Yeast Starter - No Krausen

What went wrong? Was this supposed to happen? Should I throw it out? What do I do now?

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Yeast Starter - No Krausen

Postby shaggyt » Tue Jul 22, 2008 10:32 am

Greetings. I'm a new homebrewer and first time post-er...problem is this...

I'm preparing for my second batch to brew, estimated OG of >1.070...as such, I created a yeast starter using: White Labs Cal V Ale yeast + 1 cup Amber DME (smaller of the DME packages I'll be using in the batch) + 1 quart h2o (pre-boiled measurement). This is currently in my pantry @ approx. 72-74 F w/airlock and bubbling, going on day 2.

All the material I've consulted states I should have Krausen within this timeframe. Couple of questions have risen because no Krausen is present:

1. Is this starter working? Will it work for my brew?

2. Is the Krausen necessary to create a potent starter?

I've aerated through periodic swirling as directed until Krausen forms, but I'm beginning to doubt that it's going to happen. The liquid occupies only about 1.5 inches in a one gallon glass container (growler)...is this too small of an amount for the yeast pitched?

Looking for guidance...thanks.
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yeast

Postby Legman » Tue Jul 22, 2008 12:20 pm

Well, I'd say if you airlock is bubbling, then it's good to go.
But I'm just guessing. I've never used a yeast starter.

I always use White Labs yeast and just pitch it into the fermeter as is. It always works fine with no problems at all.

About a month ago, I pitched it in a brew with an OG of 1.086 and it fermented as normal. So, I've had no need to bother with a starter.
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Postby shaggyt » Tue Jul 22, 2008 1:33 pm

What was your total fermentation time with that high OG and 1 vile of yeast?
I'd like to avoid the starter all together, but conventional wisdom suaded me otherwise.
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Update

Postby shaggyt » Tue Jul 22, 2008 6:38 pm

Starter is barely bubbling when I got home. I have all my stuff ready to go for batch #2.

One thing to consider is possible contamination by diluted santized water in the airlock (past through when agitating the glass). Will this kill the yeast, or should I have enough brew this batch?
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1 vile

Postby Legman » Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:15 pm

Seems like it only took it about 3-4 days, for the most part. I didn't check it with my hydrometer, but the airlock only really bubbled a lot for 3-4 days. Then it tapered off the rest of the week.

I've read it's a good idea to make a starter with gravities over 1.060, but it seemed to work ok without it. I don't like having to do anything extra that I don't really have to do.

Most of my brews are not that high of gravity as the one I told you about. They're usually in the 1.040 to high 50's range. But I still have not had one problem just using 1 vile of White Labs.
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sanitizer

Postby Legman » Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:19 pm

I don't think you really have to worry about a little bit of sanitizer getting into it.
That small of amount shouldn't kill the yeast or effect anything.

Brew on man! :mrgreen:

Throw it in your batch and see what happens. If all else fails, just go get another vial and pitch it.
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starter krausen

Postby slothrob » Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:30 pm

The low gravity and relatively large amount of yeast in a starter often means that there's little to no krausen and it's easy to miss the rapid fermentation.

Do you have a good amount of yeast settled out on the bottom of the bottle? That's a good sign that your starter worked. Consult the yeast pitching calculator at mrmalty.com to determine the best size starter to use based on the OG of the beer you're making. 1 or 2 qts is usually pretty good for most ales.
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Starter

Postby shaggyt » Thu Jul 24, 2008 10:27 am

Plenty of yeast at the bottom I believe...I pitched it 7/22 and everything seems OK...so far.

Appreciate the wisdom all...thank you.
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