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Old 10-23-2009, 06:05 PM   #1
MrBungle
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Default First time making a starter, what's happening?

So I am brewing an AHS Bavarian Doppelbock extract kit. I got 2 vials of White Labs Bock yeast. The OG is 1.088 and they suggested I make a starter. I made a 1 quart wort, cooled it to 55*F and popped the yeast in there on monday(10/19). Shook it like hell, put in my airlock, and set it in the fridge. I was planning on brewing tomorrow but I haven't seen much activity other than tiny bubbles rising. I also have a Brewvint yeast supplement capsule I plan on throwing in my actual wort, or should I put it in the starter? Thank you.
Here is a pic:

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Old 10-23-2009, 06:13 PM   #2
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The air lock is unnecessary because you would want the yeast to have access to fresh oxygen to reproduce. Simply covering the opening loosely with aluminum foil will work.

In addition, you don't want to put your starter in the fridge. The lower temperatures will slow the yeast down and eventually make them dormant.

By looking at the picture of your starter, I think I can see a thin layer of yeast at the bottom (the white layer on top of the trub).

The purpose of a starter is to create a large population of healthy yeast. The best way to do this is to essentially make a mini-beer. Your starter should be at temperature required for the yeast (around room temp, 65F-74F, but it may vary depending on what type of yeast you are using) and away from sunlight. If you don't have a stirplate, give the starter a good swirl a few times a day to introduce fresh oxygen and roust the yeast back into suspension, giving them a chance to reproduce.

Take the lid off and cover with aluminum foil, give it a good swirl and it will be ready to go in 24-48 hours.

The yeast supplement should go into the wort, added towards the end of the boil.

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Old 10-23-2009, 06:17 PM   #3
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hmm.. OK thanks. also, the yeasts optimal temp is around 50* since it's a lager yeast.

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Old 10-23-2009, 06:21 PM   #4
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Here's a cool article on Yeast Propagation and Maintenance. The ideal temperature for yeast propagation is 77F, even if you will be fermenting at a lower temperature. Even for lager yeasts.

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Old 10-23-2009, 07:05 PM   #5
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As mentioned before, it shouldn't be in the fridge and you should use a loosely wrapped piece of aluminum foil in place of the airlock.

Also, since you used 2 vials of pitchable yeast in the starter you could probably use quite a bit more wort.

It looks like you have a 1qt. starter. I typically use 2 qts. with one smack pack, and you have more than double that amount of yeast. You should have at least 2 qts. of starter, but I would even shoot for 3.

But not to worry, nothing is ruined. Just bring back to room temp, change the airlock out, and possibly transfer to a larger vessel with more wort added. Of course keeping sterile the entire time.

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Old 10-23-2009, 07:34 PM   #6
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great! thanks for the info guys! that article is awesome. wish I found that before I found this: http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/yeas...33/#post276092

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Old 10-24-2009, 01:26 AM   #7
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OK so I don't have a bigger vessel but I added another quart of wort and 1/4 of the brewvint capsule I have. i'm seeing more tiny bubbles already! since it doesn't look like i'll be brewing tomorrow, the next available day will be on tuesday. will that be OK?

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Old 10-24-2009, 01:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrBungle View Post
OK so I don't have a bigger vessel but I added another quart of wort and 1/4 of the brewvint capsule I have. i'm seeing more tiny bubbles already! since it doesn't look like i'll be brewing tomorrow, the next available day will be on tuesday. will that be OK?
Yes it will be.
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