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Old 12-07-2012, 08:02 PM   #1
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Default Decanting yeast starter

I created a yeast starter a few days ago for my wort, but I think I did something wrong so I want to make sure of it. I did 1.5 cups DME to 1.119 liters of water (5 cups). After 24 hours, I put the yeast in the fridge till I was ready for it. On brew day, I took it out of the fridge and let it sit there for a few hours while I brewed to let it get to room temperature. Once there, I decanted it and then poured it into the wort. My question is, should I not've waited till it was room temperature to decant or should I have decanted the starter right out of the fridge first and then let it warm? I feel like I lost some yeast doing it that way. Plus, my primary has about stopped bubbling and my OG was 1.064, but I'm only at 1.033, which is only 4.06 ABV.



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Old 12-07-2012, 08:11 PM   #2
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I am only looking into doing yeast starters, but my understanding is that the starter is made and kept at room temperature for a few days. Stir or shake every once in awhile to keep it going (I just got a stir plate). Then the day before brew day it goes in the fridge to allow the yeast to settle to the bottom before decanting?



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Old 12-07-2012, 08:14 PM   #3
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Mine as done with a stir plate, which I love. I just want to make sure I didn't waste my yeast by decanting after the start got back to room temperature.

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Old 12-07-2012, 08:14 PM   #4
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Sorry, I misread your post.

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Old 12-08-2012, 10:45 AM   #5
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Decant while cold, pitch while cold. You get no benefit from warming the yeast before pitching, IMHO. There was a lot of talking about this some time back, about pitching cold. Maybe search for the thread. Anyway, point is, it's not necessary to warm the yeast. Yeast has temperature shock if you're going DOWN in temp. Pitching cold yeast into a warm solution won't bother them, in my experience, and I've been cold pitching for maybe the last 50 batches.

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Old 12-08-2012, 12:28 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pingeyeg View Post
I created a yeast starter a few days ago for my wort, but I think I did something wrong so I want to make sure of it. I did 1.5 cups DME to 1.119 liters of water (5 cups). After 24 hours, I put the yeast in the fridge till I was ready for it. On brew day, I took it out of the fridge and let it sit there for a few hours while I brewed to let it get to room temperature. Once there, I decanted it and then poured it into the wort. My question is, should I not've waited till it was room temperature to decant or should I have decanted the starter right out of the fridge first and then let it warm? I feel like I lost some yeast doing it that way. Plus, my primary has about stopped bubbling and my OG was 1.064, but I'm only at 1.033, which is only 4.06 ABV.
What kind of, and how much, yeast did you start with?

Did you get a layer of yeast slurry at the bottom of your starter vessel?

Did you aerate your wort?

At what ambient temperature are you fermenting?
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Old 12-08-2012, 01:11 PM   #7
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Thank you, that's the answer I was looking for.

I used 1 smack pack of American Ale Yeast. I used 1.5 cups DME Pale Ale with 5 cups water(1.119 liters).

I should've used a 2 liter decanter, but didn't and had some overflow. Today I'm going to get another smack pack to finish the process and get to my target FG.

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Old 12-08-2012, 03:55 PM   #8
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I decant while cold but let it warm up to room temp after that. I do not want to take cold yeast at 42f and pitch into 67f wort.
Not sure if it matters or not but I don't want to shock the yeast by this big temp swing.

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Old 12-08-2012, 04:02 PM   #9
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How long has it been in primary?

Regardless of whether or not you dumped out some of your yeast when you decanted, it should still get to your expected FG. Lack of airlock activity does not mean the yeast isn't working.

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Today I'm going to get another smack pack to finish the process and get to my target FG.
Probably no reason to do that.
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Old 12-08-2012, 04:23 PM   #10
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Agreed with signpost all counts.

Also, cold temps are likely the cause of the slow start. I wouldn't pitch more yeast. Also, very little yeast was likely lost due to decanting after warming to room temperature. Typical cell density of an active fermentation is only about 5 to 50 billion cells per liter, and a typical slurry is 1 to 2 Trillion cells per liter.



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