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Old 01-05-2009, 03:15 PM   #1
czeknere
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Default Can I pitch my starter or should I postpone brew day?

Up until last evening around 8 I had plans today, which meant no brew time. But then my plans for the day fell through so I decided that I would make an Orange Cream Ale today. I had received a yeast starter kit for christmas and wanted to have this be the first attempt at using it. So last night around 830 I boiled up some DME, added it to the flask, covered it with foil, agitated it every half hour or so until 3, and went to bed. It's now 11 and I know its a little early to use the starter, but I see absolutely no activity...not a sign at all actually. The liquid looks exactly the same as it did when I pitched the yeast yesterday. I have since moved it to a warmer spot hoping to get the yeasties going.

So the issue I have now: I won't have another brew day until next Monday, do I go ahead and brew today and just pitch the yeast? Or do I let the starter ferment out, throw it in the fridge, and start it back up on Saturday? I know by the time I actually get around to starting this batch, it will be this afternoon so the yeast will still have some time. But I don't want to start this batch and have un-useable yeast by the time I need it.

Thanks!

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Old 01-05-2009, 03:18 PM   #2
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I'd go ahead and brew, and keep agitating the starter and pitch it when the wort is cooled. It's not ideal, but it's better than waiting!

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Old 01-05-2009, 03:28 PM   #3
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Good point, I really didn't want to have to push this off. I guess the other thing I'm concerned about is that the yeast might not be viable. They're showing absolutely no sign of working at almost 14 hours. Is this normal with a starter? I'm using White Labs California Ale yeast. The bottle said it was good until March 09.

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Old 01-05-2009, 04:16 PM   #4
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Also, the first couple starters can throw you because they do not have much visible activity.

I did a trappist starter a couple months back and I could not really see any activity. BUT, when I aerated my wort in the carboy prior to pitching, got a couple inches of foam on top and when I pitched the yeast the foam turned into krausen without ever going away. It was that fast.

I am generally a high krausen pitcher which mean that sometimes you just have to take on faith that the yeast is viable and just having an orgy of a time in that starter even though sometimes it is not obvious.

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