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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: Pi on August 15, 2013, 11:43:53 AM

Title: dark colored starter
Post by: Pi on August 15, 2013, 11:43:53 AM
i made a 3 liter starter yesterday using 9 oz DME. when i added it to the water it turned a gray color. After boiling i let it cool and it's very dark brown almost black. i used extra pale DME. what causes this?
Title: Re: dark colored starter
Post by: swampale on August 15, 2013, 11:52:10 AM
What strain was it?
Title: Re: dark colored starter
Post by: duboman on August 15, 2013, 01:37:21 PM
Did you add any nutrient to it? How long did you boil it for?
Title: Re: dark colored starter
Post by: narvin on August 15, 2013, 01:55:42 PM
Was this new DME or had it been around for a while?  It almost sounds like it had gone bad...
Title: Re: dark colored starter
Post by: morticaixavier on August 15, 2013, 02:20:01 PM
are you sure it wasn't powdered graphite? Coal Dust?
Title: Re: dark colored starter
Post by: Joe Sr. on August 15, 2013, 03:20:12 PM
I say do it again and see what happens.

IME DME does not go bad.  It may clump up, but it has a pretty long shelf life.  I've had LME darken, but not DME.
Title: Re: dark colored starter
Post by: narvin on August 15, 2013, 07:53:30 PM
I've not had DME go bad either.  However, I keep it sealed and cool.  Maybe there was black mold in it?
Title: Re: dark colored starter
Post by: denny on August 15, 2013, 09:10:22 PM
I've had this happen a few times, and it was from the same bag of DME that I'd used when it didn't happen.  I can't tell you why, but it's never caused me a problem.
Title: Re: dark colored starter
Post by: morticaixavier on August 15, 2013, 09:11:50 PM
I wonder is some of the DME scorched when boiled. If enough actually carbonized it could well turn the whole starter blackish.
Title: Re: dark colored starter
Post by: denny on August 15, 2013, 09:13:04 PM
I wonder is some of the DME scorched when boiled. If enough actually carbonized it could well turn the whole starter blackish.

Possible, but when it's happened to me there was no evidence of scorching.
Title: Re: dark colored starter
Post by: scottNU on August 15, 2013, 09:23:03 PM
I'd say do it again. I'd rather start over early in the process (with minimal time and cost) than have to try and manage around a bad batch in the primary or worse yet, the keg.
Title: Re: dark colored starter
Post by: Joe Sr. on August 15, 2013, 09:24:08 PM
I've had this happen a few times, and it was from the same bag of DME that I'd used when it didn't happen.  I can't tell you why, but it's never caused me a problem.

So you've gone ahead and used it?
Title: Re: dark colored starter
Post by: denny on August 15, 2013, 09:41:12 PM
I've had this happen a few times, and it was from the same bag of DME that I'd used when it didn't happen.  I can't tell you why, but it's never caused me a problem.

So you've gone ahead and used it?

Yep....how will you know of you don't try?
Title: Re: dark colored starter
Post by: Joe Sr. on August 15, 2013, 09:46:38 PM
I've had this happen a few times, and it was from the same bag of DME that I'd used when it didn't happen.  I can't tell you why, but it's never caused me a problem.

So you've gone ahead and used it?

Yep....how will you know of you don't try?

True.  But I still would probably just dump it and start over since the yeast has not yet been pitched.

Of course, I've used old bulging cans of LME before so perhaps I would just go ahead and use it.
Title: Re: dark colored starter
Post by: denny on August 15, 2013, 10:57:35 PM
I kinda gulped and thought "Let's find out".  I won that one...that doesn't always happen, you you always learn something!