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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Did yeast starter start?
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Old 01-17-2009, 06:51 PM   #1
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Default Did yeast starter start?

I bought a beer kit for Christmas and just opened it this week. I didn't know that it came with liquid yeast that needs to be refridgerated. It probably hasn't gotten any higher than 70 degrees in my house, so i'm not sure if it's any good still.

To make sure it was still good, i made a yeast starter 3 days ago. I used 1/2 cup DME and a cup of water. I didn't notice any bubbles in the airlock and I can't tell if there's more yeast now than when i started.

Is there a way to determine if the yeast starter did anything? Or is it dead yeast?'
Thanks

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Old 01-17-2009, 07:13 PM   #2
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Hydrometer!

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Old 01-17-2009, 07:44 PM   #3
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i thought of that, but i didn't take an initial measurement. Can you still find out if it fermented anything?

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Old 01-17-2009, 08:10 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by robbase9 View Post
i thought of that, but i didn't take an initial measurement. Can you still find out if it fermented anything?
Sure - just decant some of the liquid and drink it. If it tastes like wort (i.e. very sweet), you have dead yeast. If it tastes like green beer, you've had fermentation.

Also, it should have a fairly low FG in the single digits or lower double digits.
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Old 01-17-2009, 10:21 PM   #5
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Specific gravity is 1.050 and the taste is, well, yeasty to say the least. But it's not very sweet.

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Old 01-17-2009, 11:38 PM   #6
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If the SG is at 1.050 I'd say it's dead. I'll say a prayer for the little buggers.

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Old 01-18-2009, 02:40 AM   #7
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If you made a starter with 1/2 cup DME to 1 cup water, it would have a gravity of something over 1.080. Introducing your poor innocent yeasts to such a starter is a bit like weaning your kids on Glenlivet.
If it's got down to 1.050, I'd say it's still alive, but probably has severe indegestion.

-a.

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Old 01-18-2009, 02:53 AM   #8
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Just out of curiosity, what did you use to calculate that SG (1.080)?

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Old 01-18-2009, 03:36 AM   #9
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When I make a starter, I use about 3/4 cup DME to 1 qt (4 cups) water That gives me about 1.040. You used more than twice as much DME per volume of water, so the gravity would be more than double.

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Old 01-18-2009, 04:18 PM   #10
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Just to clarify, starters should generally be in the 1.030 - 1.040 range, no matter the type of beer you brew.

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