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Old 08-23-2009, 02:09 AM   #1
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Default Made my first starter... and a huge mess

Follow up to this thread:

So I got the flask boiling, and went to add in the 1/2 cup of DME. I'm sitting there wondering how I can do this without making a mess. I pull out a small funnel and try to pour the DME down it... bad idea, it just gunked up right away. Oh and the steam from the flask started to hurt my hand...

So then I just tried to put the DME in from my 1/2 cup measuring cup... only to have a lot of it end up on the stove, and have it start burning. The stuff that did end up in the flask started to coagulate in the narrow part of the flask before it got down the water. Ugh...

So then i turn the heat back up, and it starts boiling over like crazy. So now I have DME on the stove, some pouring down the sides of the flask, and stuff starting to burn on the stove and outside of flask and it's starting to smell horrible and everything's getting sticky.

Anyway, I finally got 10 minutes of boiling done, cooled, and pitched the yeast. I just swirled the flask and when I re-set it down there was a lot of krausen, so I guess that's a good sign... Gunna brew a weizenbock tomorrow so hopefully it appreciates what I mess I made for it!

I can't decide what to do differently next time... maybe just make the starter in a small pot instead of the flask...

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Old 08-23-2009, 02:18 AM   #2
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Are you supposed to mix DME with water cold? I thought I read because of how it clumps that you should mix dried extract cold and liquid extract hot. I just made my first starter today and that is what I did. I did a quick stir in the pot of the water and DME then I turned up the heat. For a flask, get a glass bowl, combine the two, stir, then funnel into the flask.

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Old 08-23-2009, 02:29 AM   #3
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Not sure you had krausen when you pitched the yeast, krausen only comes up after about a day. The best way to make a starter is to put the DME in the water before you boil. On my gas stove, I use a 2L erlenmeyer flask and I go on HI until I see a trace of a bubble, then crank all the way down to low. This will keep a nice boil going for 20 mins and keep boil overs to a controllable level. I sanitize a long knife and keep the foam down with a few stirs every now and then if I see anything boil up. After 20 min boil, fill up your sink with water and ice cubes and chill the flask to 70 then pitch. Put on my stir plate for 24-36 hours at 73 degrees. Either decant or pitch the entire starter depending on style of beer.
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Old 08-23-2009, 02:32 AM   #4
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I'd suggest mixing the water and DME first, then pouring it into the flask. As for boil overs, a drop of foam control (fermcap) will fix that problem.
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