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Mr Malty

I plan on brewing my Kolsch in a week or two and I just checked out the Mr Malty site. My question is that based on the beer I’m brewing and the date of the Wyeast pack it says i need two packs and a 1.5L starter for my brew.

My question is, how legit is the info from the site? I have no problem doing a starter, but as a new brewer I don’t have the dme nor the yeast starter kit at this time.

I also hear that the yeast starter kits don’t have a very good quality flask as well and hence a more expensive alternative is needed.

Yeah, I know I’m probably over thinking this one.

The calculator is supposedly how it should be done to get commercial pitching rates at the homebrew level.
Did you punch it in as ale, hybrid, or lager?
Probably technically a Hybrid, but if you pitched it at ale temp and dialed the ferment temp down once it takes off…

as a hybrid.

If you have 10+ days until you want to make your batch, you could just make a one-gallon batch of 1.035 “beer” (skip the hops) and pitch one pack of yeast, ferment it out in a week, then cold-crash for a couple of days and pour off the “beer”. Pitch the new batch right on the cake.

Check your local grocer or a Hispanic shop forMalta Goya

. It’s a carbonated wort soda. Mix it with water, I think 50/50 for about a 1.035-40sg.

In a pinch you can use a milk jug. Some inexpensive wine come in 1g jugs. Or cruise through your favorite big box general merchandise store looking for a large glass container. Flower vases have been mentioned before.

In my experience, you only need one pack of yeast, but you do need to make a yeast starter at least somewhat close to what Mr. Malty recommends. For example, if he’s saying 1.5 L, then do at least 1 L so you’re in the right ballpark. Good enough. You can take little shortcuts, but you should not take major ones because quality may suffer.

I had the same dilemna 10 days ago when getting ready to make mine. I was doing 22 gallons and MrMalty said based upon my two smack packs with Sept 2011 dates that I would need 968 billion cells. I made two starters and stepped them up twice and the beer fermented just fine. I plan on making another 22 gallons this weekend and then I will have a ton of Kolsch slurry if anybody wants it. I am in Troy, MI (20 minutes N of Detroit). I am not sure where you live mppatriots.

[quote=“mppatriots”]
I also hear that the yeast starter kits don’t have a very good quality flask as well and hence a more expensive alternative is needed.

Yeah, I know I’m probably over thinking this one.[/quote]

I don’t understand this part. Borosilicate glassware is borosilicate glassware. That said, you don’t have to use a flask, they’re just often used because the shape of the neck makes it easier to pour the contents out without it “glugging”. You could use a growler, a small bucket, a jug - the vessel doesn’t matter as long as it is sanitary.

[quote=“Vaughn_S”][quote=“mppatriots”]
I also hear that the yeast starter kits don’t have a very good quality flask as well and hence a more expensive alternative is needed.

Yeah, I know I’m probably over thinking this one.[/quote]

I don’t understand this part. Borosilicate glassware is borosilicate glassware. That said, you don’t have to use a flask, they’re just often used because the shape of the neck makes it easier to pour the contents out without it “glugging”. You could use a growler, a small bucket, a jug - the vessel doesn’t matter as long as it is sanitary.[/quote]

I understand completely. The erlenmyer flasks sold on our host’s site and others aren’t that reliable. The first I bought about a year ago and after only 3 uses it cracked. And when I say cracked, I mean I used it, cleaned it, laid it down on a towel on my kitchen counter to dry and then next morning there was a huge crack. So I emailed NB and they were gracious enough to ship me a new one. The new one broke too… ok, this time it was my fault. I tipped it over. Shattered everywhere and had a few nasty cuts on my hand (yes, I’m a jackhole and tried to catch it). So, for my third flask I went with Pyrex. 100x better. It just feels stronger and it’s been bumped and tipped over with no problem. I’ve had it for almost 8months now and have used it maybe 20x or more and not a single issue. So, I would go on amazon and look for a pyrex flask.

