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Old 08-10-2011, 06:11 PM   #1
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Default Skunked starter

If I decant skunked beer off the starter yeast, will the yeast produce a skunky final product in the main beer?

I stupidly placed my starter in a clear glass jug on top of my refrigerator for 5 days. The kitchen is well lit, but no direct sunlight would have reached it. I haven't smelled it yet but I'm worried about skunk potential. I'd rather throw the yeast away then spoil a whole batch with it!

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Old 08-10-2011, 06:16 PM   #2
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From my understanding, if there's no hops present then it won't get skunked.

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Old 08-10-2011, 06:19 PM   #3
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It's not skunked, it more than likely soured, and believe it or not, it's perfectly normal and won't harm your beer at all.

Unless you boiled the starter wort with some hop pellets, the unhopped starter beer will start to sour within a few hours to a couple days. That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with the yeast, it's just that unhopped beer will turn sour pretty quickly.

Especially in the summer, or in the warm space above your fridge

That's one of the main reasons we add hops to beer, to preserve it, to keep the beer from souring.

Just pour off the starter beer, and the yeast will be fine to use.

Of course it IS possible for your starter to be skunked, and that's if you DID use hops. You, like all of us, more than likely make your starter in a well lit place. SO skunking, the combination of isomerized alpha acids in hops in fermented beer and sunlight, would not be surprising in that case, AND be ok as well.

In starters we don't drink the beer on top, we use the yeast.

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Old 08-10-2011, 06:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suttonjs2 View Post
If I decant skunked beer off the starter yeast, will the yeast produce a skunky final product in the main beer?
Assuming that your starter is actually skunked (you would've had to add hops and boiled your started wort), the answer is No.

Skunkiness is from the breakdown of isomerized hop acids. If you decant, you will eliminate most of the skunkiness that is in the starter. Anything that is left will definitely get diluted to the point where you cannot taste or smell it. As long as you don't leave your whole batch in light, you will be fine.
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
In starters we don't drink the beer on top, we use the yeast.
I do. (Just for scientific purposes, of course.)
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:29 PM   #6
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Thank you, Golddiggie!

And thank you, Revvy! You should be paid as much as you help people out on here!

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Old 08-10-2011, 06:30 PM   #7
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Thanks, LVBen. Good info, all.

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