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Old 03-01-2010, 10:45 PM   #1
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Default What does a starter on a stirplate look like?

So I got my first stirplated starter going. Is there a differance in how a stirred vs a non stirred starter looks and acts?

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Old 03-01-2010, 11:08 PM   #2
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We use a stirplate with our starters. We will use a dry yeast with about 500 ml of cooled wort and let it stir for about 20 minutes or as long as it takes to get primary filled up and aerated. From what I have observed the fermentation seems to have taken quicker, providing temp is constant, vs a nonstirred starter. Color and consistancy of the yeast seemed to be the same to me. Our technique is inject with O2 and aerate with drill attachment, then pitch and ours start to ferment usually within 8 hours. This may not be ideal for some people, but it hasn't let us down yet.

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Old 03-02-2010, 12:27 AM   #3
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I have no experience doing a starter without a stirplate, but with a stirplate you will get foam in the vortex after it kicks in, but no real krausen. You will also notice a creamier, more opaque look to the wort after the yeast kicks in. After it ferments out, the foam in the vortex will generally drop, usually in about 24 hours.

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Old 03-02-2010, 12:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAZ View Post
We use a stirplate with our starters. We will use a dry yeast with about 500 ml of cooled wort and let it stir for about 20 minutes or as long as it takes to get primary filled up and aerated. From what I have observed the fermentation seems to have taken quicker, providing temp is constant, vs a nonstirred starter. Color and consistancy of the yeast seemed to be the same to me. Our technique is inject with O2 and aerate with drill attachment, then pitch and ours start to ferment usually within 8 hours. This may not be ideal for some people, but it hasn't let us down yet.
Many people have posted on here that you should not use a starter with dried yeast for two reasons. #1, there is a lot more yeast cells in a package than in a smack pack or vial, and #2, you burn off the nutrients that it is infused with designed to give it a kick start.
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:34 AM   #5
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I have no experience doing a starter without a stirplate, but with a stirplate you will get foam in the vortex after it kicks in, but no real krausen. You will also notice a creamier, more opaque look to the wort after the yeast kicks in. After it ferments out, the foam in the vortex will generally drop, usually in about 24 hours.
All of my starters on my stirplate have been different, some with ALOT (too much) krausen, and some with none.

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Old 03-02-2010, 12:46 AM   #6
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So... 24 hrs on a starter that is stirred. As apposed to the three days that mine used to take.

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Old 03-02-2010, 12:49 AM   #7
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Yes, starters on a stirplate finish alot faster than non stired starters.

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Old 03-02-2010, 01:53 AM   #8
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So... 24 hrs on a starter that is stirred. As apposed to the three days that mine used to take.
Yep, I wouldn't go more than 24 although it's not the end of the world if you do as the stir plate keeps the yeast suspended. I shoot for 18-22 so I still have foam in the vortex and I know it's active. If I pitch the yeast in the starter before I go to bed the foam is always present in the morning.

The above advice is for a 1 litre starter. For lagers and bigger ales, I'll use a 3 litre starter which requires a tad more work. I'll start a few days in advance with one quart of wort, then add two more quarts the next day, then refrigerate for 24 hours before brew day, decant the spent beer, and pitch. Before pitching I let the starter slowly adjust to the target temperature of my wort, depending on whether it's an ale or a lager. I had a lager kick off by the next morning following this method.

I never bother decanting a 1 litre starter as it's not much beer and it's an ale which isn't as fragile.
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Old 03-02-2010, 06:35 AM   #9
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My recent WLP005 starter. This one ran ~28 hours on the stir plate and it was still going, but I put it in the refrigerator for about 36 hours and just pitched it a few hours ago and I all ready have signs of fermentation.

Right after turning the stir plate off:


30 seconds after turning the stir plate off:

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Old 06-26-2010, 03:56 PM   #10
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I am using a stir plate for the first time. I started it on the plate about 14 hours ago and don't see any activity as of yet. I presume that with a stir plate the yeast is in suspension and you don't really see anything until you turn it off and it all drops. Is that correct?

My plan was 24 hours on the stir plate and then 12 hours in the fridge.

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