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Hoppy Starter

I am up to my 50th brew, and want to do a monster RIS on my friend’s 1/2bbl system. I was thinking of doing a 5-6 gallon BIAB to grow up a big slug of Nottingham for the RIS. I know typically you shouldn’t do a ‘hoppy’ starter, but would it be as simple as just adjusting the viability down in a yeast calculator? I would like to make a premium bitter or maybe a hoppy APA, and since I am using a dry pack of Notty, gravity of the starter shouldn’t be a problem. However I do worry about those hop oils coating yeast cell walls. I’m thinking I will be ok if I simply adjust the viability down and overpitch a bit into the RIS.

Also, on many beers, I chill and decant before pitching, so hop matter/trub wont be a concern for repitching the slurry from the starter beer.

So I guess technically the RIS will be 51.

Unless you want the “starter” beer to drink now, why not just pitch two packets of Nottingham to the RIS?

I don’t think its going to make a difference, you’ll have plenty of yeast from a 5gal batch.

I do question the use of Nottingham for a RIS, however. i’d go with US05 for less fruitiness and a drier finish. Big beers sometimes suffer from a high FG so you compensate with a drier finishing yeast.

I don’t feel the hop levels of the 5 gallon batch of beer will be of concern on the RIS.

+1 to the all of the above.

My RIS has won 4 gold medals and Best of Show and its made with lowly US-05 - i think its a great yeast for this style over notty and, as was said, you can just pitch an extra packet or two and you’ll be fine.

But if you go the repitch/starter route, you’ll be fine. I repitch ALL the time, and i’ve never had an issue with the hop pickup on yeast. I know it is possible, but i’ve never noticed a problem.

[quote=“tom sawyer”]I don’t think its going to make a difference, you’ll have plenty of yeast from a 5gal batch.

I do question the use of Nottingham for a RIS, however. i’d go with US05 for less fruitiness and a drier finish. Big beers sometimes suffer from a high FG so you compensate with a drier finishing yeast.[/quote]

I am typically a US-05 person, however I was listening to Jamil’s podcast on RIS’s, and he said that he chose a somewhat less attenuative yeast to give it bit of a sweeter finish, but still dry…just not bone dry.

That being said, IIRC, Nottingham is kind of a beast with attenuation, especially on the English side of things I thought (?). I would go to S-04, but I feel like that can be unreliable. The liquid yeasts (WLP002/007) seem to be out since I would prefer to make a beer with a bigger gravity than 1.040.

On the other hand, maybe its ‘mild’ time.

[quote=“blatz”]+1 to the all of the above.

My RIS has won 4 gold medals and Best of Show and its made with lowly US-05 - i think its a great yeast for this style over notty and, as was said, you can just pitch an extra packet or two and you’ll be fine.

But if you go the repitch/starter route, you’ll be fine. I repitch ALL the time, and i’ve never had an issue with the hop pickup on yeast. I know it is possible, but i’ve never noticed a problem.[/quote]

Ok thanks, thats really helpful. I usually love harvesting (especially with my ‘chill and decant’ method, where there is little else than yeast in my slurry), but haven’t done it for a really big pitch, like we will need for 14-15G of 1.090 RIS (by Mrmalty, around 600ml of pure slurry).

Since I have about 5lbs of American hops on hand, a session (ish) APA may be in order to grow up this pitch.

[quote=“Pietro”] but haven’t done it for a really big pitch, like we will need for 14-15G of 1.090 RIS (by Mrmalty, around 600ml of pure slurry).[/quote]Missed the “half barrel” part of the OP - wanting to grow enough yeast for three fermenters of 1.090 rather than buying six packets of yeast makes sense as long as you’re going to drink the “starter”.

exactly. I am kind of looking forward to this setup where I brew a smaller beer on my system as the starter for a 1/2 bbl batch that we will split from his system. Other ideas we will be doing soon:

-Roggenbier > Weizenbock
-APA > IIPA
-“Steam” > Bock
-Blonde Ale > CAP

I love drinking starters.

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