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Yeast Starter - First attempt using Whitelabs Dry English Ale

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Milk-lizard84

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So I attempted my very first yeast starter. I used the mr malty app to determine its size based on use by date of yeast. Prepared and santized everything and let it do it thing.
My question is after 36 hours there doesn't seem to be much activity.
In saying that I'm not entirely sure what im looking for. Eg either some krausan to appear or for the yeast to drop out. How do you work out if I have done it correctly and if it is ready for pitching?
I have read a little bit in regards to but I am still abit unsure.
Any advice would be great appreciated.
Here is a picture of the starter 36 hours in

1392082694058.jpg
 

hoppy2B

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You could measure the gravity to determine if any attenuation has occurred.

One would normally expect to see krausen. Have you been shaking it up at all? There looks to be a tiny bit of krausen on top. I would wait and give it a couple more days.

It helps if you include details such as the particular yeast you are using and exactly what the sample was that you started with etc.
 

yum beer

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Certainly looks to me like youve grown your yeast quantity.
In that amount of starter your yeast will chew through whats there very quickly once up and going, very easy to miss signs of activity.
 

hoppy2B

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Sorry, the yeast is in the title as well.
 

mje1980

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That's a very small starter. It may have been finished very quickly. I normally do 2 litres for just about any type of beer, more for a stronger beer.
 

Milk-lizard84

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Well I was aiming for just over a litre as per what the mr malty app recommended but im only just noticing now that I may have messed up my water portion. I have been shaking it fairly regurly. The use by date on the yeast was the 14th of april. Not sure of manafacture date because I'm at work so cant check.
If it is under what I originally intented volume wise could I add more made up wort mixture?
Thanks again for the quick replies and for helping a starter noob out.
 

Milk-lizard84

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After considering everyones comments, I decided to make up another small portion of wort to get me to my initial starting point.
I added this to the already made starter and let it do it thing.

I didn't notice any krausan forming but it did look like the amount of yeast in the bottle had grown.

After 24 hours after adding the extra wort I racked off the excess wort and pitched my ( hopefully alive and healthy) yeast.

After 24 hours since pitching its already bubbling away which makes me a happy man. Quickest start to a fermentation I've had. Only ever used dry yeast before.

My only other question in regards to starters is when people talk about gradually stepping up a starter is this in reference to using say a spilt vial or smack pack to get more value out of a liquid yeast?

If so how do you work out how many viable cells of yeast you have from a split pack to reach your ideal cell count?

Cheers for the help again. This site has been super helpful.
 

Spiesy

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Milk-lizard84 said:
After considering everyones comments, I decided to make up another small portion of wort to get me to my initial starting point.
I added this to the already made starter and let it do it thing.

I didn't notice any krausan forming but it did look like the amount of yeast in the bottle had grown.

After 24 hours after adding the extra wort I racked off the excess wort and pitched my ( hopefully alive and healthy) yeast.

After 24 hours since pitching its already bubbling away which makes me a happy man. Quickest start to a fermentation I've had. Only ever used dry yeast before.

My only other question in regards to starters is when people talk about gradually stepping up a starter is this in reference to using say a spilt vial or smack pack to get more value out of a liquid yeast?

If so how do you work out how many viable cells of yeast you have from a split pack to reach your ideal cell count?

Cheers for the help again. This site has been super helpful.
For me. A quick and easy way is if I split a vial three ways equally, then just use a third of the vials original volume in your Mr. Malty calculations, i.e. 12ml would be around 33 billion cells.

You should have roughly a third of the yeast population if it was an equal transfer and the yeast mixed prior to splitting, ie. gently shaken.

Also, another telling factor in a successful starter is that the starter will lighten in colour.

Lastly, if you know the Best Before date of a WL vial, you can assume the production date is 4 months prior.
 

Milk-lizard84

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Thanks for the tips spiesy. Much appreciated. Hopefully this one is a success and I cant start experimenting with more liquid yeast. Sounds like.it adds a whole new dimension to homebrewing which is sweet.
 

Spiesy

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They (liquid yeasts) can certainly offer more variety, plus as you rightly point out - there's so much more involvement you can get with them… should you choose to do so.
 

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