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Yeast Starter and other Octoberfest questions

I am brewing an Octoberfest this weekend and I have a couple of questions. I started a 2L yeast starter at 8am Saturday. I am hoping to add it to my freshly brewed sort at 8pm. Is 12 hours enough to get the yeast going? Also, the room I will be storing the primary has been fluctuating between 56-60 degrees. Over the next two weeks I could see it getting up to 64 degrees. It is a windowless unheated concrete room. Am I risking serious off flavors by having the primary at this temp? Will I need to make a swamp cooler?

Next year I am brewing this lager in April.

If you want a better chance of good beer, I would find a large container (rubbermaid) that will fit your carboy. Freeze down some soda bottles filled with water now. At the end of your brewday, do not pitch the yeast. Put the carboy in the container and fill it with water up to the wort level. Put in the ice bottles and let sit overnight to get down to as close to 50F as possible. This will also let the yeast go an extra 12 hours in the starter. Pitch the yeast and go. Keep switching out the water bottles to keep the temp steady at 50F.

As long as your sanitation if good, your wort will be fine overnight.

This will give you colder temps and more yeast. Both of those will help your beer.

[quote=“Bigfloppy”]I am brewing an Octoberfest this weekend and I have a couple of questions. I started a 2L yeast starter at 8am Saturday. I am hoping to add it to my freshly brewed sort at 8pm. Is 12 hours enough to get the yeast going? Also, the room I will be storing the primary has been fluctuating between 56-60 degrees. Over the next two weeks I could see it getting up to 64 degrees. It is a windowless unheated concrete room. Am I risking serious off flavors by having the primary at this temp? Will I need to make a swamp cooler?

Next year I am brewing this lager in April.[/quote]

IMO, 12 hours is not nearly enough time. For one thing, you need a bigger starter, maybe twice as big or more. And you (at least I) don’t want all that starteqr wirt in my nicew fresh beer. I make starters anywhere from 5 days to 2 weeks in advance. I let them ferment out, chill to crash the yeast, and decant the spent wort before pitching.

Ok so right now I plan on adding 2L more of wort and letting it go for another 24 hours. I will brew the beer tonight and get it cooled down to 50 degrees with the swamp cooler.

If I am adding that much yeast I think I will definitely need a blow off tube. Sounds like I will be good to pitch the yeast Sunday night. Thanks for the help guys.

IMO, if the yest isn’t ready, you’re no more redy to brew than if you didn’t have malt or hops. I’d hold off brewing til your starter is ready.q

I was assuming if I add 2 more liters of wort tonight that the yeast would be ready in 24 hours from the time I add the extra 2L of wort. How long will it take for the yeast to be ready? How do I tell if it is ready? Is it just like a primary? Do I wait until the bubbling stops?

Denny I just re-read your earlier post. So at least 5 days?

Again, that’s what I do. Not everybody does it the same way as I do. But I really hate adding starter wort, especially that much to my nice fresh beer. I give it 2-3 days on a stir plate and another 2-3 days to refrigerate and drop the yeast. Without a stir plate it might be 3-5 days to ferment then 2-3 to refrigerate.

Again, that’s what I do. Not everybody does it the same way as I do. But I really hate adding starter wort, especially that much to my nice fresh beer. I give it 2-3 days on a stir plate and another 2-3 days to refrigerate and drop the yeast. Without a stir plate it might be 3-5 days to ferment then 2-3 to refrigerate.[/quote]

Agree 100%. And if you don’t have a stirplate, give it a good swirl as many times as you can to bleed off CO2 and promote growth.

No stir plate unfortunately. Just swirling it. Can you tell me what type of off flavors I would get if I didn’t add a big enough yeast starter? I want to add it to my brew notes so when I taste this in September I will know what I did wrong if it tastes off.

I use a starter on all lagers I do, any ale over 1.045, or a hybrid ale fermented at sub 62F.

I use the pitching rate calculator at Mr.Malty.com to determine the size starter needed and I ferment this 2-5 days prior to brew day to make sure it’s fully fermented out.

The night before brewday I’ll place the entire starter in the fridge so the yeast drops to the bottom.

On brew day, I’ll decant off the starter beer and just pitch the creamy white yeast that has collected at the bottom of the starter container.

I’ve started to chill down the yeast. I don’t have room for the starter in the fridge so I am just adding tons of ice to the swamp cooler for 24 hours to help the yeast settle. Will add the yeast tonight when I get home from work.

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