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Old 04-09-2011, 01:00 PM   #1
Cranapple
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Default Starter blew the foam stopper off

Last night (Friday) I made a starter, about 1.5L, standard 1.04-ish gravity, and pitched a smack pack of Wyeast 1056 American Ale. I'm doing it in a 1/2 gallon growler, and did not leave sufficient headroom.

When I came downstairs this morning, the starter had pushed the foam stopper out, and it was krausening happily down the side of the growler.

I used my star-san spray bottle and nuked the top of it to kill anything growing on or inside the neck, then cleaned up. I re-sanitized the stopper and put it back in, then put the starter back on the stir plate.

My question is... how likely is it that this starter is contaminated to the point that I shouldn't use it?

I'm considering using it anyway, to sort of experiment with "It's actually really hard to ruin your beer" but I'm not sure if a starter is the best thing to gamble with. I do have the option of getting another yeast pack today from the LHBS.

Also... if you think I could use it, feel free to come up with an appropriate name for the IPA (Chinook IPA kit from NB) that I'd make with it tomorrow. Maybe something volcanic, lol.

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Old 04-09-2011, 01:17 PM   #2
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Should be fine. In fact, most of the starter recommendations on this forum talk about loosely covering your starter with foil.

As far as names go, how about the unibomber? Because he blew stuff up. :-)

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Old 04-09-2011, 01:22 PM   #3
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Thanks aseg!

I actually had to switch to covering it with foil, it blows the stopper off about once every 10 mins :-P

That's a good one. I'm also thinking "Thar she blows!" I could even do something a little fun with the label for the dirtier minds among us

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Old 04-09-2011, 01:24 PM   #4
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Mt. Saint Helens IPA? Volcano = Pacific Northwest = hops = IPA? From volcano to IPA in just 3 degrees of separation...not bad.

I would go with it. My totally unscientific hypothesis is that the kraeusen was pushing out CO2 at a rate that would prevent the entry of any contaminants drifting by. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. If you're brewing from a kit, you're just risking the cost of materials and the labor of boiling the wort, not 3-4 hours of mashing and sparging labor.

Good luck. Let us know how it turns out.

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Old 04-09-2011, 03:37 PM   #5
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That's not bad... Thanks again.

I had to put on a blowoff tube though. I'm a little irritated that it can't get oxygen into the starter, but it's better than having yeast all over the counter.

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