Originally Posted by heckler73
with a new pouch of liquid yeast, you'll be fine just smacking it when you start to brew, or a little while before that. then pour it into your primary as is.
I went through the stress of making a starter just a few hours in advance, and having it not do anything visible before I pitched it in. It still worked fine.
If you make a starter, make it a couple days in advance so that you're sure it's doing the right thing.
There rarely is anything "visible" in a starter...that doesn't mean nothing's happenning....
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.
Although not the best, starting a starter the night before is still better than NOT making one at all.
Like my snazzy new avatar? Get Sons of Zymurgy swag, here, and brew with the best.
Revvy's one of the cool reverends. He has a Harley and a t-shirt that says on the back "If you can read this, the bitch was Raptured. - Madman
I gotta tell ya, just between us girls, that Revvy is HOT. Very tall, gorgeous grey hair and a terrific smile. He's very good looking in person, with a charismatic personality... he drives like a ****ing maniac! - YooperBrew