Originally Posted by brewstergalVT
Thanks Gavin C and sky4meplease for the info. I've already changed my practice a bit to help the yeast based on what both of you have shared. I had been doing my starters in a 2L mason jar fitted with a plastic screw on lid drilled and fitted with a grommet and airlock. The currently growing starter I have covered with a double layer of paper towels (initially sprayed with vodka), secured with a rubber band and a loose cover of aluminum foil (just because I'm scared). Shaking it as often as I can. Thanks again for your help!!
In order of importance I would suggest:
Make a starter!
Feed the yeast oxygen by stir plate, shaking or injection.
Try to keep inoculation rates 20-60 million cells per milliliter to maximize propagation over 60 million per milliliter to revitalize.
Keep the starter warm 70-75 degrees.
Additionally, I believe once the yeast get going they are pushing CO2 out so fast that O2 intake is virtually impossible unless it is injected. If you have a way to do feed the yeast oxygen by all means do so.
I think the reason stir plates do as well as they do is the slow intake of O2 in the early stages promoting health/growth and the circulation of the yeast in the later stages encouraging speed of propagation.