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Old 10-01-2012, 01:16 PM   #1
jamursch
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Default Wyeast German Ale 1007 slow starter?

Hey guys,
I just brewed my 16th batch since Christmas and think I am getting the hang of this home brew stuff, but I'm seeing an odd behavior and am worried about the beer I brewed on Saturday. Here's the variables:

1. Used Wyeast 1007. The expire date was a few months ago, and I had it out for last weekend. It puffed up but I had to toss it back in the fridge before pulling it out again Thursday night for a Sat. morning brew. It definitely puffed more from Thursday to Sat, so that's a good sign right? www.byo.com has it listed as a low floc yeast, so maybe this is common for these? I don't use a lot of low floc yeasts.

2. Mixed my StarSan last week with distilled water. Read on here that as long as it's clear, it's still good. Is that true, or did I just ruin my beer by not mixing fresh? It was as clear as the day I mixed it so I assumed it was good to go.

The rest of my procedures were the same as usual, but I'm not seeing any activity in the airlock. Now, before everyone goes nuts on me...I understand that it could be fermenting fine without firing any bubbles, but in my 16 batches it's been rare...so I worry.

Right now I'm thinking it's a more mild yeast and that's why, but who knows? Not every yeast needs a blow off tube, but most I've used do show me they are working at least.
Anyone with any wisdom to share?

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Old 10-01-2012, 04:13 PM   #2
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You used yeast that had "expired" a few months back... That tells me the yeast is at least 6-7 months old. I did not see anywhere that you made a starter. A 6 month old package of yeast will have less viable yeast than a fresher pack. Plus, depending on the OG, 1 package of liquid yeast was probably not enough either. So combine the fact that you likely already under pitched plus underpitched with a less than ideal package, you likely are experiencing some MAJOR lag. Plus, you know how many people freak about the airlock thing, well then you also know the only way to be sure is to take a hydrometer reading. Finally, I'm sure your starsan solution was fine. One week is nothing.

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Old 10-01-2012, 04:33 PM   #3
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You used yeast that had "expired" a few months back... That tells me the yeast is at least 6-7 months old. I did not see anywhere that you made a starter. A 6 month old package of yeast will have less viable yeast than a fresher pack. Plus, depending on the OG, 1 package of liquid yeast was probably not enough either. So combine the fact that you likely already under pitched plus underpitched with a less than ideal package, you likely are experiencing some MAJOR lag. Plus, you know how many people freak about the airlock thing, well then you also know the only way to be sure is to take a hydrometer reading. Finally, I'm sure your starsan solution was fine. One week is nothing.
Yeah, in hindsight I should have taken it and made a starter. I've not needed to with Wyeast (feel that the puff up is enough to tell me the yeast are ok) but always do with WhiteLabs. Maybe they aren't any different but that's what i've been following.

I just checked it and we are finally bubbling, so looks like maybe a 36 hour lag when lately I've been lucky to see action in less than 6.
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Old 10-01-2012, 06:19 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by jamursch View Post
Yeah, in hindsight I should have taken it and made a starter. I've not needed to with Wyeast (feel that the puff up is enough to tell me the yeast are ok) but always do with WhiteLabs. Maybe they aren't any different but that's what i've been following.

I just checked it and we are finally bubbling, so looks like maybe a 36 hour lag when lately I've been lucky to see action in less than 6.
For best results, you should always try to get a proper pitching rate. Mr. Malty (Jamil Z.) has a free one online here. Sure you can generally get a wort fermented without considering the pitching rate, but a proper pitching rate with proper yeast handling techniques will improve the quality of your fermentations and finished beer. It may seem like a pain, but do yourself a favor and at least try it on a few batches... I bet you'll realize it is worth the minor amount of extra effort.
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