Problems/Confusion with Yeast Starter - Home Brew Forums
Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Recipes/Ingredients > Problems/Confusion with Yeast Starter

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-10-2012, 07:30 PM   #1
UrineDrinker
Recipes 
 
Nov 2012
West Los Angeles, California
Posts: 6


As a beginner, this is my first yeast starter, but from what I have read, it will improve the taste of the beer, so I decided to not be lazy and put one together for my first attempt at a partial mash.

On Thursday night, I boiled 1 cup of LME with 7 cups of water for ten minutes, funneled it into a 1/2 gallon carboy, pitched the yeast, gave the carboy a good shake, cheered on the yeast, and went to bed.

The next morning, I was pleased to see the airlock bubbling once every two seconds. Then, I came home from work, and airlock activity had stopped.

I took a gravity reading 1.080 prior to pitching.

I'm confused, because the posts I have read about problems with yeast starters are mostly about delayed yeast activity. I seemed to have a lot of early yeast activity followed by nothing.

Is everything OK in there? Is this starter OK to pitch? Did I not cheer hard enough for the yeast? Should I take another gravity reading?



 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2012, 07:33 PM   #2
sudbuster
This ain't my first rodeo....
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
sudbuster's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jul 2007
Western Arkansas
Posts: 4,025
Liked 279 Times on 216 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by UrineDrinker View Post
As a beginner, this is my first yeast starter, but from what I have read, it will improve the taste of the beer, so I decided to not be lazy and put one together for my first attempt at a partial mash.

On Thursday night, I boiled 1 cup of LME with 7 cups of water for ten minutes, funneled it into a 1/2 gallon carboy, pitched the yeast, gave the carboy a good shake, cheered on the yeast, and went to bed.

The next morning, I was pleased to see the airlock bubbling once every two seconds. Then, I came home from work, and airlock activity had stopped.

I took a gravity reading 1.080 prior to pitching.

I'm confused, because the posts I have read about problems with yeast starters are mostly about delayed yeast activity. I seemed to have a lot of early yeast activity followed by nothing.

Is everything OK in there? Is this starter OK to pitch? Did I not cheer hard enough for the yeast? Should I take another gravity reading?
What is the gravity reading now?



 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2012, 07:34 PM   #3
Yooper
Ale's What Cures You!
HBT_ADMIN.png
 
Yooper's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jun 2006
UP of Michigan, Winter Texan
Posts: 69,033
Liked 7615 Times on 5359 Posts


The point of a starter is to grow healthy yeast. By making a starter of 1.080 (!) that's a really high OG and it can stress the yeast. Since it's a small amount of wort, starters often ferment out in 12-24 hours.

Ideally, the SG of a starter is 1.035-1.040, so I'm not sure what to tell you. You may have grown more yeast, but I don't even reuse yeast that was used in a beer above 1.065.
__________________
Broken Leg Brewery
Giving beer a leg to stand on since 2006

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2012, 07:36 PM   #4
duboman
Recipes 
 
Jul 2011
Glenview, IL
Posts: 6,368
Liked 508 Times on 470 Posts


When doing a starter you should weigh out the DME in a 10:1 ratio such as 100grams DME to 1L of water. This will produce a fg of 1.040 which is the recommended strength of a starer to grow a healthy cell count

As for activity, usually starters ferment out pretty quick, within 12-24 hours depending on the stir/shake method employed. Sometimes, it is difficult to see any activity at all, depends on the yeast

As for making starters, it is one of the most beneficial things you can do to improve your beer and if done properly with good aeration, lag time is shortened.

As for pitching, if you have time you can cold crash it and force the yeast to settle out over 12 hours, decant the finished beer on top, leave a little and swirl up as a slurry to direct pitch
__________________
Nothing Left to do but smile and drink beer.....

