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Old 08-03-2010, 08:23 PM   #1
DirtyPolock
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Default Yeast Starters, not just for increasing cell counts anymore

I'm sure that many people here know that yeast starters can be used for more than just increasing the cell count, but I just want to get my story out there for any n00b's who doubt the need for yeast starters.

I ordered a california steam kit from Northern Homebrewer (my first all grain!!! ) and I ordered the Wyeast smack pack for the yeast. Well with it being hotter than a marathon runners crotch outside here in North Carolina, the ice pack did not hold up to the heat during shipping one bit. Upon removal from the pack both the yeast and ice pack were pretty warm. I immediately placed the yeast in the fridge.

I decided to make a starter to make sure that the yest was still safe to use. Well after 18 hours still no signs of any visible sign of fermentation. I know that it is a little warm for room temperature so that my be the problem, but my LHBS says that at temp I should see it bubbling away by now.

So if there is any doubt about your yest, just make up a quick 1 quart starter.

Most of all wish me luck on my first all grain attempt tomorrow.

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Old 08-03-2010, 09:06 PM   #2
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I'd give it a little more time - if you were starting with very few cells, it might take a while before there are visible signs. I'd give it at least two days.

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Old 08-03-2010, 09:07 PM   #3
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Hmmm, sometimes there is very little activity in the starter, has the gravity moved? I couldn't take it if my hearty friends died from just the temperature of a "marathon runners crotch" I guess it depends how long he was running without ice.

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Old 08-03-2010, 10:42 PM   #4
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Good luck on the first AG tomorrow to a fellow Durham brewer.

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Old 08-03-2010, 10:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by COLObrewer View Post
Hmmm, sometimes there is very little activity in the starter, has the gravity moved? I couldn't take it if my hearty friends died from just the temperature of a "marathon runners crotch" I guess it depends how long he was running without ice.
+1

Quite a few of the starters I have made showed little sign of fermentation for several days. One sign to try, if not already, is to close the lid and shake vigorously..aerate. If it forms a good size head and there is a good bit of gases escaping once the lid is open, viola, you have fermentation.
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:16 PM   #6
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Well it took about 36 hours to show some signs of fermentation, but I still got another smack pack from my LHBS (yesterday) and now I have more than enough yeast to do the job.

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