Author Topic: Yeast starter question  (Read 1358 times)

Offline krustybb

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Yeast starter question
« on: January 09, 2012, 08:03:17 AM »
I made a starter for WL california ale yeast. the only other starter I have done is with California Ale yeast V. I pitched the yeast at 75 degrees and around six to seven hours I had no krausen which I know is no big deal but the yeast had almost completely caked to the bottom. After fifteen hours I had no real krausen to speak of and there was still a cake at the bottom. There was a tiny bit of bubble going on. If I swirl the starter I do get some foam and release of gases. I am just concerned that the yeast are not performing up to snuff. I am making an imperial IPA and I want to pitch heathly dose. The last starter I did rocked and rolled compared to this one. Each time I swirl and get everything in suspension the yeast drop back down within a half hour. I mixed a ratio of 1 cup DME to 4 cups water. Thoughts? Should I pitch or restart.

Also on a side note I got my grains crushed at the LHBS yesterday as I had planned on brewing tomorrow. How long can crushed grains sit before you brew without affecting flavor and such. You guys a re great.

Offline tygo

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Re: Yeast starter question
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2012, 08:12:09 AM »
First off, a cup of DME probably weighs between 5 - 6 oz which added to four cups of water for a total volume of five cups would yield an SG of about 1.046, which is okay but a little on the high side for a starter.  Also, I'm assuming you boiled it and had some of that boil off so it's probably a little on the strong side which could explain some of the delay.

It sounds like there is some activity going on.  Rousing it frequently, as frequently as possible is good and will help blow off CO2 and give the yeast oxygen, provided of course that you're not using an airlock, which it sounds like you are.  For a starter it's best just to loosely cover it with foil to allow air exchange.

I think it'll ferment out given some time.  Just replace the airlock with some foil, wait, and rouse it up frequently.  
« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 08:14:09 AM by tygo »
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Yeast starter question
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2012, 08:15:07 AM »
And for you grains, they'll be good for quite some time.   Remember, mail order places will mill your grain and then have however many days to ship it to you and then it may be some time before you get around to using them and it's all fine.  Just keep the grains closed up in their bags and you've got plenty of time.
Joe

Offline tygo

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Re: Yeast starter question
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2012, 08:16:36 AM »
And for you grains, they'll be good for quite some time.   Remember, mail order places will mill your grain and then have however many days to ship it to you and then it may be some time before you get around to using them and it's all fine.  Just keep the grains closed up in their bags and you've got plenty of time.

And congrats to our newest Brewmaster General  ;D
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Offline krustybb

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Re: Yeast starter question
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2012, 08:25:47 AM »
First off, a cup of DME probably weighs between 5 - 6 oz which added to four cups of water for a total volume of five cups would yield an SG of about 1.046, which is okay but a little on the high side for a starter.  Also, I'm assuming you boiled it and had some of that boil off so it's probably a little on the strong side which could explain some of the delay.

It sounds like there is some activity going on.  Rousing it frequently, as frequently as possible is good and will help blow off CO2 and give the yeast oxygen, provided of course that you're not using an airlock, which it sounds like you are.  For a starter it's best just to loosely cover it with foil to allow air exchange.

I think it'll ferment out given some time.  Just replace the airlock with some foil, wait, and rouse it up frequently.  

Okay so switch to a sanitized piece of foil, I used an airlock on my last one and it went fine. I use a large growler jug. Anyway I will do that. I did a half cup last time in two cups and had no problems. If you are brewing a high gravity beer is it not good to have a bit of a higher grav starter? Oh well. Thanks guys.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2012, 08:27:18 AM by krustybb »

Offline tygo

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Re: Yeast starter question
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2012, 08:31:41 AM »
Okay so switch to a sanitized piece of foil, I used an airlock on my last one and it went fine. I use a large growler jug. Anyway I will do that. I did a half cup last time in two cups and had no problems. If you are brewing a high gravity beer is it not good to have a bit of a higher grav starter? Oh well. Thanks guys.

The airlock will work, the foil just works better since it allows for some air exchange.  In the case of a starter you want the yeast to be reproducing and to do that they need oxygen.  You're not concerned about the flavor of the starter wort.

You don't want to use a higher gravity starter for higher gravity beers.  Once again, you're growing yeast and they grow better and are less stressed in a lower gravity wort.  I generally use a 1.040 starter but even lower than that is better from a yeast health perspective.  For a higher gravity beer you just want more yeast, so bigger volume starters rather than bigger gravity.
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Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Yeast starter question
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2012, 08:36:37 AM »
If you are brewing a high gravity beer is it not good to have a bit of a higher grav starter?

You're creating as good an environment as possible for yeast production, which means low gravity and oxygen.  Higher gravity will only stress the yeast, not make them stronger or better able to ferment high gravity wort.

Edit for clarity: I mean low gravity and HIGH oxygen
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Offline krustybb

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Re: Yeast starter question
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2012, 08:38:10 AM »
Great at this point should I boil and cool some extra water and dump it in or just leave it and foil the top?

Offline Jimmy K

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Re: Yeast starter question
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2012, 08:38:58 AM »
I wouldn't mess with it now. Just foil the top.
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Offline tygo

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Re: Yeast starter question
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2012, 08:39:15 AM »
I wouldn't mess with it now. Just foil the top.

+1
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Offline hokerer

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Re: Yeast starter question
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2012, 10:29:25 AM »
And congrats to our newest Brewmaster General  ;D

Took me a sec, but I get it now.  Guess that means I post too much, huh?
Joe

Offline tygo

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Re: Yeast starter question
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2012, 11:43:22 AM »
And congrats to our newest Brewmaster General  ;D

Took me a sec, but I get it now.  Guess that means I post too much, huh?

I think you're safe for now.  The next stop though is, "I spend way too much time on the AHA forum"
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