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"stinky" Yeast

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PostModern

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I just opened a Trappist Yeast vial that had been banging around in my fridge for a couple of months to pitch it into a 2L starter.

I'd put it out of the fridge in the morning so it would acclimatise to fermentation temp. I made a 1.040 DME based starter with a pinch of nutrients and chilled it to room temp, aerated heavily then pitched the yeast. I used a 3 litre sterlised juice bottle with airlock in sterilsed lid.

Anyway, when I opened the vial, it had a slightly "stinky" aroma. Something like a wet compost heap. Not quite the usual yeasty smell that I'm used to. Seeing how I'd sterilised and made the starter, I pitched anyway to see what it made.

The starter took 24 hours to start bubbling, but is now actively fermenting. The escaping gas smells like perfectly normal fermenting beer.

How can I tell if the yeast has carked it? Is there anything I can do to save some decent yeast from the starter if it is "off"?

I was thinking I'd let it ferment out and settle down, then swirl the bottle to mix the yeast back into suspension, then let it settle and just decant the non flocced yeast into another starter, hopefully leaving the dead stuff/mutants (if any) behind. Or should I just pour off the beer right after high krausen into another starter?
 

kook

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Taste the starter. If it tastes fine, the beer will be fine :)
 

PostModern

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I was planning on splitting and storing.
 

Linz

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Follow Kook's advise and then pitch it into a brew.Then when you are going to bottle/keg stop short and give the fermenter a swirl and bottle 1/2 doz stubbies. You'll end up with 6 stubbies with 5 mm of yeast in the bottom and, kept fridged, it's under beer so it should keep for a while too.
 

PostModern

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Linz, I think I should split the starter rather than bottle the cake from the first batch. It's a Trappist yeast and I'll be making high OG brews with it. From what I've read on HBD, most of the flocced yeast is useless and tired after brewing high gravity beers and reproduces poorly. The starter is low gravity, which is good for reproducing yeast... then again I could make a low grav first batch just to get a population explosion. Will have to think about it.
 

PostModern

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OK. I've now "thought about it" and come up with a solution. The starter finished fermenting out a couple of days ago. Today (yesterday already???) I tasted the beer in the starter and it was tasty :) so I made up a 15 litre batch of 1.040 beer - 1.345Kg of light DME, 100g or so of 80L crystal steeped a while @ 70C, 165g of white sugar (may as well get the yeast used to adjuncts), 10g of Northern Brewer for 60 mins, 10g of Hallertau for flavour and a pinch of White Labs nutrient to ensure rapid reproduction. I boiled this up, rapid chilled and topped to 15 litres and the exact 1.040!!! There's a first for me! Anway, after aerating like a man possessed, I pitched the whole 2 litre starter into this for a 17 litre brew. I'll ferment this out, rack the ale and bottle the primary trub in several stubbies to make more 2 litre starters for high grav Abbey beers.
 

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