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Old 11-12-2012, 10:15 AM   #1
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Default 1st yeast starter...sucess or failure?

So, yesterday I made a 1 l starter...followed process and sanitizing rules...100 grams DME to 1000 ml water. I cooled to 70 degrees, then gave a shake 1-2 times every hour. Didn't see any activity, no krausen, but I foolishly used a dark brown growler! At 11 pm, still no signs of life. Went to bed feeling defeated. This morning there's a 1 1/2 inch cake at the bottom of the growler. Did I successfully make me a starter? or could that be DME that settled out? If it did work, do I pitch the whole growler? If it didn't, do I try to pitch anyway? I don't have any other yeast.
Thanks!

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Old 11-12-2012, 10:34 AM   #2
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Take a gravity reading. If it's lower than when you started with, then fermentation has happened and finished. 100g DME in 1L water should have yielded SG around 1.037. If you are significantly lower than that, you should be fine.

Pitching the whole growler depends on when you brew. If you're brewing today/tomorrow then yes, pitch the whole thing. Anything beyond that, just put the growler in the fridge, let the yeast settle fully, and decant about 800cc out. Swirl the remainder really well (but don't shake, you want to break up the yeast cake so you can pitch it, not introduce air and contaminants) and pitch the slurry.

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Old 11-12-2012, 10:58 AM   #3
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Quote:
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Take a gravity reading. If it's lower than when you started with, then fermentation has happened and finished. 100g DME in 1L water should have yielded SG around 1.037. If you are significantly lower than that, you should be fine.

Pitching the whole growler depends on when you brew. If you're brewing today/tomorrow then yes, pitch the whole thing. Anything beyond that, just put the growler in the fridge, let the yeast settle fully, and decant about 800cc out. Swirl the remainder really well (but don't shake, you want to break up the yeast cake so you can pitch it, not introduce air and contaminants) and pitch the slurry.
So I can take a sample out with my thief to take a reading??
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:04 AM   #4
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You can do that if you need to verify. But, I probably wouldnt worry about it. The yeast cake on the bottom is a good indicator. Sounds like you made a starter.

I almost never see any kraussen on the first starter wort. When I step it up, thats different.

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Old 11-12-2012, 12:47 PM   #5
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and that cake couldn't be DME that settled out??

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Old 11-12-2012, 12:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
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and that cake couldn't be DME that settled out??
not if you boiled it and got it mixed well.

also, don't pitch the whole growler. cool it and let the yeast settle out and pour off the beer, pitching only the yeast.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:55 PM   #7
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not if you boiled it and got it mixed well.

also, don't pitch the whole growler. cool it and let the yeast settle out and pour off the beer, pitching only the yeast.
Yeah? I'll be pitching 24 hrs after I made the starter....
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Yeah? I'll be pitching 24 hrs after I made the starter....
You could pitch the whole thing into a five gallon batch, your call.
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Old 11-13-2012, 08:28 PM   #9
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pitched it all yesterday at 3 pm....No activity as of 6 am this morning!? Woulda thought with a starter the yeasties wouldve been rocking!!

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Old 11-14-2012, 12:06 AM   #10
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Sounds like you made some yeast. The cake is a good indicator. I have never seen any thing else settle out and look like yeast.

What was the gravity and volume of the wort you pitched the yeast into? Also, did you aerate the wort well? Shaking the whole wort in the bucket for 40 seconds will saturate it with 8ppm of oxygen.

The growler should have generated about 100 billion cells in addition to the 100 billion you pitched. That's enough for 5 gallons of a 1.055 wort.

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