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Old 08-12-2012, 02:32 AM   #21
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You can use the airlock but don't put anything in it, so the flask can "breathe."

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Old 08-12-2012, 04:58 AM   #22
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Right. The reason you don't use an airlock is so that you can feed oxygen to the yeast through the use of a stir plate or shaking. A foam stopper is a great idea that would be great for your next starter.

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Old 08-12-2012, 06:38 PM   #23
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Ok well i went with foil again, so I wish I didn't buy this rubber stopper but I guess it could come in handy if I were to need to refrigerate the starter for a while.

Anyways the new starter is bubbling out the top of the flask. I can see tones of fermentation taking place and tiny bubbles rising to the top and whirling around. Pretty cool!
It makes me think that the green belt yeast was not viable anyways, since I saw absolutely no signs of fermentation. The greenbelt (the one with the two fruit flies is one where the cold pack was hot from our heat wave, AND I think it sat in trucks over the weekend. My other starter that my gf threw out also arrived hot, and I didn't see any signs of fermentation in that one.

This would indicate that the yeast was not viable to begin with right? I mean I know the yeast being warm for a while probably wont kill it but sitting in a UPS truck when it's 95 outside (probably 130+ inside the truck?) that might kill it? I should see some signs of fermentation when making a starter right?

I think I am going to need a larger flask for making 2L starters...

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Old 08-12-2012, 07:05 PM   #24
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For dry yeast, go with Safale US-05 (this is the same strain as Wyeast 1056 & White Labs WP001). Extremely neutral, clean, and versatile. Can be used for pretty much any ale. My guess, after reading the description for Greenbelt, is that they're close relatives to one another.
For me the bru hah for liquid yeast is just that. Unless I'm going to do a beer that just can't be done without some exotic liquid yeast I'm going to use the dry yeast equal to the recommended liquid. prep is boil 1 cup water, cool, add dry yeast, swirl, cover for 10 to 60 minutes, add to cooled wort.
Costs less, stores better, much less stress. Dry just makes sense to me. I am all about KISS.
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:15 AM   #25
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Ok well i went with foil again, so I wish I didn't buy this rubber stopper but I guess it could come in handy if I were to need to refrigerate the starter for a while.

Anyways the new starter is bubbling out the top of the flask. I can see tones of fermentation taking place and tiny bubbles rising to the top and whirling around. Pretty cool!
It makes me think that the green belt yeast was not viable anyways, since I saw absolutely no signs of fermentation. The greenbelt (the one with the two fruit flies is one where the cold pack was hot from our heat wave, AND I think it sat in trucks over the weekend. My other starter that my gf threw out also arrived hot, and I didn't see any signs of fermentation in that one.

This would indicate that the yeast was not viable to begin with right? I mean I know the yeast being warm for a while probably wont kill it but sitting in a UPS truck when it's 95 outside (probably 130+ inside the truck?) that might kill it? I should see some signs of fermentation when making a starter right?

I think I am going to need a larger flask for making 2L starters...
Glad you gave the starter method another shot. They are definetly worth doing. As to your greenbelt yeast, one day at 130F won't kill all of the cells. Those packs were probably pretty dead though. Probably would have taken close to 96 hours to see any active yeast if they were alive. (I know you said you put one in the fridge and saw some settling. Do you remember what color the yeast was that settled out?) BTW, when I do a starter I fill my 2000ml flask up to about the 1400ml mark, boil it down to 1300ml and pitch the yeast into that, which gives me a decent amount of head space.
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Old 08-13-2012, 06:37 AM   #26
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Glad you gave the starter method another shot. They are definetly worth doing. As to your greenbelt yeast, one day at 130F won't kill all of the cells. Those packs were probably pretty dead though. Probably would have taken close to 96 hours to see any active yeast if they were alive. (I know you said you put one in the fridge and saw some settling. Do you remember what color the yeast was that settled out?) BTW, when I do a starter I fill my 2000ml flask up to about the 1400ml mark, boil it down to 1300ml and pitch the yeast into that, which gives me a decent amount of head space.
If I remember correctly the yeast look kinda grayish... I think it was pretty dead. It was also several months old, and was probably in high heat for several days.

The new starter however worked excellent (also from Austin home brew but with a request that they ship out Monday to avoid the yeast sitting in a truck over the weekend). The beer has already started fermenting too. I set the freezer for 70 degrees since 68-72 is the recommended fermentation temp. It's a Black Imperial IPA and I added their alcohol boost. Starting gravity was 1.078! I decided to just go right in with a blowoff tube this time instead of an airlock. I have a feeling this one might get a bit crazy, especially with the large starter.

THE BAD LUCK CONTINUES:
Since the starter worked so well, it overflowed and shorted out my newly built stir plate (first time testing it and it worked flawless). I guess it seeped into the project box via the screws holding the fan up in the bottom. The LM317T as on the bottom of the project box so I'm guessing this shorted out. Not sure what all fried in the box, my guess is the Potentiometer unless teh LM317T is likely to fry itself? But damn, I'll have to buy all new components to fix it because I soldered everything pretty permanent.. I'd have to build the circuit again from scratch! Damn starters are hard and expensive! At least for me...
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Old 08-13-2012, 12:37 PM   #27
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Wow, man. Sounds like you just can't catch a break. Hang in there and don't let the bastards get you down!

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Old 08-13-2012, 08:31 PM   #28
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Wow, man. Sounds like you just can't catch a break. Hang in there and don't let the bastards get you down!
This is what the carboy looked like this morning when I woke up.

black imperial ipa by Glamisduner, on Flickr


And this is the fermentation (no sound needed, cause my commentary is horrible)
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:01 PM   #29
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William's Brewing has some neat foam stoppers that fit various flask sizes. Soak them in sanitizer and wring them out before use. Air permeable and no crud (or flies) in your starter.

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Old 08-13-2012, 11:02 PM   #30
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Until you get a foam stopper, you can use a piece of nylon mesh brew bag or a paint strainer bag soaked in sani solution. Cover the opening of your flask with the mesh, and fasten with sanitized rubberband. Then cover with sanitized foil. That's what I've been using ever since my fruitfly incident. No more issues. I still set up fruitfly traps prior to brewing because I'm terrified of getting fruitflies in my wort while racking to fermenter.

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