-plate, which works best with a flat bottomed vessel. I boil my starters on the stove, chill and then pour into half gallon growlers or gallon jugs. (Well, used to. Now I pressure can starter wort) The only time I tried boiling in a flask on the stove, I made a complete mess.

Many times you will need larger than a 1L starter even with a stir plate. If you plan on picking up a flask, I highly recommend going with the 2L. But, if you plan on intermittent shaking a 1gal glass jug works great. You can pick up a jug of Carlos Rossi wine for pretty cheap at Walmart or quite a few grocery stores.

I picked up 2 of the gallon wine jugs from the local redemption center for 15 cents each and that is all I use.

I would highly recommend the 2 L flask. The smallest amount of starter that you are going to make is likely 1 L. One of the biggest benefits of doing the starter in the flask is being able to do the boil in the flask itself (instead of making the starter wort in one vessel and then transferring it to a sterilized flask or other container). The lab-grade (Bromex, etc.) flasks are manufactured to be heated up to boiling. If you try to make a 1 L starter in a 1 L flask you will end up with a mess. A 1 L starter in a 2 L flask is very easy to manage. I’ve made the starter in the flask, boiling the wort right in the flask on flat-top stoves and gas burners (never a coil) and it always works great (gas burner is better). I’d say go with 2 L, it is worth the extra investment.

A 1-L starter really isn’t giving you a whole heck of a lot of cell growth. I find the cases where I actually need to grow a starter, I need over 2 liters to get the cell count I’m looking for. I don’t use a stir plate, so I start my starters in a 2-gallon food grade bucket then transfer to a 1-gallon bucket that fits in my fridge to cold-crash it.

Sorry to hijack here, but when you use a 2L or 1 gallon, how much DME do you use?

0.1 g of DME per mL. So for 1 L (1000 mL) use 100 g of DME.

1 gallon is approximately 3800 mL, so 380 g for a 1 gallon starter.

I use 1 gal. glass jugs which allow me to easily make 2-3 qt. starters. I have a few flasks but don’t use them any more. They’re too small and I don’t like boiling directly on them (after a couple bad experiences). The jugs were cheap and the bottoms are flat enough that I can use them on my stir plate.

Add me to the glass jug camp. 1 gallon in size.

I don’t have an issue with a regular stir bar on my homemade stirplate. I’ve heard that a barbell stir bar works better if you have issues with it being thrown off.

http://stirbars.com/list.php?category=S ... 75529fd9ee

so can hot wort be transferred to the 1 gal glass jugs and then rapidly cooled without the glass breaking?

No, you must boil the wort in a pot and cool it before transferring it to the jug.

$5 for a 1 gallon jug from NB vs. $50 for a 500ml flask? I will boil and cool in the pot.

I got sick of cooling in a pan and transferring to a jug. I eventually just bought a 2L flask. I was able to get a good pyrex brand for 37 shipped. It is just easier to me, but to each their own.

1 gallon glass jugs for me. I make 1-2 quart starters in them. Plenty of room for shaking/swirling them. 1L is tiny if you ask me - I have no idea how you would make a reasonable size starter without it going over the top at some point.

I tried boiling in flasks - but it just boiled over the top. I had to boil in a pan and transfer to a flask anyway, so, why not just use the jugs.

I have 3 one gallon jugs from NB.

Please forgive the lack of knowledge here, but I have to ask…

So you make the starter wort and add the yeast pack - then you put it in a bottle/flask/container and then put that on a stir plate or just swirl it around manually when you can? Does it take the same amount of time to get what you want if you use the plate or not? The reason I ask is because the stir plate is so expensive.

I would make the starter wort, add to the container you plan to ferment in and then add the yeast.

Yes you will be more yeast production if you use a stir plate, but it is not essential.

There are lots of people who make very inexpensive stir plates as a DIY project.

Same here.

[quote=“gusrotteyman”]Please forgive the lack of knowledge here, but I have to ask…

So you make the starter wort and add the yeast pack - then you put it in a bottle/flask/container and then put that on a stir plate or just swirl it around manually when you can? Does it take the same amount of time to get what you want if you use the plate or not? The reason I ask is because the stir plate is so expensive.[/quote]

it’s goes faster on a stir plate, but it’s not a necessity. I made hundreds of starters for years before I got a stir plate.

I’ve used a jug many times for making starters, but I really love my flasks.
Do you guys find the jugs harder to work with when decanting smaller starters?

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