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mbailey

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Well I made my yeast starter using White labs yeast 2 days ago I followed all the instructions made sure everything was sanitized and it's yet to do anything. I have shook the vial a few times still nothing any ideas? should I order more yeast? I have a package of Muntons dry yeast I guess I could start over if I have to!
 

homebrewer_99

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DO NOT SHAKE YOUR YEAST ! ! !

These are living creatures.....

How did you make a starter if you "shook the vial"?

To make a starter you have to boil about 1 cup of malt and 2 cups of water, cool to about 70F and add your (room temp) yeast.

All this should be placed in a large (22 oz) beer bottle with an airlock.

Allow to sit for a day or two. There should be plenty of activity going on.

Any of this sound familiar? :confused:
 
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mbailey

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I bought a yeast starter kit with the 1000ml flask stopper and air lock. I boiled 3/4 cp of dme with 1cp H20 cooled to 80' F pitched in the yeast stoppered and shook it around a bit to oxygenate per instructions given by multiple sources.
 

tnlandsailor

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I posted this on another thread and thought it might be helpful here:

Regarding the starter, what you are looking for is a starter wort with an OG of about 1.025 to 1.030 regardless of your beer style. This gravity promotes yeast growth. A 2 quart starter is recommended for ales, for lagers it's a full gallon, the more yeast the better. With this much starter wort, I like to start 3 or 4 days ahead so that the yeast ferments and settles out so I can decant off most of the liquid before pitching. I personally like to weigh my dry malt extract (DME) rather than measure by volume. DME gives about 46 gravity points per pound per gallon of water. If you run the numbers, 5.2 oz of DME in 2 quarts of water will give you a gravity of 1.030. Boil 2 quarts of water in a large pan (at least 4 qt), remove from the heat, SLOWLY add the DME (it will foam like crazy, be careful), then bring the heat back up while stirring to dissolve. Boil for 15 minutes, then submerge the pan in cold water until the temp is down to 70 F or so. Stirring the wort with a sanitized spoon and moving the pan around in the water (gently) will speed the cooling. Pour the wort into a gallon sized, sanitized, glass jug. Make sure everything that touches the wort is sanitized. Add your yeast, cover the opening with a sanitized piece of foil, hold tightly and shake it vigorously for 10 - 15 seconds to aerate. Remove the foil and put on an air lock (sanitized of course) and wait. About twice a day for the first couple of days, give the jug a swirl to keep the yeast in suspension. After this, let the yeast settle out.

If you make your starter Tuesday night and brew Saturday morning, the yeast will have mostly settled out by pitching time. I like to decant off most of the liquid, and in fact, I will pour some in a small shot glass and taste it. Be sure to flame the mouth of the jug before pouring. If the sanitation procedures are sound, it should taste nothing like beer, but should taste clean and free from whangy off flavors like those typical of infection. Leave a pint or so behind in the jug, swirl up the yeast, and pitch.
 

andre the giant

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Has any sediment formed on the bottom of the flask, or have any bubbles/foam formed on the surface of the starter? Is it possible that you just have a leaky airlock? The last starter I made only showed activity for 12 hours or so. It was very vigorous, but brief. Could you have missed it?

If that's not the case, I wonder if the WL vial was exposed to intense heat at some point that killed all the yeasties in there.

Shaking the vial or the flask is the right thing to do to oxygenate, just as long as your equipment was sanitized. White labs yeast vials specifically state that you should shake them vigorously before pitching. Yeast is comprised of one celled organisms suspended in vast quantities of liquid, shaking them won't harm them in any way.
 

homebrewer_99

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Yes, I agree it is alright to shake your yeast for mixing with the malt.

I was referring to after it has activated/propagated. :D
You should leave it alone like you do when it's fermenting.
 

tnlandsailor

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The oxidation of yeast starters should be encouraged. A yeast starter is not beer. Oxidation is bad for beer, not yeast. In a yeast starter, you want as much yeast growth as possible. The addition of more oxygen during the starter fermentation process wont hurt this a bit. Also, keeping the yeast in suspension helps. Before you pitch the yeast, you should decant off the starter liquid and leave only as much as necessary to be able to pour the yeast out.

Recently, I have switched over to using a large flask and magnetic stir plate for my starters. The stir plate continuously introduces air/oxygen into the wort to encourage yeast growth and keeps the yeast from settling out which speeds up fermentation. The result has been larger quantities of yeast in the same volume of starter liquid which ferments out completely in about 24 hours (I use 2 quart starters).

So, the advice here is to stir your yeast starters! Stir them often and stir them vigorously. Grab the starter vessel and give it a good swirl several times a day. Your yeast will thank you for it.

Prosit!
 

Catullus

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tnlandsailor said:
The oxidation of yeast starters should be encouraged. A yeast starter is not beer. Oxidation is bad for beer, not yeast. In a yeast starter, you want as much yeast growth as possible. The addition of more oxygen during the starter fermentation process wont hurt this a bit. Also, keeping the yeast in suspension helps. Before you pitch the yeast, you should decant off the starter liquid and leave only as much as necessary to be able to pour the yeast out.

Recently, I have switched over to using a large flask and magnetic stir plate for my starters. The stir plate continuously introduces air/oxygen into the wort to encourage yeast growth and keeps the yeast from settling out which speeds up fermentation. The result has been larger quantities of yeast in the same volume of starter liquid which ferments out completely in about 24 hours (I use 2 quart starters).

