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Starter Questions

Started by Donny, May 10, 2017, 02:24:01 pm

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Im doing my first lager brew next week with the target gravity of 1.050 and I am trying to work out how to make a proper starter for it. Using the brewersfriend calculator, its telling me that a 2 litre starter (no stir plate or anything fancy) wont give me the desired pitch rate of 1.75. I have to up the starter to 5 liters to achieve it.

1 -Am I right to think that the starter would need to be the same OG as your wort will be?

2 -Will adding 5ltrs of a starter affect a 15ltr batch or am I essentially adding 5 litres to my brew?

3- A 5ltr starter will require 713g of DME for a starter. As I only have 500g handy is it possible to add sugar to up the OG of the starter or will it have an adverse affect?

4 - Can you tell its my first time making a starter?  :P


May 10, 2017, 02:39:26 pm #1 Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 04:17:19 pm by BrewDorg
1. No, you usually want your starter to be ~1.035 - 1.040. This is enough sugar needed to grow, while not enough to produce too much alcohol, which would stress the yeast. This rather handily works out to be 100g of DME / 1L of starter wort.

2. Don't add the 5L. 2L per 22L batch is the furthest I'd ever be comfortable doing. If the starter is more than ~10% of batch volume, cold crash and decant the liquid first.

3. In your case, I'd do a 2 step starter. Step 1 will grow your vial of yeast in a lower volume, which won't stress them out. Step 2, you'll  be pitching all the yeast grown in Step 1 into a larger starter, which will eventually grow to your target amount of yeast. Again, I would cold crash the starter wort between steps and only pitch the yeast.

The screenshot attached (from this calculator) shows the steps you'll need. Only requires ~375g DME too.

4. We've all been there :)


As above. All starters regardless of the beer you are going to brew should only be built up in 1038sg wort. The purpose is to grow healthy cells that are not overworked.
Dei miscendarum discipulus
Forgive us our Hangovers as we forgive those who hangover against us


Cheers for clearing that up for me lads. I had tried to figure it out but I feel that you will never know if you don't ask sometimes.

If you were to do a 2 step how long would you leave the first starter before adding it to the second and would cold crashing it and then essentially repitiching it not stress it out some?


Would leave the first step for 24-36 hours. Cold crash for a solid 24 more, then step 2 another 24-36. All of this just means it's time to start piecing together a stir plate  :)

I'm not an expert but I don't believe these 2 step starters stress the yeast too much. The cold crash maybe a small bit, but nothing compared to high gravity wort and alcohol.


Great, last question. Should the temperature of the starter be slightly higher than when it's working at the normal 10-12c lager fermentation temps?

Again thanks a million for all the help and info.


I do room temp for all starters and haven't noticed a problem.


Worked a treat. Thanks lads