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Old 11-27-2011, 12:09 AM   #1
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Default Is this a bad sign?

Made this starter 9 hrs ago and I'm not getting any real signs that it's taking off. No foam no real smell and it's a 2L starter w/ 2 vials of 005 yeast.

Now the yeast was past date kept in a fridge which could just be slow starting?

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Old 11-27-2011, 12:18 AM   #2
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is it on a stir plate?

if so, there wont be a visible krausen, its constantly swirling around....

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Old 11-27-2011, 12:19 AM   #3
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I'm kinda in the same boat... got a smackpack at the LHBS for 2 bucks... only problem is the mfg date is 10 Dec 2010. Got my starter going now on a stir plate. I'm a newb when it comes to stir plates and 2000ml flask. From what I've read you really want get much of a krausen because of the stir plate but the wort should start to change color as the yeast multiple.
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:23 AM   #4
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Take it off the stir plate and let it sit for 5 min, swirl around by hand and you should see some action
Originally Posted by bottlebomber

Just buy a small swimming pool, throw everything in and mash it. Then open ferment in another swimming pool with all the yeast.
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:29 AM   #5
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Activity in a starter really only means one thing and one thing only.

It doesn't matter one blip in your fermenter or your starter flask if the airlock bubbles or not (if you are using an airlock and not tinfoil if you are using tinfoil, you aren't getting bibbling anyway,) or if you see a krauzen. In fact starter fermentation are some of the fastest or slowest but most importantly, the most boring fermentations out there. Usually it's done withing a few hours of yeast pitch...usually overnight when we are sleeping, and the starter looks like nothing ever happened...except for the little band at the bottom. Or it can take awhile...but either way there's often no "activity" whatsoever....

I usually run my stirplate for the first 24 hours, then shut it down, if you are spinning your starter it is really hard to get a krausen to form anyway, since it's all spinning, and there's often a head of foam on it from the movement.

All that really matters is that creamy band o yeast at the bottom.

This is a chilled sample so it's flocculated, but even with an unchilled sample you should see a band of yeast at the bottom. Here's an unchilled version

Same thing, a band.

As it is I've only ever seen two or three krausens actually on my starter (one blew off a bunch of krausen and knocked the tinfoil off the flask,) and the evidence of one on the flask at the "waterline" once. But I've never not had a starter take off.

Look for the yeast at the bottom, don't worry what it looks like on top.

If you have yeast on the bottom....that's all you really need.

If it looks anything like that, your are ready to either feed it again, or use it.

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