Yeast Rehydration is good stuff

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Interesting the Scott labs only discusses about rehydration in water. I think most of us go a further step and rehydrate with go-ferm or equivalent.

I use the "Epic" starter protocol that @wineview shares above. It works so well, I see no reason to do it any other way.
 
Interesting the Scott labs only discusses about rehydration in water. I think most of us go a further step and rehydrate with go-ferm or equivalent.

I use the "Epic" starter protocol that @wineview shares above. It works so well, I see no reason to do it any other way.
Same here. I use go-ferm and add must in two or three steps over several hours until I double the volume… ferments typically take off like a rocket.
 
Great video above... Thanks!

I'm curious what other folks protocol is for making a yeast starter.

For a 6gal vino kit mine has been:
8oz H20 96F
1tsp GoFerm
1tsp white sugar
1 packet dry yeast

-- My starters are typically made the night before I intend to inoculate

Interestingly, I just came across some info on a QA23 data sheet that indicates total rehydration time should NOT exceed 45mins. (I've obviously been WAY over that timing spec)

QA23 Rehydration.jpg
 
When I first started making starters I pitched them within 45 minutes or so. Then I read that folks on winemaking talk would let the starter rest all night next to the fermenter before pouring it in. I didn’t find anything better about letting the jar sit all night. So I went back to making my starters and using them right away.
 
For a 6gal vino kit mine has been:
8oz H20 96F
1tsp GoFerm
1tsp white sugar
1 packet dry yeast

-- My starters are typically made the night before I intend to inoculate
I use 1 tsp Fermax (got a big jar) and 1 Tbsp sugar. Otherwise the same.

Regarding QA23, I follow the same regimen.

When I first started making starters I pitched them within 45 minutes or so. Then I read that folks on winemaking talk would let the starter rest all night next to the fermenter before pouring it in. I didn’t find anything better about letting the jar sit all night. So I went back to making my starters and using them right away.
When making small batches (1 to 4 US gallons) I don't know that it makes much difference. However, when making 4 lug (144 lbs) batches from fresh grapes, making the starter around 6PM and inoculating around 7AM gets the fermentation going significantly faster. YMMV
 
I use 1 tsp Fermax (got a big jar) and 1 Tbsp sugar. Otherwise the same.

Regarding QA23, I follow the same regimen.


When making small batches (1 to 4 US gallons) I don't know that it makes much difference. However, when making 4 lug (144 lbs) batches from fresh grapes, making the starter around 6PM and inoculating around 7AM gets the fermentation going significantly faster. YMMV

There you have it. I don’t make the volume that you do.
 
I think a point to emphasize is that rehydrating the yeast without ANY sugar should not extend past 45 minutes. In the absence of any food the yeast won’t like that.

I also notice that starter recipes call for 1 tsp of sugar, I have also seen 1 TBS. I’ve done both, I think the 1 TBS gave a faster ferment, both in time to first bubbles and in the time to finish.
 
Is the juice yield from 4 lugs about 10 gallons?
Juice or wine? We get more wine from a given lot of grapes than juice, as the fermentation process breaks the fruit down for better extraction.

The amount of wine varies by varietal and fruit condition. Last fall I grossed over 21 gallons from 8 lugs of Grenache, and IIRC, nearly 19 gallons from 8 lugs of Tempranillo. Assume I lose 1 gallon of each to sediment and racking.

They are both in barrels, so I lose another 1.5 US gallons to the angels due to evaporation through the barrel.
 
Interestingly, I just came across some info on a QA23 data sheet that indicates total rehydration time should NOT exceed 45mins. (I've obviously been WAY over that timing spec)

View attachment 105410
Rehydration is not the same thing as making a starter. Rehydration is just that, rehydration. It does not include feeding the yeast in order to get the population started.
 
I think a point to emphasize is that rehydrating the yeast without ANY sugar should not extend past 45 minutes. In the absence of any food the yeast won’t like that.

I also notice that starter recipes call for 1 tsp of sugar, I have also seen 1 TBS. I’ve done both, I think the 1 TBS gave a faster ferment, both in time to first bubbles and in the time to finish.
When making a starter...how long till pitching it in the juice is the sweet spot?
 
