I did my first yeast starter last night. Im using a foam stopper instead of air lock,no stir plate. Its been 16 hours and i see no activity, a little foam on top but it more like looks like star san than krausen. The Wyeast pack did swell full with in a few hours. Im just wondering if there will eventually be signs that its working, krausen, churning ect, ,
It generally varies from yeast to yeast. I just made a starter around 1pm yesterday, and didn’t see high krausen activity until just now when I was home for lunch. This is with a lager yeast (WY2206).
Some ale yeasts can take this long, but often times, they can actually ferment, krausen and die down in a very short time span, like overnight while you were sleeping (or sometimes even more quickly). Sometimes you don’t even see high krausen.
Do you have an easy way to measure gravity, like a refractometer (though this will require adjustment for the alcohol produced)? 100g of DMEin 1000ml of water should yield a gravity of around 1.036 (someone correct me if I’m wrong). If its dropped, the yeast have fermented out the sugars and grown like you want.
Also, how much did you aerate and which yeast? With no stir plate, try to shake it every few hours, or as often as you can.
TLDR: Shake it up a few times, give it another day, stick it in the fridge, and decant off some of the liquid once the yeast settles to take a gravity measurement. Make sure your foam stopper is allowing for some O2 to get in.
If you are in a clear glass container, give it a swirl. You should see CO2 bubbling out if fermentation has occurred.
Stupid simple as this sounds … have you sniffed it right after swirling it? You should note a wonderful sweet bready sort of smell. It is the smell of the good guys going to work. Once you sniff it though I warn you it is addicting and then you will soon have to admit that you too are indeed a yeast sniffer ;0
I do yeast starters all the time on a stirplate for 24-36 hours and never see any activity but it always kicks in with a good start in the primary in 6-8 hours. I guess the constant whirlpool of the starter is why you really can’t see it.
But, the color of the starter changes a bit in that time.
[quote=“Vulkin’”]Stupid simple as this sounds … have you sniffed it right after swirling it? You should note a wonderful sweet bready sort of smell. It is the smell of the good guys going to work. Once you sniff it though I warn you it is addicting and then you will soon have to admit that you too are indeed a yeast sniffer ;0
Haha thats how I confirmed it. I too am a yeast sniffer. You can find me hovering over my carboy the day after brew day and the next day and the next day… But my starter must have went well because the air lock started bubbling after only a few hours