Author Topic: When is a starter done?  (Read 1281 times)

Offline davidgzach

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When is a starter done?
« on: November 19, 2011, 07:37:29 AM »
I made a 1G starter for a Chimay Clone at about 5:00PM last night.  It's been on the stir plate and still has bubbles coming from the bottom so I guess it's not done fermenting.  Should I:
Cool now so I can decant when the brew is done?  I'm sure I've made a bunch of yeast.  Water heating as I write.
Let it go until (when would you say you know it's done?)
Just pitch the whole starter and give the Chimay a nice kicker?

Thanks for the advice in advance!

Dave
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Offline weithman5

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Re: When is a starter done?
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2011, 07:53:50 AM »
if the starter had similar gravity , flavor profile of your clone then i would just dump it in. but remember, if this is a 5 gallon batch then this will represent 16 percent (1/6) of the final profile.  if you are really worried (which i wouldn't) about altering the flavovr profile then i would try to crash and decant.  if you are already starting to boil this is likely not going to be done
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: When is a starter done?
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2011, 08:00:06 AM »
Not starting to boil, starting to mash.  It will be 4 hours until pitching time.  OG of the starter was 1.040, OG of beer will be ~1.075.  Same thoughts?
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Offline weithman5

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Re: When is a starter done?
« Reply #3 on: November 19, 2011, 08:08:04 AM »
assuming 5gal batch 5 x75 = 375 + 1x40 is 415 divided by 6 is final gravity of 1.069. i would say this is tolerable.  you could also check your gravity during boil and boil off a half gallon more than normal to compensate, this would bring it a little closer to 1075.  i would probably just follow your normal plan and throw in the whole starter. 
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: When is a starter done?
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2011, 08:35:54 AM »
assuming 5gal batch 5 x75 = 375 + 1x40 is 415 divided by 6 is final gravity of 1.069. i would say this is tolerable.  you could also check your gravity during boil and boil off a half gallon more than normal to compensate, this would bring it a little closer to 1075.  i would probably just follow your normal plan and throw in the whole starter. 

I like it!  Thanks! 
Mash in at 146 on the dot, dex rest at 158 to follow.
This brew has some SERIOUS potential!
 :)
Dave
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: When is a starter done?
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2011, 09:18:17 AM »
Dumb question, but back to the title.  If there are CO2 bubbles still coming up, is it safe to assume the starter is not fermented out yet?
Dave Zach

Offline denny

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Re: When is a starter done?
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2011, 09:30:28 AM »
Dumb question, but back to the title.  If there are CO2 bubbles still coming up, is it safe to assume the starter is not fermented out yet?

Not necessarily...it only shows you have CO2 coming out of solution for some reason.  But given the size of your starter and the short time it's been working, it could very well still be fermenting.  FWIW, I would have given that starter at least 5 days.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: When is a starter done?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2011, 09:37:09 AM »
Dumb question, but back to the title.  If there are CO2 bubbles still coming up, is it safe to assume the starter is not fermented out yet?

Not necessarily...it only shows you have CO2 coming out of solution for some reason.  But given the size of your starter and the short time it's been working, it could very well still be fermenting.  FWIW, I would have given that starter at least 5 days.

Wow.  Yeah, I do not make a lot of high gravity beers.  In that case, I should definitely boil it down and pitch it all, no?
Dave Zach

Offline denny

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Re: When is a starter done?
« Reply #8 on: November 19, 2011, 09:39:15 AM »
Wow.  Yeah, I do not make a lot of high gravity beers.  In that case, I should definitely boil it down and pitch it all, no?

I'm not sure I understand the "boil it all" part....you're not gonna reboil the starter, are you?

If it was me, I'd put off brewing until the yeast is ready.  My philosophy is that if the yeast isn't ready, you're no more ready to brew than if you  didn't have malt or hops.
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Offline davidgzach

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Re: When is a starter done?
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2011, 09:44:39 AM »
Meant boil the wort down another gallon and pitch the entire starter.  Will raise the OG from 1.073 to 1.080, but it is a Chimay....
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Offline denny

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Re: When is a starter done?
« Reply #10 on: November 19, 2011, 09:49:23 AM »
Meant boil the wort down another gallon and pitch the entire starter.  Will raise the OG from 1.073 to 1.080, but it is a Chimay....

Well, I guess that's one solution.  I don't like putting that much starter wort into my beers.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: When is a starter done?
« Reply #11 on: November 19, 2011, 10:12:21 AM »
i would agree with reducing the amount of starter wort in general as discussed above, but if you have already started the mash then you only have a few options.  one that we didn't mention was going and buying few packs of dry yeast but that can be expensive.
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Offline weithman5

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Re: When is a starter done?
« Reply #12 on: November 19, 2011, 10:14:09 AM »
oh, and the beer will probably still be very good.  as long as the houskeeping, temperature of ferment etc are good.
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Offline ibru

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Re: When is a starter done?
« Reply #13 on: November 19, 2011, 10:37:34 AM »
Remember to not pitch the stir bar into the wort with the yeast like I did last batch.

Offline bluesman

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Re: When is a starter done?
« Reply #14 on: November 19, 2011, 11:04:28 AM »
i would probably just follow your normal plan and throw in the whole starter.  

+1

Pitch the whole thing. I usually dont like to pitch more than a quart but you have quite a bit of yeast still in suspension that you'll be dumping if you decant.

Next time allow at least several days for the starter to grow the appropriate amount of yeast.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2011, 11:08:39 AM by bluesman »
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