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Old 09-06-2011, 09:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by StMarcos View Post
Boiling would have eliminated lacto and acetobacter. The starter should only be 'off' from oxidation, not contamination.
If there's no hops in the starter beer, it doesn't matter if you kill everything off in the boil...after you cool, it's at just as high a risk. I mean, we boil our beers all the time, and still sometimes they get infected....
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Old 09-06-2011, 10:52 PM   #12
May 2011
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Thing also to think about with the taste of your starter (I'm a Bear Grylls kinda brewer, ooh what does that taste like...) is that it most people use DME and therefore it is very fermentable. Hence there is very little residual sweetness left in spent wort, that + the oxidation and higher levels of esters and fusel alcohols make it taste like crap. What you are doing when you tastes test the decanted wort is to educate your plate what it should taste like so you will recognize when it has all gone wrong. Of all the starters I have done, I have not add an infection so I can't speak from experience but they say it tastes like a gorilla sh*& in your mouth so a little sour is nothing to worry about.

I also check gravity not as a sign of now much yeast is made as gravity is irrelevant to this but more if it is extremely low ie 1.002ish and tastes bad and smells bad then I will get worried. bacteria and other such nasties tend to be a bit less selective on their menu hence why they are prevalent and will eat more of the wort than will your well behaved yeasties.


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Old 09-07-2011, 01:41 AM   #13
Jun 2011
Acworth, Ga
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Because it was vinegar

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Old 09-18-2011, 05:49 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
If there's no hops in the starter beer, it doesn't matter if you kill everything off in the boil...after you cool, it's at just as high a risk. I mean, we boil our beers all the time, and still sometimes they get infected....
I don't quite get what you are saying... so if there are hops in the starter beer, only then does it matter if you kill everything off in the boil?

Sure, we boil starters/beers and there are problems, but if someone is tasting an acetic acid presence in their STARTER, I don't think it's ok to tell them that it's ok, and that starters will get funky in warmer weather.... in my opinion I would not recommend that someone pitch a starter that has an acetic acid presence into a full batch.

If someone's starter has enough contamination that the absence of hops makes it funky, which to my mind mean that you are relying on the hops to preserve the integrity of the culture, then I don't think that their sanitation is up to snuff and should be reviewed. That being said, I am a stickler about contamination....

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Old 09-18-2011, 06:54 AM   #15
Mar 2011
Tampa, Florida
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What temp did you ferment the starter? I always describe strong fusels as vinegar-like.

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Old 11-21-2011, 05:36 PM   #16
Jul 2010
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Glad to see I wasn't the only one freaking out when my starter smelled funny (like Cider) I just decanted off the top & just pitched the yeast. I guess there is nothing left to do but wait & see...
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Old 11-21-2011, 06:52 PM   #17
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I usually taste my starter, especially the first smaller steps, just to make sure it fermented. Oftentimes if I let it go overnight, the whole thing will be done by morning. If I'm using harvested yeast and don't have enough for a gravity test, if I taste sweet wort in the morning, then I know I'm screwed. On the other hand, if it tastes foul, sour, oxidized or whatever, than I keep going.

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Old 11-22-2011, 12:25 AM   #18
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Starters never smell quite right but they arent supposed to. They always smell "off" in some ways. It's just a way to make more yeast. I dont taste them because they taste gross most of the time. I've only had maybe 2 that tasted at all like something palatable. But they've all made great beer.
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Old 11-22-2011, 02:01 AM   #19
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When I just shook them, they tasted better than when I started using a stirrer. Now they have more of a funk to them that could possibly be described as vinegary. Plus, if your stirrer generates heat, it will add to the condition.
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Old 02-14-2013, 02:58 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Revvy View Post
The beer on top of a starter often smells sour or apply or funky, since there are no hops added as a preservative. Especially in the summer it will turn quickly. But it doesn't mean anything, nor does it affect the starter itself. Especially if you decant it off.
I know this post is old, but I need some advice. I hadn't used 1056 in a while since I have been using US-05 so often, so I decided to see how it was in my latest brew.

Anyhow, when I took it out of the refrigerator yesterday, it seemed slightly swelled, which I thought was strange. I "smacked" it, and let it sit out for a few hours before I made a starter.

I cut the thing open, and it has a very strong fruit cider smell. I thought that was odd, but maybe it was just from the nutrients or something. So I poured a very small amount in a shot glass, and taste it. Same thing, it also tasted cidery. I put the starter on the stir plate, which is churning away now.

My question is.... is this yeast infected with aceobacter? I have had a previous infection with a WYeast. It smelled "sour" but I used it anyway, and it ruined my beer. Anyone have this happen before?
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