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Old 01-26-2013, 02:26 PM   #1
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Default Yeast looks caked to bottom of my starter

Hi all,

This was just my second time making a starter, so still new to the business. I made it last night and prepare to pitch it tonight when I'm done with brew day. However, my yeast starter appears to have a ton of yeast caked to the bottom. It doesn't come back into suspension when I swirl my starter around. It got caked overnight while I was sleeping. I get the feeling it is gonna stick to my starter container when I pitch.. is this bad news? Is there something I should do to loosen the cake out when I pitch?

I don't have a stir plate but I'm guessing that would prevent this in the future.

Thanks!

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Old 01-26-2013, 02:49 PM   #2
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I would try decanting the liquid that is in there off and added some new and swirling that around.

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Old 01-26-2013, 02:50 PM   #3
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When you give it a good swirl, it doesn't come off the bottom? You may have to swirl it pretty aggressively and for more than 10-15 seconds.

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Old 01-26-2013, 02:54 PM   #4
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Or do like I do,& sanitize a clean skewer or the like to stir it up right befor pitching. Even when I'm rehydrating dry yeast,I stir up the resulting yeast cream right before pitching.
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Old 01-26-2013, 02:55 PM   #5
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That happens to me all the time. I decant the wort from my starter and what's left is a yeast slurry caked to the bottom. I just pour in plain water and swish the container around. The pouring in of water on top of it breaks up some, and the swishing around breaks up the rest.

Sometimes it doesn't get it all, so I pitch what did break loose, then repeat until all the yeast is gone.

There might be a better way, but that works for me.

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Old 01-26-2013, 03:17 PM   #6
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Thanks all. I have tried swirling somewhat more aggressively but most of it remains caked to the bottom. I'll try decanting a bit and possibly add more water to try and break it up. I guess I can sanitize a skewer to stick down there too.. I just feel bad poking my yeasties before they go to battle!

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Old 01-26-2013, 04:30 PM   #7
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No need to add water. Get a turkey baster and suck up some if the wort you're going to pitch it into. Use that to swirl the yeast off the bottom. They can be pretty sticky sometimes so it might take a couple times to get it all.

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Old 01-26-2013, 04:35 PM   #8
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That's what I love about this forum. Someone always comes along with a better idea. Thanks!

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Old 01-26-2013, 04:49 PM   #9
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Obviously make sure you sanitize it. I use the turkey baster so often for gravity readings and whatnot that it sits in Star San 24/7 along with my hydrometer and test jar so they are always ready to go.

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