Yeast Starter Looks Pretty Dead - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

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Feb 17, 2010
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Hey Guys,

I did a quick search and didn't see anything specific to what I have going on, but even then, sorry if this has already been answered hundreds of times:

I pulled a vial of White Labs out of the fridge Monday afternoon (4:00 o'clockish), realized I didn't have time to brew that evening (as intended) and put the vial back in the fridge. At this point the yeast has set out for about 6-8 hours (roughly).

Again the following day around the same time I took the yeast out to get ready to brew that evening and got caught up with work and was unable to brew that evening as well. Instead of putting the yeast back in the fridge I did some research, decided I would make my very first starter. So I decided to just leave the yeast out over night and into the next evening. Went to the local brew shop got what i needed and made my starter last night. At this point the yeast has:

1. Been out for 6-8 hours.
2. Put back in the fridge for about 16 hours.
3. Pulled back out for roughly 28-30 hours (@ room temp ~70-72F).

As mentioned put together my starter last night. Which by the way, the yeast looked pretty clumpy (for lack of a better word) when I went to pitch it into the starter. It was pretty hard to get all of it out of the vial. Lots of shaking it and tapping it to get it all out, and I did make a little bit of a mess as well as didn't get all of the yeast directly into the starter.

-Did not check the gravity.
-Starter ended up being roughly 750ml total.
-Aerated before I pitched the yeast.
-Aerated after I pitched the yeast.
-The starter is in a 2000ml glass conical beaker with a foam (sponge like) stopper (per local home brew shop directions).

This morning the starter looks no different than when I left it last night. Nothing settled to the bottom, no foamy head. Nothing. I am about to go home and check on it and will snap a pic.

Wondering if the temp change over the last couple of days along with leaving it out too long may have shocked the little guys? Am I better off buying a new vial and making a starter with that??

Thanks in advance guys, this forum is always tons of help.



Well-Known Member
Mar 8, 2010
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Coral Springs, FL
Give it some time. I had a 3.5 month old yeast pack take two days before I got any starter activity out of it.

A good combo seems to be 1g:10ml of DME to water so 100g:1000ml (1L) starter. Just test the the og before hand since DME is different from supplier to supplier but should be ~1.040 (give or take 5-8 points)


I've also only seen krausen foam on two starters, one of which was 3L on a stir plate. If you go to shake it be careful otherwise you'll get a brew-kakke if it's built up any carbonation.