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Old 01-20-2013, 11:54 PM   #1
chanson16
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Default Fermentation with Starter

How quick should fermentation start if you're using a starter? My starter was fermenting pretty good when I dumped it in and it's been six hours and I have nothing.

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Old 01-20-2013, 11:58 PM   #2
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6 hours is really, really soon. 48-72 hour lag times are not that uncommon depending on strain, temperature, etc.

Be patient.

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Old 01-21-2013, 12:11 AM   #3
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I disagree. 48 to 72 hrs with an insufficient pitch of yeast. That is way too long.

I use Mr. Malty to calculate my starter size and have NEVER had a beer start in more than 12 hrs. Lagers, ales, different strains, take your pick. That 48 to 72 thing has been quoted on this site for years to calm nervous noobs who pitched a 2 yr old yeast packet from their Coopers kit. It doesn't mean its optimal at all.

IMHO, if your beer is taking three days for fermentation to start, you need to review your pitching rates and yeast health.

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Old 01-21-2013, 01:45 AM   #4
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Quote:
48 to 72 hrs with an insufficient pitch of yeast. That is way too long.
As a blanket statement, this is completely false. As with anything, it depends.

I just made a fakey "lager" w/ Nottingham pitched at 52F and let it rise to 57F. It took 48 hours to see significant blowoff, and I promise my pitch rate was just fine. I actually over-pitched to compensate for fermenting below "optimal" for the strain.
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Old 01-21-2013, 01:46 AM   #5
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And the main point is that 6 hours is really, really short in almost all cases.

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Old 01-21-2013, 02:12 AM   #6
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I wonder if you shocked your starter. (too much of a difference in temp between starter and wort) I brewed 2 lagers a couple of weeks ago using triple stepped starters. I added about an ounce of wort to the decanted starter and swirled to mix, and repeated a few times to "temper" the starter. Both beers had dense 1/4" kreusen in 4-5 hours.

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Old 01-21-2013, 02:23 AM   #7
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I'm of the opinion that you really don't want it starting before 6 hours. I get concerned if it starts too quickly, that I've over-pitched and the yeast have not properly created all the pre-cursers for the esters.

My beers generally start between 8 and 14 hours, but I've had them start as quick as 3.

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Old 01-21-2013, 03:25 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlosCarlies View Post
And the main point is that 6 hours is really, really short in almost all cases.
I've had plenty beers take off in less than that and had them win medals.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smizak View Post
I've had plenty beers take off in less than that and had them win medals.
Then you should know that 6 hours is a short time to see signs of fermentation.

OP: Your beer could fully ferment and show no signs. It happens. It could also take off like crazy tonight while your sleeping.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:43 AM   #10
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Then you should know that 6 hours is a short time to see signs of fermentation.

OP: Your beer could fully ferment and show no signs. It happens. It could also take off like crazy tonight while your sleeping.
I'm just saying, as MTBT and Calder before me have also alluded to, that six hours is not "really, really " short.
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