I’ve found that pitching enough yeast makes a big difference in the flavor and drinkability of my beer. I wish I had realized it before I had done 30 batches.

i’m a weirdo, I love watching/listening to my stir plate going. Makes me giddy to know I am growing some happy healthy yeast.

Right now, I am growing yeast from a smack pack to split into thirds. Which then I will grow those up for the actual batches in the future.

I totally trust Jamil’s yeast calculator.

You wouldn’t brew without enough malt or hops, why would you brew without enough yeast?

Muller, thanks for the offer, unfortunately I live in Mass. I had been planning on using a glass jug from carlo rossi. Unfortunately the closest place to get any dme is atleast an hour away.

I prefer to use the WYEAST rate pitch calculator when using their yeast. I figure if it’s their product, they should know best. I usually compare the wyeast results with the Mr. Malty results and find that the wyeast site always comes out with a smaller starter. I have read that the Mr. Malty site bases it’s calculations on White labs vial sizes which I believe are smaller than the Wyeast activator packets.

http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_pitchrate.cfm

[quote=“Roddy”]I prefer to use the WYEAST rate pitch calculator when using their yeast. I figure if it’s their product, they should know best. I usually compare the wyeast results with the Mr. Malty results and find that the wyeast site always comes out with a smaller starter. I have read that the Mr. Malty site bases it’s calculations on White labs vial sizes which I believe are smaller than the Wyeast activator packets.

http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_pitchrate.cfm[/quote]

This is very interesting. I’ve always thought Mr. Malty was very conservative. My LHBS owner swears that the pitching rates are way high and never uses it. I do use Mr.Malty, but take it with a grain of salt. I follow it very loosely.

There is a nice graph of mrmalty vs wyeast on the 2nd page of this discussion: http://www.homebrewersassociation.org/f … pic=9684.0

[quote=“dobe12”][quote=“Roddy”]I prefer to use the WYEAST rate pitch calculator when using their yeast. I figure if it’s their product, they should know best. I usually compare the wyeast results with the Mr. Malty results and find that the wyeast site always comes out with a smaller starter. I have read that the Mr. Malty site bases it’s calculations on White labs vial sizes which I believe are smaller than the Wyeast activator packets.

http://www.wyeastlab.com/hb_pitchrate.cfm[/quote]

This is very interesting. I’ve always thought Mr. Malty was very conservative. My LHBS owner swears that the pitching rates are way high and never uses it. I do use Mr.Malty, but take it with a grain of salt. I follow it very loosely.[/quote]

Mr Malty’s numbers have always seemed excessive to me. I regularly go much lower (closer to the Wyeast calculator) and have yet to make a beer that doesn’t ferment quickly and hit the FG I expect. My theory is that factors like proper pitching temp, consistent fermentation temps, yeast nutrient, and decent aeration have as much impact as the size of the starters or number of vials.

[quote=“dobe12”]My theory is that factors like proper pitching temp, consistent fermentation temps, yeast nutrient, and decent aeration have as much impact as the size of the starters or number of vials.[/quote]I think that all of those factors, including pitching rate, are important.

If it wasn’t clear in my previous post, I agree that Mr. Malty is a bit over-conservative, and I follow it very loosely. If he tells me I need a 3-gallon starter and 5 packets of yeast for a 5-gallon batch, I’m probably going to make a 1-gallon starter with 1 or 2 packs of yeast. But certainly not just a single pack without making starter at all. Know what I mean? He’s onto something, but I think the viability standard that he uses is pretty far off. He assumes that half the yeast cells are dead within a month or something like that. No way. Even if he’s right, it’s overboard. But what he has taught me is that I used to underpitch my beers pretty darn severely compared to what might be optimal.

Most people who have problems with cracked flasks have used them on electric coil stoves with no diffuser and/or have shocked the hell out of them by placing them from hot stove into cool water multiple times which weakens the glass. Rare that the flask is to blame, very very rare.

As for Mr. Malty, as others have said it is an excellent reference. It gets you closer to optimum than anything else, but as always it isn’t the last word. It’s a fine line between making good beer and making consistently excellent beer, and the yeast can make that difference.

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