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More Yeast Starter Questions

So I have made yeast starters in the past and I had normally just followed the instructions on the yeast starter kit and never took an OG gravity reading. So, I thought i’d get fancy, I got myself a scale, took the advice I’ve seen all over the place about 1 gram dme to 10Ml water. I decided to take a gravity reading just for shit’s and giggles and it was 1.050. So basically I did 700ml of water and 70 grams of dme. Does that sound right? Do I just need to do some trial and error with my scale or what?

I did use a Tupperware container and used the tare feature. The only thing I can think of is that the tare isn’t working right.

Getting a scale to weigh out the DME for a starter will greatly improve your starters. The second improvement is to use a starter/pitch rate calculator. The generic instructions for a starter do not take into account the viability of your yeast and the estimated OG of the beer you will be brewing.
I use this starter/pitch rate calculator all of the time. Is it the best one, I don’t know, but I use it for consistency.

http://www.brewersfriend.com/yeast-pitc ... alculator/

Just some info. Very, very old yeast, starter SG should be low, in the range of 1.010. Less stress on the yeast cell walls.

I didn’t answer all your questions. Is your hydrometer calibrated, in distilled water, for the calibration temperature shown on the paper insert inside the hydrometer? Did you correct for the temperature, of the starter wort, if it was not at the calibration temperature?

Using the 0.7 liters of water with 70 grams of DME would result in a wort of 1.035.

Thank you very much for the responses!
I did not calibrate my hydrometer. I haven’t actually used it in a while and I can’t find that slip of paper. Can I calibrate it without that slip?
can I just get my filtered water that I used for the starter and get it to about 75 degrees and check it with that?

[quote=“zonum6”]Thank you very much for the responses!
I did not calibrate my hydrometer. I haven’t actually used it in a while and I can’t find that slip of paper. Can I calibrate it without that slip?
can I just get my filtered water that I used for the starter and get it to about 75 degrees and check it with that?[/quote]

The calibration temperature is at the bottom of the paper scale inside the hydrometer.

Sorry I see it…duh
So I just need to get some distilled water and make sure it is at that temp and see what the reading comes out to?

[quote=“zonum6”]Sorry I see it…duh
So I just need to get some distilled water and make sure it is at that temp and see what the reading comes out to?[/quote]

That is correct. The hydrometer should show an SG of 1.000 in distilled water at the calibration temperature. The card inside the hydrometer can slip out of position, which will skew the SG reading.
Here is a link to hydrometer use which also has a temperature correction chart.

http://www.howtobrew.com/appendices/appendixA.html

I tried that with some carbon filtered water and it came out to pretty close to 1.000. I’ll try it with distilled tomorrow.
Thanks again for the info.

Here is a little update to this issue…I’m sure it’s basically a newb issue (that would be me)
I guess I didn’t realize the importance of compensating for burn off and I didn’t realize that the liquid burns off but the DME does not. For some reason I was thinking that would burn off along with the liquid. Of course it doesn’t, i’m just an idiot lol.
Anyway, I did a test to see how much actually burns off which ended up being about 150ml, which is way more that I thought it would be. So I added 450 ml of water to 30 grams of dme and it came out just about perfect.
Hopefully some other newbs will run across this and realize how much actually burns off and make the necessary modifications to their ratios. All this stuff I have read says “Oh not much burns off” I think 150ml is quite a bit.

It is not really necessary to boil a starter wort for 15 minutes. The DME and water only need to reach pasteurization temperature. Hot break is not required. You are just providing sugars for the yeast to use, not making beer.

Boiling the water is a good idea to sanitize the kettle you are using. I’ll boil the water for 3 to 5 minutes, with the lid on using a low heat setting to minimize boil off, before adding the DME.

good to know…thanks

So you just boil the water for 3-5 minutes, Pull off the heat, add the DME, get it to dissolve and you’re done?

After it looks dissolved, I put it back on medium heat to bring the low boil back and stir some more, just to make sure the DME is fully dissolved.

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