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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > General Techniques > Lag time for starter
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Old 06-30-2007, 06:16 AM   #1
Mike B
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Default Lag time for starter

I'm brewing on sunday, so I just made a starter this afternoon. My first starter ever, actually.

I boiled about 1/2 cup of light DME in about 12 oz water and cooled to about 80 degrees. Then added a packet of wYeasts, Londaon Ale strain. When I left the house about an hour later, the airlock was bubbling, about once every couple of seconds. Is that abnormal? Seems a bit fast to me, but since this was my first starter, I figured I see what you guys thought.

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-Mike

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Old 06-30-2007, 06:31 AM   #2
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No problem. Starters generally kick off pretty fast, especally if you've aerated them. Your brew should be great!

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Old 06-30-2007, 05:14 PM   #3
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The ferment in a small starter can happen so fast that you may miss it. There are a lot of cells in a smack pack and they will go through that small amount of wort very quickly.

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Old 07-01-2007, 12:13 AM   #4
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Good to hear that it won't be a problem! Thanks for the replies!

I should be back home in a few hours, we'll see if it's still bubbling . . .

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Old 07-01-2007, 12:49 AM   #5
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I think 1/2 cup DME in 12 ounces of water is too strong! I use 1/2 cup in about a quart of water. You want a sg of about 1.040 for a starter. You want to give the yeast a kick start, not tire them out.

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Old 07-01-2007, 06:12 PM   #6
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yep, too high a gravity in the starter wort has a negative impact one the cell walls of the yeast.

Some dry yeasts are already conditioned for higher gravities....but most aren't, so its better to gradually step it up if you have a really high gravity primary wort.

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Old 07-02-2007, 07:54 PM   #7
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UPDATE: By Saturday night, the starter had stopped bubbling. I pitched it at about 7:30 last night (74 degrees F, SG 1.06), and when I checked it this morning at about 8:30, it was still about 74F and bubbling away!

Hopefully this short lag time (about 12 hour) bodes well for the brew.

Yooper, Malkore: Do you think there will be any negative side effects from my high gravity starter? What kind of damage might've been done to the cell walls, and how will this affect my beer? Unfortunately, I didn't take a reading, so I don't know exactly how dense it was.

Anyway, thanks for the discussion, everyone!

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Old 07-02-2007, 08:08 PM   #8
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No, I bet it'll be fine!

Just remember next time to make a starter of about 1.040. The point of a starter is to propagate yeast, and get them ready to make beer for you.

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Old 07-02-2007, 08:10 PM   #9
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any damage is already done, but it only equates to lag time. the higher gravity starters dont' let the yeast cell walls absorb nutrients, so you get more lag time since only the most robust yeast cells will be able to get going.

the only way its gonna effect your final beer is if some kind of contamination was present, and took a foot hold on fermentation before the yeast got going.

so, in reality, if you sanitized properly, there's no real harm done.

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Old 07-02-2007, 10:19 PM   #10
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Thank you both for your help and advice!
-Mike

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