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Quick Question About Starters

So for my next lager I am planning to NOT under pitch this time and make a giant starter. I’m curious if anyone has ever made their starter directly in the carboy?

I was thinking in terms of sanitation and blow off foam that it might make sense to make a 1.5 gallon starter in my carboy. Let it ferment out in my lagering chamber and then when it’s done decant off the spent wort and just rack my fresh beer right on top of that yeast cake. Am I missing something or is this a common practice?

If the starter’s that large I would just hop it and make a 2ish gal batch of beer. No sense in wasting all that wort.

+1! Make a smaller beer. 1.040ish, 2 gals or so. Let it ferment out. Rack the beer off the cake and pour the next on top. Or collect and rinse the yeast. Then pitch all of it in the next bigger beer.

I have 2x 3 gallon carboys I could use for this.

Thanks for the advice!

So right now I can only fit 1 full size carboy in my lagering chamber (and two 3 gallon carboys).

How long before I start my next “bigger beer” should I begin the smaller starter-beer?

Unless you have the time to wait for a small batch of lager to ferment, I would just do a quick MIAB wort with 3-4 lbs of base grain, no hops (or if you want hops for antiseptic purposes, bag them to keep them out of the fermenter), boil for 15 minutes, then cool to 70-80F and pitch the yeast. Let it ferment out in a couple of days, cold-crash, and decant. Pitch half the yeast cake and keep the other for another batch.

Ok, so yesterday I made a 1 liter starter with Wyeast Octoberfest Blend and let it ferment at room temp over the course of the day. In the evening I shook it and poured 650 ml of the starter into a larger 2 liter flask. Topped off both with fresh wort. Left the 1 liter at room temp all night and slowly cooled the 2 liter to my lagering temp. Once they both ferment out I’ll decant spent wort, pour the big starter into my 3 gallon carboy @ 52 degrees and pitch the liter starter on top of my cooled wort so they get down to lager temps together.

The Plan:

Brewing a 3 gallon Pilsner (to prepare my yeast).

Splitting the primary into 2x 3 gal carboys and pitching amber bock wort.

Pitching both 3 gal primary yeast cakes onto my 5.5 gallon Oktoberfest.


Is that going to be enough yeast or do I need to buy another smack pack and pitch on top of it? (calculator says I need a 0.75 gal starter)

Is this too many generations of yeast?

Do I need to wash it because I leave in the cold break trub?

Thanks in advance!

[quote=“robbop88”]Is that going to be enough yeast or do I need to buy another smack pack and pitch on top of it? (calculator says I need a 0.75 gal starter)[/quote]Seems like overkill to me - yeast from one three-gallon starter is more than enough for a 5-gal batch. Harvest the yeast from the second 3-gal batch and save for later. (Or go ahead and make a 10-gal batch - can’t go wrong with more beer!).

Good advice.

I’ll save one of them and save it for a rainy day or an emergency.

And by rainy day I mean limited space in my freezer…


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