Staggered wort additions, instead of a yeast starter?

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cmcquistion
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Staggered wort additions, instead of a yeast starter?

Post by cmcquistion » 4 years ago

I read this article recently and it got me wondering about a way to get a healthy fermentation from liquid yeast, without doing a yeast starter.
http://beerandwinejournal.com/big-beer-three-steps/

I do primarily BIAB and sometimes do no-chill. I'm wondering if I can run off my hot wort to two 2.5 gallon cubes, let them chill overnight, then run one of them (just 2.5 gallons) into a fermenter and pitch liquid yeast, without a starter. Let that ferment for a day or two, then rack the other 2.5 gallons of wort on top of it. The idea would be that starting off with a high yeast/wort ratio would give the yeast a good environment to start fermentation without being overwhelmed. After a day, the yeast will be rocking and rolling and putting in more wort just gives them something to work on, now that they're roused and ready.

What do you all think about this approach?

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Post by BobBrews » 4 years ago

cmcquistion,

It sounds like a workable idea. I never thought about doing it that way? the more you handle or transfer wort the higher the chance of infection. If you are perfect with sanitation than it might be a interesting experiment. You could just use a larger Erlenmeyer beaker and siphon off enough hot wort into the heat resistant beaker to use as a starter. I do this sometimes with lagers to get a bigger yeast starter.

The amount of wort available to the yeast dumped into a full bucket is the same for half a bucket. The yeast is limited to the fresh wort it touches. If it floats on top as it reproduces it would still be subject to the wort it touches not the whole volume of wort. If it's mixed in the whole volume it may touch more wort but the stress is lessened by the scarcity of yeast. Oh my, I am confused. I may have to rethink this? :argh: Or read the article?
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Post by shibolet » 4 years ago

I have done something similar in the past.
Brewed a double batch (40L). Split into 2 FV
Pitched a 1.5L starter into one FV. After two days I did a top crop straight from FV #1 into #2. Took of like a rocket.
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Post by cmcquistion » 4 years ago

Bob, my intention is to figure out a good, lazy way to get good fermentation. I'm thinking that if I can avoid creating a yeast starter, that's one less thing for me to have to do :)

If you look at yeast calculators, like mrmalty.com, for instance, you'll see that 5 gallons of 1.055 Ale would need two packages of liquid yeast or a 1.8 liter starter. 2.5 gallons of the same ale only needs 1 package of yeast, without a starter. My thought is that the first 2.5 gallons gets just the right amount of yeast, without a starter, and then if it gets a full day of growth, you'll probably have twice as many yeast cells when you pitch the other 2.5 gallons. At that point, you'll have just the right amount of yeast, given the volume.

That's the idea, anyway.

If this is 5 gallons of Lager at 1.055, you need 4 packages of yeast of a 3.6 liter starter. My only Erlenmeyer flask is 2 liters, so I don't have a good way of making a starter that size and stepping up starters seems like an awful lot of work for a lazy brewer like me. If I wanted to do a 5 gallon Lager at 1.055, I could make a 1.8 liter starter, pitch that into 2.5 gallons of lager wort, give it a day or two to grow, then pitch the other 2.5 gallons of wort on top of that, once the yeast has had some time to grow.

Your note about sanitation is spot on, of course. The only piece of equipment during the second racking is just a racking cane, so there would only be one thing to sanitize, really.

*EDIT* If I used dry lager yeast, in the 1.055 Lager, above, then I could use just one package of dry lager yeast (S-23 or S34/70) in 2.5 gallons of lager wort, give it a day or two, then rack the other 2.5 gallons of wort on it. No yeast starter required at all, since Mr Malty says that a package of dry yeast has about 200 billion cells.

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Post by mally » 4 years ago

Bear in mind that with a stir plate (extra equipment if you don't have one though); that 2L flask could be equivalent to a 10L flask (without stir plate).

interesting info in this thread here.

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Last edited by mally on 12 Nov 2013, 04:03, edited 2 times in total.
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Post by BobBrews » 4 years ago

Sounds like you have your poop together! Yeast don't like to stress themselves. If they do the give off "off flavors" Just make sure you have enough but don't worry if your a little short. The do reproduce!!
Also, I very frequently reuse my yeast cake. After a brew is taken off the yeast I dump in a batch waiting in my no chill cube. They REALLY take off quick!
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Post by Three3Beer » 4 years ago

Thanks for sharing this idea! I really like it.

I would love to try this, as I want to make a double IPA soon.

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