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Old 12-26-2013, 09:48 PM   #1
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Default Yeast starter partially frozen

Soooo.... long time lurker, first time poster.. hello beer bros!

a couple days ago I was preparing for my first AG batch with liquid yeast ( a belgian dubbel, wlp500) and I made a 1L starter OG 1.040 then steped to 3L, 2.5 days went by in a stir plate and I left it in the fridge overnight to drop the yeasties out of suspension.. next mornign It was still VERY cloudy, (low flocc I guess) and I put my fridge to max cold and had to go out of town for christmass.

I came home today expecting to see a nice layer of yeast and crystal clear liquid on top but still I saw some weird cloudyness lingering on top, then clearer wort and then the yeast/trub layer at the bottom.

I took the gallon jug out of the fridge and realized to my horror the cloudy stuff was ice, as my starter had partially frozed, but just partially, like tiny shards of ice in the glass walls and stuff floating.

I decanted the most part of the liquid and put it on the fridge again, which I turned to the lowest setting.

Here's some pictures of what was lef in the jug.


Here's what was lef after decanting most of the liquid/ice



You can see some of the tiny shards of ice here.

What should I do now? I'm thinking about let it rise its temperature slowly then take it out of the fridge so it raises to room temp and maybe add another liter of wort to see if its viable.

What are your experiences with something like this? and what should I do? build a new 3L starter or the 1L adition should be fine?

Getting a new vial its not an option as I live outside the US (Mexican brewer yo!) and it was a oddisey to get hold of some liquid yeast.

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Old 12-26-2013, 10:13 PM   #2
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Thaw it out and try to rebuild your starter from what you have. Hopefully the ice crystals from freezing haven't killed the yeast. Be careful to warm things up slowly - do your best not to shock the yeast further.

For future reference, it can take 3-5 days of crashing to get your yeast to settle. Be patient!

Fingers crossed!

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Old 12-27-2013, 03:22 AM   #3
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I would step-it-up and see how the yeast react at room temp.

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Old 12-27-2013, 05:49 AM   #4
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Already got it close to room temp and pitched 750mL of wort, it started bubbling like crazy in 10 minutes, on a stir plate, and its been bubbling steadily for about an hour.

So... im thinking in brewing tomorrow and pitch the whole thing without decanting.. its about 1.5L of wort for a 5.5gal batch (21 L aprox), what do you guys think? Would it impart too much flavor?

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Old 12-27-2013, 12:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadRobot
Already got it close to room temp and pitched 750mL of wort, it started bubbling like crazy in 10 minutes, on a stir plate, and its been bubbling steadily for about an hour.

So... im thinking in brewing tomorrow and pitch the whole thing without decanting.. its about 1.5L of wort for a 5.5gal batch (21 L aprox), what do you guys think? Would it impart too much flavor?
How much do you care vs. want to use the yeast again? It'll be about 5% of the total wort, so if you're making something with a lot of flavor you should be ok. I've never decanted a starter, but I've also never used a stir plate.
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Old 12-27-2013, 01:46 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadRobot View Post
Already got it close to room temp and pitched 750mL of wort, it started bubbling like crazy in 10 minutes, on a stir plate, and its been bubbling steadily for about an hour.

So... im thinking in brewing tomorrow and pitch the whole thing without decanting.. its about 1.5L of wort for a 5.5gal batch (21 L aprox), what do you guys think? Would it impart too much flavor?
1.5L is about the limit for me. Anything over that I would decant after 2 days of cold crashing. I say go for it! But I would have a packet of dry yeast handy just in case.
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Old 12-27-2013, 05:21 PM   #7
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Well I had to step up to 2L, I guess I'll be cold-crashing again, more carefully this time. Thanks for your input! hoppy holydays!

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