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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Butter-Smelling Starter?
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Old 09-10-2010, 01:06 PM   #1
yournotpeter
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Default Butter-Smelling Starter?

I made a 3 liter starter out of a vial of WPL300 (Hefeweizen). I left it on the stir plate for about 48 hours. When I pulled it off and smelled it, it completely reaked like butter. Anyone ever encountered a starter that smelled like butter? This wouldn't be good, I imagine! I understand that diacetyl creates a buttery off-flavor...but in a starter??

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Old 09-10-2010, 06:57 PM   #2
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Starters often get oxidized or high amounts of diacetyl or other off flavors. The important thing is to keep them clean and uninfected by wild yeast or bacteria. The way to deal with this is to put the starter in the fridge for a day or two before pitching. Then decant off the starter beer, swirl and pitch. This leaves the undesireable starter beer behind.

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Old 09-10-2010, 07:00 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by JonK331 View Post
Starters often get oxidized or high amounts of diacetyl or other off flavors. The important thing is to keep them clean and uninfected by wild yeast or bacteria. The way to deal with this is to put the starter in the fridge for a day or two before pitching. Then decant off the starter beer, swirl and pitch. This leaves the undesireable starter beer behind.
I really don't think I got a wild yeast or bacteria - I'm pretty thorough with my sanitation as I've made numerous starters throughout the years and haven't had any contamination issues with my previous starters.

So, if I'm able to decant off the diacetyl-laden beer, the yeast should still be OK for pitching?
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:25 PM   #4
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Yeah, he's not saying you had an infection or anything. Butter is just a by product of the beer sitting on yeast for too long, So decant the bad beer off and just pitch the yeast.

Update us on how it goes, for my hefeweizens, I like em better without making a starter as I like a yeastier/banana flavor, but some like a crisper cleaner one that a starter might help with.

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Old 09-11-2010, 02:12 PM   #5
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Update us on how it goes
Will do! Thanks for the help...
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Old 09-12-2010, 08:19 PM   #6
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Butter is just a by product of the beer sitting on yeast for too long
Actually, it's just the opposite. Diacetyl (aka the butter smell/taste) will decrease as the beer sits on the yeast cake.
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