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Old 01-01-2013, 05:00 PM   #1
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Default Wyeast London ESB questions

I'm using Wyeast 1968 London ESB for the first time, and also using my DIY stir-plate for the first time, so I've nothing to compare my experiences to.

I read that this is a highly flocculant yeast, but if I pick up my starter off of the stir plate, it sets up like cement within 15 seconds. Is this normal? Once the magnet and stirbar are locked, the fan I used can't even spin the stir-bar. I have to help it get started by spinning the fan a few rotations manually

Also, how can you tell when your starter is done on a stir-plate. This yeast looks like a blizzard in the flask always. I'm thinking some may be more obvious? This one I've seen no change in, though when I removed it from the stir plate it looked like a completed starter within a minute.

Lesson learned, I think I'll just leave them alone, it's just that I saw zero change from when I added the yeast to the wort yesterday til I checked it this morning.

Thanks

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Old 01-01-2013, 05:05 PM   #2
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For a pack that's under a month old, I find the starters are done within 18-24 hours. If the pack is older, they can take 48 hours to finish (sometimes a bit more).

I've never had any issue with my Hanna stirplate getting going. Sounds like you need to work on making the DIY stirplate a bit stronger so that it can actually get things moving better.

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Old 01-01-2013, 05:13 PM   #3
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For a pack that's under a month old, I find the starters are done within 18-24 hours. If the pack is older, they can take 48 hours to finish (sometimes a bit more).

I've never had any issue with my Hanna stirplate getting going. Sounds like you need to work on making the DIY stirplate a bit stronger so that it can actually get things moving better.
Cool, the Yeast is newish, 11/30 was the date, I believe.

Agreed on the stir-plate although the power seemed plenty adequate initially. The way this yeast cake sets-up when I take it off the starter is insane. I can barely break it up by heavy manual swirling either. I'm looking forward to trying it with something simple like WLP001 that I'm super-familiar with to see if it happens.
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Old 01-01-2013, 05:20 PM   #4
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I love how flocculant most Wyeast ale strains are. At least the ones I use (rated either High or Very High for virtually all of the ones I use). 18-24 hours in the fridge and they get nice and compact too. I decant all but maybe 1/4" of spent starter wort and then use that to make my slurry that gets pitched. I also use a rare earth magnet to hold the stirbar in place, or remove it from the flask, before pouring. That way you don't need to wait until you dump the stuff in the bottom of the fermenting vessel to recover the stirbar.

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Old 01-01-2013, 05:27 PM   #5
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that sounds normal. in my hands this yeast goes into suspension nicely, ferments out the starter very quickly (can be 12 hours), and then drops fast and hard. as soon as it flocks like that it's done. being more used to american and belgian strains i was quite shocked the first time i grew it and saw that weird blizzard in the flask! now i love it, and use it more than any other strain

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Old 01-01-2013, 05:36 PM   #6
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that sounds normal. in my hands this yeast goes into suspension nicely, ferments out the starter very quickly (can be 12 hours), and then drops fast and hard. as soon as it flocks like that it's done. being more used to american and belgian strains i was quite shocked the first time i grew it and saw that weird blizzard in the flask! now i love it, and use it more than any other strain
I've been using English strains from batch #3... First two I didn't know any better and used 1056.

I look forward to the yeast blizzard in the flask. If I don't use fermcap in the starter, I also get to see the foam form on it.
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:39 PM   #7
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I also use a rare earth magnet to hold the stirbar in place, or remove it from the flask, before pouring. That way you don't need to wait until you dump the stuff in the bottom of the fermenting vessel to recover the stirbar.
Great advice! Will definitely be doing this. I actually built my stir-plate a while ago, tested it once and promptly poured my stir-bar down the garbage disposal...finally remembered to order a replacement! I can easily see dumping it into the wort and being in a bind...in-fact, maybe I should get a couple more..
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dinnerstick View Post
that sounds normal. in my hands this yeast goes into suspension nicely, ferments out the starter very quickly (can be 12 hours), and then drops fast and hard. as soon as it flocks like that it's done. being more used to american and belgian strains i was quite shocked the first time i grew it and saw that weird blizzard in the flask! now i love it, and use it more than any other strain
Sounds like my experience to a tee..didn't match up with anything I'd experienced previously. Thanks!!
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Old 01-01-2013, 08:45 PM   #9
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Great advice! Will definitely be doing this. I actually built my stir-plate a while ago, tested it once and promptly poured my stir-bar down the garbage disposal...finally remembered to order a replacement! I can easily see dumping it into the wort and being in a bind...in-fact, maybe I should get a couple more..
You can get longer, or shorter, ones as well as ones that are an 'X' shape. Depending on your flask size, and how much you have in it, will really determine which one to use. I find that I use the 1.5" long one the most. In both my 2L and 3L flasks. Haven't used the 5L flask yet, since I'd need to move, or remove, more shelves in the fridge to cold crash it.
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:00 PM   #10
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Great advice! Will definitely be doing this. I actually built my stir-plate a while ago, tested it once and promptly poured my stir-bar down the garbage disposal...finally remembered to order a replacement! I can easily see dumping it into the wort and being in a bind...in-fact, maybe I should get a couple more..
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