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Old 12-20-2009, 08:53 PM   #1
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Default Safe to add yeast starter that failed?

24 hours ago I made a 64oz starter at 1.050 (my gravity on the batch today is 1.054) with LME and pitched in a vial of British Ale Yeast that I washed from a previous brew. It never kicked off so I used a pack of notty instead.

My question is, is there any reason to or not to add the starter that never started? I've got 5gal in the tank (full boil) and if there's not reason not to add I figure it round out the batch so that I have a full 5gal after secondary.

Thanks for your 2cents

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Old 12-20-2009, 09:38 PM   #2
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How do you know your starter never "kicked off"? Some yeast need a little time. Even if it did do something, you probably wouldn't notice. I've noticed visible signs of fermentation a few times with starters, but not all.

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Old 12-20-2009, 09:40 PM   #3
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If your Nottingham has already started, you're assured of getting beer. If that's the case, your batch is not broken. If your batch of beer is not broken, is there a need to fix it?

I would let the Nottingham go. Save the starter for next weekend.

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Old 12-20-2009, 10:52 PM   #4
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The batch is certainly not broken and I'm sure the nottingham will do fine. But I also don't think the starter is doing anything as there are no signs of activity. Would it show up in a gravity reading? I'd like to know if I messed up washing or storing the washed yeast... Other than that, I guess the only reason to add it to the batch would be to put the extract in there to good use (I have a tendency to not like to throw things away - I think it's an unwanted genetic trait I've inherited)

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Old 12-20-2009, 10:57 PM   #5
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I don't use large starters, so I won't say either way. Someone else will be here to help. I'd save the starter in the fridge until someone with more experience comes along to offer their advice. The yeast won't die, they'll just take a nap.

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Old 12-20-2009, 10:58 PM   #6
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From reading some other posts it looks like I either needed to give the starter more time, or it already did it's thing and I didn't notice. Any way to tell? The starters (2) I've made before both had a fair amount of krusan and/or blow off.

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Old 12-21-2009, 02:47 AM   #7
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Its unusual to have any signs of fermentation in a starter. As I said, I've seen it before, but not very often.

As for checking gravity...you can, and it will show a difference. The problem is there's usually not enough liquid in a starter to bother wasting some on a test. My starters are always around 1.040 to begin with, so if it's fermented anything below that, I know it did it's job.

If you're worried, give it a day or two and then stick it in the fridge until your next batch. The starter will be fine for a few weeks.

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Old 12-21-2009, 02:59 AM   #8
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Thanks for the suggestions. Since I hear the notty happily bubbling away I think I'll just let it ride. So one last question - If I leave the starter in the fridge, should I leave the tin foil top on, cap it, or try to put on airlock on it?

Thanks again.

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Old 12-21-2009, 01:30 PM   #9
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capping it or tinfoil is fine.

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Old 12-21-2009, 06:02 PM   #10
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You don't need to take a gravity reading with a starter. Just see if the yeast cake grew, or take a sip if you're concerned.

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