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Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Fermentation & Yeast > Yeast starter gravity problems
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Old 05-30-2010, 05:20 PM   #1
berley31
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Default Yeast starter gravity problems

Ok, can someone help me with this... I've been making yeast starters for my last 8 batches of beer. I've been following the procedure correctly, from what I can tell:

- 1 g DME per 10 mL water, boiled, cooled, pitched into sanitized glass container with smacked and inflated yeast pack, swirl every time I go past.

After 24 hours or so, there seems to be activity as you can hear gas releasing when you swirl it, and it gets a good head of foam when swirled.

HOWEVER, every time I take a gravity reading after it should be done, I get anywhere from 1.030-1.040... instead of the 1.010 it SHOULD be.

Suggestions? I've asked a lot of experienced brewers about this... no one knows what it could be. Anyone else ever have this problem? Do I just need to buy/build a stir plate?

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Old 05-30-2010, 05:26 PM   #2
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How are you taking gravity? If you are doing a 1L starter it would take 1/2 the starter to fill the tube for the hydrometer. Even if its 2L... You say "every time I take the reading." That would take a lot out of the 2L or the 1L.

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Old 05-30-2010, 05:32 PM   #3
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Well, this last time I had the starter in the fridge and the yeast settled to that bottom. I poured some of the wort into the vessel I use to drop in my hydrometer... but it only takes 100 mL to get a reading. I then use my hydrometer.

It normally takes you 500 mL of a 1 L starter to get a gravity reading???

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Old 05-30-2010, 07:25 PM   #4
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I'll be captain obvious here...

When you pour your starter into the hydrometer tube, are you taking it straight from the fridge and reading it while it's cold?

If so, your gravity could be several points lower than the reading depending on the temp.

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Old 05-30-2010, 07:40 PM   #5
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I've taken readings where I let it come back up to 60 F, and readings where it's been cold.

When I've taken them cold, I've used the hydrometer adjustment on Beersmith to get the correct reading.

And even if it WAS several points lower, we'd still be talking about a gravity of maybe 1.036 at best... but, no, I've always adjusted for temperature.

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Old 05-30-2010, 08:01 PM   #6
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I should also mention that I HAVE calibrated my hydrometer... it reads 1.000 in distilled water, so...

I'm obviously doing SOMETHING wrong, just not sure what.

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Old 05-30-2010, 10:09 PM   #7
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What temp is your starter wort when you pitch your yeast?

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Old 05-30-2010, 11:24 PM   #8
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On average I'd say about 70 F.

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Old 05-30-2010, 11:58 PM   #9
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Excuse me, but I have to ask if you are reading 1.003 or 1.004.

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Old 05-31-2010, 12:46 AM   #10
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First post, here goes.

I thought 1.030-1.040 was what you wanted? Seems like 1.010 is too low.

Edit: Oh, I see, that's your FG. What's your SG?

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