The 'Best by' date on the yeast was 02/28/21. The only time in the past I had trouble with a starter was when I had the yeast shipped and it got way too warm during shipping. But this failed starter with WLP023 is now twice in a row. My process is pretty basic. This starter was 1 gallon because I was intending to brew a 10 gallon batch. I boiled a gallon of water and 1 lb of DME for 12 minutes. Chilled it to room temperature, shook it up for about five minutes, and pitched the yeast. The yeast had been out of my refrigerator for about 3 hours when I pitched it. This was a little over 12 hours ago, around 10:00 (Eastern) last night.
The handling by my LHBS, I'm not certain of. Because of COVID, no one can go in the store. They only take online orders for pickup. When you arrive at the store you need to call them, and they set your order outside. I called them before ordering and asked about the handling of liquid yeast. I was told that they don't pull it out of the fridge until they get the call that you're at the store. Although the last one did feel a little bit warm to me for that to have been the case.
The general flavor profile I'm looking for is malty sweet caramel, bready, dark fruit.
Here's the recipe:
Maris Otter - 80%
Crystal 40 - 8%
Invert No. 4 - 12%
I also cold steep a few ounces of Black Patent and strain the liquid in at the end of the boil.
All EKG hops - 1 oz @ 90 min, 1.5 oz @ 60 min, and 2 oz @ 30 min.
OG around 1.075