When Do You Know Its Bad (yeast)

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hi all

Ok so im building up my starter (essex ale) i started with one pint and left it for 2 days, it had finished fermenting so i decanted that wort and threw in 1 litre of starter wort upon doing that i took a big wiifff of the yeast and it had a really intense wine like smell almost vinegar aroma.

Is this something i should be concerned about i know that yeast can throw off different aromas just wanting to know if anyone else has had the same experience and having the beer turn out fine from starter to fermentor.

cheers all :beer:
Sounds (smells?) like an infection to me. Vinegary is the what i normally associated with an infection.
I've had people swear to me that yeast and yeast cakes smell vinegary even when they're perfectly good.
Personally, I'm not of the same opinion. I've never smelt vinegar in a good yeast.
I put that down to differing senses of smell.
The one area where I've never heard too much argument is in the taste.
Keep building the starter. Taste it before you start brewing. If it's taste's okay, it should be.
sounds infected to me.ive done heaps of liquid yeasts now and my first two senses are smell and taste.if it is suss on either i usually chuck it to be on the safe side.ive done too many beers now with a mmmm it should be ok type yeast and ended up with an off beer.
i dont take these chances anymore.

big d
If it's vinegar all likelihood of an infection.

However I would have tasted the fermented starter and worked it out from there. Infection should be obvious in the flavour too. If the starter tastes OK. Step it up again and smell it again.

When in doubt though chuck the whole thing and buy another yeast.

Warren -
JLB, you say you smelt it but did you taste it? If it tastes like vinegar I guess it is off.

I always taste starters and when I started doing it I thought a few were off that turned out not to be. They don't really taste like beer. More zesty, often fermented at higher temperatures, no hops bitterness, more bready/yeasty (obviously), but unless there is a vinegar/sour taste or distinctly foul taste, it could be OK.

I sometimes put a few hops pellets in when boiling a starter both for the antibacterial qualities and so that it is easier to compare the taste with beer tastes and judge whether it is ok.

(Can I just say that Goat makes one deadly starter.)
Last two posters are spot on , taste it !

You'll know then if it's infected :blink:

I taste all my starters , in fact brews all the way through , even try gains and been known to chew on hops too :lol:


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