Author Topic: Grew Up a Starter: How Long Can I Keep It?  (Read 787 times)

Offline miguelpanderland

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Grew Up a Starter: How Long Can I Keep It?
« on: May 28, 2011, 10:49:49 PM »
Made a starter and it's ready for pitching, however, I have no wort for it to ferment.  How long can I keep this in the fridge to use?

Also, when I want to use it again, is there a proper process for doing so?

Offline Hokerer

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Re: Grew Up a Starter: How Long Can I Keep It?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2011, 10:55:30 PM »
I wouldn't keep it more than a couple of weeks.  When you're ready to use it, assuming you've already decanted off the spent wort, just take it out of the fridge a couple hours before you're ready to pitch.  For extra goodness, a lot of folks add a little fresh wort to the starter vessel so that the yeast is active when you pitch.
Joe

Offline miguelpanderland

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Re: Grew Up a Starter: How Long Can I Keep It?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2011, 11:05:52 PM »
Just to be clear on process:

1) chill
2) after a period of time (1 or 2 days?) decant?
3) don't hang on to it more than a couple weeks
4) when I do want to pitch, get it ready a couple hours in advance and if possible, goose it with a little fresh wort

Right?

Offline thomasbarnes

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Re: Grew Up a Starter: How Long Can I Keep It?
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2011, 05:39:09 AM »
2) after a period of time (1 or 2 days?) decant?

Decant the liquor off the top of the starter just before you pitch. Try to get as much of the pale gray yeast slurry in the middle layer of trub, as opposed to the stuff above or below it.

3) don't hang on to it more than a couple weeks

Yes, but the sooner you can use it the better and keep it as cool as possible without freezing it.

4) when I do want to pitch, get it ready a couple hours in advance and if possible, goose it with a little fresh wort

More or less right. Allow the starter to slowly rise to pitching temperature before you pitch it. No need to add fresh wort, since that's what you'll be doing when you pitch it into your beer.

Also, if you've been keeping the sample in your refrigerator, be sure to spray or wipe down the exterior of the starter container, especially the neck and lips, with alcohol or other sanitizing solution. The average refrigerator is a microbial wonderland and you don't want to risk getting any of that microbiological zoo into your beer.

Finally, don't forget to aerate your wort, either just before, or just after you pitch the yeast.

Offline Hokerer

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Re: Grew Up a Starter: How Long Can I Keep It?
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2011, 04:51:26 PM »
Yeah, I really didn't word that too clearly.  Thomas is right.  For as long as you have the starter in the fridge, leave it under the spent wort.  On brewday, well ahead of pitching time, remove it from the fridge, decant, and let it sit out and gradually warm up.
Joe

Offline denny

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Re: Grew Up a Starter: How Long Can I Keep It?
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2011, 06:06:20 PM »
Yeah, I really didn't word that too clearly.  Thomas is right.  For as long as you have the starter in the fridge, leave it under the spent wort.  On brewday, well ahead of pitching time, remove it from the fridge, decant, and let it sit out and gradually warm up.

I never let my starters warm up before pitching.  Right out of the fridge and into the beer.  There's some amount of evidence that it's actually better to do that.  At any rate, there's certainly no problem.  That's exactly what I did with the beer I brewed on Sat. and fermentation stated within 3 hours.
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