Problems with Starter - Home Brew Forums
Register Now For Free!

Home Brew Forums > Home Brewing Beer > Beginners Beer Brewing Forum > Problems with Starter

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old 11-15-2007, 12:12 AM   #1
bulleitb
Recipes 
 
Nov 2007
Posts: 55


First of all. Im new. My first batch turned out great. Now I might be getting ambitious trying to brew a lager. I boiled a quart of water with 6 oz. of liquid malt for about 10 minutes. I then cooled it to 70 degrees like the yeast pack said and then added the yeast to the starter wort. It is now 48 hours later and Ive got some very light bubbling but no real activity. There is also a pile of yeast at the bottom of the starter about a 1/2 inch thick. I thought starters were supposed to get going fast. My first attempt at a lager failed miserably and Im starting to get frustrated. Is this starter ever going to start?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2007, 12:15 AM   #2
Professor Frink
 
Professor Frink's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Sep 2006
San Diego, CA
Posts: 3,085
Liked 19 Times on 16 Posts


That's not uncommon for a starter. As long as you see some activity (bubbles), don't worry. Starters don't necessarily take off like normal fermentation does.
__________________
Primary: Cherrywood Smoked Porter
60 Minute IPA
Secondary:
On tap:Amber Ale
Milk Stout

Lagering:


http://www.lazydogbrewery.com

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2007, 12:36 AM   #3
bulleitb
Recipes 
 
Nov 2007
Posts: 55

Quote:
Originally Posted by Professor Frink
That's not uncommon for a starter. As long as you see some activity (bubbles), don't worry. Starters don't necessarily take off like normal fermentation does.
so I should wait another day to brew? Also, the yeast was a Wy'East Propogator Pack. I smacked it and shook it and it took like 12 hours for the package to swell, and it didnt swell too much. Maybe the yeast is just unusually slow?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2007, 12:40 AM   #4
brett
 
brett's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Aug 2007
Omaha, Nebraska
Posts: 290
Liked 5 Times on 1 Posts


What kind of yeast specifically?

You're using WYeast, what number?
__________________

Primary 1: House Ale (yay!)
Primary 2: empty
Primary 3: empty
Primary 4: empty
Bottle Conditioning: Apfelwein
Bottle Conditioning: Apfelwein + Blueberry
Kegged/Drinking: Partigyle Brown Ale
Conditioning: New House Barley Wine
Conditioning: Ghetto canned kit bitter (Surprisingly getting better w/ age)
Just Finished: Edwort's Apfelwein
Up next: More House Ale ?!?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2007, 12:44 AM   #5
bulleitb
Recipes 
 
Nov 2007
Posts: 55

Quote:
Originally Posted by brett
What kind of yeast specifically?

You're using WYeast, what number?
#2278 Czech Pils

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2007, 12:52 AM   #6
brett
 
brett's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Aug 2007
Omaha, Nebraska
Posts: 290
Liked 5 Times on 1 Posts


I've had similar issues with propagator packs. I now almost always spring for the "activator" packs. I still make starters, but they seem to take off a lot faster.

Anywho, my specific problems turned out to be nothing. I would recommend letting the starter go for another few days, then pitch as you normally would. The only other thing that I can think could possibly be a problem is the temperature. Either that or the yeast is dead.

Just kidding. Since the pack swelled I think you're fine.
__________________

Primary 1: House Ale (yay!)
Primary 2: empty
Primary 3: empty
Primary 4: empty
Bottle Conditioning: Apfelwein
Bottle Conditioning: Apfelwein + Blueberry
Kegged/Drinking: Partigyle Brown Ale
Conditioning: New House Barley Wine
Conditioning: Ghetto canned kit bitter (Surprisingly getting better w/ age)
Just Finished: Edwort's Apfelwein
Up next: More House Ale ?!?

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2007, 04:54 AM   #7
malkore
 
malkore's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Jun 2007
Nebraska
Posts: 6,922
Liked 37 Times on 35 Posts


the fact that it took 12 hours to swell is the exact reason you should make starters. if it didn't swell, you'd have time to go get more yeast.

as long as you see yeast piling up at the bottom, its doing its thing, and that's the purpose...making more yeast.
I like the activator packs as well...more yeast in em...pitchable quantity...but not necessarily 'optimal'.
__________________
Malkore
Primary: English Mild
On tap: Pale Ale, Lancelot's Wheat, English Brown Ale, Steam Beer, HoovNuts IPA
Bottled: MOAM, Braggot, Raspberry Melomel, Merlot, Apfelwein, Pyment, Sweet mead, Cabernet
Gal in 2009: 27, Gal in 2010: 34, Gal in 2011: 13, Gal in 2012: 10

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2007, 02:35 PM   #8
cubbies
Tastes like butterdirt
HBT_LIFETIMESUPPORTER.png
 
cubbies's Avatar
Recipes 
 
Nov 2006
St Louis MO
Posts: 1,928
Liked 7 Times on 5 Posts


In reality, starters arent even about activity. The main purpose of the starter is to get a head start on the growth and reproduction stage of yeast. It is not the bubbles in the airlock you are looking for, it is the layer of yeast on the bottom. With a 1/2 inch layer, I would say that your starter is doing very well. Just keep swirling that thing every so often and you will be good to pitch when the time comes.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2007, 05:07 PM   #9
jjmadden08
Recipes 
 
Oct 2007
Posts: 56

I made a starter for the first time a few days ago and had the same concerns, no noticeable activity at all for 3 days. probablly had about 1/2 inch at the bottom as well when i pitched it and it took off within 6-7 hours. yours should be fine.

 
Reply With Quote
Old 11-15-2007, 05:22 PM   #10
SuperiorBrew
Recipes 
 
Aug 2007
Posts: 1,676
Liked 33 Times on 19 Posts


A one quart starter for a lager is pretty small but much better than no starter at all. If you have a half inch of yeast on the bottom I would say its done as most of the reproduction takes place in 12-18 hours.

My lager starters are normally 4 to 5 liters depending on the age of my smack pack.

There is a tone of great info here as well as a Yeast Pitching Calculator. http://www.mrmalty.com/

 
Reply With Quote
Reply
Thread Tools


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Regulator problems? Or Judo problems? Judochop Bottling/Kegging 11 05-13-2015 03:14 PM
First all-grain...problems, problems, problems. Q2XL All Grain & Partial Mash Brewing 30 09-13-2013 11:02 PM
Urgent: Yeast Starter Problems sjlammer General Techniques 16 06-01-2010 04:02 PM
Starter problems Cos General Techniques 10 10-07-2007 02:17 AM
Starter problems ebrooker Recipes/Ingredients 2 08-11-2007 06:24 PM


Forum Jump