When making a starter...how long till pitching it in the juice is the sweet spot?
Oh my, what a question! I have tried many timings and they've all worked, but I must say that our recent WMT community ferment was probably the healthiest, fastest yeast take over after pitching I've ever seen. We did the standard stuff mentioned here with a few variations like adding must juice for pH acclimation etc. Turned out really good. To answer your question, I pitch when (1) the temps are close to the same and (2) after the yeast is clearly thriving in a smaller sample of the must. For me, that tends to be 6-12 hours (lol). If the yeast is thriving in a small bit of the juice, then it'll thrive in a large bit of juice. Beyond that, I'm not sure there's a "time," each strain is different. (https://www.winemakingtalk.com/thre...-a-75l-of-red-deliciousness.78794/post-887232)

Possibly unrelated, but I've also found that mixing a yeast starter in throughout the must/juice works much better than just leaving it on the top. The logic is to allow the yeast to reach oxygen, but there should be plenty of oxygen in the juice/must already if it's been mixed or stirred at all. Just my experience, your mileage may vary.
 
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I have found that the yeast wakes up much faster if you keep the starter at the temperature recommended by the manufacturer for the first hour or so. It is usually something like 95-97 degrees F. I get my starter water + GoFerm to that temp, then place it in a warm water bath to keep it warm for a while.

For more challenging environments for the yeast, I take the time to add some must in stages:
* Wait until the water + GoFerm is fermenting nicely
* Add an equal volume of must, and wait until that is fermenting nicely
* Then add more must to double the volume again
* Once that is fermenting nicely, add it to the fermentation bucket

I don't always go through all the steps, but sometimes it is worth it. This allows the yeast to gradually get used to the conditions of the must.

My latest project was a hard lemonade with a pH of 2.8. Since it was so acidic, I wanted to give the yeast an extra boost. I made a starter following the procedure above yesterday, which took a total of about 3 hours. Yesterday evening I add the starter to the must, and today it is fermenting nicely.
Possibly unrelated, but I've also found that mixing a yeast starter in throughout the must/juice works much better than just leaving it on the top.
I've also seen recommendations to do exactly the opposite. The claim is that yeast works better in a colony, so we should pour the starter along one side of the bucket and not stir it until the next day. That's what I usually do, and it works fine. But mixing it in probably works fine as well. ;)
 
I have found that the yeast wakes up much faster if you keep the starter at the temperature recommended by the manufacturer for the first hour or so.
Ditto. Wine yeast likes a temperature hotter than is good for making wine. I typically target 93-97 F, although apparently some strains are good in the 104-110 F range. Using 95 F as the sweet spot for the starter is good for every strain I'm familiar with, and mine take off like gangbusters.

I typically leave the starter on my kitchen counter for 4 hours, during which it cools to room temperature, then move the starter next to the fermenter(s) in the cellar, where is cools more. When I inoculate in the morning, everything (must and starters) is at the same temperature.

Possibly unrelated, but I've also found that mixing a yeast starter in throughout the must/juice works much better than just leaving it on the top.
As @Raptor99 commented, keeping the starter together is a recommendation. I got this from the FWK instructions, which state that the colony grows better as a single unit.

However, it's entirely possible that both POV are wrong, and the yeast doesn't care. ;)
 
Ditto. Wine yeast likes a temperature hotter than is good for making wine. I typically target 93-97 F, although apparently some strains are good in the 104-110 F range. Using 95 F as the sweet spot for the starter is good for every strain I'm familiar with, and mine take off like gangbusters.

I typically leave the starter on my kitchen counter for 4 hours, during which it cools to room temperature, then move the starter next to the fermenter(s) in the cellar, where is cools more. When I inoculate in the morning, everything (must and starters) is at the same temperature.


As @Raptor99 commented, keeping the starter together is a recommendation. I got this from the FWK instructions, which state that the colony grows better as a single unit.

However, it's entirely possible that both POV are wrong, and the yeast doesn't care. ;)
I'm curious about the starter status when the yeast run out of food? My typical starter is 8oz 100F h20, 1tsp GoFerm & 2tsp white table sugar. Like you, I've been starting the night b4 for next morning inoculation. My starters tend to go gangbusters for the first few hours with visible activity & froth on top buildup...but by morning have settled down with no apparent activity. That said....my starters always do a great job!

Thoughts?

Cheers!
 

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