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Old 07-05-2012, 04:48 AM   #1
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Default wlp838 starter activity? first lager starter...

Hi,
I just kicked off a 3.25 liter starter.
Room temp wort, pulled the vile out of the frige and poured it in my gallon jug.
Put it on the stir plate and am now waiting to see some activity?

The vile said best before 7/25.
It was shipped to me in 2 days and I had an ice pack with it...but by the time I opened the box later that day it was fairly warm, got up to about 93 or so that day I think... (2-3 weeks ago it was) and I put it in the frige until today.

Should I see some krausen soon or with a lager yeast will it foam up much?
How long should it take if it is to show signs of life?

thanks Kevin

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Old 07-05-2012, 02:33 PM   #2
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What's your estimated starting gravity of your beer Kevin? I am using White Labs 833 German Bock lager yeast for a starter with same best buy date. But White Labs "new" date for yeast is 4 months back from the best by date...so the yeast you (and I) are using, has a 3/25/12 freshness date. That's when it was 100% viable. Using mrmalty.com pitching calculator, with a 3/25 date, it tells me that the yeast is only 29% viable. Thus more than one vial is needed!

For my recipe, with a 1.056 and a 2 liter starter, it told me I needed 5 vials of yeast! Using 1.050 as a guessing starting point, it tells me you would have needed 3 vials for a 4.24 L starter and 4 for a 2.9 L starter (I could not get it to stop at your starter size)...so you need at about 3.5 vials at 1.050 OG, and the more you go up in gravity, the more you need.

With lager yeast you should not see it foam up as the yeast forms at the bottom not at the top like an ale, plus on the stir pate it is all in suspension anyway. I had mine on the starter for two days and then moved to the fridge overnight to let the yeast drop to the bottom. The next day I decanted the "beer" off the top leaving yeast in the bottom and then added fresh wort to re-feed the yeast and put back on the stir plate. On Saturday when I brew, I will move back to the fridge to bring the yeast temp down to the 50 degree lager fermenting temp.

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Old 07-05-2012, 06:37 PM   #3
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Hello,
My estimated OG for my 3.25 liter starter should be 1.040.
I used 325 grams of light dry extract to 3.25 liters of water.

Today I dumped a second vile of wlp838 in it.
Been on the stir plate all day...dont see anything going on so far.
Temp is about 73 in my basement where the stir plate is.

I will check the gravity of the starter later today and report back....

I dont see ANY change to the color of this starter... surely it should get a little creamy or something?

thanks Kevin

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Old 07-06-2012, 03:38 AM   #4
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Hello,

No luck... it appears the yeast is dead?

My starter has not moved after 18 hours on a stir plate and 2 vials of yeast.

I assume It should have seen the wort turn a different color or something.






thanks Kevin

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Old 07-07-2012, 03:22 AM   #5
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Yep most likely dead if gravity has not changed...color will not change much in such a small sample especially because stir plate is stirring it all up, But if you put it in fridge overnight, yeast should drop to bottom and wort at top would clear. I think that between the yeast being old, it getting hot in the mail, etc, it was toast.

You need the gravity of the beer you are making to determine how much yeast to make a starter with, not the gravity of the starter wort. As I said in my previous post, you most likely needed 3-4 vials.

Also how hot was the wort when you pitched it? With lager yeast you would want to at least cool in 60's or lower to pitch and then let in come to room temp and even then 73 degrees was a little warm for lager starter...I had mine in basement at 66 degrees.

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Old 07-07-2012, 01:07 PM   #6
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I believe the wort was 75 or so....and the yeast was pulled out of the refrigerator and dumped it.

It has been around 107 for the past week here, just brutal, so my basement is not as cool as normal.

The yeast did settle out from the wort in the refrigerator, all brownish looking.

I guess this whole mess needs to be dumped and I need to start over with some fresh yeast

thanks Kevin

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Old 07-10-2012, 05:15 PM   #7
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Yeah Kevin, start over! You basically had a triple whammy...overheated yeast from the mail, underpitched yeast because it's old and then you shocked the yeast when you pitched fridge temp yeast in to 75 degree wort...you would want to let the yeast starter warm up to closer to wort temp so it's an easier adjustment for the yeast.

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