Author Topic: Applely Starters  (Read 1882 times)

Offline harbicide

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Applely Starters
« on: February 22, 2012, 01:15:35 PM »
Nearly two weeks ago I made two separate two-gallon starters of WLP830.  After 5 days on stirplates at 60F I crashed each.  Today I decanted each, but before decanting I smelled each and detected a slight apple aroma.  I tasted each and they were both rather bland, telling me the yeast had successfully crashed.  In discussing this with another brewer he is guessing acetaldehyde for an incomplete starter fermentation and that if it occurs in the beer that the yeast would eventually take care of it.

Since I've got nearly $100 tied up in this beer I can not RDWHAHB.
On Tap: Barleywine, RIS, Scotch Ale, Wit, Blueberry Wit, Weizen, Dortmunder

Offline nateo

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Re: Applely Starters
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2012, 01:22:22 PM »
A lot of my starters smell tart or appley. I wouldn't worry about, but you can if you want to.
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Offline gmac

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Re: Applely Starters
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2012, 01:24:03 PM »
How's it taste?

Offline jmcamerlengo

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Re: Applely Starters
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2012, 01:38:47 PM »
Nothin to worry about! That can be a byproduct of over pitching, which you are doing pitching a vial into a starter. To my knowledge acetaldehyde can be a byproduct of that. But your focus is cell growth not good tasting beer.

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Online mtnrockhopper

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Re: Applely Starters
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2012, 01:45:05 PM »
I've heard that acetylaldehyde can form in old cask beers because of the oxygen introduced, so that may also happen in a starter on a stirplate.
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Offline harbicide

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Re: Applely Starters
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2012, 01:46:48 PM »
I've heard that acetylaldehyde can form in old cask beers because of the oxygen introduced, so that may also happen in a starter on a stirplate.

In fact, I supplied constant filtered air just above the starters for the five days they were working.
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Online Joe Sr.

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Re: Applely Starters
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2012, 03:32:30 PM »
My starters generally taste nasty but work just fine.

A few weeks ago I got paranoid and did a split batch.  Half got the starter (which tasted nasty), half got dry yeast.

The half with the starter is much better than the other.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline nateo

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Re: Applely Starters
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2012, 06:46:41 PM »
Half got the starter (which tasted nasty), half got dry yeast.

Expound on this
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Online Joe Sr.

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Re: Applely Starters
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2012, 08:50:10 AM »
Expounding with maximum verbosity:

I split the five gallons (London Pride clone) into two carboys.

I pitched the nasty tasting starter (London ESB yeast) into one half.

I pitched dry Nottingham into the other half.

The half with starter fermented faster and cleaner.  And it tastes much better.  Both are good, but there's a noticeable difference, particularly in that the Nottingham has more fruity esters and less bitterness.

I split the batch like this because my last batch of Pride tastes sour and I need to dump the keg.  I pitched that one with a starter of Windsor yeast from a previous fermentation.  It oddly took around 36 hours (IIRC) to hit kraesun.  So, either the sourness developed during the lag or it came from the starter.

Before brewing the latest batch, and being paranoid, I tasted the starters (I also had a lager starter going).  Neither one tasted good and I thought (perhaps just being paranoid) that they tasted sour.  I use frozen wort for starters and I was beginning to think that the frozen wort might have issues.

I dumped the lager starter down the toilet (along with my stir bar) and pitched that batch with dry yeast.

I decided to do a split batch on the London Pride as a test. 

Test results are that starters taste nasty but still make good beer.  I could have saved my stir bar and used the lager starter.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline nateo

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Re: Applely Starters
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2012, 09:03:55 AM »
Expounding with maximum verbosity:

Thanks for the explanation. That's interesting. What did you ferment them at? I know a lot of people love Notty, but I've never enjoyed it. I've fermented it at 68-70*F and it was maybe the worst yeast I've used. I might try it again at 60* and see if that's better.

I've also gotten much better results with all dry yeast by rehydrating prior to pitching. It seems to help yeast health as well as density.
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Online Joe Sr.

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Re: Applely Starters
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2012, 10:05:04 AM »
I did not rehydrate the Nottingham.  I usually do with dry yeast, but skipped it this time in large part due to all the "not necessary" reports I've seen.

It's been pointed out to me that I might possibly have had one of the older bad batches of Nottingham, prior to the new packaging and all that, but I think this one was purchased after those issues.

Ambient temp in my basement is about 62F right now.  I think these topped out around 68F.  Certainly no higher.

I haven't used Nottingham in a years.  My go to dry English ale yeast has been Windsor lately, but after the sour deal I thought I'd take a different approach.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Offline melferburque

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Re: Applely Starters
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2012, 10:27:31 AM »
I've also gotten much better results with all dry yeast by rehydrating prior to pitching. It seems to help yeast health as well as density.

I noticed last weekend that my nottingham yeast instructions said to rehydrate, but the safale US-05 said pitch direct into wort.  from what I've read, the dry yeast is designed to not require a starter but I thought it did need to be re-hydrated just prior in a "safer" environment than wort.  any idea why one would recommend direct pitch and the other re-hydration?  I always rehydrate everything, regardless of what the instructions say.

Offline nateo

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Re: Applely Starters
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2012, 10:38:35 AM »
any idea why one would recommend direct pitch and the other re-hydration?  I always rehydrate everything, regardless of what the instructions say.

It's just marketing. Some people are afraid of rehydrating and will buy the yeast if the manufacturer says you don't need to rehydrate. It's like how people will pitch vials without making starters. It's "acceptable" but maybe not "best practice." Dry yeast packs contain twice as much yeast, but if you pitch it without rehydrating you'll kill about half of them, making the number of cells about equal with a single vial.
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Online Joe Sr.

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Re: Applely Starters
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2012, 10:49:57 AM »
There are entire threads devoted to the rehydrate/don't rehydrate debate and some strongly held beliefs.

Based on the lag I experienced without rehydrating, I'll probably stick with rehydrating.
It's all in the reflexes. - Jack Burton

Online mtnrockhopper

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Re: Applely Starters
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2012, 11:27:08 AM »
There are entire threads devoted to the rehydrate/don't rehydrate debate and some strongly held beliefs.

Based on the lag I experienced without rehydrating, I'll probably stick with rehydrating.

I've seen conflicting information on Fermentis' own website about whether to rehydrate.
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