Yeast Starter

Brewing processes and methods. How to brew using extract, partial or all-grain. Tips and tricks.

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Yeast Starter

Postby milligan101 » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:24 pm

Going to make a yeast starter (actually 2) for my next brewing session. I have a single erlenmyer flask and mag stir plate. I've read its best to decant and only pitch the slurry. If i plan to get a second starter underway, whats the best holding temp for the finished starter from the first batch? I could hold at fermentation temp in my converted chest freezer, or at cold temp in my kegerator. Also, best to decant before or after storage (that is as soon as its settled or 60 hours later on brew day)?

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storing yest

Postby slothrob » Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:34 am

It's best to store the yeast cold to maintain viability and prevent them from eating all the glycogen they stored up during the starter. The closer to 32°F, the better, so a regular fridge might be better than your kegerator, depending. You can either pitch the yeast right from the fridge or restart it with a little wort the day or the day before you brew, pitching that entire small starter with the yeast..

It shouldn't matter if you decant first or later. When you transfer it to a jar, it's best to limit the amount of air that the yeast is exposed to while it's in storage, so it's good to leave a layer of beer over the yeast. Odds are that you won't be able to pour off all the beer without losing the yeast and the yeast will settle more in storage, so that shouldn't be an issue.

By the way, keep the lid on the jar a little loose to allow any CO2 that the yeast make to escape, or the jar may explode. You could probably tighten the cover after the yeast has been cold for a few days, if you wanted, but don't let it warm up again without loosening the cap.
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