Did I kill my yeast??

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Begin2Brew

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Made a starter, 2 cups water 1/4 cup DME. Use a smack pack and pitched into starter after a 10 minute boil and cooled to 70 F. Problem is I used tap water right from the tap and I have city water. I am concerned that the chemicals in there killed my yeast as it has been 24 hours and nothing yet.
 

noggins

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Give it another day at least, I use city water all the time and I believe boiling kills most of the crud.
 

rycov

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no. your yeast is fine. it can take up to 72 hours for fermentation to really start. even then the signs of fermentation can be really slight. leave it for a while and if you are still anxious then take a hydrometer reading before doing anything
 

joeybeer

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Did you pitch it into hot wort after a 10 min boil, THEN chill ?? That'll kill 'em.... Tough to tell what you meant in your post - I read it a few times ! If I'm wrong, I'm sure it'll be fine :)
 

rycov

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oops. also i didnt read well either. didn't realize you were talking about a starter. i dont know **** about starters. i thought you were talking about regular fermentation. althought i would still think waiting would be the right course of action
 
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joeybeer said:
Did you pitch it into hot wort after a 10 min boil, THEN chill ?? That'll kill 'em.... Tough to tell what you meant in your post - I read it a few times ! If I'm wrong, I'm sure it'll be fine :)
Oh sorry I cooled it first. :)
 

theredben

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You are fine, many times the starter does not have the same krausen as a bucket full of fermenting beer. Do you have an airlock on the top of your starter vessel? Most people do not use an airlock, instead they use tinfoil lights wrapped over the opening to allow oxygen to get in.
 
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theredben said:
You are fine, many times the starter does not have the same krausen as a bucket full of fermenting beer. Do you have an airlock on the top of your starter vessel? Most people do not use an airlock, instead they use tinfoil lights wrapped over the opening to allow oxygen to get in.
Yep, tinfoiled it. I guess I'll let it sit a few days and see what happens. I am not brewing until next weekend so if this batch doesn't turn out I still have time for another starter.
 

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You're tap water wouldn't have killed your yeast...more than likely nothing is wrong.

Just remember one thing....activity in a starter really only means one thing and one thing only.

It doesn't matter one blip in your fermenter or your starter flask if the airlock bubbles or not (if you are using an airlock and not tinfoil if you are using tinfoil, you aren't getting bibbling anyway,) or if you see a krauzen. In fact starter fermentation are some of the fastest or slowest but most importantly, the most boring fermentations out there. Usually it's done withing a few hours of yeast pitch...usually overnight when we are sleeping, and the starter looks like nothing ever happened...except for the little band at the bottom. Or it can take awhile...but either way there's often no "activity" whatsoever....

I usually run my stirplate for the first 24 hours, then shut it down, if you are spinning your starter it is really hard to get a krausen to form anyway, since it's all spinning, and there's often a head of foam on it from the movement.


All that really matters is that creamy band o yeast at the bottom.





This is a chilled sample so it's flocculated, but even with an unchilled sample you should see a band of yeast at the bottom. Here's an unchilled version



Same thing, a band.

As it is I've only ever seen two or three krausens actually on my starter (one blew off a bunch of krausen and knocked the tinfoil off the flask,) and the evidence of one on the flask at the "waterline" once. But I've never not had a starter take off.

Look for the yeast at the bottom, don't worry what it looks like on top.

If you have yeast on the bottom....that's all you really need.

If it looks anything like that, your are ready to either feed it again, or use it.

People always think the yeast at the bottom of the flask is the same, but they are wrong. I am 100% sure your starter took off fine.
 
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No band of yeast on the bottom. I am using a 2 liter soda bottle that was washed and sanitized. I gave it a few good stirs last night and woke up with defined separation in the starter. Clear liquid on top and more cloudy towards the bottom. Gave it another stir then went to work and came home with it in the same condition.
 

Revvy

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It's irrevelant whether or not a smack pack swells.

From the horse's mouth.

From the Wyeast FAQ website:

3. Does the package need to be fully swollen before pitching?

No, The package can be pitched before activating, or at anytime during the activation process. The activation process "jump starts" the culture's metabolism, minimizing the lag phase.
Patience.....
 

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The swelling is a sign of yeast viability, and I always smack it just to be sure. It sounds like you did everything right. I would suggest leaving it alone for at least 24 hours. Don't even think about it, and then report back in this thread.
 

theredben

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It's irrevelant whether or not a smack pack swells.
It would have made a big difference if the package did not swell within a few hours once the inside pouch was burst. I was just covering all bases.
 

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With only 1/4 cup DME and 2 cups water, the starter would have had an OG of 1.020. That's about one half of the DME needed. With an OG of 1.020, the fermentation would be over very quickly, and not much yeast would grow. I bet the starter is simply finished.
 
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Yooper said:
With only 1/4 cup DME and 2 cups water, the starter would have had an OG of 1.020. That's about one half of the DME needed. With an OG of 1.020, the fermentation would be over very quickly, and not much yeast would grow. I bet the starter is simply finished.
After further review it was a 1/2 cup not a 1/4. I am just gonna give it a few days and see what happens. If nothing happens then Sunday I'll start a new 1 gal starter with 2 packs to get the 400 billion cells I need for my Oktoberfest.
 

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After further review it was a 1/2 cup not a 1/4. I am just gonna give it a few days and see what happens. If nothing happens then Sunday I'll start a new 1 gal starter with 2 packs to get the 400 billion cells I need for my Oktoberfest.
Are you making a lager? No wonder you're worried about your yeast! Did you use mrmalty to calculate that you need 400 billion cells? That seems a little light.
 
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Yooper said:
Are you making a lager? No wonder you're worried about your yeast! Did you use mrmalty to calculate that you need 400 billion cells? That seems a little light.
Yep, an Oktoberfest. My first AG. Mr. Malty said I needed 413 billion. 5.5 gal batch at an OG of 1.054.
 

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Yep, an Oktoberfest. My first AG. Mr. Malty said I needed 413 billion. 5.5 gal batch at an OG of 1.054.
Well, don't give up on your starter yet, but definitely have Plan B ready! If you're not sure your starter "worked", consider sanitizing your hydrometer jar and testing it! I've had to do that when I was certain I had no activity in my starter, and sure enough- the SG was 1.010!

If this starter did drop in gravity, you can start stepping it up now by adding more fresh (cooled) wort.
 
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Ok, this moning woke up to what appears to be yeast on the bottom of my starter. I also noticed I did only use a 1/4 cup of DME in 2 cups water. That probably explains why not much happened. Tonight I'll toss it in the fridge and get ready for the 1gal starter.
 
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I had 10oz of DME so I added that to 8 cups water for a 1.055 starter and dumped my small starter in. Mixed it up well and the next morning gave it a shake and just about sprayed wort foam all over the kitchen. Each time after I would shake it foam would rise up and I could smell the yeast, so I know they are alive and doing well. This morning I saw a pretty good cake forming on the bottom.

Lessoned learned: check your measurements twice!
 
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