Yeast starter

Discussion in 'Beginners Brewing Forum' started by okoncentrerad, Feb 23, 2018.

  1. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

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    I'm about to brew this weekend and for that I've tried to make a starter for the first time. Yeast was a bit old, Nov 28, and needed a starter according to the yeast/pitch calculator. I only made a small starter, 0.5 liter (=0.13 gallons as I understand it) since that was the size of the flask I had available, but it should be sufficient. The yeast is Wyeast 1098 British Ale. I made a stirplate for it to sit on.

    However, I had imagined more activity in the flask than it seems to be, now 24 hours into fermentation. I was initially afraid the dead space in the flask wouldn't be enough and that yeast activity would make the kräusen to overfill. This is what it looks like though at the moment, 24 hours in:

    20180223_174836.jpg
    Is this what to expect? Does it look as it should?

    I will let it sit on the stirplate until pitching time, which probably will be on sunday. That means 72 hours from start...the instruction i read said 48 hours. Does it matter?

    And finally, when I smacked the smack pack, and when I shook it, I heard this fizzing sound inside it. This is only the second time I'm using liquid yeast but I don't recal hearing any fizzing on the first one. Is this normal behavior? Does it differs from strain to strain?
     
  2. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    if its on a stir plate you wont get a big kräusen just small foam on top like you have it, you know its done not by foam but by changing color, it should be a cream color not brown at all when done and the foam will be gone when that happens, it might have been too cold to start, this is done


    WP_20140908_001.jpg
     
  3. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

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    Thank you! So what are you suggesting? Should I wait and see? I used this malt for starter, not sure if that matters for the ending color.
     
  4. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    keep it on the stir plate and wait, if it doesn't turn cream it's not any good
     
  5. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

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    This morning I thought it had turned somewhat creamy colored and was without the foam. I took it off the story plate and let it sit for an hour, and now it looks like this

    20180224_095535.jpg
    I suppose the sediment at the bottom is the yeast?

    What do you think, is this good to use or should I use my backup dry yeast ?

    Another thing on this subject, by a coincidence I yesterday evening reached the chapter on Palmers How to Brew where he mentions stir plates. He writes that the flask shouldn't go directly from the stir plate to the refrigerator, if one intended to, but should sit in the ambient temperature for the same time it sat on the stir plate before putting it into the cold. I can't recall seeing this mentioned in any other instructions I've read. What's the normal procedure here?
     
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  6. Ozarks Mountain Brew

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    that's a yeast layer and looks good, you don't want to rush the chill just to see if its still active, if it is and you chill it you can get off flavors but its not likely
     
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  7. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Looks good. Use it.
     
  8. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    You could see in that first pick the yeast swirling about the flask they were trying to flock out but were being kept in suspension by the stir bar. Remember it is strain dependent on the krausen I've got a saison strain that throws and almighty krausen in the flask on me so I know not to over fill that one:p.

    Looks like 80-100ml of yeast 1 ml = a billion cells. Great work!
     
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  9. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

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    Brew day tomorrow, I'll let the little yeastie boys (and girls) know you all have faith in them...:D
     
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  10. Hawkbox

    Hawkbox Well-Known Member

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    Worst case let it settle and measure the "beer" it made, if it's around 1.010 you have active yeast.
     
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  11. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

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    I probably won't be using the starter, now this morning when I'm looking at it in the refrigerator it seems like it won't be enough yeast. In the pic above it looks like it could be about 100ml of yeast but now it looks less, and according to the yeast calculator I need at least 100 billion cells.
     
  12. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    id use it but..... do what you thinks best its your wort.

    my 2c get a bigger flask like 3-5lt i got a 1lt one first up but never use it now you can grow more yeast mu average starter is around 2lt now. just some food for thought.
     
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  13. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

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    Sigh....not sure what I will do yet, just started the mash:rolleyes:
    But yes I definitely will get a bigger flask!
     
  14. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

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    This is what it looks like now... don't know why it seems like it's less yeast as previous pic
    20180225_120900.jpg
     
  15. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

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    Shaking flask before pitching... it looks like this. Good or bad? 20180225_155102.jpg
     
  16. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    THE YEASTIES KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING, RDWHAHB:D
     
  17. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    Yeast is another of those complex subjects: Pitch rates, propagation, viability, many factors to consider. And there are many ways to handle each of the problems. I'd recommend the Brewing Elements book on the subject, named very cleverly, "Yeast." For example, you can overcome an underpitch by pitching the yeast into half of your oxygenated wort, then adding the second half the next day. Really big beers generally need a second dose of oxygen, even if the pitch is large enough. And for most ales under 1.060, a single smack pack or vial of yeast is enough, if you're willing to have a bit of "complexity", generally diacetyl, on the back end. As I mentioned, there are a lot of ways to ranch yeast, which is essentially what we do. And brewing is a rabbit hole, it goes as deep as you want in many directions.
     
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  18. okoncentrerad

    okoncentrerad Active Member

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    So, I ended up using the starter anyway. Was first time doing one, and had no idea what to expect and whether the starter looked useable or not. But there's a first time for everything, and I learned a couple of things. The coming days will show if the yeast was viable enough.

    For my next brew though I've decided to do things simple. Will make a SMaSH and hopefully it won't generate too many questions :rolleyes: I've been experimenting too much and I need a simple and successful brew.
     
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  19. Trialben

    Trialben Well-Known Member

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    #19 Trialben, Feb 26, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2018
    i wanna be the first to say your beer will turn out just fine from that starter. as long as your sanitation is down pat youll be apples or sweet as a nut or singing diksi like i am after trying me pilsner i brewed recently mmm mmm.

    i brew a starter to check yeasts viability to revitalise them from their rest from the job and to build up their cell count to get them ready for the up comming fermentation party...
     
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  20. BOB357

    BOB357 Well-Known Member

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    As a side note, the vitality of yeast is just as important as the cell count. Being fresh out of a starter, those yeasties are ready to get to work. Even if the cell count is low, if you did a good job of aeration/oxygenation, they will do a good job for you.
     

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