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Started Yeast

So, I finally got a yeast starter and used it. I am brewing today but I have a question.

What are the steps you take to use the yeast from the starter?

To be more clear, can you just pour everything from the starter in the batch, or do you need to cold crash it, decant most of the liquid, and then pour in?

How does everyone do theirs?

How long ago did you make the starter. If it is only 1 day old pitching the whole thing should be ok, but if its older I would cold crash and decant. I normally do my starters a week out and once it ferments out I put it in the fridge till I brew.

I typically put the starter in the refrigerator overnight and then decant and warm the remaining beer and yeast. Just keep enough liquid to get the yeast back into suspension. I definitely want to decant with lighter beers that could be influenced by the starter.

If the yeast is very low floculating, sometimes I need to pitch the entire starter as the yeast does not want to fall put of the beer. It’s not the end of the world, but not what I would prefer to do.

If you put the starter in the refrigerator, it is a good idea to let it warm to room temperature before pitching into the wort.

Thanks for responding. It has been in the starter for 3 days. It took a day and a half to see any activity and its active right now. The starter is small, only about 400ml. Being as its not a lot do you think I am safe to just add it all in even while active? Wouldn’t that help my fermentation start quicker?

Yes, you can pitch it as is. If you used a full smack pack or vial of liquid yeast, then the starter will increase the yeast population. You can go to mrmalty ( to get more information on starter size.

Primary fermentation will almost certainly have a shorter lag time with the starter. You are good to go. Have fun.

I always decant, and never warm up. If you’re pitching your yeast into cool wort (60-65*), why warm to room temp.?

Just what works for me, though.

My room temp. is pretty warm right now. :frowning:

[quote=“mrv”]If you’re pitching your yeast into cool wort (60-65*), why warm to room temp.?

I read that temperature differences between yeast temp and wort temp can “shock” the yeast and delay the start of fermenation. I think you are right though, it probably doesn’t matter.

My starter comes out of the refrigerator and just sits on the counter during the brewing session. It is warmed up by the time I am ready to pitch it into the wort.

Good info on starters:

400ml? That is around 1.75 cups? I believe you have little to zero growth with that starter. You have activity, so you know the yeast are alive. That’s a good thing.

Find or order a 1 gallon apple juice jug and make at least a half gallon starter.

Normally people make their starters at warmer temps. So they decant the starter to avoid introducing off flavors to the main beer.

More yeast resources:

I always refrigerate and decant. I just don’t want old stale wort in my nice fresh wort.

I thought the point of using extra light dme was because it wouldn’t add any off flavors to the beer.
The reason it was only 400ml is because I followed a tutorial on you tube. Then again it may not be correct, but its good to know the yeast was alive and active even if I didn’t get any growth.
I decided to add all of the contents of the starter to the beer, hopefully there wont be any off flavors, but as seeing so I was just under 400ml I doubt there will be.
I brewed last night around 2am, and this morning I am already seeing activity in the fermenter so that’s a good sign to me.
Lets just hope it works out great.

So, next time I will try things a bit differently. What DME does everyone around here use? Using a stir plate how long do you use the starter for? How long to refrigerate?
What are your ratios of water to dme when using a 1000ml starter? The more info I get the better I will become. Also, what temp do you keep your starter?

If I brew on Sunday, I make my starter Wed. evening. Stir plate for 48 hrs., then coldcrash. Decant right before pitching.

You want an OG of 1.030-1.040. I don’t know the ratio of water to DME, I use canned wort. Warm temps are good for growing yeast, doesn’t make good beer.

Extra light or light DME is not the issue. The temp you ferment the starter at is. Warmer temps create off flavors.

1000ml is just over 4 cups. Still on the low side.

Review Mr Malty and YeastCalc for the size of starters you need to make. Then buy an appropriate size container. The 1 gallon jugs are the best size/price option.

YeastCalc has a DME/water calculator.

This is exactly how I did it, if you see a problem please let me know.

Thursday night I started the starter following a tutorial on you tube.
2 cups of water to 1/2 cup extra light DME. Boiled for 10 minutes and cooled.
Added to flask and pitched yeast.
Hadnt finished building the stir plate yet so everytime I would walk by it I would stir the starter.
Due to boiling I lost some water so my level was a little below 400ml.
I brewed last night. I stirred the starter to make sure everything was in suspension.
It was still bubbling a little so I know it was active.
I poured the entire thing into the wort. This morning, maybe 7 hours after adding the yeast I am already seeing a good bit of activity.

Did I do anything wrong? Is there something I could of done better? Will I have off flavors do to how I added the yeast without cold crashing it and decanting most of the liquid?

Also, the starter stayed at around 65 degrees as I keep my place cold.

1 pint (2 cups) water to .5 cup of DME per How to Brew. That info was correct.

Fermenting the starter at 65* is fine. I would try to lower the temp of the carboy/pail. Fermentation creates heat and the beer can easily be 5* or more warmer.

There are few WRONG, but many different ways to do things. As mentioned before, some like to allow plenty of time for the starter to finish. And place it in the fridge for 2-3 days to allow the yeast to settle out.

Awesome, thanks for all the answers everyone. As I brew more I will certainly try things differently. Next time I will allow more time for the starter and cool it to decant.
I like trying new things and searching for better ways and better results and all the information provided will allow me to do so.

Thanks again everyone.
Lets just hope this Sam Adams Summer Ale clone comes out good, it surely smells great.

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