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BugLaden

Yeast starter question

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Doing my first yeast starter. I pitched 36 hours ago and there is only a small amount of krausen. This amount hasn't really changed since I the initial bubbles from the pre-pitch shakeup settled down.

I have a Triple S airlock on it. The liquid is pushed almost totally into the furthest chamber from the wort. So there is definitely activity that is causing gas generation.

Since I've not seen "high krausen" in 36 hours, how can I be sure that this starter is viable?

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Gravity check maybe...not all are going to have krausen just like not all fermenters do. I gently swirl mine every so often...to keep the yeast in suspension.

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I would definitely swirl the solution often. In fact, I have had the best starters using a stir plate. What type of yeast did you use and what about temps? How big of a starter are you making?

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I've got plans to make a stir plate - just don't have one available. This starter is around 1.040, using *HARVESTED* S-04. Temps are around 66*.

I gave it a gentle swirl just now, will see how it looks tomorrow morning. I'm hoping to pitch it after work in a new batch.

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I've noticed some of my yeast harvests don't produce much of a krausen, but they've still worked quite well in the keg. Do you see yeast sediment on the bottom of the container? In my experience, sediment + gas = viable yeast.

So far I've harvested two batches from Bell's (Oberon and Best Brown Ale), as well as splitting smack packs into smaller jars and then using them in a starter.

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Definitely sediment on the bottom. I'll assume this is viable then.

I won't be able to pitch this until 56 hours after it was created. Is that too late?

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Zebediah wrote:

I've noticed some of my yeast harvests don't produce much of a krausen, but they've still worked quite well in the keg. Do you see yeast sediment on the bottom of the container? In my experience, sediment + gas = viable yeast.

So far I've harvested two batches from Bell's (Oberon and Best Brown Ale), as well as splitting smack packs into smaller jars and then using them in a starter.

When you split the pack into multiple jars, do you add nutrients, or just some wort. Do you just instantly put into the fridge or wait til you see activity then put in the fridge? I plan on doing this soon so any info on how you do it would be great. thanks!

(with specialty yeast at 7 dollars its probably worth investing in some jars)

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Usually you don't see much action when making a stasrter with liquid yeast. You will notice a change in color and sediment on the bottom. Just shake the crap out of it, and do it every time you think about it or walk by where you keep it. No need to use an air lock either. Sanitize some aluminum foil and put it over the op if using a growler or beaker.

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BugLaden wrote:

Definitely sediment on the bottom. I'll assume this is viable then.

I won't be able to pitch this until 56 hours after it was created. Is that too late?

The gravity sounds good. As for temps, I try to keep it around the pitching temps so as not to add extra stress to the yeast. I think your starter is fine. As for when to pitch, I usually try to pitch when the yeast are very active. I usually pitch around 18-24 hours after making the starter, but I am also using a stir plate which keeps things going. I think you will be fine at 56 and you should notice a pretty good amount of sediment by then. I believe you will find some interesting reading at this site:

http://www.mrmalty.com/pitching.php

Good luck on the starter and the future stir plate. I made mine for about $20 using old computer parts and a few items from radio shack.

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Thanks for all the help guys. When using a stir plate, how long do you let the starter sit on it? The whole 18-24 hours?

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Yes, usually. It actually depends on if I am making a starter larger than 2 liters. If I am making a 2 liter, I usually leave it on the plate then pitch the whole thing. If I am making a bigger one, I let it sit, then pour off most of the top liquid then pitch just the yeast slurry.

I should point out these are for 5 gallon batches.

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d3EP wrote:

When you split the pack into multiple jars, do you add nutrients, or just some wort. Do you just instantly put into the fridge or wait til you see activity then put in the fridge?


I just make a starter wort with a ratio of 10ml water to 1g DME (so in a 1L starter I use 100g of DME). I haven't tried yeast nutrients yet - I suppose with larger batches it may be more important, but I haven't had any trouble yet with the small Mr. Beer size batches.

As for splitting the smack pack, I followed Dr. Dink's Method with good results.

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bsts94 wrote:

I would definitely swirl the solution often. In fact, I have had the best starters using a stir plate. What type of yeast did you use and what about temps? How big of a starter are you making?

Off the wall here. I wonder if one could use an old turntable to spin the starting jar. I am guessing the liquid would eventually spin at the same rate as the turn table, but the solid materials, and bubbles would have some sort of resistance, causing it to stir it some. Probably better than nothing at all, but a little insane at the same time

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Not real sure here, but I would imagine that a turntable would not actually stir anything. I would guess it would act similar to a centrifuge in that it would cause the heavier particles to settle out, or be stuck to the sides. Sounds like one of Newtons laws to me. If you have an old turntable, you should try it by putting something in a glass of water then let us know what happens.

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bsts94 wrote:

Not real sure here, but I would imagine that a turntable would not actually stir anything. I would guess it would act similar to a centrifuge in that it would cause the heavier particles to settle out, or be stuck to the sides. Sounds like one of Newtons laws to me. If you have an old turntable, you should try it by putting something in a glass of water then let us know what happens.

Shoot you are right!

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