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I'm planning to split a kit five ways to do a test on different water types. The kit is a two-can 3.6Kg LME kit (St Peter's IPA made by Muntons) that's designed to make about 20 litres of beer. I figure I'll get five PET one-gallon FVs to brew in, weigh the LME and split into five, add the appropriate water, and split the hop extract five ways (should be doable by eye).

The main question I have is about the yeast. These Muntons kits come with a 6g yeast sachet, which is pretty small to start with. Splitting it 5 ways is going to be 1.2g yeast per fermenter, which sounds very small.

Options I can think of:

  • Just split it and not worry. Probably rehydrate first (in distilled water) then split the liquid/sludge as well as I can.
  • Use a starter to bump up the volume a bit, then split that.
  • Try to find out from Muntons what kind of yeast they use (it's been labelled "X HND 6 G YEAST PREMIUM MADE IN EU" on other kits I've had from them) and getting four new packets and using one in each. I'm a little worried that inconsistencies between the packets might mess up my test, but perhaps I could rehydrate them all in one batch and then split that five ways?

Do any of those options sound like they're obviously better than the others, or just completely crazy? Are there other things I should be considering?

(Also, is there anything else about this experiment that strikes anyone as a bad idea?)

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I would just rehydrate the packet of yeast in 500mLs of water using a measuring cup. Then just pour 100mLs in each fermentor.

The only thing that sounds 'crazy' about your experiment is the water type test. Extract contains the minerals from the original water source used when mashing at the manufacturer. So adding minerals or whatever you plan to do might be misleading in its final analysis. Unless all you are doing is looking for a water treatment that enhances that exact malt extract manufacturer then it might be educational. Does that make sense?

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    Thanks! The water test is going to be tap water vs tap water with Campden versus Brita filtered tap water versus cheap mineral water versus distilled -- basically, trying to find out the most cost effective way of not getting off flavours from the doubled mineral content when extract brewing. Hope that makes more sense. – Giles Thomas Feb 4 '16 at 2:19
  • @GilesThomas campden is usually Potassium Metabisulfide which depletes the solution of oxygen, I'm not sure if it can boil off, but it can be countered with pure oxygen airation. Just FYI. – Evil Zymurgist Feb 4 '16 at 2:38
  • Love it @GilesThomas. Post a reply back here when its done. – brewchez Feb 4 '16 at 11:43
  • @EvilZymurgist I read somewhere that it's effective for removing both chlorine and chloramine, so worth testing at least :-) – Giles Thomas Feb 4 '16 at 17:14
  • @brewchez sure, will do! – Giles Thomas Feb 4 '16 at 17:14
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Just build a starter for 5 gallons and split evenly, 1500-2000ml is an average starter.

Main benifiet here is to decant the starter wort and only pitch the slurry this will minimize the starters water contribution for your experiment.

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Maybe just skip the kit yeast and get yourself five packs of US-05. That way you know you've got a consistent amount in each, and US-05 is a pretty neutral yeast, so it shouldn't contribute much in the way of additional flavors.

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