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starter krausen mystery

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biermann1

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I overbuilt my starters from the beginning and use the extra yeast for my next starter. (wyeast 3787 , 1.5l in 2l flask on stir plate). My first starter had no Krausen, the second a little, the third more, the fourth a lot etc. Today I am at #7 and three hours after pitching the Krausen pushed the foam stopper out and it looks like it's boiling over.
I that normal? Maybe it's time for some new yeast?
The yeast does not smell bad and the beers turned out good.
 

LLBeanJ

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My experience with Belgian strains is that they will almost always volcano if not given enough headspace, so if it smells and tastes fine, I'd not hesitate to use it. I learned the hard way a long time ago that a 1L starter in a 2L flask is a no-go with Belgian strains, so what you're seeing now, activity-wise is what I would expect to see. What I don't know, however, is why you are seeing increased activity with each generation. Perhaps the strain is one that tends to mutate fairly quickly, with the more active cells being the ones that tend to dominate during reproduction.
 

LLBeanJ

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Here's a thought...

How do you typically harvest your to-be-saved yeast from your starters? Do you harvest as soon as you pull the starter off the stir plate or do you cold crash and decant, then harvest prior to pitching? The former is how I do it and it ensures that I get a well-mixed variety of cells. Harvesting after cold crashing and decanting will cause the less flocculent cells to be discarded during the decant, leaving the more flocculent cells behind, which may also tend to be the more active cells during reproduction and fermentation. Each subsequent starter/harvest cycle would skew the population further.
 
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biermann1

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I harvest after taking it off the stir plate for it to be well mixed. There has to be some mutation or the krausen would not increase because I always use the exact way to make my starters.
It's not a problem, I just like to understand what's going on.
 

petrolSpice

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Are you on generation #7? Or have you simply made 7 different starters each with a new vial of yeast?

If you're on gen 7, perhaps the yeast is mutating and getting better eating through the sugar faster due to the warm temps and stir plate aeration? Faster fermentation usually means more krausen and higher temps.
 
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biermann1

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it seems that way. I pitched 22 hrs ago (5gl batch in 6.5gl carboy,OG=1.085)
and the krausen is already leaking out of the blow off tube. I keep the temperature around 70F . I have a feeling that my starter temperature may be the reason for mutation because the room temperature is 79F and the max temperature for 3787 is 78F. If this beer turns out good, I just put my flask in a plastic bag for #8 not to mess up my stir plate again.
 
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