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Old 07-07-2012, 03:40 AM   #1
Justintoxicated
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This is going to be my first brew, but I think I messed up my yeast starter.

I boiled 900 ml water with 1/2 cup of Light DME.

Cooled it in my sink, then pitched the yeast at around 77-79 (Room temp was 77).

I didn't see any activity, and it has been nearly 48 hours. I'm gone for work around 10-13 hour a day for the last couple days so I guess I could have missed the activity?

I don't know what to do tomorrow now. I contacted Austin home brew and they offered to send me another vial of white labs yeast, but that means putting off my brew until next weekend or later.

Is there a way to tell is my starter is Viable? Maybe I missed the fermentation? I shook the crap out of it when I got home as per my friends suggestion. Should I pitch it tomorrow anyways and see what happens?

If I get another vial I don't think I will make a starter as it seems too risky. I pitched a packet of dry yeast into my appfelwein carboy at the same time and it's fermenting like crazy, and my friend has never had bad white labs yeast and pitches directly from the vial, so now I'm super skeptical on the whole starter thing.

 
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Old 07-07-2012, 03:48 AM   #2
MalFet
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What kind of activity were you expecting to see? Generally, my starters just kinda sit there.

Check the gravity of starter if you're curious, but it's actually extremely rare for a yeast vial to be completely dead.
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Old 07-07-2012, 03:49 AM   #3
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You probably missed the fermentation. Did you use a stirplate? I guess not from what you have said.

You can take a gravity reading. It should have started out about 1.040.

Do not fear making starters. It is more risky IMO to NOT make starters.

Look into making a stirplate. It makes for smaller starters which finish quicker.

I would pitch the starter and expect a very good fermentation. If you are getting a new vial you have backup and can pitch that if fermentation doesn't start. Give it about 3 days before deciding that you have a problem

 
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Old 07-07-2012, 06:56 AM   #4
jbaysurfer
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Quote:
If I get another vial I don't think I will make a starter as it seems too risky. I pitched a packet of dry yeast into my appfelwein carboy at the same time and it's fermenting like crazy, and my friend has never had bad white labs yeast and pitches directly from the vial, so now I'm super skeptical on the whole starter thing.
You think your yeast vial is different then all those vials your friend claims to have pitched? Do you think there's something inherently wrong with the process of making a starter that killed your yeast? Or, do you think YOU did something that killed your yeast?

Before you write off making a starter based on this singular subjective experience, I'd answer those questions.

I think your starter is fine, and your yeast is fine. I think making starters will speed your learning curve to making better beer. You, IMHO, seem to want to do this right from the outset, writing off starters isn't going to help your cause.
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:02 PM   #5
Justintoxicated
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Well it turns out my girl had dumped out my starter so I had to go buy more yeast from a :"local" place and pitch directly from the vial this time around. The local place was only 30+ miles away too. This batch seems to be fermenting away. I set the air temp to 63, meaning actual air temp can drop below 60 since this seems to be the way the temp controller swings.

A little off topic but I may as well post this here
I'm probably going to try this one next. http://www.austinhomebrew.com/produc...ducts_id=13310
Will a starter work well enough or would it still be recommended to double pitch?

 
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:13 PM   #6
jaytizzle
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I would not double pitch. It's too easy to make a bigger starter and only use $6 worth of yeast instead of $12.

 
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:05 PM   #7
eastoak
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why don't you buy all of your yeast locally? white labs is just south of you so i bet you can get fresher yeast than you'd get from texas. when i brew american ales i just use dry yeast and skip the starters, then i reuse the yeast (now i have wet yeast, woot!). i use dry yeast exclusively unless i'm making saison or some other specialty beer.

 
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:47 PM   #8
Justintoxicated
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eastoak View Post
why don't you buy all of your yeast locally? white labs is just south of you so i bet you can get fresher yeast than you'd get from texas. when i brew american ales i just use dry yeast and skip the starters, then i reuse the yeast (now i have wet yeast, woot!). i use dry yeast exclusively unless i'm making saison or some other specialty beer.
The IPA I want to make next use Wyeast Greenblet, but in the case of white labs, can I buy directly from them? Probably still a good drive vs free shipping but I do agree it may in fact be fresher. Then again freshness probably depends greatly of the turnaround of the source.

 
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:24 PM   #9
jbaysurfer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Justintoxicated View Post
The IPA I want to make next use Wyeast Greenblet, but in the case of white labs, can I buy directly from them? Probably still a good drive vs free shipping but I do agree it may in fact be fresher. Then again freshness probably depends greatly of the turnaround of the source.
I'm sorry I don't have time to look this up for you, but I'm in SB, and I remember a retailer from down your way who said all their yeast shipped directly from White Labs. Worth checking out.
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:28 PM   #10
jbaysurfer
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Nevermind, found it easily enough:

http://www.chicompany.net/index.php?...ndex&cPath=291
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