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Old 01-01-2013, 11:33 PM   #1
stepcg6
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Default HELP QUICK! Advice on unsanitized yeast starter

Two nights ago I made a yeast starter with California Ale WLP001 using the same process I always do except...I forgot to sanitize the growler I make all my yeast starters in.

I checked on the yeast starter today and was curious as to why it never bubbled vigorously like it usually does. I saw tiny bubbles in the airlock water but I figured it may have just bubbled shortly and stopped.

Flash forward to today. I brewed an IPA that is cooling as I type this. I only just realized that I didn't sanitize the yeast starter and now I'm scared to pitch it. Of course, being New Years Day the LHBS isn't open.

Two options:

1. Pitch what I've got and hope for the best. The starter doesn't smell of anything wrong but it does worry be that it never visibly bubbled.

2. Dart home from work tomorrow during the day, buy a new yeast, and pitch that. The only problem here is the IPA is a 1.070 OG beer so I usually like starters to make sure there is enough yeast to start a healthy fermentation.

Thoughts?

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Old 01-01-2013, 11:39 PM   #2
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Honestly it's probably fine. The yeast more than likely would have overpowered any bugs that were in the growler. But that's my thoughts and I couldn't guarantee that you wouldn't ruin your batch.

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Old 01-01-2013, 11:39 PM   #3
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RDWHAHB.

I would imagine you'll be okay. I would bet that you made more yeast in the wort than you have of anything else. In my limited experience, I'd say pitch it and hope for the best.

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Old 01-01-2013, 11:47 PM   #4
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I think I would take a good whiff of the starter and see how it smells. If I didn't notice anything off, I would pitch it and hope for the best. Otherwise, you will have a really long lag time. Of course, if you notice an off smell, I'd take my chances with the long lag time and get some yeast tomorrow. Good luck.

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Old 01-02-2013, 12:01 AM   #5
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Swirl and smell your starter - does it smell "bready" - that is good.

If it smells totally rancid/horrible for some reason, I would get some dry yeast and pitch that.

I keep a pack or two of dry yeast on hand for situations like that - just in case I need it in a pinch.

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Old 01-02-2013, 12:21 AM   #6
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Wow the whole HELP QUICK thing really worked didn't it?

I took your guys advice and pitched it. Like I said, it smelled like yeast with no weird funky smells, and the upside is that this growler is my "yeast starter" growler so nothing goes in there except yeast. Though I do store it open to the air, which I won't do any longer, and haven't used it in a month or two, I'm hoping that all other good brewing practices prevail and I can have a batch of great beer.

Thanks for the help guys!

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