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Yeast Starter

Started by mick02, February 14, 2018, 02:01:59 pm

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mick02

Afternoon all,

I purchased one of those out of date Vermont Ale yeasts from the Homebrew Company last week. I thought I would try to build up whatever yeast was still alive using a starter on a stir plate.

I made a 1L wort starter of 1.035 using DME and dumped the yeast in. I stuck it on a stir plate and it's been going for 2 days now with no sign of life.

Should I give up the ghost and dump the lot or is it still possible that this can take off?

I'm guessing that I could take a gravity reading to see if the yeast has been working.

Anyone have any similar experience they care to share?

Cheers,

Mick
NHC Secretary

johnrm

It could be dead, but 1L of a starter might have been a bit much.
If it was really lame a smaller starter, say 250ml then harvest and repitch in 1L might have been better.

mick02

Quote from: johnrm on February 14, 2018, 03:27:10 pm
It could be dead, but 1L of a starter might have been a bit much.
If it was really lame a smaller starter, say 250ml then harvest and repitch in 1L might have been better.


Plan is to take a gravity reading, if there has been any movement at all then I'll cold crash and make a new starter. If there has been no movement at all then it's all going down the drain.
NHC Secretary

Simon_

Sometimes when it's spinning you miss the usual signs of fermentation. I would leave it for another couple of days off the stir plate and see what it looks like. And then definitely check the gravity.

DEMPSEY

yes the spinning wort might be hiding the look of fermentation. is there a bigger volumn of sludge at the bottom when it stops spinning
Dei miscendarum discipulus
Forgive us our Hangovers as we forgive those who hangover against us

mick02

Quote from: DEMPSEY on February 14, 2018, 03:56:08 pm
yes the spinning wort might be hiding the look of fermentation. is there a bigger volumn of sludge at the bottom when it stops spinning
Quote from: Simon_ on February 14, 2018, 03:40:01 pm
Sometimes when it's spinning you miss the usual signs of fermentation. I would leave it for another couple of days off the stir plate and see what it looks like. And then definitely check the gravity.


Yeah I've done starters before and have always seen some kind of krausen but nothing this time around.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll take it off the stir plate and take a gravity reading
NHC Secretary

Tom

Vermont is a low flocculator, so you might not see much activity on top (unlike WLP007, for example). If you stop it spinning you won't necessarily notice much gunk at the bottom for a couple of days.
Is the starter a lighter colour than it began with, showing suspended yeast?
You couyld stop it spinning for a couple of hours to let the CO2 in suspension build up, then give it a swirl. You may notice CO2 coming out of solution.

Tough one, though. I've been using WLP007 a lot lately, and it is an excellent yeast for stirring. It forms a thick krausen even at many many RPM, and when it's ready it flocculates in front of your eyes, and the floccs just spin around and around until you take it off. If only every yeast behaved in such an obvious fashion.

fishjam45 (Colin)

Leave it for another couple of days, it could still take a day or two to take off.

I've been using that yeast a lot lately, very happy with the results.
Garden County Brewers

https://gcbrewers.wordpress.com/

mick02

OK so I took a reading this evening (before I saw these replies) and it's dropped to 1016. I took it off the stir plate and after a few hours I saw a decent yeast cake at the bottom of the container. Will try pitching this yeast on my next brew. Thanks to all for the feedback
NHC Secretary

Simon_

If it was a bit feeble I'd step it up again. And hold back a bit to use again.

mick02

Quote from: Simon_ on February 15, 2018, 09:19:07 am
If it was a bit feeble I'd step it up again. And hold back a bit to use again.


Quick follow up... Decided to take Simons (and other) advice to be on the safe side and also the fact that, according to the manufacturer, subsequent generations of this yeast seem to attenuate better. After 2 hours on a new starter I'm seeing a very healthy krausen forming. I'm planning to harvest some of this yeast so if there is anyone looking for a slant please let me know. I might be able to help you out.
NHC Secretary

mick02

I made a session IPA and pitched the starter into it. It's been bubbling away now for the past few days.

Not sure if the second step up for the starter was required but I played it safe.

Thanks for the comments and suggestions.
NHC Secretary