I mixed the agar DME solution up per the following proportions:
1.5% agar powder (7.5g)
7% DME (35g)
1% yeast nutrient (5g)
The above proportions and my process were from this thread (the yeast slant sticky). http://www.homebrewtalk.com/f163/slanting-yeast-133103/
However, I have a problem. My slants never set up. In doing some research I have discovered that the percent agar that folks are recommending is all over the place. It is obvious to me that people just kind of get to an amount of agar that will allow the substance to solidify just enough to stay together and not move around (I would say a consistency of almost candle wax or perhaps a little thinner). That is, the amount of agar is not critical.
I also believe that there are different percentages of agar based on the type of agar you have. So far I have heard of the block form, the flaked form, and two type of powdered forms (the nutritional kind and a laboratory grade). They may all require a different amount of agar to get the proper consistency in the slant. This is my perception from reading about it in multiple places. Thoughts?
My agar is from Now Nutrition and says 100% agar. Here's my procedure:
I boiled my DME and yeast nutrient for around 1 minute. Let cool for a few minutes then dumped in the agar powder and stirred. Then used a syringe to measure out for my vials. I pressure cooked as instructed, let cool 1 hour, tightened caps and taped.
I also read something about getting the agar mix up to boiling temps to avoid separation while filling your vials. I think this is the cause of that white looking stuff at the bottom of the vials. Perhaps if I would have boiled it all together than the amount would have been fine?????
Additionally I am suspicious of is my yeast nutrient. I used Fermax yeast nutrient. After boiling my wort, I got a strong ammonia smell. Perhaps Fermax is not the same concentration as the wyeast nutrient mentioned in the yeast slant sticky?
So any input would be appreciated.