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Old 07-04-2009, 01:26 PM   #1
sgould550
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Default When is my yeast starter ready?

I made a yeast starter yesterday, for the first time and this weekend I was planning on making two 5 gallon batches of IPA.

When do I know that my starter is ready? It has been bubbling all night. Then secondly can I split this one starter in to two five gallon batches of brew.

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sgould550



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Old 07-04-2009, 01:59 PM   #2
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i'm sure it's fine to pitch if it's been sitting for 18-24 hrs. even a bit less would probably be fine. i pitched mine yesterday after about 16 hrs and there was a very short lag time. in other words, don't let it ruin your brewing plans, just use it when you're ready to pitch.

how big was your starter? you COULD split it, but it probably won't be ideal.



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Old 07-04-2009, 03:06 PM   #3
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My starter was one quart and my SG was about 1.04

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Old 07-04-2009, 03:12 PM   #4
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I started my first starter last night and I have not seen any activity yet. It was a Wyeast propogator pack and used a 1L starter, but I have not seen ANY activity yet. Granted it's only been 12 hours but I am concerned that the smack pack was already "smacked". Which in this case would ruin my Born on the Fourth of July Red Ale brew plans!

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Old 07-04-2009, 03:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HellenicHomeBrewer View Post
I started my first starter last night and I have not seen any activity yet. It was a Wyeast propogator pack and used a 1L starter, but I have not seen ANY activity yet. Granted it's only been 12 hours but I am concerned that the smack pack was already "smacked". Which in this case would ruin my Born on the Fourth of July Red Ale brew plans!
I started see activity after about 12 hours and now it has been about 24 and it is quite active. Not sure how long it takes for the yeast to really multiply.
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Old 07-04-2009, 03:27 PM   #6
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sgould, you will be pushing it as far as amount of starter for each brew. i'm sure it will be fine, as you can technically just pitch the smack pack for one 5g batch, but normally, you'd want an entire 1L for each batch (depending on your OG). again, if you've already got two batches in the works, just split it and let us know what happens. you'll still make beer, but you might get a few extra esters as the yeast will have to reproduce more than they would if you pitched the proper amount.

HHB, don't let 'activity' fool you. is there a good amount of yeast settled on the bottom of the starter? was it a stirplate starter, or just shake it when you think about it? a lot of times, starters seem dead, but are, in fact, quite alive. i wouldn't let it spoil your brewing plans, just pitch it. worst case scenario is you have to drop some nottingham or another pack of yeast into it. even if the pack was already smacked, it shouldn't affect the viability of the yeast... but you say it was a propagator, which isn't a smack pack, those are activator packs... how old was the yeast, where'd you get it from, and how was it stored before use?

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Old 07-04-2009, 03:32 PM   #7
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I smacked the pack a couple of days before making the starter and it never swelled much at all, so I too was worried. Everything turned out great. But I just posted details about this story here, check it out to alleviate your concerns:

http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f39/reusing-yeast-what-do-now-126672/#post1414878

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Old 07-04-2009, 04:08 PM   #8
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I just purchased my first smack-pack, but had to travel for the weekend, so I didn't get a chance to start the starter. I thought I read that you should refrigerate liquid yeast, so I threw it in my fridge before I rushed out the door. I just wanted to confirm that this was, at least, not a bad idea. Worst-case scenario, I smack it, and I get nothing, so I buy a new one. I think the yeast are only going to "hibernate" and should wake-up full of piss and vinegar and ready to eat some sugars when I warm them up. Is this true?
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Old 07-04-2009, 04:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DRoyLenz View Post
I just purchased my first smack-pack, but had to travel for the weekend, so I didn't get a chance to start the starter. I thought I read that you should refrigerate liquid yeast, so I threw it in my fridge before I rushed out the door. I just wanted to confirm that this was, at least, not a bad idea. Worst-case scenario, I smack it, and I get nothing, so I buy a new one. I think the yeast are only going to "hibernate" and should wake-up full of piss and vinegar and ready to eat some sugars when I warm them up. Is this true?
yea it needs to be in the fridge until you get ready to use it, then you want to take it out and let it warn to room temp. I used a smack pack for the first time when I brewed my last batch a couple of months ago. There are instructions on the web site and I had no problems.
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Old 07-04-2009, 04:23 PM   #10
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Well, ok, Here we go. I started my all grain Rye IPA sparge. Only the second time that I have done this all grain. The first time it turned out good so hopefully the yeast are up for the challenge.

I brewed the second five gallon batch and the second half of the yeast starter worked well. I had about 6 gallons of wort at 1.065 and the bubbles started about 3 hours after I added the yeast.



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