Starters worth it really? - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Starters worth it really?

Thread Tools
Old 02-11-2013, 03:19 PM   #1
Heavyweight homebrewing author & air gun shooter
unionrdr's Avatar
Feb 2011
Sheffield, Ohio
Posts: 38,990
Liked 3712 Times on 3184 Posts

2/8 I pitched a vial of WLP029 in an 800mL starter made with .5lb of light DME. Never again! Sticky all over,took a couple days to get working & finish. This morning 2/11,it has so much dissolved co2 the trub is dancing up & down like sea monkeys (remember those? Brine shrimp) so that the yeast won't finish settling.
This over & above the fact that I wound up with more trub than yeast. And those vials are pretty good size,like 1/3C of yeast in'em. Beer late getting brewed waiting on the starter to settle. And I had my battery die on me going for more DME cause I didn't read the damn bag-I'd pulled the wrong one out of the stash. I should've used less DME in it. Maybe it would've settled sooner. But,after all this,getting two trub layers with some yeast in the middle is it.
The vial says to just warm it up to room temp,shake to suspend yeast & pitch in beers with OG up to 1.070. Or if it's getting old,either way make a starter. Other than being old or bigger than 1.070,don't bother. I never made such a mess for nothing! Now I got brew ingredients I can't use yet & a dead battery,out of beer & smokes. Beer from last batch has that silty,fine grain stuff taking forever and a day to settle out. My youngest wants to go to the dr with a sore back. So if I'm lucky & can charge the car enough to start it,I can't turn it off,so I can't get out. Damn!
NEW books on amazon/Kindle! Check it out now...
Home Brewing-
Distopian Sci-Fi-
New! John Henry-

Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2013, 03:34 PM   #2
NBA Playa
NordeastBrewer77's Avatar
Apr 2011
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Posts: 7,881
Liked 1084 Times on 788 Posts

I can't believe that I'm seeing you post this man.... we all know the importance of pitching enough yeast, and healthy yeast. I'm not getting your reasoning either, 3 days into fermentation... of course it's going to be cloudy, laden with co2 and not yet settled. RDWHAHB, brothaman, you're making delusional statements in your time of stress.
The Polk Street Brewery

Brewin' 'n' Que'n - YouTube Shenanigans

Originally Posted by yeoitsmatt View Post
can i drink this? I mean. Im gunna. But is it fine?
Originally Posted by yeoitsmatt View Post
it's not a barley wine. it's an ale.
Originally Posted by bottlebomber View Post
Have you seen the price of ketchup lately? And I'm not talking Heinz.

Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2013, 03:46 PM   #3
Licensed Sensual Massage Therapist.
Homercidal's Avatar
Feb 2008
Reed City, MI
Posts: 31,738
Liked 5107 Times on 3454 Posts

Wait, you are blaming your car battery dying on your starter??

But yeah, you don't "HAVE" to make a starter if you don't want to. Maybe just try brewing a few batches without one and compare?

I find with the proper sized flask and the stirplate (And canned starter wort) making a starter is quick and easy. And I know I can make one up a few days before and it will keep for a while with proper storage for a couple of weeks, so it's ready to use when I'm ready for it to be ready.

Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2013, 03:49 PM   #4
Apr 2012
Baltimore, MD
Posts: 870
Liked 141 Times on 121 Posts

I don't know how you managed to make such a headache out of making a starter.

What is this battery you are talking about?

I have found that the quality of my brew has really increased since I started making starters....On my typical 1.060 - 1.070 brew I find that it really decreases time needed to bulk condition in primary and decreases bottle conditioning time (more healthy yeast, faster carb up time), if I bottle (I have a keg set up as well).

I also usually make a starter 1/3 larger than what I need so I can save that extra third and not have to buy yeast every time I brew.

I also use FermCapS (a couple bucks online or at HBS). I prevents boil overs completely, a couple drops in the starter and no boil over. I'll never make a starter without it from now on.

NordeastBrewer77 Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2013, 03:53 PM   #5
Aug 2011
Greenville, SC
Posts: 686
Liked 69 Times on 31 Posts

Half a pound of DME in 800ml of water? Do some reading man...

Seething smells troll-y in this thread.

People Like This 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2013, 03:54 PM   #6
lupulin shift victim
chickypad's Avatar
Jul 2010
SF Peninsula
Posts: 5,140
Liked 928 Times on 753 Posts

Well for one 0.5 lb is about 230 grams, so you used about 3 times the DME you should have. Not sure what you mean by a trub layer in your starter, but I would assume you just completely stressed the yeast. No wonder it's having trouble finishing.

NordeastBrewer77 Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2013, 03:55 PM   #7
Sep 2011
Boynton Beach, FL
Posts: 102
Liked 29 Times on 22 Posts

I'm more curious about where all this trub came from when it was new yeast and DME. Making starters is easy once you get your workflow down. Measure out your water into a big pot, get it boiling, measure out your DME in advance, move water off the heat for a moment to add DME, mix it in, then get it back up to boil. Boil for a bit, cool it, then funnel into flask and add yeast. Spin for a few days, then cold crash if you wish and pour off the clear beer on top. Easy

stratslinger Likes This 
Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2013, 04:07 PM   #8
stratslinger's Avatar
Dec 2010
Terryville, CT
Posts: 2,556
Liked 222 Times on 185 Posts

Negativereaction hit it right on the nose - starters, done correctly, are not difficult. Done wrong, and they can be a major pain in the butt. As other folks have brought up though, not sure where you're getting trub from in there, unless the extra high gravity is generating way more hot break than normal...

Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2013, 04:08 PM   #9
dstranger99's Avatar
Jun 2012
Charlottesville, Va
Posts: 1,048
Liked 109 Times on 88 Posts

I have yet to do a starter, I do however always re-hydrate my dry yeast now instead of just pitching it in.

Primary: Caribou Slobber

Kegged: Stout

Bottled: Cent Blonde, Jakes Brown, Stout

I love Yooper........

Reply With Quote
Old 02-11-2013, 04:09 PM   #10
Dec 2009
Posts: 1,883
Liked 159 Times on 135 Posts

Originally Posted by HollisBT View Post
Half a pound of DME in 800ml of water?
Bingo - the starter gravity would have been over 1.100! Should have used ~~3 oz. DME (800 ml water and 80 grams extract), to get a starter in the range of 1.035 to 1.040.

This could explain the large amount of trub, as well as the "unsettled" yeast - you sure gave them a lot of work to do!

ETA: And if it turns out that the problem was in converting units, don't sweat it man. NASA once crashed a probe on Mars because someone forgot to convert units. So if it can happen to rocket scientists ...
"Anything worth doing, is worth doing slowly." ~~ Mae West

Reply With Quote
Thread Tools

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Why must starters be so large? Not understanding the concept of liter + starters davidgsmit Fermentation & Yeast 9 01-11-2013 07:29 AM
Starters rodwha Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 01-16-2012 07:19 PM
Starters Budista Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 3 07-08-2010 08:57 PM
a story worth telling; a solder worth remembering Donner General Chit Chat 1 02-20-2009 09:14 PM
Starters, what to use. Grimsawyer Beginners Beer Brewing Forum 12 08-10-2006 03:30 AM

Forum Jump