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Old 12-04-2010, 02:29 PM   #1
pj_rage
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Default Should I use this yeast/starter?

I tried to make my first starter Thursday night. I used the mrmalty calculator to determine that I needed a 3 liter starter with intermittent shaking.

I used a gallon milk jug (cleaned and sanitized), but I didn't have any aluminum foil, so I used a coffee filter with a rubber band, figuring it would let it breath as well as protect it from dust/etc. I sanitized the milk cap to shake the starter a few times during fermentation. This built pressure which I released. It would foam up during shaking, but go back down.

This morning I woke up and saw that coffee filter looked wet. I pulled it off to find quite a bit of moist clumpy yeast in the coffee filter and sort of clogging up mouth of the jug as well. The picture of the coffee filter is below. I didn't know what to do, so I dipped a paper towel in star san and scooped out the yeast that touched the coffee filter as best I could.

http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/h1OEtdzRdH5PnneYmewdSQ?feat=directlink

I'm not really sure what happened, other than the foam and/or krausen rose up and hit the coffee filter. The coffee filter was not sanitized (probably should have been), so now I'm wondering what I should do? My first inclination is to throw it all out due to possible infection, but on the other hand I wanted to brew this weekend with it, so I wanted to make sure that I should toss it.

I'm thinking better safe than sorry in this case, is that about right?

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Old 12-04-2010, 03:27 PM   #2
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You are probably good to go. What type of beer are you making? If it is a normal brew that you will be drinking in 30 days its unlikely that any nasties will have a chance to do harm as the yeast have already taken over the starter and is fighting off competition with alcohol.

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Old 12-04-2010, 03:27 PM   #3
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I'd make a gallon batch of 12-ish plato beer with it. It should ferment out in a few days. Taste the beer - if it tastes normal, pitch the yeast into a full-sized batch. If not, throw it out, and you'll have only lost 1-gal worth of malt and hops.

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Old 12-06-2010, 05:39 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input guys! I actually didn't get a chance this weekend to brew the batch that would have used this starter.

I did end up buying some wyeast 1056 at the LHBS since I was there anyway. The original starter was the WLP001 that the recipe called for, but since I have the 1056 now, and I'm not in a rush, I think I'm just going to make a new starter with it and be more careful, rather than take the risk (if there is one). I was hoping to wash the yeast after fermentation as well, and I only want to do that if I can be certain that everything has been properly sanitized and kept that way the whole time. I guess in this case, the $6.99 will be worth the piece of mind. Hopefully the 1056 is close enough to the WLP001 to still come out the same.

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