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General Category => Yeast and Fermentation => Topic started by: epb on June 13, 2010, 07:09:06 pm

Title: No airlock activity in yeast starter
Post by: epb on June 13, 2010, 07:09:06 pm
I made my first yeast starter yesterday pout of 1/2 cup DME and a pint of water.  It's been about 24 hours and I'm seeing very little airlock activity and a good chunk of yeast has already settled to the bottom.  I had checked on it at about 9 hours in and again around 19 hours in and there was little activity either time.  Is it possible it completely fermented already and I just missed it?  I was hoping to brew today, but am now wondering what I should do.  I'm not brewing a particularly big beer, should be around 1.054, so I probably could have got away without making a starter in the first place.  Would it be OK if pitched my starter?  If not, should I just give it more time or should I add more wort to it?
Title: Re: No airlock activity in yeast starter
Post by: majorvices on June 13, 2010, 07:48:09 pm
well, first off, your starter is way too small. I wouldn;t recommend making a starter smaller than 1L. Check the pitching calc at www.mrmalty.com to get an idea what size starter you need. A starter that is too small may cause more harm than good. It's like taking 200 sheep and putting them on a quarter acre of land. You won't get fat healthy sheep who will be able to multiply if the land is too small. But sick, unhealthy and dying sheep due to the fact that there is not enough nutrients to feed them.

Also, I would recommend not using an airlock. You need to be swirling the starter from time to time to remove Co2 and mix in o2. A piece of foil over the opening of the flask is sanitary by lab standards. An airlock is unecessary. You also may not get many bubbles regardless, the starter is so much smaller and can not hold nearly the amount of Co2 that 5 gallons can.
Title: Re: No airlock activity in yeast starter
Post by: hopfenundmalz on June 13, 2010, 08:39:29 pm
No airlock as said, as you want to get the CO2 out, and let O2 difuse in.  Swirl now and then to get the CO2 out of the starter liquid.  A stirplate is a great investment, as it swirls the liquid for you, and you end up with more yeast mass.