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Old 04-16-2013, 04:51 PM   #1
nat-kadaw
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Default 2 yeast problems?

I brewed 'Tripel Round the World' from the Extreme brewing book on Sunday, a 10L batch with OG of 1.090. I made a 1.2L starter for a Wyeast 1214 which was a little dated (9 months), but also ran to get a Trappist High Gravity in case the 1214 showed no activity, and made a starter with that. The 1214 starter has been going since Sunday (48h), the trappist high gravity (24h). No activity in either starter. I woke up this morning to a sour smell , and saw that my wort had began growing a thick brown head, doesn't smell terrible, just a little alcoholic. I panicked because I didn't want it to become spoiled, and threw in the Trappist High Gravity starter hoping it might not be too late to salvage. anyone have any ideas as to exactly what I'm currently going to be dealing with for a beer?

Secondly, I have been nurturing a starter that was harvested from a Unibroue Maudite bottle. Took about a week to show any signs of growth, and have slowly been upping the starter, and it's currently about 4L. Starter tastes just fine, smells sour, it's sitting in the fridge now, but has become pretty vigorously carbinated in the meantime. If the beer tastes fine, is this carbonation the sign of a giant and healthy starter? These are my first experiences with starters, and I'm meticulous about everything being sanitized and cleaned.

thoughts? Should I toss the Unibroue? Is my tripel spontaneously fermenting, and what will be the impact of adding my trappist high gravity starter (that showed no activity after 24h)?


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Old 04-16-2013, 05:09 PM   #2
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i'm confused about when you pitched the yeast. did you pitch either yeast before the sour smell started in your wort?


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Old 04-16-2013, 05:17 PM   #3
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no. Both yeasts were in starters. When I woke up this morning I took the lid off of the Tripel and it LOOKED like a beer in full fermentation, and smelled sour/alcoholic... so I feared it had begun fermenting spontaneously (I have done a spontaneous fermentation before with a coffee-wine, but that took many days). When I noticed this I decided to pitch the more viable starter, hoping that a vigorous yeast strain might be able to "take charge".
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:21 PM   #4
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here's a photo of the wort about 10 minutes after i pitched the wyeast. and the unibroue starter that's carbonated
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:26 PM   #5
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Sounds like you made a 10L wort stability test, and it failed the 3 day test. Not sure what the flavor impact will be on your beer, but when I've done wort stability tests it has smelled terrible. Your situation depends on what microbes started in your unpitched wort, which may be more than just brewing bacteria/yeast. (Botulism and E. Coli come to mind, but I'm not sure if they can reproduce in wort)

I always pitch my yeast when I transfer to the fermenter, which I do as soon as it is cooled to pitching temperature. I've yet to hear any suggestions to do otherwise.

I would also suggest looking at ways to make your process more sanitary, probably in the cooling phase. According to David Logsdon of Wyeast, your wort should not start to ferment on its own for about 3 days. (That is not suggesting you should wait 3 days to pitch your yeast.)
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Old 04-16-2013, 05:55 PM   #6
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well it cooled outside without ever removing the lid from the boiler and transferred straight into a freshly sanitized primary and covered. sat for 30h at 19 degrees C. I'm not saying sanitation isn't a factor, but I'm quite aggressive with my sanitation.
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:17 PM   #7
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not sure what would have gotten into it if it was sealed off and sanitary but if it's a belgian style beer and it gets a little sour twang to it it'll probly be good
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:25 PM   #8
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Sorry, wasn't trying to call you out on poor sanitation. There's a difference between sanitation and sterilization. There's always bugs around, and wort is a great growth medium for a lot of them. Heck, the best I've been able to do is 2 days on my wort stability. Definitely don't dump it out. You might have stumbled on something fantastic. If not, all thats gone is a little time. Worth the gamble.
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Old 04-16-2013, 06:46 PM   #9
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no worries, wasn't trying to be defensive. If it wasn't yeast it was definitely something. I have read that if you combine two yeasts one tends to overpower the other and that they don't work in harmony, would anyone know what kind of battle might be going on in there between whatever is causing it to spontaneously ferment, and now the wyeast strain being added?


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