Originally Posted by msmylie
Looks like I should give it some time then. How long can it go without active fermentation before bacterial infection becomes a concern? I did not use a starter, just the liquid vial. Should you always use a starter if the beer is above 1.06? If so, what is the best way to produce a starter if all you have is the vial or smack pack?
I would say, always use a starter with liquid yeast and bigger beers (1.060). That is just a good rule of thumb, not a requirement. Even if that means that you make a starter, then start making your beer, then pitch the starter at whatever point it is at. Even 2-3 hours on a starter will help get it up and suspended and encourage a faster start. If you can, make the starter 4-5 hours in front and pitch when it is foaming.
Bacteria won't start unless bacteria are present. So hopefully you sanitized everything well.
2 cups water
1/2 cup DME
1. Add DME and boil the water for 10 minutes (reduce to simmer - no rapid boil needed)
2. Cool water to 75F +/-5F
3. Add yeast into a sterilized or sanitized quart jar and whisk with a spoon until foamy (to aerate). Repeat this for the next 3 hours, once an hour or so (if you finish beer before this then that is ok). Cover with tin foil to keep debris out in between your fork whisking.
be sure to sanitize or sterilize the quart jar and fork initially.
if you are doing a smack pack - smack the pack then start your process above - get yeast to about room temp before you pitch. If you are using white labs or similar, just be sure the yeast is at about room temp - then pitch to starter.
if you can the goal is to match the yeast temp to starter temp, don't have to be perfect, but helps so the yeast don't get "shocked" with a big temp change.