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Old 02-13-2011, 04:12 PM   #1
cheschire
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Default More starter concerns

In the past I have always skipped using starters with my smack packs but this batch I thought I'd give it a go. I used 1/2 cup of extract in 800ml of water and got an OG of 1.045. 24 hours later, nothing. Reading over numerous instructions on making a starter, I never saw any of them reminding me to aerate the starter wort. It's been a long and treacherous 8 months since I have been able to brew and the aerating step just slipped my mind. Is it possible for this to be the cause of no activity in my starter? Or is it to soon to tell whether or not my yeast is dead. I was really hoping to brew today but I might have to put it off...

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Old 02-13-2011, 04:20 PM   #2
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Aeration can make a difference. Just leave it for another day and it will probably start going crazy.

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Old 02-13-2011, 04:23 PM   #3
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Just remember one thing....activity in a starter really only means one thing and one thing only.

It doesn't matter one blip in your fermenter or your starter flask if the airlock bubbles or not (if you are using an airlock and not tinfoil if you are using tinfoil, you aren't getting bibbling anyway,) or if you see a krauzen. In fact starter fermentation are some of the fastest or slowest but most importantly, the most boring fermentations out there. Usually it's done withing a few hours of yeast pitch...usually overnight when we are sleeping, and the starter looks like nothing ever happened...except for the little band at the bottom. Or it can take awhile...but either way there's often no "activity" whatsoever....

I usually run my stirplate for the first 24 hours, then shut it down, if you are spinning your starter it is really hard to get a krausen to form anyway, since it's all spinning, and there's often a head of foam on it from the movement.


All that really matters is that creamy band o yeast at the bottom.





This is a chilled sample so it's flocculated, but even with an unchilled sample you should see a band of yeast at the bottom. Here's an unchilled version



Same thing, a band.

As it is I've only ever seen two or three krausens actually on my starter (one blew off a bunch of krausen and knocked the tinfoil off the flask,) and the evidence of one on the flask at the "waterline" once. But I've never not had a starter take off.

Look for the yeast at the bottom, don't worry what it looks like on top.

If you have yeast on the bottom....that's all you really need.

If it looks anything like that, your are ready to either feed it again, or use it.

People always think the yeast at the bottom of the flask is the same, but they are wrong. I am 100% sure your starter took off fine.

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Old 02-13-2011, 09:46 PM   #4
cheschire
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Thanks Revvy!
Definately happened over night when I was sleeping and there is a nice white band of yeast at the bottom. I went ahead with the brew day and am currently at 1/2 hour left in the boil

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