Starter still active on brew day

Homebrew Talk - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Forum

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

CDS

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2020
Messages
109
Reaction score
430
I made a starter on Wednesday, intended for use today, but it still hasn't settled. There is still krausen and active bubbles rising. Usually my starters are ready to go on my schedule, but I've also never used this strain before (WLP800) and I made a larger starter than normal (3L). I'm brewing a Bohemian pilsner.
Not sure what to do here - postpone brewday til the starter settles down? Proceed as planned and just pitch it? I don't really fancy pitching the entire 3 litres into my wort, but I don't know if decanting an active starter makes sense. ANy advice would be appreciated.
 

McMullan

wort maker
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 22, 2015
Messages
1,514
Reaction score
1,783
What temperature is the starter culturing at? It's normal for a starter to take 72 hours or more at room temperature. I'd be inclined to decant off most of the liquid (if there's significant yeast slurry settled out) but let it carry on and save it in a separate vessel, just in case. Then resuspend the slurry in some FV wort before pitching.
 

GoodTruble

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 22, 2021
Messages
717
Reaction score
730
I wouldn't worry about it. There's a lot of guessing about where it is now and where it would be later, and it probably won't make a difference. If you are ready to brew today, I would proceed.
 
OP
OP
CDS

CDS

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2020
Messages
109
Reaction score
430
What temperature is the starter culturing at? It's normal for a starter to take 72 hours or more at room temperature. I'd be inclined to decant off most of the liquid (if there's significant yeast slurry settled out) but let it carry on and save it in a separate vessel, just in case. Then resuspend the slurry in some FV wort before pitching.
it's at 20C/68F. There is a nice bed of slurry at the bottom, so yeah I think I'll follow your advice and save what I decant in a seperate beaker. Thanks.
 

hottpeper13

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2013
Messages
1,445
Reaction score
601
Location
Mequon
I use 833 and experience the same long time frame and I heat mine to 72-76. If you decant you are tossing the cells that give you complete attenuation,so I wouldn't do that. Because of the long ferment I make the starter 4-5 days in advance of brew day and if it's all settled out I'll decant and then make a vitality starter with some cooled wort after 10 min into the boil,and pitch the whole thing.
So my answer is wait!
 
OP
OP
CDS

CDS

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2020
Messages
109
Reaction score
430
I use 833 and experience the same long time frame and I heat mine to 72-76. If you decant you are tossing the cells that give you complete attenuation,so I wouldn't do that. Because of the long ferment I make the starter 4-5 days in advance of brew day and if it's all settled out I'll decant and then make a vitality starter with some cooled wort after 10 min into the boil,and pitch the whole thing.
So my answer is wait!
Hmmmm. Well, I've already started my brew day - I suppose there wouldn't be any harm in brewing today, transfer to fermenter and pitch tomorrow (assuming it's ready by then)?
 

GoodTruble

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 22, 2021
Messages
717
Reaction score
730
A lot of homebrewers (especially outside the US) will "no-chill" and just let the wort cool overnight and pitch the next day. Either using a no-chill vessel or by wrapping the kettle or heat-tolerant fermenter in saran-wrap (but many people here will claim that chilling wort as fast as possible is crucial - fwiw, I've never noticed a difference and just do whatever is more convenient with my schedule).
 

Murph4231

Homebrew Advocate
HBT Supporter
Joined
Mar 19, 2021
Messages
638
Reaction score
1,031
I'd continue on as others have stated. You have active fermentation going so your yeast are propagating. Enhance their party with a vessel full of waiting wort. The critical issue is making sure you don't shock the active yeast by temperature change. You need your wort and starter to be as close as possible to the same temperature. And give them sufficient oxygen to keep growing. You'll be fine.
 

Deadalus

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 3, 2020
Messages
1,381
Reaction score
1,504
Normally I time my starters to pitch at krausening. In the last three weeks, I brewed three times and did just that. I used OYL-002 (American Wheat), Wyeast 1217 (West Coast Ale), and WLP023 (Burtons Ale). The wheat and a British Golden were done but for 2 points in three days and the Rye IPA I brewed was down to its last 4 points on 4 days. (I just started using my Tilts.) Now that I have temperature logging, I have been working on the finer points of temperature control. I decided to keep my starter temp at 68F for the BG and Rye since I knew I was going to pitch it in and I was going to ferment at that temperature too. I fermented the wheat a little lower in the mid-60s I have to find that output. I also kept about 600-800 ml from the 2000ml starters to save. I let those leftovers finish up before putting in bottles for later brews. I kept the starters at those lower temps (not 72F) because I wanted to avoid ester formation and I was going to pitch it all in. I also oxygenate my wort.

Now I delayed my brewing this weekend because I started my WLP820 late. It will be going into a Schwarzbier so it would probably not be noticeable. I generally don't decant and my lagers are always really good but occasionally I don't quite nail my pilsners. My plans are to decant my lagers since the starter temp is a lot higher but I wouldn't necessarily say pitching the whole starter has created noticeable flavor issues.

Given you've started brewing, I'd be more inclined to pitch it in rather than letting the wort sit, which I am not a fan of. I can understand though if it is necessary to get the temperature down. I'd rather something else not get going in the wort rather than worry about the off flavors in the starter.
 
Top