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Old 11-24-2007, 01:32 PM   #1
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Default Smell of a healthy starter

So I went to my local aquarium store, all stoked to pick up some aeration equipment, and was a little disappointed. Instead of an inline HEPA, I've got a built-in unspecified filter in my air pump and the grace of G'd to rely on for sterility.

I've set the pump intake on top of the out-vent of my home HEPA filter, and I'm 24h aerating a starter on a Wyeast 1968 (Fuller's) ESB yeast, with the incremental feeding and all as per Roving Brewer. Right now the smells coming out are great - healthy, wonderful bread-dough scents - but I recognise the very real chance of an infected starter with this McGyver'd setup.

I'm pretty certain it's healthy now - what should I be on the lookout for? Vinegary smells, I know, could mean a problem, and lacto, lambic scents will scare me. Any other good indications of starter health? I plan to improve this setup, obviously, before I risk spoiling a special-ordered yeast or a really exciting beer, but in the meantime - what do you think, guys?

Next: Tousted Out Stoat, Hop Bomb, Ordinary Bitter
Bubbling: Belgian Summer Bitter, Vienna Steam Beer
Conditioning:Greenwall Lambic
Kegged: Christmas Ale
Bottle Conditioning:
Drinking: Saison Bâtard

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Old 11-26-2007, 05:14 PM   #2
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I imagine you've used it or pitched it by now, but it sounds like you are in pretty good shape for the starter. Yes, as you expected, you would look for the same signs in a starter as you would for beer.


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