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Old 09-27-2012, 02:25 AM   #1
storytyme
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Default Yeast starter not starting

I did two yeast starters. One had some action after 12 hrs. One still hasn't done much after 24 hours. There is a nice yeast cake at the bottom though in both. Am I okay to cold crash these thurs night and pitch Sunday? Don't want to screw up a whole batch on a bad yeast starter if that is possible. Thoughts and suggestions much appreciated.

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Old 09-27-2012, 02:35 AM   #2
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Starters do not always give signs the same as a beer fermentation. You have an increase in cell counts as indicated by the increase of the cake.

You can also take a gravity reading to see what has happened.

It seems like you just missed the most active signs and are good to go. If you are not going to brew til Sunday I would let it go til Friday night then cold crash. Then you can decant on Sunday before you pitch the yeast.

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Old 09-27-2012, 02:42 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. Friday sounds good.

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Old 09-27-2012, 05:00 AM   #4
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I look at the color of the starter more than I look for visible signs of fermentation. When you make starter wort it should look like Blonde wort, but within 24 hours it should take on a very creamy look to it. Sometimes I'll see a nice Krausen, but more often than not I won't see that.

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Old 09-27-2012, 05:06 AM   #5
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I've had a couple bad Wyeast Wheat smack packs where I made starters and there was nothing. No increase in the yeast cake, no active signs, and then the wort started to separate. Received replacement packs from online and subsequent starters were much different. Whenever I would give each a shake, they would then get active with foam, etc.

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Old 09-27-2012, 05:46 AM   #6
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Did u use a stirplate or just a shake here and there? and did u use a foam stopper, foil or airlock?

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Old 09-27-2012, 05:53 AM   #7
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If you see a yeast cake, you're good. Give them both a swirl to kick them up every once in awhile and keep them active. Let them sit for a couple hours before pitching, essentially let the yeast cake form again, then decant most of the liquid off and then pitch. If you cold crash, you need to bring them back to room temp before pitching. A big temperature difference will shock them and negate part of the reason you do a starter in the first place.

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Old 09-28-2012, 01:20 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pratzie View Post
Did u use a stirplate or just a shake here and there? and did u use a foam stopper, foil or airlock?
I use an oxygen tank and let it bubble for about 20 sec. Loose foil on top sanitized.
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Old 09-28-2012, 01:22 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kylevester View Post
If you see a yeast cake, you're good. Give them both a swirl to kick them up every once in awhile and keep them active. Let them sit for a couple hours before pitching, essentially let the yeast cake form again, then decant most of the liquid off and then pitch. If you cold crash, you need to bring them back to room temp before pitching. A big temperature difference will shock them and negate part of the reason you do a starter in the first place.
My first batch on Sunday I am starting at 7 am. So pitching at maybe 9-9:30 am. If I take it out when i start at 7 and put it in my fermentor set at 70 should it be ready by 9:30? Should I put it in there the night before??
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Old 09-28-2012, 04:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by storytyme View Post
My first batch on Sunday I am starting at 7 am. So pitching at maybe 9-9:30 am. If I take it out when i start at 7 and put it in my fermentor set at 70 should it be ready by 9:30? Should I put it in there the night before??
Id throw it in there the night before. I'm more about the yeast slowly getting acclimated... Just in case that two hours isn't enough to get it up to the pitching temp, its better they not get shocked. Just throw a piece of sanitized foil or foam stopper over/in it.
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