Pitched half my starter.....

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nonamekevin

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I've been planning and thinking about this brew day for the better part of a month. I did a full boil extract kit, with plans of fermenting in a corny keg for the first time. I filled the keg with all of the wort, aerated with a mini airpump for 30min (not sure it did anything), and then started to pitch the ~1600mL of starter I had. I pitched about 800mL when I realized that I was probably going to overflow the keg, so I had to stop with a little less than 800mL in my beaker.

To my future self = 1) get a bigger fermentation vessel, or 2) don't pour all the wort into the keg before the starter is in, or 3) brew smaller batches.

3rd brew for me, lots of firsts. First small boil over, first time fermenting in a keg, and because of the miniscule amount of headspace, probably the first time I will experience fermenter overflow. Possibly the first time I've under pitched also...

Next one will be better, thanks for all the tips so far.
 

palmtrees

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I've been planning and thinking about this brew day for the better part of a month. I did a full boil extract kit, with plans of fermenting in a corny keg for the first time. I filled the keg with all of the wort, aerated with a mini airpump for 30min (not sure it did anything), and then started to pitch the ~1600mL of starter I had. I pitched about 800mL when I realized that I was probably going to overflow the keg, so I had to stop with a little less than 800mL in my beaker.

To my future self = 1) get a bigger fermentation vessel, or 2) don't pour all the wort into the keg before the starter is in, or 3) brew smaller batches.

3rd brew for me, lots of firsts. First small boil over, first time fermenting in a keg, and because of the miniscule amount of headspace, probably the first time I will experience fermenter overflow. Possibly the first time I've under pitched also...

Next one will be better, thanks for all the tips so far.

You could always put that remaining 800mls in the fridge overnight, decant the starter beer, and pitch the yeast cake tomorrow. The timing isn't ideal, but it would at least get you closer to a full pitch!
 

GoodTruble

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At least you are recognizing/diagnosing the problems and learning from the mistakes.

You could also just save a decent chunk of the leftover starter in a sterilized mason jar (or other container) in the fridge and just use it for another batch/starter sometime over the next 6 months. (-and if you do this, leave the lid a little loose for off-gassing until you sure the yeast is done/dormant).

Good luck with the beer!
 
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RM-MN

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Set your keg in a tub to catch any spill-over. It will save on the cleanup time.
Smaller batches can save you if you want to continue to ferment in the Corney keg. Recipes scale very well. I do 2 1/2 gallon batches, cutting all ingredients in half, but you could easily do 3 or 4 gallons.
Yeast is what you want, not starter. Chill the starter and decant most of the liquid. Swirl up the remainder and pour that in. That will get you most of the yeast without the extra liquid.
Cool your keg full of wort to the lowest temperature in the yeast's preferred range or a little below. That will slow the ferment and you may not have a spill. If it looks like it will spill over, scoop out some of the krausen if you can.
 
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nonamekevin

nonamekevin

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You could always put that remaining 800mls in the fridge overnight, decant the starter beer, and pitch the yeast cake tomorrow. The timing isn't ideal, but it would at least get you closer to a full pitch!
I didn't even think about this, I just tossed the remainder. Thanks for the tip though.

Checked on it today in the kegerator. I placed a blowoff tube from the gas post going into a quart mason jar of starsan, maybe an inch and a half of starsan. The jar was almost full from krausen and wort. Swapped the jar for a fresh one to catch any additional spill over, but all I'm seeing now is a decent stream of co2 bubbles.

At least it's fermenting, which was my biggest concern that it wouldn't.

I do have another quick question. Each time that I've taken a SG before pitching, the value has always been higher than the est. from the recipe. I typically spin my hydrometer, cause I'm told that it helps with removing bubbles? Anyway, should I let the hydrometer sit for a little bit before taking the reading, or immediately?
 

agentbud

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One side note since you mentioned the keg was filled to the top - after fermentation is complete and you go to tap that keg, be careful when hooking up your CO2 tank. If the liquid in the keg is still up past the gas post inside, you can get liquid blowback into your gas line unless you have one of those gas QDs with a valve. Maybe plug up a tap first and have it open before plugging up the gas so that the beer has somewhere else to go. Just in case...
 

marc1

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I do have another quick question. Each time that I've taken a SG before pitching, the value has always been higher than the est. from the recipe. I typically spin my hydrometer, cause I'm told that it helps with removing bubbles? Anyway, should I let the hydrometer sit for a little bit before taking the reading, or immediately?

If you are doing all grain, you need to adjust for your efficiency in your system, rather than the recipe's.

In any case, you need to accurately measure volumes to be sure that your calculations are correct. A smaller volume without a loss of extract somewhere would make your gravity higher.
 

Rish

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I would have transferred some on the beer from the keg to another small fermentation vessel and added the rest of the starter to the keg, but if you've tossed it, that won't work now. Don't ask me why I have this answer!😀😉
 

tracer bullet

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I usually do starters 2 nights before brewing. The starter then runs ~ 24 hours, and then the night before brewing it goes in a frig. The next day after brewing I pour off the liquid from the top, being careful to save the yeast cake inside. I put a little fresh (and cooled) wort in it, swirl it around, then pour that into the fermenter.

Just an idea on a process that might work for you. There are many ways.
 
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nonamekevin

nonamekevin

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I usually do starters 2 nights before brewing. The starter then runs ~ 24 hours, and then the night before brewing it goes in a frig. The next day after brewing I pour off the liquid from the top, being careful to save the yeast cake inside. I put a little fresh (and cooled) wort in it, swirl it around, then pour that into the fermenter.

Just an idea on a process that might work for you. There are many ways.
This was my process as well, except the "little fresh" wort was almost 2 liters into the flask, and I continued to top off the keg while putting the flask on the stir plate. I brewed too much or didn't have the boil off amount correct...

I was worried about fermentation since I didn't pitch as much as intended, but it's been going very strong over the last 3 days. I'm still getting the occasional bubble from the blow-off tube, so I'm raising temp from 62F to 70F for the diacetyl rest for the next 4 days.
 
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