starter didn't start

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trubador

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Interesting. I have made them before with no problems. I made a one liter starter last night with 1 cup DME. i cooled the wort down, oxygenated it, then tossed in the yeast about 9pm. This morning, there was still negative pressure inside the airlock, and no signs of fermentation at all. Temp in the house was 67 degrees last night and this morning. It is White Labs San Francisco lager yeast.

Was i supposed to put the starter in my basement at 60 degrees rather than upstairs at 68 degrees? The yeast is fresh according to the date on the package.

confused over here.:confused:
 

seyahmit

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That temp is at the warmer end of the yeast's spectrum so it's possible that it happened overnight and you missed it. A one quart starter is pretty small and there is very little food for the yeast to eat and do very much replication. Is there any yeast sediment at the bottom of your flask or whatever you used to make your starter?
 
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trubador

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seyahmit said:
That temp is at the warmer end of the yeast's spectrum so it's possible that it happened overnight and you missed it. A one quart starter is pretty small and there is very little food for the yeast to eat and do very much replication. Is there any yeast sediment at the bottom of your flask or whatever you used to make your starter?

No sediment at all. And there is "negative" pressure in the airlock. If it happened overnight, I would expect at least "positive" pressure in the airlock, even if it wasn't bubbling.

it is very strange indeed and I don't get it.
 

EdWort

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The negative pressure is probably from the temp change in the house from 9 PM to what it is this morning. What did you put in your airlock?

It sounds like you have a bad vial of yeast IMHO if there is no sediment or evidence of a kreuzen.
 
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trubador

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EdWort said:
The negative pressure is probably from the temp change in the house from 9 PM to what it is this morning. What did you put in your airlock?

It sounds like you have a bad vial of yeast IMHO if there is no sediment or evidence of a kreuzen.

water in the airlock. I was thinking the same thing as far as the bad vial goes. That has never happend though. Hard to imagine that all the yeast in the vial were dead, but i guess if you brew enough batches, this is bound to happen.

I am happy that it is just the starter that is ruined and not 5 gallons of beer.
 

david_42

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Give it a swirl first & see if CO2 comes out of suspension. Weather changes make a bigger difference than you might think.

I've had two dead packs of liquid yeast. That's why I started stocking dried yeast.
 
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trubador

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david_42 said:
Give it a swirl first & see if CO2 comes out of suspension. Weather changes make a bigger difference than you might think.

I've had two dead packs of liquid yeast. That's why I started stocking dried yeast.

already gave that a try....no luck:(

Looks like i'll be brewing next weekend instead of this one. I have to get another package/vial of san francisco lager yeast.
 
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trubador

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you know....I just swirled it again for shts and giggles....it did release some co2, the airlock bubbled a bit

Could it have already fermented out? How can I tell? I don't see any yeast sediment at the bottom.......I could take a hydrometer reading, I guess?
 

ajf

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Depending on the age of the yeast, it could take longer to start fermenting. I've had a few that took over a day before showing any noticeable signs of fermentation.

-a.
 
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trubador

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ajf said:
Depending on the age of the yeast, it could take longer to start fermenting. I've had a few that took over a day before showing any noticeable signs of fermentation.

-a.
label says best before 2/7/07....so maybe it is somewhat old...

It's only been 15 hours, It's just that every starter i've made has started within hours.....I'm definitely going to keep an eye on it just in case the yeast wake up, but I'm not holding out too much hope....

this board is a great place to vent frustration though:)
 

david_42

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A hydrometer reading would be in order. Or add a teaspoon of corn sugar and watch it very, very closely.
 
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trubador

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david_42 said:
A hydrometer reading would be in order. Or add a teaspoon of corn sugar and watch it very, very closely.
just checked on the patient...

1.042 at 68 degrees (Not so good :( )

I don't think it has fermented even a little bit
 
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trubador

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ajf said:
Why not report back tomorrow when its fermenting away happily?

-a.

I hope you're right! And if you're not, oh well....I'm drinking homebrew right now, so things are OK :tank:
 
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trubador

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OK, so i was out all day today and didn't get a chance to check on it until just now (9;15PM sunday night). It is going strong and there is a small layer of yeast on top of the trub inside the flask.....

so, my next dilemma is determing whether this is from wild yeast or from the white labs yeast. I made the starter friday night 9PM and it started at some point today, from the looks of the airlock and the amount of yeast, I'd say it started late late last night or early this morning........

I would like to let it ferment out, stick in the fridge, decant and then start it up again this coming friday night with another liter of wort.

Would any of you hesitate to do this because of the potential of wild yeast in it?
 
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trubador

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Also, I've never used this San Fransisco Lager yeast before. Should I be putting the starter in my basement at 60 degrees instead of upstairs at 68 degrees?

When this yeast is pitched into the 5 gallon batch, should I keep it at 68 degrees until it starts to ferment before putting it in the basement at its proper fermentation temp 58 to 60 degrees?
 

ajf

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No hesitation at all. Wild yeast wouldn't be fermenting strongly unless you deliberately added a whole bunch of it.
I can't help with the fermentation temperature cos I never use Lager yeast, and have no idea how they respond to temperatures.

-a.
 
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