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Yeast Starter Kit for Black IPA (OG 1.075)

Greetings,

I just bought my first yeast starter kit, and am excited to use it for the Black IPA kit. I bought the liquid option (Wyeast 1272 American Ale Yeast II), and the brew calls for an OG of 1.075. There are several confusing parts of this Starter Kit process for me, and I wanted to write a post just to make sure that I’m on the right path.

First, according to the various forums and blogs, I’ve gathered that one of the main points of using a Starter Kit is to increase the viable yeast cells from your original yeast packet/vial. This means that instead of having to buy multiple packets/vials of yeast, I am able to multiply the yeast cells on my own for free using the Starter.

Second, should I use a one-liter or a two-liter Starter? I followed a link to the calculator at mrmalty.com and it says that if use “intermittent shaking” I can achieve proper fermentation using one yeast pack and a starter of 2.04 liters. I’m assuming this means I need to use 2 liters. The problem is that I bought a one-liter flask. Is it all right to use a 1/2 gallon growler for my Starter?

Third, I bought Wyeast Nutrient Blend as well. Does this affect the amount of starter I need?

Fourth, since I’ll be shaking intermittently, I’m assuming this is only during the first 24-36 hours of room temperature fermenting. After this initial period, here’s the instructions I’m using - are these correct? I’m planning on putting the Starter in the refrigerator for a few days to let it settle. Then, I’ll decant (drain?) most of the wort from above the yeast cake and stir up the yeast in the remaining wort so that it is suspended. Then I’ll allow it to come back to room temperature while I brew my kit on brew day. Then, I’ll add the yeast to the primary fermentation bucket as a final step on brew day. Does that sound right?

And last, I’ve brewed three batches of beer which had OG’s of about 1.045-1.050. The FG goal was around 1.010-1.015. Should I be aiming for the same FG here, so that OG is 1.075 and FG is around 1.012? What should be a good gravity to switch over to secondary fermentation? I shouldn’t have to add any more yeast, corrrect?

Ahh, that was a lot of questions. Thanks for still reading, and replying if you have the time!

Andy

Your 1/2 gallon growler will work perfect. I use old 1 gallon juice jugs. If you can find some, pick them up.

I like to let my starters go for 4-5 days. Then put them in the refrigerator for 2 days. Give the yeast time to do there thing.

No the nutrient blend will not have an effect on the size of the starter you make.

The FG is going to be most dependent on the makeup of the wort. In general terms, it should get below 1.020.

When to move the beer to a second fermenter? IMO never. Let the beer sit for 3 weeks in the primary. After that time the yeast will have had time to ferment the sugars, clean up after themselves, and drop to the bottom of the fermenter. No need to clean/sanitize another vessel.

If you wanted to bulk age it for longer, then transfer it. But not before 3 weeks.

^^^ +1 to the above. And there’s no reason to warm the yeast up to room temp - just leave the starter in the fridge until time to pitch, decant the “beer” off the top, swirl and pitch. Less chance of something getting into the starter or of knocking the container over or some other mishap and yeast like to go from cold to warm temps.

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