Had a problem trying to make a starter. Need some help.

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bgough

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ok...

So I was using liquid yeast for the first time (WLP400, wit) and decided to try my first starter.

Well, I read instructions which said: Shake well, open carefully

Let's just say I shook well, but didn't open very carefully :mad:

I lost about 1/4 of the vial (at least) on the floor.

I just dumped the rest in my starter wort and decided to hope for the best.

My 2 questions are:
1. I am worried about infection because I'm sure some of the yeast that spilled over and touched the side of the vial made it into the starter. If I chill this thing in a couple days and decant the liquid off before I brew, will I be able to detect if there is an infection present.

2. Considering I lost a substantial amount of yeast, will there be enough left to get the job done, or should I try and step this bad boy up?

Or, should I just get a new vial, and be more careful this time???

Any help is appreciated.

:mug:
 

gts127

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Those damn white labs vials--they always seem to build up a lot of pressure when you shake them.

Detecting infection in the starter by smell could be more difficult than it is with a full carboy because IMO starter wort always smells a little funky, especially if you don't add hops.

I wouldn't worry too much about infection. Even if you lost a lot of yeast, you're still adding a lot of yeast to ferment a small amount of wort, so I would think the yeast would outcompete most undesirables in the starter. And I doubt that too much of the yeast that contacted the outside of the vial managed to fall into your wort. I always submerge yeast containers (vials, pouches, etc.) in sanitizer before opening and adding to the wort.

If you're fermenting a low to medium OG beer with your yeast, I wouldn't bother trying to build up the starter, but if the OG is gonna be high, it might be a good idea. I really doubt you need to get a new vial.
 

ifishsum

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+1 on sanitizing the outside of the vial before opening, but chances are still pretty low that you infected your starter. Don't worry about cell count either - the whole point of a starter is to increase the size of your yeast colony, so by the time your starter is ready to pitch the total yeast count will probably be about the same as it would have been had you not lost a few milliliters out of the vial. RDWHAHB
 

Got Trub?

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I always submerge yeast containers (vials, pouches, etc.) in sanitizer before opening and adding to the wort.
Me too....

Oh and you should have plenty of yeast with your starter to make your beer.

GT
 

drayman86

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Those damn white labs vials--they always seem to build up a lot of pressure when you shake them.
I think the point of "shaking" is to get all the yeast suspended in the solution before you pitch. "Shaking" is a relative term; I slowly ROCK the vial back and forth, back and forth until all the yeast are suspended. Shake like mad, and you'll get an explosion each and every time. Also, crack the top of the vial and allow any pent up gas to slowly escape.
 

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