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-   -   Bad Luck With Starters? Give up and triple pitch? (http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/bad-luck-starters-give-up-triple-pitch-346987/)

Justintoxicated 08-11-2012 07:04 AM

Bad Luck With Starters? Give up and triple pitch?
 
First time I made a starter my GF threw it out, had to drive 60 miles to find yeast and ended up pitching directly into the wort.

Now I built a stirplate, made another 2L starter last night, caped it with a piece of foil, and let it run 24 hours so I could brew tomorrow. Just removed it from the stirplate and found 2 fruit flies inside.

I would assume it is ruined again. What a waste of work and time and money.

I'm thinking about giving up on starters since they only seem to bring delays.

And what to do now? I was using Greenbelt yeast, which is a special yeast from Wyeast that I will not be able to find locally. Overnight ship maybe 3 bags of it and dump them directly into an imperial IPA? Delays delays delays.

And how the hell did fruit flies get into my starter!?! it's not like I left the foil loose on the top oh no!

Can I use it anyways? Cause if I do 2 day shipping it will cost me $55 for 2 packets of yeast. maybe pluck out the flies with some sanitized tweezers?

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8286/7...70574413_z.jpg
bad yeast starter by Glamisduner, on Flickr

http://www.austinhomebrew.com/product_info.php?products_id=12720
This is the yeast I am using ^^^

The only thing I can think of is that maybe they flew into the wort while it was boiling? But even then I had the lid mostly on the pot the entire time. Maybe I just can't make starters? Can I use an airlock? It might be the only way! maybe they flew into the DME before I dumped it into the pot?

Weekend Ruined once again....

Yuri_Rage 08-11-2012 07:28 AM

Emergency pitch dry yeast instead. Always have some on hand. US-05 and Nottingham are great, clean fermenting strains. I use dry yeast whenever possible - no starter required, high cell count, healthy fermentation. In the cases where a specialized yeast strains are desired, I go to the trouble of making big starters. However, I always keep some dry yeast on hand in case the starter fails and I still want to brew.

DO NOT pitch a starter with fruit flies in it. You'll make a batch of malt vinegar, almost guaranteed.

Justintoxicated 08-11-2012 07:31 AM

I just remembered I have another kit I picked up with a specialty yeast. I guess tomorrow I'll go buy more DME and try that one instead on sunday. But what to do about these fruit flies?

Can I stick the starter in my fermentation freezer or will that be too cold? I only have some apfelwine in there right now and it's done fermenting a month ago.

Yuri_Rage 08-11-2012 07:35 AM

No, you can't put an ale starter in a cold place.

Find the source of the fruit flies and remove it. Do you keep fruit or other food uncovered? Is your kitchen stove a little messy? Clean everything up as best you can, put a shallow dish with some vinegar in the corner of your kitchen (to catch and drown the fruit flies), and ferment your starter in another room (guest bathroom?).

Justintoxicated 08-11-2012 07:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage (Post 4322353)
No, you can't put an ale starter in a cold place.

Find the source of the fruit flies and remove it. Do you keep fruit or other food uncovered? Is your kitchen stove a little messy? Clean everything up as best you can, put a shallow dish with some vinegar in the corner of your kitchen (to catch and drown the fruit flies), and ferment your starter in another room (guest bathroom?).

I fermented this one in my bedroom on the far side of the house away from the kitchen with the doors and windows closed. It's the only room with AC and the rest of house is about 85-90 all day right now due to this heat wave. I don't think there is a source for the fruit flies ( haven't actually seen any except for in my starter), but the only way I can think to remove them is to put the starter in a sealed container. Maybe I can crank up the temp in the fermentation chamber for a day while I make my starter? Say 74F?

The other option would be vinegar, but I'm not sure I would want that in my bedroom? I will certainly leave some out when making starters from now on though!.

Yuri_Rage 08-11-2012 07:48 AM

Bad luck? Sorry, can't help ya much more. Foil usually works.

Don't put a vinegar trap near your starter - that will just attract flies to it.

Justintoxicated 08-11-2012 07:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yuri_Rage (Post 4322356)
Bad luck? Sorry, can't help ya much more. Foil usually works.

Don't put a vinegar trap near your starter - that will just attract flies to it.

I'll leave it in the kitchen then, and put it in the living room while making the next one? I'm staring to think it might be worth the money to double and triple pitch though.

Erroneous 08-11-2012 07:54 AM

Also be sure to sanitize your foil. I keep my starter in my fermentation fridge so I can't get flies unless one gets trapped, though warmer temps are a better choice for starters. Dry yeast is a great choice, and certainly better than risking fly water.

supermoth 08-11-2012 03:01 PM

I cover my starters with a few layers of paper towels that have been moistened with sanitizer and secure it with a rubber band. No insects will get past the rubber band and I feel like the towels can breathe better than foil. It has worked well for me so far.

vera 08-11-2012 03:15 PM

The night before I brew, I place a fruitfly trap in my brew area. Pour some apple cider vinegar in a small jar, add a drop of dish soap, mix, cover with plastic wrap, secure with rubber band. Take a needle and put a few holes in the plastic wrap - large enough for the flies to get in.


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