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Old 11-04-2011, 09:44 PM   #1
Sep 2010
Las Vegas
Posts: 651
Liked 11 Times on 10 Posts

Just wondering I know its probably hard to say just by description but here is my situation. I made a small starter with a very old tube of wlp001 (3 years old IIRC). It was a 500ml starter at 1.020 strength. I saw a pretty good amount of yeast formed and stepped up to a 2 liter starter at regular 1.040 strength. That starter seemed ok except for a strong smell of clove. A day later the smell seemed to have died down and I tasted the starter and it tasted pretty clean. I pitched the starter into an Imperial IPA at 1.074 strength. The fermenation was going strong for a few days needing a blowoff tube and whatnot. Krausen had died down so I figured must be done or close to it. I drew a sample and smelled the clove again, also around the fermenter it smelled a little like nail polish remover. Testing the sample fermentation had stalled at 1.044. I kind of freaked figuring the starter must have been contaminated or something and pitched 3 packs of coopers yeast. Its been 2 days and fermentation does not appear to have kicked off. Does this sound like stressed yeast or wild yeast? I am usually pretty good about sanitation and prepared the starters in the same manner I prepare my other ones and never had any trouble like this. I checked ph of the wort and it was about 4.7 which I guess is normal for fermenting wort. Even though they were coopers packets which are a little small (5 grams each) I thought for sure this would start things backup up but after 2 days don't see much going on. So does it sound like stressed yeast or wild yeast?

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Old 11-04-2011, 10:57 PM   #2
GodsStepBrother's Avatar
Apr 2009
, Texas
Posts: 1,261
Liked 25 Times on 23 Posts

Post the recipe you used. How are you aerating the wort?

The nail polish smell does signal stressed out yeast. Did you decant the wort from the starter? It is okay to step up yeast that old, but I would definitely decant the wort from that start. I doubt it’s infected a wild yeast strain would start grubbing out on everything in its path.

How long has the beer been on top of the yeast cake for?

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