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Yeast starter question

Started by jackflash, January 06, 2015, 12:00:33 PM

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jackflash

I'm going to brew an American pale ale using white labs California ale yeast WLP001.

Are there any drawbacks to NOT creating a starter? Can I just fire in the yeast from the vial?

beerfly

for a standard beer in or around 1.040 its generally fine
if the vial is near or past the best before date or you a doing a stronger beer then a starter is recommended

Bubbles

As Beerfly says, it's better to do a starter, as you really don't know for sure what the health of the yeast in the vial is like.

It's not much hassle really, and you can then be sure of an adequate pitch rate and a good fermentation.

jackflash

My only issue that I have is this, I have a conical flask to use, but I don't have a rubber bung with airlock I can use. What else could I use?

Bubbles

I never use a bung in my starter flask - bit of tinfoil will suffice!

I think most people just use a bit of tin foil ..??

jackflash

Ah grand. Guess it's the noob over cautiousness:-)

Bubbles

Nothing wrong or unusual about that, especially when you're starting off. Maybe sanitise the tin foil to begin with though, just to be safe.

Theoretically, you're supposed to be able to pitch the vial directly. I've done a couple of small 1 gal batches where I just pitched the vial and I wasn't happy with the results. But subsequent pitches of the same yeast yielded excellent results. Probably just a coincidence though..

beerfly

tinfoil is grand as you dont really need or want to stop air getting in, oxygen = growth. just need someting to prevent anyhting falling in to the flask.
also give the flask a shake/stir anytime you are going past it.  keeps the yeast in suspension and knocks some of the co2 out

jackflash

My flask is up to 500ml volume, is this large enough?

Bubbles

I think the recommended volume is 1.5 litres for most beers. You could just use a 2 litre bottle of cheap water, and use the chlorine free water itself to make the starter. I've done this loads of times, works fine.