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Old 01-18-2014, 03:31 PM   #1
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Default Starter not fermenting

Hey All,

I made my first starter last night and this morning still no activity other than a trace of foam on the surface that I think might be from stirring. I planned on brewing my barleywine tomorrow.

Is it typical to have so little activity 12 hours after pitching? If not typical I guess my only option is to order another packet and try again next weekend.

-DZ

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Old 01-18-2014, 05:31 PM   #2
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Starters sometimes do that, especially if on a stir plate. One way to check is to put some sanitized cling wrap over the opening and secure with a rubber band. Give it a swirl and watch for the wrap to begin to bulge.

How big of a starter are you making for a barleywine?

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Old 01-19-2014, 02:27 PM   #3
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I tried the plastic wrap test and it shows no sign of fermentation, so looks like I'll be starting over with the yeast starter. Also I realized I might not have prepared my starter properly. I used only one packet of Wyeast instead of two packets for OG >1080.

This is the kind of stuff I need to get straight before moving to all-grain.

#rookiemistakenotenoughresearch

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Old 01-19-2014, 02:30 PM   #4
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You can get away with one packet as long as your starter is big enough. That's the point of a starter. This is the calculator I use when making starters:
http://www.yeastcalc.com/

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Old 01-19-2014, 06:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darrenbrews View Post
I tried the plastic wrap test and it shows no sign of fermentation, so looks like I'll be starting over with the yeast starter. Also I realized I might not have prepared my starter properly. I used only one packet of Wyeast instead of two packets for OG >1080.

This is the kind of stuff I need to get straight before moving to all-grain.

#rookiemistakenotenoughresearch

One packet in the starter should have at least done something. What gravity was your starter wort?

For something as uber-high gravity as a barleywine, I'd rather do a 5-gallon batch of low-ABV session beer with the same yeast strain (making a small starter for that beer). When that first one is done, rack to the bottling bucket and pitch the barleywine wort atop the yeast cake.

Don't skimp on the pitch rate for the really high-grav brews.
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