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Starter

I am going to be brewing my second batch this weekend. I am doing a hefeweizen. I have been reading about yeast starters and was wondering a couple of things. First off is it going to make a difference in the taste? I got the Wyeast 3068. Second in the video showing how to make a starter the pack appears to not be activated. Do I need to activate the pack or can I just pour it in like in the video? Thanks.

If your yeast is less than a month old, you probably can get by without a starter, but I’d do one anyway just for peace of mind.

You don’t need to activate the yeast before pitching in a starter. The activator packet is just some “food” for the yeast to get active as “proof” that it is viable. Not necessary if making a starter.

3068 is my favorite yeast, lots of interesting flavor, makes a great hefe. Keep your ferm temps 62 and below if you don’t like the banana notes. I personally like the banana in a hefe, so I try to keep mine around 64-65.

Good luck,
Ron

A yeast starter will make a difference if the liquid yeast package you are using is older.

Underpitching and Overpitching both affect the beer in various ways (Sometimes to the benefit of the beer and the brewer!)

You don’t need to activate the pack, but it does help to get the yeast started by giving them some food and to rinse the yeast from the sides of the package.

I would recommend trying the MrMalty or Brewers Friend yeast calculators and of course if you’d like to learn more about yeast try the book “Yeast” by Chris White and Jamil Zainasheff.

Very solid advice from these guys. I would also recommend a blowoff tube at the start of fermentation. That strain can be a beast! It’s also my favorite Hefe yeast. Good luck! :slight_smile:

^This.
Did two hefe batches with that yeast in my old bucket. Both blew the lid off. The first was a real mess. For the second I put the bucket over the edge of my bar sink, with some paint stirrers to tilt it toward the sink. I deliberately didn’t completely seal the lid on the sink side. So when it finally blew the lid (like 6 hours after pitching) 95% of the mess made it in the sink.

I got a big mouth now, so maybe I’ll go back and try that recipe again.

If you have a healthy population expect the starter to blow off as well. Just saying you’ve been warned!

Over pitching and fermenting cool will give you more clove than bubblegum flavor.

Overpitching this Hefe with WY3068 and fermenting at 64° was the only time I came close to needing a blow off tube. I would recommend a starter and to start out with a blow off tube installed.

The next one I’m going to try for a ferment at 60° to 62° to try for more clove flavor.

No kidding! I pulled off my blowoff tube after a couple of days, and replace with a three piece. Came home from work and its blowing out the airlock.

Pried it off and it blew out my hand and all over the ceiling. A blowoff tube and and cool temps are recommended.

Thanks all for your responses. Thanks especially for the warning about using a blow off tube. Holy crap!

I have a question in regards to temp during fermentation.

Let me first say this is my first brewing attempt, so I am not certain on just about anything I’ve done.

When I added the 3068 yeast I thought it said to keep temp around 68-72 but I’m reading low 60s. I ask because I am running at 70 the past 2 days, where I initially set it I was in the high 50s, so moved to a warmer spot. Once I moved her to a warmer spot the fermentation process took off like wildfire. Had to setup a blowoff hose after one day (really concerning process for a firs timer) but I feel like things are running smoothly since.

Am I a-ok with running at this temp? At what point will I know if it’s time to bottle? I don’t have a hydrometer (not sure I’m ready for that just yet.

Any help is appreciated, really have big aspirations in life and learning to brew is a major part of that growth.

A hydrometer is one of the necessary tools of brewing. Without a hydrometer you won’t know when fermentaion is finished. It is also a simple tool to use. Here is a link to Palmers old book which explains its use.

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

The sample tube is the plastic tube the hydrometer comes in. A turkey baster or beer/wine thief is a good tool for taking the sample from the carboy or bucket.

I too would suggest buying a hydrometer. As far as temps 70° is a little high. Remember that ferm temps will rise above ambient temps. The problem is that as temps rise the yeast activity increases which causes even more of an increase and the cycle continues.
Luckily 70° isn’t too warm for a forgiving strain like 3068.

Thanks for the help!

I cannot seem to find anywhere in my town to buy a hydrometer, outside of Petco which I read was a no go. I’m placing an order today through our trusty Northern Brewery. Being this my first run and the directions say 1-2 weeks in fermentation (it’s been 6 days), so hopefully the time it takes to get the hydrometer isn’t a killer on my brew. It’s at 70 with bubbling through the blowoff, once every 15 seconds.

Should be fine, right?

I will say the deluxe starter kit should come with a hydrometer kit, if it’s a requirement. Especially since it comes with the very basic starter kit. I mean I bought other things (chiller, bottles, priming pills, etc)

2 weeks in primary will be fine. Although autolysis is a major concern, you are looking at a year+ for this to happen.

I’m not sure why these kits aren’t sold with a hydrometer. The kit I bought many years ago came with a hydrometer.

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