Author Topic: Doh! Yeast starter blunder.  (Read 1086 times)

Offline JT

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1330
  • Bloatarian Brewing League - Cincinnati, OH
    • View Profile
    • Bloatarian Brewing League
Doh! Yeast starter blunder.
« on: June 02, 2016, 03:36:49 PM »
I decided to make 2 starters today.  1.5 liter starter for WLP300 Hefeweizen and a big 3 liter starter for WLP830 German Lager.  Cooked up enough wort for both, carefully poured into separate vessels, hit with pure oxygen, being very cautious all the way.  All the way until the end that is... after sanitizing my scissors I shook both packets, cut open the hefe yeast, dumped into the 1.5 liter, then cut open the lager yeast and dumped into the 3 liter.  Wait, did I not sanitize scissors in between cuts?!? Nope! 
No way to fix this, surely some hefe yeast will be growing in my lager starter.  It's bugging the crap out of me just knowing the sanitation chain was broken.  Poll: how many of you would still put the time and energy into a Pilsner that you intend to repitch 2 more times with this little bug in the back of your mind?  I can't answer, I'm still on the fence...

Offline brewinhard

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3225
    • View Profile
Re: Doh! Yeast starter blunder.
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2016, 03:48:04 PM »
Man, that is a tough question. If it were for competitions, I would definitely not do it. But for personal enjoyment, I would give it a shot and see how the starter tastes. The increased cell count of the lager yeast may outcompete the small amount of cells (if any) from the hefeweizen strain. I would think that if the lager starter tastes fairly clean (ie no banana/spices) then you should pitch it. Might want to purchase some fermentis 34/70 to have on hand in case the starter isn't right. I bet you will probably be fine though especially if there was residual starsan on the outside of the packs that may have "washed/rinsed" away any transferred cells from the scissors.

Offline kramerog

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1811
    • View Profile
    • My LinkedIn page
Re: Doh! Yeast starter blunder.
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2016, 04:02:54 PM »
My guess is that the hefeweizen yeast will not be active at lager temperatures and thus have negligible impact on your current lager and your future lagers.  I don't have enough experience with hefeweizen yeasts to make a more educated guess.

Offline pete b

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3123
  • Barre, Ma
    • View Profile
Re: Doh! Yeast starter blunder.
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2016, 04:04:47 PM »
I was going to say the same thing as kramerog. The heff yeast will be outcompeted at lager temps.
Don't let the bastards cheer you up.

Offline brewinhard

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3225
    • View Profile
Re: Doh! Yeast starter blunder.
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2016, 04:55:29 PM »
Potentially, but he will most likely be making the starter at warmer temps than at lager fermentations.

On a side note, I have fermented hefe strains down into the mid 50'sF.

I still think he will be okay simply due to the lager yeast having a MUCH higher cell count.

Offline JT

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1330
  • Bloatarian Brewing League - Cincinnati, OH
    • View Profile
    • Bloatarian Brewing League
Re: Doh! Yeast starter blunder.
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2016, 05:36:12 PM »
Potentially, but he will most likely be making the starter at warmer temps than at lager fermentations.

On a side note, I have fermented hefe strains down into the mid 50'sF.

I still think he will be okay simply due to the lager yeast having a MUCH higher cell count.
Aye, and I tend to ramp up lagers after 50-75% attenuation to ale temps...

Offline santoch

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 887
  • North Bend, WA
    • View Profile
    • WAHA
Re: Doh! Yeast starter blunder.
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2016, 12:48:19 AM »
I agree with prior post - if its for competition, dump the starter.  If not, you can call it the Boris Badenoff Russian Roulette batch.
Mt. Si Brewing Society
Washington Homebrewer's Association (WAHA)
BJCP GM2/Mead Judge

Offline JT

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1330
  • Bloatarian Brewing League - Cincinnati, OH
    • View Profile
    • Bloatarian Brewing League
Re: Doh! Yeast starter blunder.
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2016, 02:01:45 AM »
I agree with prior post - if its for competition, dump the starter.  If not, you can call it the Boris Badenoff Russian Roulette batch.
Then I'd need proper glassware...

Offline Stevie

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 6858
    • View Profile
Re: Doh! Yeast starter blunder.
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2016, 06:21:36 AM »
I would worry about it as much as I worry about the urine content in a public pool. I don't.

Offline Slowbrew

  • Brewmaster General
  • *******
  • Posts: 2382
  • The Slowly Losing IT Brewery in Urbandale, IA
    • View Profile
Re: Doh! Yeast starter blunder.
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2016, 11:16:08 AM »
After reading your description of the problem I realized I've this many, many times and never considered it an issue.  I haven't seen any evidence of cross contamination either.  Personally, I think the difference in cell count between the two would negate any need to worry about it.

IMHO, YMMV, IANAbC(biochemist)  8^)

Paul
Where the heck are we going?  And what's with this hand basket?

Offline blair.streit

  • Brewmaster
  • *****
  • Posts: 516
    • View Profile
Re: Doh! Yeast starter blunder.
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2016, 12:13:45 PM »
I would worry about it as much as I worry about the urine content in a public pool. I don't.
Quotable quotes for $300, Alex!

Offline cgamble1521

  • 1st Kit
  • *
  • Posts: 8
    • View Profile
Re: Doh! Yeast starter blunder.
« Reply #11 on: June 03, 2016, 08:16:20 PM »
I would worry about it as much as I worry about the urine content in a public pool. I don't.

I don't swim in public pools for exactly this reason, but i would still be surprised if the cross contaminate made it.. Please post results though. I laughed at your experience because i could solidly see myself doing exactly that !

Offline JT

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1330
  • Bloatarian Brewing League - Cincinnati, OH
    • View Profile
    • Bloatarian Brewing League
Re: Doh! Yeast starter blunder.
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2016, 01:20:55 AM »
Lol, good posts from all.  The majority sided on don't sweat it.  I dumped this starter a few hours ago.  I already have the Weissbier to brew so it just won't be a double batch day.  The brew/lager time just wasn't worth it to me knowing the contamination risk, there's a competition just around the corner that I may enter plus it'll make my brew day shorter, more time with the kids before vacation ends.  Cheers all!

Offline 69franx

  • Official Poobah of No Life.
  • *
  • Posts: 3106
  • Bloatarian Brewing League
    • View Profile
Re: Doh! Yeast starter blunder.
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2016, 01:26:07 AM »
Yeah JT, I never would have sweated it unless for a competition, and I have never entered a competition. Maybe Beer and Sweat (or is that the draft only comp? No kegging for me yet, maybe next year)
Frank L.
Fermenting:
Conditioning:
In keg:
In Bottles:  
In the works: Hopefully brewing 10 gallons of Pilsner tomorrow for a family reunion in July, then back to IPA and  a barleywine to age

Offline JT

  • Senior Brewmaster
  • ******
  • Posts: 1330
  • Bloatarian Brewing League - Cincinnati, OH
    • View Profile
    • Bloatarian Brewing League
Re: Doh! Yeast starter blunder.
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2016, 01:34:43 AM »
Yeah JT, I never would have sweated it unless for a competition, and I have never entered a competition. Maybe Beer and Sweat (or is that the draft only comp? No kegging for me yet, maybe next year)
Beer and Sweat was in the back of my mind, depending on how the brew tastes of course.  It is keg only.  Still time enough to brew up lagers if I pick up more yeast.  If had been different yeasts and beer styles I almost certainly would have brewed anyway.  On one hand you have a yeast like WLP300, ready impart banana and clove, then you have a beer like German Pils, ready to spotlight any flavors you care to present.  Perfect storm!