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Did my starter work?

I pitched a wyeast bavarian weizen last night to a 1 liter starter of 1.045 pale dme. no activity at bed time, this morning before work nothing either, but about a half inch of sediment (yeast?) on the bottom of my half gallon brown growler bottle. I read starters can go pretty fast so you can miss the activity. Is there a way to confirm it worked? how much trub would 1 liter of dme produce with no yeast at all? I have a refractomter, would a gravity reading lower than 1.045 confirm it worked? what do you do when ur too busy to watch it like a hawk?

yes, the gravity reading would confirm it worked


Yes, just use the refracto, doesn’t have to be accurate.

I never notice that much “action” in my starters - not like a fully fermenting 5 gallon carboy or anything. But, when I give it a swirl it usually foams up as CO2 is released. So, if you just want a quick check to reassure you that something is going on, you can swirl the wort - it should release CO2 and foam up. Make sure you have enough headspace in your starter bottle though - if you don’t it could foam over.

thanks guys! checked d refracto & it shows 1.025 so it must’ve worked. guess it’s yeast on the bottom. I used foil to top the bottle as reccomended in “how to brew” but switched to an airlock now that it’s done. I was worried about an ant crawling in. brewing tomorrow. should I “cold crash” the starter? decant or pitch away?

Chill, decant, pitch.

Relax and have a home brew! Believe it or not, yeast are like children, they grow on their own even when we are not watching every second.

LOL! Too funny, I haven’t made a starter in a while and it’s like I’m back to brewing 101. Just pitched it into a “honey” hefeweizen. A reletive came back from Mexico City with some delicious wild honey, and I I was feeling lazy so I left the mash tun in the closet and did 8 pounds of bavarian wheat LME and a pound and a half of the honey. Came out to about 1.057 for 6 gallons. I’m not sure how much yeast propogated but there was a good half inch of slurry in the bottom of a 64 oz growler. It was certainly more than my usual “smack and go”!
Has anyone read “how to brew” by John Palmer? It seems to be the gold standard that alot of folks go by. His reccomended pitch rates come in quite a bit lower than Mr Malty though. Any guesses on why the disparity? The estimated growth based on starter size seems in complete agreement between the two but Mr. Malty showed a much higher reccomended cell count. I went with the “How to brew” rates as I understand quite a bit of the typical Bavarian hef flavors come from the yeast multiplying in the wort, which is diminished by a high pitch rate.
Anyway … good brew day… G’night all!!

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