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Yeast starter without a flask?

I just bottle NB’s Cream Ale. I poured most of the ‘05’ yeast cake into a jar (got about 3/4 of a quart), put the lid on very lightly so CO2 can escape if it wishes and placed it into the fridge.

I’m going to make the American Wheat kit from NB next weekend and wondered if I can make a yeast starter without a flask? I have a half gallon rum bottle (who am I kidding, I have a ton of those ha…) and was wondering if I could make a starter using some leftover pilsen LME and the 05 yeast cake? Or, can I just pour the yeast cake directly from the jar into the fermenting bucket considering I’m only going to have the jar of yeast in the fridge for a week?

I wonder if the starter of Pilsen LME will screw up the flavor of a wheat beer?

Thanks for any advice!

Can’t speak to the re pitching but yes, you can use the rum bottle. People use all sorts of things to make starters. Besides my flask I’ve use 1.5 L bell jar and growlers. The pilsner LME is just fine shouldn’t make any difference.

Do you think I can just get away with using a sanitized piece of tin foil or a sanitized ziplock bag just sitting on top of the rum bottle to keep nasties out but still allow the CO2 to escape?

How do you figure out how much of the yeast to pitch into the starter? I have 3/4 of a quart. Do I only use half of it?

I guess I’d go by the 2000ml starter rules NB has posted with their starter kit. 1300ml of water (approx 5.4 cups) to 1 cup of DME/LME. I’m just wondering how much of the yeast cake to add to the mix once it’s boiled and cooled.

eta: I see Mr. Malty has a yeast slurry calculator and it says for a week old yeast cake/slurry that I’d have to pitch 80 to 90 ml of yeast into 5 gallons of wort with an OG of 1.060.

I’ve never done anything but pitch a smack pack or a dry pack of yeast before. Does that sound right? Could I literally just pitch part of the slurry or cake that I’ve got in the fridge after letting it come to room temp or should I make a starter?

How old is your yeast slurry? It’s not going to hurt to make a yeast starter out of it, after all, you could only give yourself MORE cells, or identify if the yeast is no longer good.

And ya should be fine with just sanitized tin foil over the top of it. Thats what I use, I make mine in growlers.

If your yeast is only a week old I don’t see the need for a starter. As you have mentioned just use the Mr Malty repitching from slurry tab.

I’ve made many a starter in a plastic one-gallon milk jug with some tin foil on top…follow normal sanitation procedures and it will work just fine :cheers:

+1 This is what I did as well.

If your yeast slurry has been in the fridge for a month you don’t need to make a starter.

uh… it’s been in the fridge for less than 24 hours right now. I plan on brewing next Saturday, which means the yeast cake/slurry will have been in the fridge for 7 days max.

Thanks for any and all advice.

What I usually do is make a starter with 1/2 cup of the slurry then on brew day pitch the starter and the rest of the slurry. This has worked better for me than just pitching the slurry. It seems to start faster and ferment better.

I used to use Jack Daniel’s 1.75 L bottle as my starter. Now go to my local farmers market and buy these large 1 gallon glass apple juice jugs. It runs about $6.99 about $7.15 after tax and CRV it works beautifully.

[quote=“SolomonsCommune”]uh… it’s been in the fridge for less than 24 hours right now. I plan on brewing next Saturday, which means the yeast cake/slurry will have been in the fridge for 7 days max.

Thanks for any and all advice.[/quote]
Pitch a third of what you harvested, about half a pint of yeast slurry. One third of a cake is usually enough for most ales as long as the yeast is less than 3-4 weeks old and the gravity isn’t over 1.100.

:cheers:

[quote=“mvsawyer”]
Pitch a third of what you harvested, about half a pint of yeast slurry. One third of a cake is usually enough for most ales as long as the yeast is less than 3-4 weeks old and the gravity isn’t over 1.100.

:cheers: [/quote]

Thanks! Your girls family from across the pond drink all that beer yet or what? I’m still interested to see what they thought of your Hefe!

[quote=“SolomonsCommune”][quote=“mvsawyer”]
Pitch a third of what you harvested, about half a pint of yeast slurry. One third of a cake is usually enough for most ales as long as the yeast is less than 3-4 weeks old and the gravity isn’t over 1.100.

:cheers: [/quote]

Thanks! Your girls family from across the pond drink all that beer yet or what? I’m still interested to see what they thought of your Hefe![/quote]
Not yet, they come Mid-March. We’ll post up some pics of all the fun we have drinking homebrews!

:cheers:

Roger that Red Leader, looking forward to it! I stole your colored dot on the bottle top labeling system. I’m sure you stole it from someone else but wanted to say thanks for posting the picture with that idea.

I’ve only got 3 batches bottled so far and 3 fermenting away as we speak. Only had 2 different colored bottle tops so I needed something to help tell the damn things apart or I’d be up sh*t creek trying to decipher what was what.

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