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the "art" of beer since 2010

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2012, 07:49 PM   #5
UrineDrinker
Recipes 
 
Nov 2012
West Los Angeles, California
Posts: 6

Thanks for the responses. It's at 1.055 right now. I didn't realize to shoot for 10:1/1.040 - I must have either gotten bogus information online or done the metric conversion inaccurately.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2012, 08:16 PM   #6
sudbuster
This ain't my first rodeo....
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
sudbuster's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jul 2007
Western Arkansas
Posts: 4,025
Liked 279 Times on 216 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by UrineDrinker View Post
Thanks for the responses. It's at 1.055 right now.
You have caught it in time to prevent pooped out yeast. Boil some water in a covered pan about 10 min and cool it, still covered. Dilute your gravity to about 1.040 or so and let it ferment out and drop. As that is happening, shake the container once in a while to help oxygenate the wort. You'll be fine.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2012, 08:40 PM   #7
kh54s10
HBT_SUPPORTER.png
 
kh54s10's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Aug 2011
Tiverton, Rhode Island
Posts: 10,362
Liked 1512 Times on 1244 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by sudbuster View Post
You have caught it in time to prevent pooped out yeast. Boil some water in a covered pan about 10 min and cool it, still covered. Dilute your gravity to about 1.040 or so and let it ferment out and drop. As that is happening, shake the container once in a while to help oxygenate the wort. You'll be fine.
^^ This. And remove the airlock. you want to introduce oxygen into a starter to help the yeast reproduce. Take a piece of foil, sanitize it and cover the mouth of your vessel loosely. Shake up the wort every time you pass by. It should go a little lower in gravity.

Sometimes starters show very little in activity that you would see in a normal brew. I use a stirplate and sometimes the only sign that I see is very tiny bubbles rising in the wort and an increased lay of yeast on the bottom when taken off the stirplate.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2012, 10:56 PM   #8
UrineDrinker
Recipes 
 
Nov 2012
West Los Angeles, California
Posts: 6

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudbuster View Post
You have caught it in time to prevent pooped out yeast. Boil some water in a covered pan about 10 min and cool it, still covered. Dilute your gravity to about 1.040 or so and let it ferment out and drop. As that is happening, shake the container once in a while to help oxygenate the wort. You'll be fine.
I did the above (diluted to exactly 1.040), am shaking periodically, and have replaced the airlock with some loose foil. I'm going to give it some time and test the gravity again. Any gravity range I should shoot for?

Also, do I still need to decant the top, and use what is in the bottom, or should I be using everything in the carboy as the starter?

(Thanks again)

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-2012, 11:19 PM   #9
duboman
Recipes 
 
Jul 2011
Glenview, IL
Posts: 6,368
Liked 508 Times on 470 Posts


Quote:
Originally Posted by UrineDrinker

I did the above (diluted to exactly 1.040), am shaking periodically, and have replaced the airlock with some loose foil. I'm going to give it some time and test the gravity again. Any gravity range I should shoot for?

Also, do I still need to decant the top, and use what is in the bottom, or should I be using everything in the carboy as the starter?

(Thanks again)
You don't really need to check gravity again, just give it a shake every time you walk by it and it should be fermented out by this time tomorrow:

If you have time to put it in the fridge for 18-24 hours before brewing then do so, decant as mentioned prior and pitch when ready. If you don't have time you can pitch the whole starter
__________________
Nothing Left to do but smile and drink beer.....

The Commune Brewing Company-Perfecting the "art" of beer since 2010

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-2012, 07:16 PM   #10
UrineDrinker
Recipes 
 
Nov 2012
West Los Angeles, California
Posts: 6

Quote:
Originally Posted by duboman View Post
You don't really need to check gravity again, just give it a shake every time you walk by it and it should be fermented out by this time tomorrow:
After following everyone's instructions with the yeast, and brewing the partial mash last night (Sunday), I woke up this morning and the airlock was going crazy!

Thanks!



 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Yeast starter confusion kcreiglow Fermentation & Yeast 5 02-23-2012 07:32 PM
yeast starter confusion BrewAlchemy General Techniques 9 01-12-2011 02:29 PM
Yeast Starter Confusion HELP!! eon Fermentation & Yeast 15 09-25-2010 05:59 AM
Yeast Starter Confusion: WenValley General Techniques 2 07-20-2009 01:31 PM
More Yeast Starter Confusion El Pistolero General Techniques 11 08-22-2005 03:22 AM


Forum Jump