Am I asking for an infection? No boil starters.

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philly224

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For my last 4-5 brews I got really lazy and decided to try to make a starter without boiling the dme at all. I just threw it into a sanitized flask, poured in 70 degree water, mixed it up with stir plate and then pitched the yeast into it.

So far no issues with infection so far but I can't help but wonder if I'm pushing my luck. Does anyone else do this or am I crazy?
 

doug293cz

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I think you're definitely increasing the probability of getting an infection. As you've found out, just because you have the possibility of an infection, it doesn't mean you'll always get one.

Brew on :mug:
 

flars

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Are you using this method because of boil overs with the flask on heat? I use a kettle to boil the water to dissolve the DME in. I have the kettle off the heat when I add the DME. I don't boil the DME solution since the water is still hotter than needed for pasteurization.
 

doug293cz

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Are you using this method because of boil overs with the flask on heat? I use a kettle to boil the water to dissolve the DME in. I have the kettle off the heat when I add the DME. I don't boil the DME solution since the water is still hotter than needed for pasteurization.
A couple drops of Fermcap in the starter will also prevent boil overs.

Brew on :mug:
 

Iseneye

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You could probably brew fifty beers without an issue (arbitrary number). However, if you have any flaws in the beers it would be good to discount the starter. For the sake of 5 minutes of boiling and 10 minutes chilling the laziness doesn't seem worth the risk.
 

kh54s10

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To save a little bit of time I add the DME to a pot of heating water. I have it off the heat to prevent scorching. I then bring it to a boil for just a minute. That way I know that I have passed the temperature that means it is pasteurized. I cool it in the pot then pour it into the sanitized flask add the yeast and put it on the stirplate.

IMO, if you don't heat to pasteurization temperatures you are playing Russian Roulette with your starter. If you are really lucky you will never get an infection but it is a risk.
 

oceanic_brew

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Yeah, the thing about infection too is that it may not present itself always in obvious ways, you may get an odd taste or some mouth feel that isn’t inline with what you’re going for.

Infections are rare yes, considering people who have them and can’t get rid of them tend to post a lot pictures of them. So it’s a vocal minority.

I can speak from experience that sometimes when you get them it takes a very very long time to narrow down exactly where it’s coming from.

What you are doing is building up a dormant culture in a clean slate ample opportunity environment to a certain extent. It’s best to not invite infection at this stage. It’s only amplified going forward.
 
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If you want to eliminate boiling and chilling without increasing your risk of infection, you can use Malta Goya malt beverage from the Hispanic foods aisle at the grocery store and use that in place of DME/water. It's basically unfermented wort, just store it at room temp and sanitize everything well as you've been doing. It's kinda dark in color so pour off as much of the liquid as possible before pitching the starter.
 
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philly224

philly224

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If you want to eliminate boiling and chilling without increasing your risk of infection, you can use Malta Goya malt beverage from the Hispanic foods aisle at the grocery store and use that in place of DME/water. It's basically unfermented wort, just store it at room temp and sanitize everything well as you've been doing. It's kinda dark in color so pour off as much of the liquid as possible before pitching the starter.
Interesting.... I hate working with dme too
 
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