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First starter question

Will be making an attempt at my first starter this morning. Im making the Smashing Pumpkin Ale with Wyeast 1056, and im curious if i should be making a 1000 or 2000 ml starter. I have the 2000 ml flask so clearly i could follow either recipe, but i dont want to over pitch the yeast and im not sure if i would be more likely to get off flavors with the larger starter. I plan on cold crashing it and decanting the excess before pitching to my wort. Sorry for the Noob question. Thanks

Go to mrmalty.com and use the yeast starter calculator. It will tell you what you need.

IMO, both are to small if you are concerned about making a starter.

See Mr Malty or YeastCalc for their recommendations.

With that in mind, I bet the beer will turn out just fine with either, or no starter at all.

1 vial in one liter. I’m assuming you are pitching into 5 gallons and that Smashing Pumpkin is around 1.060 OG. Mrmalty or yeastcalc in the future, post here with any questions on either.

A 1 liter starter is so small it could be more detrimental than helpful.

If you’re using a 2 liter flask on a stir plate, i wouldn’t go above 1.5 liters. I found out the hard way with alot of krausen ending up on the table/floor. :cheers:

NBs’ Smashng Pumpkin Ale Extract kit is estimated at an OG of 1.054. Using YeastCalc I entered a yeast production date of two weeks ago.

You will need 189 billion cells for the brew.

You have 86 billion cells with a yeast production date of 09/06/2013.

A 1.5 liter starter, intermittent shaking,will give you 210 billion cells.
With a stir plate you will have 252 to 297 billion cells.

With only a 2 liter flask you will have a yeast volcano with intermittent shaking. Why not just use a two gallon wide mouth jug of some type?

If you have a stir plate the krausen will be minimal.

Do not worry about over pitching. Over pitching is a lot less detrimental than under pitching.

When you post a question, always take a close look at the replies. Use the replies to do some more investigation. Sometimes replies to a question may be less than accurate.

NBs’ Smashng Pumpkin Ale Extract kit is estimated at an OG of 1.054. Using YeastCalc I entered a yeast production date of two weeks ago.

You will need 189 billion cells for the brew.

You have 86 billion cells with a yeast production date of 09/06/2013.

A 1.5 liter starter, intermittent shaking,will give you 210 billion cells.
With a stir plate you will have 252 to 297 billion cells.

With only a 2 liter flask you will have a yeast volcano with intermittent shaking. Why not just use a two gallon wide mouth jug of some type?

If you have a stir plate the krausen will be minimal.

Do not worry about over pitching. Over pitching is a lot less detrimental than under pitching.

When you post a question, always take a close look at the replies. Use the replies to do some more investigation. Sometimes replies to a question may be less than accurate.[/quote]

In a test by BYO, they saw little difference in under/correct/over pitching rates in regards to the FG. The panel was also split on which one tasted better.

My advice is to experiment and see what works for you.

I can see how a 1 liter starter might not get you enough yeast cells but how could it be detrimental? I ask because I just purchased a 1 liter starter and plan to brew a Scotch Ale or similar next.

Ok, well thanks for all the advice, here is what i have gone with so far. Smacked wyeast pack thursday evening and let pack inflate over night. The wyeast pack inflated to almost bursting pressure, not sure if this is a sign of good yeast or a potential problem. Friday morning made my starter with 1500 ml of water and one cup DME, boiled and cooled starter wort in water bath to 75 degrees and pitched the one very overly inflated wyeast 1056, capped flask with sanitized foam stopper, and have been swirling it a few times as i go around the house. This morning, ended up having a “Volcano” as someone had mentioned, hope this wont effect the cell count too much, looks like loss was about 150 ml of fluid…so what should i be doing to avoid these “volcanos” , not sure if NB sells anything larger than a 2000 ml flask or not…Should i perhaps next time go with only 1000 ml of water to one cup DME? instead of 1500ml?..

Also question to Denny… “detrimental” has me a little freaked out, everything i have read has said to use either a 1000 ml or 2000 ml starter, mostly depending on target gravity… So if a wyeast smack pack just as it comes, can be pitched to wort and be fine…how is it that a starter made from the same pack could be “detrimental” to batch.

My gut tells me 1500 ml would be about right. This ain’t a lager, right? You don’t need a huge starter with Wyeast anyway. You’ve already confirmed viability by smacking the pack and monitoring the swelling. With White Labs I tend to make slightly bigger starters than when I use Wyeast. If this were White Labs I might go up to 1750 ml for 5 gallons. But 1500 ml seems good enough for good healthy yeast.

I don’t think a starter is ever detrimental. I too am curious to see Denny’s reasoning on this. Detrimental to me is pitching one vial of White Labs yeast from 6 months ago without making a starter and hoping it turns out alright. I’ve done that a few times. Detrimental indeed. But any starter is better than none IMHO.

Also FYI, Wyeast pack i got from NB production date was 8/1/2013, according to Mr Malty for the smashing pumpkin with target og around 1.060, swirling , a one liter starter but i should have used two packs instead of one…will this mean I’m under pitching?

I can see how a 1 liter starter might not get you enough yeast cells but how could it be detrimental? I ask because I just purchased a 1 liter starter and plan to brew a Scotch Ale or similar next.[/quote]

5 gallons of Scotch ale really does need a lot more than a 1 liter starter. I’d go about 2.5 liters. The reason is that you need a lot more yeast for those big high OG beers – I’m guessing your OG will be >1.085? Yeah, you want to use extra yeast for that.

But for standard gravity brews of 1.045 to 1.060, 1.5 liters is usually fine for 5 gallons of ale.

I don’t necessary buy into that multi-pack garbage. One healthy pack is better than five unhealthy packs of yeast any day. If you know your yeast is fresh and viable, you don’t need more than one pack. Mr. Malty is a nice tool, but… take with grains of salt.

If your target OG was 1.060 instead of NBs’ target of 1.054 for the Smashing Pumkin you would need 209 billion cells. Using the production date of 8/1 you had 64 billion cells. A 1.5 liter starter at 1.037 OG would give you 179 billion cells. A step up starter of the same size would give you 313 billion cells.

I started out using a flask for starters with the intermittent shaking method. After the first volcano and yeast loss I swtiched to a gallon pickle jar.

I can see how a 1 liter starter might not get you enough yeast cells but how could it be detrimental? I ask because I just purchased a 1 liter starter and plan to brew a Scotch Ale or similar next.[/quote]

There isn’t enough “food” for the yeast to rebuild their glycogen reserves, so they go into the beer in a weakened condition. That gives you poorer performance. 1 L is just on the edge of “enough”.

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