Forgot to make a starter

Discussion in 'General Brewing Discussions' started by brewerbear, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. brewerbear

    brewerbear New Member

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    So I brewed a Maibock two days ago, everything went well except I forgot to make a starter. I'm new to brewing and haven't had to make a starter yet. I've yet to see signs of any fermentation aside from a few small bubbles at the top of the wort and just took a gravity readying of 1.062. What, if anything can I do?
     
  2. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    Make sure it is at the right temperate range for that yeast. It could be that yeast has a naturally long lag time, or it could be the yeast was old. 1.062 is a 'strong' beer, so extra yeast would be a good idea.

    Was it liquid or dry yeast?
    What was the date on the package?

    If you want some insurance - get another pack of the same exact yeast (but make sure it is fresh) and pitch it ASAP.
     
  3. brewerbear

    brewerbear New Member

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    Can't remember the date on the packet but it was a Wyeast 2124 Bohemian Lager yeast
     
  4. LarryBrewer

    LarryBrewer Active Member

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    So you are doing a lager, which makes it different.

    Bottom line - you really need A LOT more yeast. Not to mention, that batch is high gravity, which makes it even more critical. Lagers require more yeast because they ferment colder and slower.

    Assuming you have a 5 gallon batch, I'd get at least 4 more smack packs. The yeast calculator says you need 600B cells, which would be 5 more smack packs... I know it is frustrating. I wish home brew stores sold fresh slurry of each kind of yeast in large quantities.
    http://www.brewersfriend.com/yeast-pitc ... alculator/

    I always do a 3L+ starter for my lagers, which is how I take one new smack pack and get it up to the right number of cells just 3 days.

    They do make a dry lager yeast that you might try. That would save a few bucks. You'd need 3+ packs of that. The down side is the two strains would be potentially fighting some.

    Also important, do you have it at 50F in a temperature stable area? That is where it needs to be for 3 weeks to ferment best. If you don't have that setup, then you could look into just doing an ale yeast.
     
  5. chessking

    chessking New Member

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    If you have access to a home brew store, you can get another pack (or three) and pitch some more. What temperature are you fermenting? If you are fermenting at lager temps (low 50 deg F) there can be a lag time of a few days. Pitching additional yeast wont hurt anything.

    Edit: Didn't see previous post. Larry was more detailed, but the advice is the same.
     
  6. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    I have been in the same boat as you are. I just waited thinking the yeasties would eventually eat it all up. I agitated the working yeast also, and after a couple of months still had sweet unfinished lager. Get some more yeast in there.
     
  7. Foster82

    Foster82 New Member

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    I pitched a packet of Safale - Saflager - German Lager Yeast W-34/70 into my last lager without making a starter and had zero issues. Rehydrated about 4 hours before pitching and pitched at about 70 degrees (was still using water bath to chill). The fermenter was then left in garage where it got down to 40 that night, and maintained at around 50. Had plenty of activity at 24 hours and a krausen at 48 hours.
     
  8. brewerbear

    brewerbear New Member

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    Repitched with 2 of the Wyeast 2124 packets, fermenting great now thanks guys!!
     

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