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Old 08-03-2008, 02:20 PM   #1
WhataMack
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Default Starter: how long to keep on stir plate?

(Sorry if this is common knowledge, but I've tried many searches and can't seem to find an answer to this in any of the threads about starters and stir plates.)

I made my first starter last night and have had the flask on a stir plate for about 12 hours, with a nice steady vortex. There's 750 ml in the flask (it's a 1 liter flask), 75g of DME and 1 tube of White Labs WLP001 California yeast (very fresh). The beer it'll be going into will be a Ruination IPA clone, with target OG of 1.076.

So, my basic question is how long should I keep it on the stir plate? Is there a general rule of thumb for this? And, what's the best way to determine if fermentation in the starter has begun? Do you just turn off the stir plate and wait until fermentation foam is seen?


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Old 08-03-2008, 03:11 PM   #2
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I usually make my starters 15-18 hours before I brew so the yeasts are nice and hungry when I pitch them. I keep it on the stirplate until right before I pitch so all the yeast stay in suspension and nothing gets stuck to the bottom of the flask. This is just my technique - I'm sure there are a lot of other ways of doing it.


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Old 08-03-2008, 04:41 PM   #3
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I generally run the stir plate 24 - 36 hours. I don't worry about a vortex, just run it fast enough to keep the yeast suspended.
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Old 08-03-2008, 08:00 PM   #4
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Quick update: just to see what might happen, I turned off the stir plate at pitch + 19 hours and capped the flask with an airlock. Started seeing fermentation bubbles within 15 minutes.
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Old 08-04-2008, 01:45 AM   #5
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Old 08-04-2008, 03:46 AM   #6
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I usually run my stirplate for 48 hrs with foil on top and then put it in the fridge for a day. I will pull it out in the morning and let it slowly raise to room temp as I am brewing my wort.
After being a panicky noob when I didn't see any krausen on my second attempt, I learned from everyone that krausen will not appear on all yeasts.

Now I pretty much don't worry about it and pitch it and see what happens as it sits for a day or two.
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Old 09-23-2011, 01:07 PM   #7
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Default How long a yeast starter on stir plate

I have a delay in my brew day after beginning my yeast starter. I usually do about 36 hours on the stir plate. Now it will be about 60 hours. Is this a problem?
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:40 PM   #8
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Not a problem, but don't leave it on the plate all 60 hours. After your typical 24-36, put it in the fridge till you're ready, and then let it warm up while you brew.
Just like DutchK9 does.
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:50 PM   #9
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I wouldn't even put it in the fridge. People pitch on yeast cakes all the time that have been sitting in the fermentors for weeks.
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:25 PM   #10
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I try to do stir plate for 2 days prior to brew day.

When I see bigger chunks of yeast in the plate, I know the colony has grown (they werent there before) and they are starting to flocculate.

Then, I take off the stir plate and fridge for about 8-10 hours before pitch time.

This allows me to crash them, pour off some (NOT ALL) of the starter wort and then swirl and pitch the yeast with less wort.


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