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Yeast Starter Fails

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dickTed

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This is only my ninth kit brew, and I thought I'd be fancy and start the yeast the night before - like my hbs man advised. So I boiled up about 1/2 litre of water with a couple of large spoonfuls of extract. Cooled it and put it in a sanitized jar, and tipped in the yeast, covered it, and placed it in my pantry - which is dark when the door's closed.

An hour later it had about a half inch of foam on top, with little particles falling like crazy. Next morning I had a look. No foam, plenty of sediment, but no action. I thought it may have run out of food, so only half panicking, I boiled some water with lots of sugar in it, cooled it, and tipped some in. Swirled it round, and left it while I sanitized my fermenter.

Had a look half an hour later, then an hour later. Still nothing, so I went up to Brew N Grow and got a packet of Safale. Pitched it dry. All fixed and it's bubbling away nicely with a lovely big foamy head.

Incidentally, the kit is Thomas Coopers Sparkling Ale. The code imprinted on the (gold) yeast sachet is 008 06. I assume the 008 is Coopers for August and the 06 is Coopers for 2006.

Do you think my mistake was starting it the day before? Perhaps I'll make the starter just before I prepare next time.
 

timmy

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no, i think the mistake was adding sugar and a safale yeast.

I found the hard way when I first started on liquid yeast that the starter wort needs to be at 1.040 SG. too thin it won't multiply properly. too big can overwhelm it..

Also with a starter, it can take a day or two to start fermenting properly, depending on the strain of course.
 

dickTed

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I actually sprinkled the Safale, and turfed the starter, which may have been alright after all. If that's the case, seems it's the starter who decides when it's time to make a brew! Shit. this yeast is worse than a woman. Well ...
 

Weizguy

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In my opinion,

I reckon the Coopers yeast had already had a feed and gone back to sleep in the first instance. U C , Coopers yeast works quickly and is voracious.
Not sure what happened at the second feeding. Maybe the yeast had maxed out its alcohol tolerance.

Seth
 

Bionic

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I have steped up SafAle before with good results.. THis was my first try of steping up yeast to use in future beers.. I have been using it for the last 6 months.. Initially I steped up from the packet to a 1 lite starter then 2 days later to a 2 litre starter. Poored off the spent wort. Poored in some boiled water. Gave it a shake then put it into 6 stubbies.. I have then steped up some of those.. I have done around 8 or so brews with them. all is still good.
Also that with a 1040 wort. NO SUGAR
 

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