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Old 08-16-2012, 10:44 PM   #1
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Default Starter question

Does anyone know if having too high of chlorine or chloramine levels in the water used for a starter would kill the yeast? I don't know exact levels but I can smell it in the tap water. I use distilled for brewing and just add what I need to match a certain profile but I have been using tap water for the starters and the last few haven't done so well. The last one I made fermented out well. I decanted the liquid and pitched the slurry into 10 gallons of hefeweizen at 1.045. It has been going for a week and half and the level of activity looks like I just pitched a couple days ago. I've never had this much activity last this long. It's fermenting at 70 degrees. Only thought I can think of that may be making a difference is maybe the tap water is harming the yeast and that is why they are taking so long to ferment this batch.


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Old 08-16-2012, 10:53 PM   #2
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I don't think it should matter but maybe someone more into water chemistry can chime in

As for the fermentation, Hefes can do that sometimes, the best thing to do is check gravity, IME it's probably already done and just doing a lot of off gassing may be due to temp changes or pressure changes


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Old 08-16-2012, 10:58 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I'm gonna check it when I get home today. I've got it in my fridge set to 68 and it's been holding at 70 so it's not temp changes but it could be pressure changes.
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Old 08-16-2012, 11:31 PM   #4
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I'm not a chemist but it's logical that chlorine could inhibit the yeast.

You can always boil the water to get rid of the chlorine, but this will reduce the amount of oxygen. If you aren't using a stir plate you need to shake it up for a few minutes or hit it with some oxygen to get it back up to snuff.

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Old 08-16-2012, 11:48 PM   #5
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It gets boiled with the dme prior to cooling and pitching which would get rid of the chlorine but I don't think that gets rid of chloramine. I think your right, the chlorine or chloramine is there to kill bacteria. Just puzzled as to why last few starters haven't gone too well. Last two times I tried with wyeast, I had to dump and start over with new yeast. Used white labs this last time and according to the hydrometer, it fermented the starter just fine. Just seems to be taking forever on the batch I pitched it in. Gonna check gravity tonight and see if I should be worried or not and whether or not to chalk it up as bad wyeast or something with my water.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:32 PM   #6
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Are you are aerating your starters? I wouldn't think tap water would be a problem, but then again I've never lived anywhere that uses chloramines.
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:39 PM   #7
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What size starter, how many vials and are you using a stir plate?
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:31 PM   #8
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No reason not to use the same good water for starters, but I doubt its that impactful.

Are you cold crashing before decanting?
Are you using an appropriate yeast calculator?
What gravity is your starter wort?
Perhaps you should try pitching the whole thing and see if that makes a difference.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:45 PM   #9
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The starter is 1 liter stepped 3 times so I guess that's 3 liter starter. It's 1.040 and I aerate by shaking every time I walk by. I use 1 vial. I had been using beersmiths calculator but it looks like it is under pitching compared to yeastcalc, so I'm gonna start using that instead.
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Old 08-17-2012, 02:45 PM   #10
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And yes I cold crash before I decant each time.


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