Kolsch yeast dead, pitched k-97. predictions?

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nathan

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I made a kolsch a week and a half ago. at the beginning of the third day, it was still dead (no fermentation activity). I couldn't find any kolsch yeast locally, so I pitched a backup dry pack of k-97 (btw, everyone should keep a library of dry yeast packs for backups and spur-of-the-moment brews).

Anyone have any side-by-side comparisons of the two? Do you think it will turn out well?

On a side note... I am not pleased with a vendor that I place an order with on a Tuesday that doesn't ship until a Friday, and sometimes not until the following week. The cooling packs in with the yeast cannot do much good when it sits in a truck or warehouse for the weekend baking my yeast to death (I had a dead white labs tube and a wyeast smack pack). What vendors are you folks using and how is their shipping? The way I see it, spending a minimum of 200 a month on grain, hops, and yeast, I should get it shipped out the same day I order!

I should focus on expanding my equipment (including a mill), though, so I can order bulk grains, then do a massive yeast and hops order and have it overnighted. Then I could store it all here and mix how I needed.
 

Chriso

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I've got nothing re: the K-97, I've not tried it yet.

Re: yeast shipping, I usually add a note to my order to ship it at a weekend-friendly point. For example, even if I place the order on Monday afternoon, I tuck a note in that says "If this is in danger of being in-transit over the weekend, please hold onto it until the following Monday!"

That being said, I've started buying 2-3 EXTRA ice packs in the summer. Even the most TIMELY shipments from Austin Homebrew still come in with melted ice, the poor ice packs just can't cope with the heat that we get in the Midwest, since it's shipping from a hot place to a hot place.

The other thing I've started doing is making a starter for every liquid yeast, splitting it into three Mason jars and leaving just a little slurry in the bottom of the flask, then pitching another batch of starter wort. Then I use the "2nd gen" starter for my brew.
 
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nathan

nathan

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I may have to start running longer starters myself.

I guess this might kick start me into doing some yeast washing. Hard to re-collect kolsch, though. :)
 

Chriso

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I had great luck with splitting my Kolsch starter. I think it's even easier than trying to wash the yeast post-use.
 
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nathan

nathan

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do you chill and decant your starters, though? I guess that's not too hard only done once or twice, but eventually wouldn't that lead to selecting a higher flocculating portion of the yeast population and potentially change the character of it?

Maybe it's not a measurable difference done over a couple of batches, though.
 

Chriso

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Nope. Don't even chill 'em. Usually my procedure is to "brew" the starter with 1200mL of wort in a 2000mL flask, on the Saturday (one week) before I need it. I run it on the stirplate Saturday night through *around* Monday morning, whenever it's at a good high krausen. Then I turn the plate off, and let the starter just sit, and naturally finish out. It usually finishes around Tuesday. Then, Tuesday I boil 3 pint jars of water, cap 'em while hot, and let them sit and cool. I also make up another 1000-1200mL of starter wort, and set it aside to let it cool too.

Wednesday, I take the first jar, dump the water out into the sink, take the other two jars (as much as will fit, anyways!) and dump them into the flask. I turn the stirplate back on for 2-3 minutes to get it good and mixed up, then after that I fill the 3 jars with the yeast slurry, and cap it. I try to leave about a 1" layer of slurry in the bottom of the flask. Then I pitch my cooled wort back into it, and get it fermenting again. Then it's got from Wednesday through Saturday to build up and ferment through. Then once it's finished fermenting, I pitch it into my new batch.
 

Wind River

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I have a similar situation. I got the ingredients and yeast for an Oktoberfest ale last Friday (from AHS) and planned a brew day for today. Made my starter yesterday morning and pitched the yeast (White Labs German Ale/Kolsch) in the afternoon. This morning....no activity. I have never had anything but very active starters for all my batches.

As the LHBS is about 50 miles away and is doubtful that they would carry this particular strain anyway, I seem to be up the creek without a paddle , at least for this week.
 

Chriso

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Let it go another day if you can... (Brewday permitting, of course) My Kolsch starter took 2 or 3 days to really "show" signs of activity. I thought mine was dead at first, too.
 
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nathan

nathan

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Well... either the yeast died and made a wierd sour and stinky result, or I got an infection while it sat not-fermenting the extra days or in adding the dry k-97.

The kolsch is not good. I've still kegged it, and will carb it up, as I'm curious about it and want to learn more, but yeah, it's a spoiled batch it seems. My first!
 

Spitzbube

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I tried a Real american ale with white labs liquid ale yeast and the thing took forever to start fermenting I thought. It didn't smell as on target as the other ales I have done either. I tried pitching dry yeast and it did nothing, but in the end it tasted ok. It's a good idea to bottle/keg anyway and see how it goes.

Hope that beer turns around for you in the conditionaing phase. Please post when you know. I am curious how much turn around we get from a few weeks/months in the bottle.
 
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nathan

nathan

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I have 7 cornies to tap tomorrow at a party, and that one as an extra. I figured once some beer-appreciating folks are there, we can tap it and sample it and try and understand what's right or wrong with it. It should be interesting.
 
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nathan

nathan

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Okay, so I actually was able to get 9 kegs ready for that party, and it was a blast.

We got brave late in the night and tapped the kolsch for a sample. The yeast is definitely not the same as kolsch yeast (the k-97 german ale dry yeast). It still ended up turning out fine, though. I'm not sure why it tasted so off when I sampled it from the fermenter, but some time cold and carbonating has made it an okay ale. It's nothing spectacular, but it's not a ruined or spoiled beer either.

In any case, that beer spooked me so I sent it and two other kegs home with my brother after the party.
 

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