How would I know if my yeast starter is bad? - Home Brew Forums
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:26 AM   #1
travlinScott
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Apr 2012
Janesville, WI
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Doing a yeast starter for the first time. Everything went fine, and the little batch of wort looks fine but.....

Is there any easy way to tell if its bad or contaminated before I pitch it in my real wort? I have smack packs on stand by just in case.

Thanks guys!

 
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:35 AM   #2
dbreienrk1
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Well, is there a big layer of yeast in the bottom of the flask? More details on your process would help out some...
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:35 AM   #3
eastoak
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not really, unless it sits long enough to develop a pellicle or something. if you make it today and use it tomorrow the chances of something developing that fast are small. that said, there could be a bug lurking anywhere along the line on your brew day so keep your sanitation up.

 
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:09 PM   #4
travlinScott
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Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbreienrk1 View Post
Well, is there a big layer of yeast in the bottom of the flask? More details on your process would help out some...
I just made it late last night and I don't really see any activity at all yet.

Activated a smack pack right after supper. It was pretty fresh (From late March of this year) Once I saw that it was swelling pretty good I started working on my starter.

I made a small wort and the gravity was 1.039. I sanitized everything as I went. I boiled the wort for 10 minutes and let it cool to room temperature for about an hour or so in the glass jar I'm using.

Then I wiped the outside of the smack pack with sanitizer solution, set it on the table, and did the same with my scissors before cutting the pack open and pouring the contents in to the jar with the wort.

It's been sitting for about 7 hours now and I don't see much (any) activity, but I don't really know if I should yet or not...

I don't have any real reason to suspect a problem but thought maybe somebody might know some things to watch out for. Just trying to collect as much information as possible.

Thanks guys!

 
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Old 04-18-2012, 12:14 PM   #5
Brulosopher
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Smell that ****e! I'm sure you've nothing to worry about
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:22 PM   #6
TTB-J
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Are you shaking it? Did you aerate your wort before you threw it in? Lack of oxygen will result in a long lag time. If it looks weird and smells bad, it is bad. Otherwise, it's coo.

Shake that (shake that!), shake that (shake that!), shake that healthy yeast.
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:28 PM   #7
dbreienrk1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TTB-J View Post
Are you shaking it? Did you aerate your wort before you threw it in? Lack of oxygen will result in a long lag time. If it looks weird and smells bad, it is bad. Otherwise, it's coo.

Shake that (shake that!), shake that (shake that!), shake that healthy yeast.
+1 definitely shake the jar every hour or so to keep as much yeast as possible in suspension...
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Old 04-18-2012, 05:03 PM   #8
travlinScott
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Apr 2012
Janesville, WI
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OK! That helps a ton. I shook the wort up right before I pitched the yeast, and shook it a little a couple hours later. But I wasn't sure if that was the right thing to do, so didn't do it again. lol. I will go shake dat thang and hopefully we'll get some lift off.

Cheers guys!

 
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Old 04-19-2012, 03:07 AM   #9
travlinScott
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Apr 2012
Janesville, WI
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Does this look like it's supposed to? It smells fine to me, but I 've never really smelled one before so I'm not sure if I would know.

I'm not brewing until Saturday morning. It's currently sitting in a room at 62 degrees. Should I just refrigerate it until brew day?
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Old 04-19-2012, 03:33 AM   #10
Malticulous
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Looks good to me. You made it too soon. Refrigerate it.
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