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Old 11-07-2011, 01:01 PM   #1
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Default Question on using a stir plate

I have made starters quite a few times by just shaking the container whenever I thought about it. I built a stir pate and have some yeast on it I washed in october of 2010. it has been going for about 10 hours now and I see nothing. When I just shook the container it would foam up and eventually I would get a kraussen and yeast sediment in the bottom. with this spinning how can I tell when it is ready or even if it has taken off?

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Old 11-07-2011, 02:13 PM   #2
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Sometimes the starter will blow out the top and then others you hardly see any activity. Other than turning off the stir plate and watching the yeast settle, its kinda on faith. Of course you could take a gravity reading. Curious to see how the year old yeast does.

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Old 11-07-2011, 02:14 PM   #3
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I recently used a 5 month old washed jar of yeast, it took 24 hours to see any evidence of action, then it took off. You might need to wait a few days. You will know if you have a pile of yeast on the bottom of the flask/jar or you get that fermenting smell or Krausen.

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Old 11-07-2011, 02:34 PM   #4
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Sometimes the starter will blow out the top and then others you hardly see any activity. Other than turning off the stir plate and watching the yeast settle, its kinda on faith. Of course you could take a gravity reading. Curious to see how the year old yeast does.
I just brewed a couple of batches with some 11 month old stuff. The starter took a couple of days to take off but it worked fine. I just figured the stir plate would get it rolling way faster. this only has the foam from being stirred so hard ( this plate will make it look like it is boiling lol) so I cannot tell anything. I don't wanna turn it off until I know it has taken off.
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Old 11-07-2011, 02:36 PM   #5
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I just removed the foil and smelled it.. smells like wort, no ferment smell at all.

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Old 11-07-2011, 02:40 PM   #6
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I don't usually "see" much krausen or activity when on my stir plate. The stirring keeps it from really doing much. You should see a little bit of foam (krausen) swirling in there though. I also notice it changes in appearance. At the start it is more clear, after the yeast starts growing you'll notice the color and clarity of the starter gets more dense. After 2 days on the stir plate when you chill it to decant you'll see tons of yeast.

It's only been 10 hours. You have plenty more time ahead.

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Old 11-07-2011, 02:55 PM   #7
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I don't usually "see" much krausen or activity when on my stir plate. The stirring keeps it from really doing much. You should see a little bit of foam (krausen) swirling in there though. I also notice it changes in appearance. At the start it is more clear, after the yeast starts growing you'll notice the color and clarity of the starter gets more dense. After 2 days on the stir plate when you chill it to decant you'll see tons of yeast.

It's only been 10 hours. You have plenty more time ahead.
Thanks. I just assumed it would be way faster than just shaking the vessel on occasion.
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Old 11-07-2011, 03:39 PM   #8
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Always a chance it won't work, but I agree with the posters above that it could need more time. My ale stirplate starters often get a really nice krausen on them; with some strains you can see clumps formed even with the stirplate on. The telltale sign is the yeast dropping out when you shut the plate off.

Hopefully you will see signs soon.

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Old 11-07-2011, 03:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMan
I don't usually "see" much krausen or activity when on my stir plate. The stirring keeps it from really doing much. You should see a little bit of foam (krausen) swirling in there though. I also notice it changes in appearance. At the start it is more clear, after the yeast starts growing you'll notice the color and clarity of the starter gets more dense. After 2 days on the stir plate when you chill it to decant you'll see tons of yeast.

It's only been 10 hours. You have plenty more time ahead.
+1 Every starter I've done gets much more opaque and lighter in color as the yeast grow. You're on the right track with smelling it, I do that as well.
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Old 11-07-2011, 04:48 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OHIOSTEVE View Post
Thanks. I just assumed it would be way faster than just shaking the vessel on occasion.
Well, you do also have to take into account that you are using washed yeast that is over 1 year old...It will most likely need more time than normal regardless of your starter method.
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