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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > How to tell when starter is fully fermented?
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Old 02-04-2011, 06:40 PM   #1
nitsuj80
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Default How to tell when starter is fully fermented?

I am in the process of starting my first yeast starter for a belgian strong ale. I will be using Wyeast 1388 for the yeast, a 2000 ml starter and a stir plate. I am planning on stepping up the wort as to increase the yeast count to the 300 billion that Mr. Malty is saying I am going to need. My question is how will I know when the wort is fully fermented and ready to be chilled, decanted and more wort added? Thanks for the advice.

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Old 02-04-2011, 06:43 PM   #2
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Here ya go...

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It doesn't matter one blip in your fermenter or your starter flask if the airlock bubbles or not (if you are using an airlock and not tinfoil if you are using tinfoil, you aren't getting bibbling anyway,) or if you see a krauzen. In fact starter fermentation are some of the fastest or slowest but most importantly, the most boring fermentations out there. Usually it's done withing a few hours of yeast pitch...usually overnight when we are sleeping, and the starter looks like nothing ever happened...except for the little band at the bottom. Or it can take awhile...but either way there's often no "activity" whatsoever....

I usually run my stirplate for the first 24 hours, then shut it down, if you are spinning your starter it is really hard to get a krausen to form anyway, since it's all spinning, and there's often a head of foam on it from the movement.


All that really matters is that creamy band o yeast at the bottom.





This is a chilled sample so it's flocculated, but even with an unchilled sample you should see a band of yeast at the bottom. Here's an unchilled version



Same thing, a band.

As it is I've only ever seen two or three krausens actually on my starter (one blew off a bunch of krausen and knocked the tinfoil off the flask,) and the evidence of one on the flask at the "waterline" once. But I've never not had a starter take off.

Look for the yeast at the bottom, don't worry what it looks like on top.

If you have yeast on the bottom....that's all you really need.

If it looks anything like that, your are ready to either feed it again, or use it.
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Old 02-04-2011, 07:55 PM   #3
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I usually let it go 48 h then chill overnight and decant on brew day.

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Old 02-05-2011, 12:55 AM   #4
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I think I will just go with 48 hours and then chill for 24 in the fridge. Do you think that I will need to step it up with the belgain strong ale having a OG of 1.081?

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Old 02-05-2011, 01:13 AM   #5
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I think I will just go with 48 hours and then chill for 24 in the fridge. Do you think that I will need to step it up with the belgain strong ale having a OG of 1.081?
Have you consulted Mr Malty? That will tell you how much you need.
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