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Old 10-04-2007, 04:55 AM   #1
Cos
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Default Starter problems

I got a vial of wlp830 from my local hbs. Did a 2 quart starter at room temp for 36 hours. Never noticed any activity, but I was at work or asleep most of that time.
I figured it was done. Put it in the frig at 35 to get the yeast to settle out so I could decant.

Went to decant this evening and noticed the yeast was still suspended. It's been in the frig 48 hours. I took the air lock off and took a wiff......smells like corn, definitely not a yeast smell. I did a gravity check and it's still at 40.

I'm leaving it out at room temp again to see what happens.

Anyone know what's going on here?


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Old 10-04-2007, 05:10 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cos
I got a vial of wlp830 from my local hbs. Did a 2 quart starter at room temp for 36 hours. Never noticed any activity, but I was at work or asleep most of that time.
I figured it was done. Put it in the frig at 35 to get the yeast to settle out so I could decant.

Went to decant this evening and noticed the yeast was still suspended. It's been in the frig 48 hours. I took the air lock off and took a wiff......smells like corn, definitely not a yeast smell. I did a gravity check and it's still at 40.

I'm leaving it out at room temp again to see what happens.

Anyone know what's going on here?
This time of year a lot of yeast shipments , even to the LHBS, have already gone bad. It doesn't take long at 100f to put the lil critters into eternal nappy time. If it were me, i'd take it back and get another vial. ..........


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Old 10-04-2007, 07:07 AM   #3
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it should've done something...but if the gravity hasn't changed, maybe you do have some very dead yeasties there

don't use an airlock, just use foil...it'll get more air in there. shake vigorously.
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Old 10-04-2007, 12:19 PM   #4
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Next morning (9 hours later) there is good activity in the air lock. Yeast is definitely working. I took the air lock off and it still smells bad, soury, corn smell.
This is a lager yeast, don't know if that matters.
I'll let it finish, but if it still smells sour, should I throw it away? I was planning on decanting the liquid so I'm not too worried about the smell as long as the yeast is good.

The big question is.........why did it take so long to start? If you use a foil top (which I did the first 24 hrs), how do you know when it's done?
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Old 10-04-2007, 12:28 PM   #5
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Lager yeasts do tend to stink. It's probably ok. It sure was slow, but now that it's going, you know it's alive.

You know when it's done because the yeast will drop out and settle on the bottom and the spent wort will have a lower og. I don't see krausen sometimes at all on my starters, but end up with lots of yeast on the bottom.
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Old 10-04-2007, 12:29 PM   #6
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It it will probably be OK, although if the temperature is as hot as has been mentioned you probably started with a very small number of healthy yeast cells which is why it took so long to ferment. I would taste the wort as a precaution, if it tastes OK, ie not vinegary I would use it.
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Old 10-04-2007, 05:17 PM   #7
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I had a whole bunch of yeast at the bottom before I put it in the frig. That's why I thought it was done. There's a bunch at the bottom now and it's still fermenting.
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Old 10-04-2007, 06:53 PM   #8
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DMS (that corn smell) can be a "yeast smell," but it comes from wild yeast. I don't remember any DMS in my 830 starters, so I would be wary of that. As for the sour smell, sulfur smells are normal with 830, but acidic smells are not. Acidic=bad news.

I like OldFarmer's suggestion. Go get some more.


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Old 10-05-2007, 04:08 AM   #9
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Been 24 hours and still fermenting, about one bubble every 15 seconds.
There is a noticable layer of yeast at the bottom which is foamy. I assume that's typical of a bottom fermenting lager yeast. There are also some foam spots on the top layer.

The corn smell is decreasing a bit. I tasted the stuff and I could feel a tingle on my tongue, the only flavor I could detect was a little bit of corn. Definitely no vinegar taste.

When it's totally done, what should the stuff taste and smell like?
My ale starter smelled very yeasty. I didn't taste it.
Never done a lager starter, so I don't have anything to compare this to.
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Old 10-05-2007, 02:14 PM   #10
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I've never tasted a starter, either, so I can't tell you what it's supposed to taste like. However, it should not be sour or funky.


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