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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Starter from weak beer
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Old 04-17-2010, 12:29 AM   #1
Kunkemonster
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Default Starter from weak beer

My first brew didn't attenuate very good and turns out to be a very weak beer, like 2%. Either I didn't wait long enough for the smack pack to wake up (around 36 hours) or should have used a starter.

I'm making a cider soon and I am going to make a starter so this doesn't happen again. Can I mix around a liter of the first batch of weak beer with water, around 50/50, to make a weak starter, boil to sanitize and kill the original yeast, cool and add new new yeast and then pitch that to my apple juice in the fermenter?

There won't be any off flavors as the first strain of yeast will be dead, right?

BTW, I don't have a hydrometer yet so I can't tell you the OG. It's in my next order. Thanks!

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Old 04-17-2010, 01:00 AM   #2
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I theory you could try what you said, but I'd check the gravity of the under attenuated beer. Usually, people like to make starters with a gravity in the vicinity of 1.045 or so. If your much lower or much higher than that, then your starter may not be effective. Why do you try pitching a pack of dry yeast to force fermentation to restart and finish your beer? Otherwise, you'd be wasting a batch of beer.

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Old 04-17-2010, 01:11 AM   #3
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I've already drunk around half of the first brew. It tastes fine! I'm just trying to get rid of it by making a starter rather than throwing it out.

My second brew, a coffee porter, is probably in a similar situation as my first brew. I'm saving my pack of dry yeast for that brew once the cider is done fermenting. I only have one fermenter and very limited space.

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Old 04-17-2010, 01:13 AM   #4
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You don't want to make a starter with beer, however weak it is. First, there wouldn't be any fermentables. Secondly, it would have alcohol in it. The point of the starter is to grow yeast and you want the best possible conditions to do that.

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Old 04-17-2010, 02:28 AM   #5
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Ok, thanks. I won't use the weak beer.

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