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Old 02-23-2011, 09:53 PM   #1
RighteousFire
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Default First time stir plate starter

This is the first time I have made a yeast starter using a stir plate. I started with a 1.25L starter in a 2L Erlenmeyer Flask with a 2 inch stir bar on a homemade stir plate. I used a computer fan on a potentiometer to regulate speed.

I'm making a stepped starter for a lager using Wyeast's Urquell Lager strain, which was only a month old. I used Mr Malty App to calculate a ~200 billion cell yield then I would chill the yeast down and pour off the used wort to add fresh wort to bring the cell count up to ~400 billion cell count for pitching.

I haven't noticed any yeast activity like I have seen out of some peoples stir plate starters. I left it in for 24 hours, and then added 400ml more of wort to "freshen it up" a bit today. I also moved it from the 60F garage to the 70F kitchen counter to help. It has been at the lowest possible speed, which was kicking up some bubbles with the 1.25L, but now with the extra wort there are no bubbles.

Am I freaking out too much?
Was it too cold? (I've made regular starters at this temp with activity)
Was the whirlpool to much?

Thanks!
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:51 AM   #2
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Stir plate activity is usually quite subtle, if noticeable at all. When you crash and decant, you'll know if you got any growth or not. It is unlikely that your lager yeast crapped out at 60F, and the speed of your whirlpool shouldn't matter. More likely than not, you are fine.
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Old 02-24-2011, 02:34 PM   #3
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Can you post photos?
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Old 02-24-2011, 03:00 PM   #4
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I think you are probably fine. Sometimes I will just notice the starter get a little cloudy with no krausen at all. I do use plenty of form reducer in the flask.
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Old 02-24-2011, 05:27 PM   #5
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yeah, I agree with above. Usually it'll turn to look like coffe with creamer added when its "done".
wy1469, now that one blows all over the place
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I'm Smelling a lot of IF coming offa this plan
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:04 PM   #6
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PICS

Here is when I first put it in:



Here is after I added a little extra wort:



Here is today just a couple minutes ago.






Quote:
Originally Posted by brodie113 View Post
I think you are probably fine. Sometimes I will just notice the starter get a little cloudy with no krausen at all. I do use plenty of form reducer in the flask.
Now That I think about it, I did add a smidge of De-Foamer to the original boil.... totally didn't think about that.
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:08 PM   #7
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Those pictures remind me of every successful starter I have ever made.
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:19 PM   #8
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So using a stir plate whats a good amount of time to let it be in there before I chill it down to decant off the used wort and add some fresh stuff?

It seems difficult to take a hydro test......
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Old 02-24-2011, 07:21 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RighteousFire View Post
So using a stir plate whats a good amount of time to let it be in there before I chill it down to decant off the used wort and add some fresh stuff?

It seems difficult to take a hydro test......
I use 48 hours on the plate, 48 hours in the fridge as a rule of thumb.
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Old 02-24-2011, 08:54 PM   #10
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In my limited experience, my lager yeast didn't take off until after 24hrs. I would let it go at least 48 hours before cold crashing. Also, I did what you plan to do, which is crash the yeast, decant, and add more wort. When I stepped it, the starter was overflowing. Evidently the 2L wasn't big enough to contain, so I moved it to a gallon jug I had. Just watch out for a lot of activity the second time around.
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