Back to Shopping at

First Starter With Stir Plate

I made up a starter last night with my new Vortex stir plate. It’s spinning away on their now. I’m going to brew tomorrow afternoon. I’m wondering what’s my next step? Do I leave it on the stir plate until it’s time to pitch? Do I remove and settle the yeast out? My smack pack was a Wyeast 1469 and it was 5 months old(kept in my fridge the whole time). I want to make sure that it actually worked. So far the starter looks close to what it did when I first put it on the stir plate.

Any advise would be greatly appreciated.


When I decant the spent beer at the top i usually put it in the fridge for 2 days just to make sure all the yeast settles. If you put it in the fridge now you should be ok. Decanting is an optional step and some people just pour the whole thing in their beer.

What’s the OG of your brew and how big was the starter?

you should see some sort of krausen activity if it is on a stir plate with a british ale yeast (I think? I feel like I see something with just about every yeast) Sometimes it can happen quickly and it will be settled out between the times that you checked it. Is there any residual foam on the sides of the flask?

The starter was 1.5L. Since it was my first I wasn’t sure if it would have a krausen and overflow, so I wanted to leave some headspace in the flask(it’s a 2L flask). Next time I will make a 2L since it didn’t seem to get crazy at all. I guess with the vortex it really can’t(can it?). The OG of the beer I’m making is 1.051.

The starter didn’t appear to be any different at the end of the day today. That would have been about 19 hours after starting it. There might have been a very slight colour change, but that’s it. There was certainly no sign of krausen activity.

I put it in the fridge in hopes the yeast will drop out. Hopefully this works. If not I have a Danstar Nottingham just in case. I would just like to be sure that I have some viable yeast to ferment the beer I’m going to make.

There is always the remote possibility old yeast may not have viable remaining. I’ll turn off the stir plate after 12 hours, for an hour, when I’m making starters with old yeast. Give my container a good shake and swirl. If some krausen forms I know there is viable yeast going to work. I’ll do this again six hours later if no krausen formed the first time.

I just look for the co2 bubbles while it’s on the stir plate, plus it just looks different before, durning and after fermentation.

I will sometimes draw off about a quart of wort most of the way through the boil, cool it and add it to the flask with the yeast on the stirplate. If my yeast is really active, I can get even more activity from it in the time between adding it, and the pitch into the fermenter. I figure the quicker it gets used to eating the specific sugars in that particular batch, the better. Especially if I am making a wheat beer, but only have barley malt wort. If all of the wort I’ve put on the yeast is reasonably fresh, I’ll pitch the whole thing. If it is a few days old, I’ll pour it off and spin it with fresh wort before pitching.

Back to Shopping at