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Old 03-29-2007, 02:15 PM   #1
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Default Another Dead Starter?????

Okay this is really starting to annoy me. I made a starter 12 hours ago and this is what it looks like:

picture.jpg

The stuff at the bottom looks more like trub than yeast and the liquid is completely clear. WTF is going on here? Is this starter dead or did it finish in 12 hours? I am so mad I could scream.

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Old 03-29-2007, 02:23 PM   #2
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I'm guessing it is probably done and ready to pitch! Did you have an airlock on it and did you see any bubbling? How warm was the ambient temperature where it was being stored?

I usually do my starters the day before brew day b/c that is usually all they need. I leave it in a utility room that is dark and warm - ~70oF. And still, I never see too many bubbles - nothing like a 5 gal. carboy during active fermentation. Maybe one every 15 seconds or so.

Your's pic there looks like most of mine.

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Old 03-29-2007, 02:45 PM   #3
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Ok, here's the usual response: Did you take an SG reading? Do it and see if it's done. Starters go faster than you think...

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Old 03-29-2007, 03:05 PM   #4
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Starters are quick and they don't always go crazy like a primary. I've had them complete in 12 hours. They do put of CO2 but not a lot. You may have missed seeing the airlock in action.

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Old 03-29-2007, 03:19 PM   #5
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looking at that picture, what layer would be the yeast?

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Old 03-29-2007, 03:34 PM   #6
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that's yeast at the bottom...your starter worked perfectly. I had the same thing happen, I was expecting to see action but I didn't. I got worried, but the next morning I saw a thick layer of yeast and knew that it was good to go. I pitched it and it has been fermenting like crazy for the past few days. RDWHAHB!



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Old 03-29-2007, 03:39 PM   #7
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The layer at the bottom doesn't look like yeast; it is brown rather than white and looks more like the trub at the bottom of a secondary. Also there are no tell-tale signs of even a small krausen having formed. You guys really think it's yeast? If it is, I'll start doing a happy dance around my kitchen!

(Side-note, the yeast is a few months old and past it's best by date, my lhbs gave it to me for free because it was the only vial he had.)

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Old 03-29-2007, 04:04 PM   #8
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Bear in mind, the purpose of a starter is to grow yeast, not make alcohol. So, little CO2 and not much krausen. You used DME, I assume? That would account for the color and a highly flocculate yeast would settle.

Looks fine to me, but put a teaspoonful of cane sugar in it without agitating it. You should see some action.

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Old 03-29-2007, 04:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheJadedDog
...(Side-note, the yeast is a few months old and past it's best by date, my lhbs gave it to me for free because it was the only vial he had.)
Which may explain why you saw little activity. But, yep - you gots yeast! It's down there with that bit of trub.

Since the yeast was old and possibly weak, you could decant all but the last bit of wort and make another starter. Pour it onto this one, swirl, pop an airlock on and wait. It might, as Arnold would say "pomp up zee yeeeast!"
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Old 03-29-2007, 04:11 PM   #10
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I echo the above. I made a starter recently of an OLLLD vial of lager yeast-- I never really saw much action, but now it has a thick layer of yeast at the bottom and the remnants of a krauesen.

I agree with feeding it to see if it does anything, but its still probably ready to pitch as is.

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