Next step on inactive starter? (Picture) - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

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Well-Known Member
Jan 10, 2008
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I read so many different things about how to handle this I just did it the hard way. I slapped a WY1450 pack in mid December (~2 months ago), let it inflate, and then realized it wasn't the correct yeast. I put it immediately in the fridge until now.

I just made a 500 ml starter and pitched it, it sat without a stirplate for about 12 hours, and with one for the last 10 or so (I just finished the most backwoods stir plate anyone has every made).

(as an aside, I realize now a 500 mL starter was foolish, but I basically blindly followed the How To Brew instructions without reading. It's my first starter. FYI very interesting that his instructions make you a 500 mL starter while he says on the very next page to never go under 1000 mL.)

Photo is attached.

Compared to some time-lapse videos I found, I was expecting activity. It does have a bready yeast smell to it, but no visual activity. Any thoughts? Did the package simply die off because of age? Should I cut losses or (have more fun) and keep pitching?


photo (1).jpg


Well-Known Member
Apr 5, 2014
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Here is the problem. Without a counting chamber, you have no idea where you are. You do not know if your cells were starting at 2 Billion, 20 Billion or 50 Billion. If you grew this in a 500ml starter, it most likely it will double. If start with less than 10 Billion, now you only have 20 Billion at best--not enough to do anything with. You need to step it up over time. The best solution would have been to put the 50ml yeast packet into 50ml (100ml)--stir for 24hrs and pitch into 250ml. Wait 24hrs and pitch into a 1,000mL starter. But, as I mentioned earlier, you don't want to risk it, you could over pitch as easily as under pitch. I made this comment to someone else today. When you consider how much time is involved in a brew day, the cost of the grains and hops and the weeks of patience, it's not worth the gamble to save $6 or $7. If you really don't want to waste it, by a couple of gallons of apple juice and toss it in there. Best case scenario you have cider, worst case, you wasted a few bucks and maybe 45 minutes. Cheers-