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Stir plate starters

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wineview

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In brewing we make a starter by mixing low gravity wort (unfermented beer) and yeast on a stir plate to build up the yeast population. What do you use in wine making and do wine makers use a starter on a regular basis?
 

salcoco

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I have used a stir plate in the past for large quantities of yeast. normally for small batches, 5-6, gallons we just hydrate the yeast in about 104 degree water. if done correctly we add a yeast nutrient, Fermaid-k, in 109 degree water, once it lowers to 106 add yeast and stir wait fifteen minutes and yeast should bloom indicating activity. others may add this to about a cup of more of orange juice for a a yeast starter.
 

wineview

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I have used a stir plate in the past for large quantities of yeast. normally for small batches, 5-6, gallons we just hydrate the yeast in about 104 degree water. if done correctly we add a yeast nutrient, Fermaid-k, in 109 degree water, once it lowers to 106 add yeast and stir wait fifteen minutes and yeast should bloom indicating activity. others may add this to about a cup of more of orange juice for a a yeast starter.
Typically starters are made for high gravity beers. So if I’m making a 5-6 gallon batch of wine that is 76* I am assuming sprinkling on top would be sufficient. Correct me if I am wrong.

On another topic. What yeast do you like for white wines? They ferment at lower temperatures correct? 58* range? Any lower?
 

salcoco

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most kit instructions say sprinkle on top, it works just has a longer lag time . yeast hydration or starter reduces the lag time.

For white wines and some fruit wines I use Premier Cote des Blancs yeast I like it because it hold the aromatics better. I have fermented at 60 degrees not sure the specs on this yeast , should be able to Google it.
 

jgmillr1

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In brewing we make a starter by mixing low gravity wort (unfermented beer) and yeast on a stir plate to build up the yeast population. What do you use in wine making and do wine makers use a starter on a regular basis?
Most wine yeasts are dry and must be properly rehydrated. The instructions have you mix in the yeast with ~100deg water and let rest for up to 20min before gradually adding wine must to the yeast. The ultimate goal is to acclimate the yeast to the sugar/pH of the must while lowering the temperature to that of the must. This isn't really considered a starter though. A true starter is really only absolutely needed if the wine must is very inhospitable like when you are trying to restart a stuck fermentation (high alcohol / low sugar) or working on getting a batch of juice from ice wine (high sugar / high acid) going.

One big difference with wine yeasts is that they actually physically change once the alcohol level reaches about 9%. The alcohol in their environment is too adversive and this is why it is difficult (and not recommended) to re-use yeast from one batch to another.
 

wineview

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Most wine yeasts are dry and must be properly rehydrated. The instructions have you mix in the yeast with ~100deg water and let rest for up to 20min before gradually adding wine must to the yeast. The ultimate goal is to acclimate the yeast to the sugar/pH of the must while lowering the temperature to that of the must. This isn't really considered a starter though. A true starter is really only absolutely needed if the wine must is very inhospitable like when you are trying to restart a stuck fermentation (high alcohol / low sugar) or working on getting a batch of juice from ice wine (high sugar / high acid) going.

One big difference with wine yeasts is that they actually physically change once the alcohol level reaches about 9%. The alcohol in their environment is too adversive and this is why it is difficult (and not recommended) to re-use yeast from one batch to another.
I have a stuck wine at 1.008. Nothing seemed to work up to this point. Heat more rehydrated yeast etc. My last resort I believe is to make a starter on my stir plate. What is the best vehicle to mix with the yeast to get it strong and vigorous.
 
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