Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Question about starters

Background: I’ve been brewing for about 5 years, AG for 1 year. I typically use Wyeast Activator packs, have never pitched more than one pack and have never brewed anything with an OG over 1.065.

I’m looking at the Tallgrass Velvet Rooster (OG 1.080) for my next brew and am considering pitching a couple packs or trying to make a starter for the first time.

I’ve read that the reason for starters is to pitch a correct amount of yeast resulting in healthier yeast producing a cleaner fermentation and the correct flavor profile.

Here’s what I don’t understand: Why would the results be any different if I let the yeast replicate in a small container and pitch them and all their byproducts in my wort rather than just letting them replicate in the wort?

[quote=“Brick1083”]Why would the results be any different if I let the yeast replicate in a small container and pitch them and all their byproducts in my wort rather than just letting them replicate in the wort?[/quote]Because they will replicate in the small batch, producing more cells, then you pitch these fresh, hungry cells into the larger batch and they are better able to handle all the sugar - if you don’t pitch enough yeast into a 1.080 wort, you run the risk of having them crap out early, leaving you with a high FG.

If you don’t want to make a starter, just brew a batch of APA first, then use 1/3-1/2 of the yeast cake from that beer for the bigger beer.

Okay, so it sounds like the critical factor is the number of yeast vs. the initial amount (concentration x volume) of sugar.

Next question: if I’m supposed to make an almost 5 quart starter, do I aim for a post-boil volume of approx 4 gallons to end up with 5 gallons after I pitch?

Give your starter plenty of time. I like to make the starter on Sunday. Then brew the following weekend.

On Thursday the yeast should have finished with the starter. Put it in the fridge so the yeast settle out. When you are finished brewing, decant (pour off) the “beer” in the starter and dump the yeast with as little beer as you can.

So, make your normal 5 to 5.5 gallon batch of beer. You will only be adding a pint or so of yeast/beer.

Thank you, both. The ‘how’ and ‘why’ are starting to make a lot more sense now.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com