# Step starter question using older W1056

Greetings! Our club is brewing an English Barleywine this Saturday. We forgot to order the yeast packets so we’re going to use my cropped 1056. I have two jars of yeast and each have a 200 mL yeast cake. The last harvest date was 10/11/12. The barleywine is a 5 gallon batch and will have a OG of 1.117. Mr Malty’s calculator says I need about 1800 mL of yeast but this calculator doesn’t do step starters. I like the yeastcalc.com calculator but I’m not sure if it does yeast slurries? It looks like it’s setup for fresh yeast. Is there a calculator that does both slurries and step starters? Right now, I’m planning on doing a 3 step starter. Step 1 would be 1L, two is 1.25L and three would be 2L.

Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!

Mark

I don’t think a 2l starter would be enough.

I would do a 1l and then a 1 gallon.

I’m actually doing a 4+ liter starter. It’s three steps…1L, 1.25L, 2L.

Mark

Your slurry should be close to 31% viable. It could easily be done with a two step starter. Starting with 110ml of Thick Yeast, step one 1.25L, step two 2.5L starter. Using intermittent shaking you should end up with approx. 429B cells. If you have a stir plate your steps could be smaller.

Baritone Brewer, thanks for the reply. How did you come up with 31% viability? I entered 10/11/12 in mrmalty and it comes up with 10%. I’m interested in how you came up with your cell count as well. Thanks!

Mark

[quote=“merfizle”]I’m actually doing a 4+ liter starter. It’s three steps…1L, 1.25L, 2L.

Mark[/quote]

Looks like you are doing a 2l starter.

If you pitch the maximum cell count for the size/OG of the starter there will be no cell growth.

If you pitch consecutively into 1l starter 15 times, you did not do a 15l starter. You did a 1l starter.

A better idea is to make a .5l starter. Pitch that to a 2l starter. Pitch that to a 5g 1.040-.050 beer (Mild/ESB). Then pitch your barlywine directly onto the yeast cake.

You are way past being ready for a barlywine brew day on this Saturday.

Nighthawk, I agree. There’s a good post on Homebrewtalk on how to calculate starter size needed using a slurry at various viability percentages. Based on that we would need a 4L starter by Saturday. So, we will be getting fresh ale yeast from a local brewery instead. Thanks for the help.

[quote=“merfizle”]Baritone Brewer, thanks for the reply. How did you come up with 31% viability? I entered 10/11/12 in mrmalty and it comes up with 10%. I’m interested in how you came up with your cell count as well. Thanks!

Mark[/quote]
Don’t use the “calulate viability by date” option when dealing with slurry. For the average homebrewer, your yeast has roughly 80% viability at harvest time. You need to take into account for a 25% viability loss per month after that. Therefore you would see 60% @ 1 month, 45% @ 2months, 33.75% @ 3month. etc.
Starting with 110ml of Thick Yeast from that harvest date you would be starting with a little over 105B cells viable cells. With intermittent shaking the 105B cells pitched into a 1.25L starter would bring you to approx 212B cells. With the second step being a 2.5L starter that would bring you to approx 434B cells.
Keep in mind that when stepping in this fashion you would be cold crashing and decanting between steps.