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Old 04-19-2011, 02:47 PM   #1
ultravista
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Default Ringwood Starter Questions

I made a starter (1600 ml / 5.2 oz light DME) yesterday and pitched a pack of Ringwood (1187) at approximately 17:30.

The starter has been on a stir plate for 14 hours now, loosly covered with foil, and I see no apparent signs of fermentation; starting or finished.

With the exception of being a little cloudy, it looks no different than it did last night.

I turned off the starter for an hour or two and found a fairly thick layer of trub at the bottom, maybe 3/4 to an inch. There was a decent amount of hot break material in the flask already so I am assuming this is just that, settled hot break protiens.

When working with a stir plate, do you generally see krausen or other visible signs of fermentation?

Does this sound correct for Ringwood?


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Old 04-19-2011, 03:32 PM   #2
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I made a starter with Ringwood the first time I used my stirplate about 2 months ago. I think it took a little while to get going (about 24 h?), but once it did it really kept going. It produced a steady stream of bubbles for 2 days before I used it. I was a little surprised at how many bubbles it made and a lot surprised at how long it continued. They were extremely small and glassy, and I wouldn't have been able to see them if the starter wasn't in a completely clear flask.

That being said, in your case that seems like a lot of trub for an extract starter. I think you may actually have a lot of yeast in there. Perhaps this strain tends to make bubbles so small that there is no visible krausen. One thing you can do is check the gravity of the starter to see if the yeast have consumed the sugars (the OG should have been around 1.040).


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Old 04-19-2011, 03:36 PM   #3
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Should I keep the stir plate on the entire time? It is churning at a good pace, not a vortex to the bottom, but a 1/2 dimple.

Will the stirplate keep the krausen down? In other words, how will it foam when being stirred.

I was hoping to brew today and pitch around the 24 hour mark. Do you think this is too soon?
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:00 PM   #4
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I've used Ringwood once and it was a slow starter (maybe 48 hr).
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:05 PM   #5
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The idea of the stirplate is to keep it on all the time to get maximum aeration. I imagine that this does keep the krausen down purely through mechanical action.

A lot of people stop their stirplate after about 24 hours and put it in the fridge overnight to let the yeast settle out. They then pour off the excess liquid so that they're only pitching the yeast in as small a slurry as possible. I have done it this way but usually just pitch the whole starter (My starters are about 1 L in size). Make sure you don't pitch the stir bar!

I think you'll be fine, but like I said check the gravity of the starter if you're concerned. Just let it settle a bit in the hydrometer test jar before taking the reading.
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:28 PM   #6
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Ringwood is a slow starter in my experience. Have seen it take 24-36 hours to really get going well
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:42 PM   #7
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Wow - talk about a timely post!

I just made up a brew with Ringwood on Sunday... Picked up the Wyeast Propagator on Saturday, pitched it to a starter by 3PM, and pitched that starter Sunday around 3:30PM, despite the fact that I never saw visible signs of fermentation... I've been keeping my fingers crossed since then, especially since I never checked the date on the propagator until I got home - it was from October '10; really pushing it date-wise in my estimation.

This morning I checked on my fermenter and found a nice layer of krausen forming (it wasn't there around 11PM last night) - so yeah, I'm seeing slow startup from Ringwood too.
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:49 PM   #8
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stratslinger - what did your starter look like? The starter was active for 24 hours?
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Old 04-19-2011, 10:09 PM   #9
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Though ringwood starts slow, I've pitched healthy starters of it that really take off and get going with the quickness. A good starter seems to be the key with this strain. Ferments out quickly once it gets going as well
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:03 PM   #10
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My starter really didn't look active at all when I pitched it. I actually wished I'd had the time to let the starter go for 48 instead, but timin just didn't allow.

Just checked the fermented again, and let's just say that, despite the relatively slow take off, I'm really glad I set up a blow off tube! Definitely going strong now!


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