Questionably Slow Starter with Reused Yeast

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thepipesarecall

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Hey all, hope everyone is doing well.

Anywho, made a Black IPA with Wyeast 1056 recently, after racking to secondary I harvested most of the sediment pack and yeast cake into a large jar, allowing it to separate overnight. Decanted the liquid off the top, garnering about 10oz, boiled up a starter and pitched the liquid.

Now I know some may frown on this procedure for reusing yeast, despite being obsessively sanitary, but it's simple and has always worked very well for me in the past. Anyway, the starter flask has been sitting for about 30 hours and while a vigorous swirl shows some bubbling and the stoppered airlock bubbles for bit, I'm not seeing the intense fizz up generally characteristic of yeast starters.

Could this be due to just low amounts of yeast pitched to start with? Should I wait longer, granted I won't be brewing until early next week, or are things not looking good?
 

osagedr

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You pitched the liquid you decanted, or the liquid that remained after you decanted? If the former, you didn't actually get much yeast in there. If the latter, I would continue to wait. I just pitched an 1882 slurry the other day into two batches; it was from a beer that was in the primary for 4 weeks. It didn't do a thing for almost two days then really took off.

Good luck!
 

AmandaK

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I'm with Osage... if you just pitched the top liquid off the "washed" yeast cake in the jar, you didn't get much. The slurry in the bottom is what you want.

If you did pitch the slurry, wait a bit more and report back.
 
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thepipesarecall

thepipesarecall

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Generally I'd just tip the jar so the liquid on top and some of the slurry got into the starter, but this time I siphoned the liquid off only, doh, why try to change a good thing >.>

A good portion of yeast slurry is still sitting in the bottom of the carboy I could use, however I racked the batch off Saturday, bad idea to try to use?
 

AmandaK

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Have you kept the carboy with the slurry in it sealed and sanitary? If so, make a starter with that and check it out. See if it smells good or nasty, see how it looks, check for mold growth, etc.

In the meantime, read this.
 
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thepipesarecall

thepipesarecall

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Appreciate the link, but that thread is the procedure I follow :) had a bit of a mishap in the pitching part this time around, as you can see :p

The Carboy has been sealed since I racked and extracted the first batch of slurry for this seemingly failed starter, so I'm gonna pitch some more slurry tonight into the starter and watch it over the coming week, if anything is off while I'm waiting for my next batch of ingredients I'll just dump it.
 
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thepipesarecall

thepipesarecall

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Update



Well, there is a STRONG green apple acetylaldehyde smell in the carboy so I am rather hesitant to use anymore slurry (thoughts on this?) but after a swirl a decent head of foam appears in the flask. For posterity, I just popped open the 15th anniversary Stone Imperial Black IPA as the yeast this topic was spawned from was an Imperial Black IPA.

This amount of foam is less than what I am used to regarding yeast starters, and this is @ 40ish hours from pitching, but is indeed leagues beyond what I saw this morning and the starter now smells VERY yeasty, promising?
 
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thepipesarecall

thepipesarecall

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And here we go less than one 22oz later, mucho activity, I love my little yeasties :D A part of me hopes they were spurned on by the opening of the Stone 15 anniversary IBPA they have to live up to.
 

AmandaK

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Well, there is a STRONG green apple acetylaldehyde smell in the carboy so I am rather hesitant to use anymore slurry (thoughts on this?)

IMO, if the beer made from the yeast turned out good, then you should be good to go. However, that acetylaldehyde smell would make me worry a bit. No sense in wasting an entire batch of beer on a $6 smack pack.

On the other hand, good on ya for gettin that thing started! I use sanitized foil on the top of mine for better O2 transfer, could be your issue with longer starter lag times.
 
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thepipesarecall

thepipesarecall

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I switched to the stopper because in my last beer, a few tiny ants crawled into the starter through the pinholes in the foil and met their end, (but WHAT AN END TO HAVE!). After fishing them out with a sanitized knife, everyone from my family homebrewers, to my LHBS, to here at HBT told me to toss the starter. There was bit if an odd taste for the first drinkable week bottle-conditioned, which my brother refererred to as, "the smell when you crush an ant between your fingers", which my cousin corroborated. I attribute this to 6oz of dry hops and 2oz hop tea, all with Sorachi Ace hops, which I do not recommend being used in such quantities, very lemony hop aroma/flavor.

Another couple weeks and the off taste was cleaned up by my yeasties, but there was no way in hell I was driving to the nearest LHBS store an hour away or waiting for more yeast via mail, so my laziness risked the whole batch, although I figured 8% alcohol and over a pound of hops between the boil, dry hop, and hop tea would give the beer a fighting chance against any sort of nasties :p

The slow take off of this starter was probably also due to under oxygenation, I prepared this starter with friends over and probably didn't show it quite enough attention in that department until yesterday when I oxygenated it a bit more and it took off within 2h.
 
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