So, the advice here is to stir your yeast starters! Stir them often and stir them vigorously. Grab the starter vessel and give it a good swirl several times a day. Your yeast will thank you for it.

Prosit!
I agree oxygenation is the only way to achieve high cell density. I used to use a stir plate and 2L flasks, but during aerobic respiration the yeast still produce CO2 and force the majority of O2 out of the flask---the airlock prevents O2 from diffusing back in. I was getting only 1-2 million cells/ml slurry---well below the rate I want to pitch.

Without spending 4K on a yeast propagation vessel I devised a simple method of adding O2 to the flasks.

I got 2 4L wide-mouth flasks (LABX.com--- $35.00 each), 2 SS 3/16 tubes, 2 air-stones and 2 no. 10 stoppers. Now here is where it gets a little bit expensive. I bought an electric actuated valve with a timer ($189.00).

I drilled 2 holes in the stoppers (one for a airlock and the other for the SS tube). To the end of the tubes I attached the air-stones and this goes through the other hole in the stoppers. I attach the ss tubes to some tubing attach these to the valve and the valve to an O2 tank (home-depot $7.00) set the timer for 2.5 hours intervals with a 20sec duration. Viola, I have 2 mini yeast propagation systems.

I now achieve cell densities in the 12 –13 million cells/ml slurry and easily reach pitching rates of 1million cells/ml/degree plato. I have seen active fermentation begin within an hour of pitching and usually reach terminal gravity in 2-3days. I have noticed a significant decrease in ester production that comes with under pitching and substantially less off flavors

I realize that this is overkill and not necessary—but for me 50% of the enjoyment of home brewing comes making new equipment…..
 

Dude

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busmanray said:
hey homebrewer 99-take it down a notch-who do you think you are the coors brewmiester? Geez-give us all a break!

HEY HEY HEY!!! No one in here should get pillaged like that on an open forum! Coors Brewmaster? That is the ultimate slam! :D
Yikes! I think you owe HB99 an apology. :D

Seriously--I'm SURE HB99 doesn't mean any harm. Maybe you two guys know each other and you are just messing with him--in that case I'm a moron.... :D
 

homebrewer_99

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ORRELSE said:
HEY HEY HEY!!! No one in here should get pillaged like that on an open forum! Coors Brewmaster? That is the ultimate slam! :D
Yikes! I think you owe HB99 an apology. :D

Seriously--I'm SURE HB99 doesn't mean any harm. Maybe you two guys know each other and you are just messing with him--in that case I'm a moron.... :D
Yeah! What he said!

What's up?

No apology necessary. Of course, I have no idea what you're talking about! :D

PS. I'd rather be pillaged than raped!
 

Dark_Ale

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busmanray said:
hey homebrewer 99-take it down a notch-who do you think you are the coors brewmiester? Geez-give us all a break!
Do you need a starter for a 5 gallon batch? I thought starters were for the (Big Batches) 10, 20,30 gal?
 

tnlandsailor

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Homebrewers are notorious for under pitching. I personally think a starter is in order for any batch size.

Regarding the Coors brewmeister comment - I only wish I was that good. Don't think for a minute that because their end product lacks any defining quality that they don't know what they are doing.

Prosit!
 

homebrewer_99

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Ah...you are referring to my referenced quote....now I understand your comment. :D

Well, I also lived on Germany for 9 years. There's no rice or corn in their beers, only barley and/or wheat.

If you read the history of beer in the US you would have found out that the type of beer made today was the type real beer makers in the eastern US made fun of because that's the way they brewed it in the western part of the US, especially in CA. As for the watered down "flavor", history say marketers say they did that to attract the female audience. Either way...it's not real beer. I think American beer is full of unnecessary chemicals, unhealthy, and simply garbage - MY OPINION! Yes, I do turn them down when I am offered them - every time!

In my defense for that last comment, drinking beer (alcohol) depletes the body of vitamin B and we all know that Hefe (yeast) is vitamin B, therefore, Hefe Weizen, and in this case, unfiltered homebrew, is the healthiest beer (type of alcohol) you can drink. :D

You don't have to be a BrauMeister to know that.

Anyway, from you, I'm taking it as a compliment. Thanks. :D

As for me, I leave for Germany on Sunday. I'll be gone for 2 weeks and probably WILL NOT check my emails.

Have a good homebrew weekend!
 

Dude

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tnlandsailor said:
Regarding the Coors brewmeister comment - I only wish I was that good. Don't think for a minute that because their end product lacks any defining quality that they don't know what they are doing.

Prosit!

I've talked to 2 brewmasters since I've been homebrewing--the Miller Brewing Company and St. George Brewery brewmasters, and both seemed--almost bored.
Especially the Miller brewmaster. I told him I homebrewed and he flat out said he wished he could experiment like we do. He said when a new beer is designed for the brewery he has very little input. Its all corporate.
Yeah its a cool title to have, but personally, I wouldn't want the job.
I am sure they are "good" per se, and I'm sure the knowledge they have is bigtime--but it almost seems like its underutilized.
Its more about brewing beer the cheapest way possible instead of the "tastiest" way possible.
 

rightwingnut

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tnlandsailor said:
Homebrewers are notorious for under pitching. I personally think a starter is in order for any batch size.

Regarding the Coors brewmeister comment - I only wish I was that good. Don't think for a minute that because their end product lacks any defining quality that they don't know what they are doing.

Prosit!
They are "good" at marketing, not brewing. They may know what they're doing in the business sense, but I don't ever want to be "that good" at brewing!
 
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