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Old 08-26-2005, 03:02 AM   #1
oregonNate
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Default Yeast starter question.

First post for me here... working on my 7th batch, 5th all-grain.

I made a starter last night using this technique:

1. 2oz (by weight) of DME in 500ml of water ~1.046 OG.
2. Boiled for 30 minutes in a 1L erlenmeyer flask.
3. As soon as I turned off the flame, covered with a piece of sanitized aluminum foil.
4. Put it in an ice bath for 15 minutes, checked the temperature with a sanitized thermometer.
5. When it was below 80° I shook it very well.
6. Sanitized the Wyeast packet and airlock in an iodophor solution.
7. Opened it up, poured it in and added the airlock.

That's it... has worked for me in the past just fine with vigerous fermentation within a few hours.

This time it has been 24 hours with no krausen at all, just slight pressure on the airlock and no bubbling. There is a yeast cake on the bottom of the flask, but no obvious activity. It is sitting around 70°.

This is Wyeast 1214 Belgian Abbey yeast... any chance this is still any good or should I go buy another pack and make another one?

Thanks for the advice.

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Old 08-26-2005, 05:07 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oregonNate
First post for me here... working on my 7th batch, 5th all-grain.

I made a starter last night using this technique:

1. 2oz (by weight) of DME in 500ml of water ~1.046 OG.
2. Boiled for 30 minutes in a 1L erlenmeyer flask.
3. As soon as I turned off the flame, covered with a piece of sanitized aluminum foil.
4. Put it in an ice bath for 15 minutes, checked the temperature with a sanitized thermometer.
5. When it was below 80° I shook it very well.
6. Sanitized the Wyeast packet and airlock in an iodophor solution.
7. Opened it up, poured it in and added the airlock.

That's it... has worked for me in the past just fine with vigerous fermentation within a few hours.

This time it has been 24 hours with no krausen at all, just slight pressure on the airlock and no bubbling. There is a yeast cake on the bottom of the flask, but no obvious activity. It is sitting around 70°.

This is Wyeast 1214 Belgian Abbey yeast... any chance this is still any good or should I go buy another pack and make another one?

Thanks for the advice.
Well, if you had a yeast cake in the starter, the yeast is viable. I don't know much about that strain.....is it just slow? SOme of the Belgian strains can be.

The only other thing that comes to mind is an air leak in your fermenter. Not terribly likely if you're usng a carboy, but very possible if you're using a plastic bucket.

Anyway, welcome to the forum, and best of luck with it!
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Old 08-26-2005, 12:58 PM   #3
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I probably didn't say clear enough that it is still only a starter, planning on brewing this weekend.

Checked it out again this morning and there isn't any bubbling in the airlock, but the yeast cake on the bottom of the flask is pretty big so perhaps this is just a slow yeast?

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Old 08-26-2005, 01:54 PM   #4
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it's working. what yeast strain is it? i always use white labs, so wyeast may act a little different in a starter? just swirl up real good before you pitch into the fermenter.

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Old 08-26-2005, 04:41 PM   #5
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It sounds like it's working to me. I made a couple starters last night, 1 quart per starter. I pitched White labs vials of American Hefeweizen and Belgian Wit yeast. I used some 1/2 gal growlers and put the bubbler on them. This morning, I checked on them, and I didn't see any krausen, but there's a good inch of yeast cake on the bottom. So I think the yeasts have been busy in there. When I go home for lunch, I'm going to shake it up a bit, to get a little more oxygen into the mixture. That's supposed to help the starter be even stronger.

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Old 08-26-2005, 05:37 PM   #6
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Oh....I thought you meant no bubbling in your fermenter's airlock. You normally won't see much activity in a starter. I had one put on a nice little kreautsen, but usually I'll just a thin little layer of foam on top.

If you see a nice yeast cake in the bottom, it's doing exactly what it needs to do.

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Old 08-26-2005, 06:33 PM   #7
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My last starter (WL Belgian Wit) bubbled like mad for three days. It clogged the airlock three times.

I was worried about this one (Wyeast belgian abbey) because it is being so calm.

Come to think of it though...I did reduce the size of my starter this time because of the clogging. It might make sense that it wouldn't be as active with out as much sugar to chew on.

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