Interrupted yeast starter

I just got the stir starter stir plate and started my first starter with it last night for a lager I want to do tonight. When I got up this morning, the stir bar had been thrown to one of the sides. The starter had a good krausen so I assume it was working fairly well. But I have a couple questions.

  1. Is this normal for a stir plate to do? How do you prevent it? Why did it happen?
  2. Any issues with my starter? I assume not really as I made them before without constant stirring.

I’m guessing my biggest problem is that my starter won’t be as big as I wanted it to be. :frowning:

Where you using a growler or a flask?

If you were using a growler than yes this is normal. The bar will be thrown off due to the non flat bottom.

You can prevent it by using a flask not a growler.

No problem with it. It may just not have the growth rate you were expecting. Due to the fact it is no a simple starter, not a starter on a stirplate. Check mr malty from you projected cell count.

Just turn it back on and keep going. Try turning the speed down too. It doesn’t need to be going crazy to work. And yes, the flasks work great making them worth the money to me.

I think you’ll will be under pitching, even without your stir plate issues. It would have to be a fairly small starter to be ready in a day. A lot of people begin their lager starters with 2 liters and step them up to 4 or 5 liters after a couple days. I used to do lager starters that way but got tired of decanting nearly a gallon of beer so now I do a 2 - 2.5 gallon batch of lightly hopped, low gravity beer and get a really nice yeast cake out of it.

I am using a 2000 ml flask, so my guess is I just had it cranked up too high. I’ve had it back on now for several hours. Probably the best I can do is get on mr. Malty to keen tat tool. I’m making the helles kit so it’s fairly low gravity and ferments between 60 and 70 so hopefully it’ll keep growing for me. I’m using the 2308 yeast. Making a 2L starter.

Ay recommendations on the 2308 and a need for a d rest?

[quote=“BrewTownMKE”]Ay recommendations on the 2308 and a need for a d rest?[/quote]I did a small starter batch like I described above with it for a Doppelbock I’m brewing this weekend. I took a sample last night and it was pretty tasty and very clear considering it was brewed less than 3 weeks ago. I can’t speak to the D-rest since I do them with all the lagers I brew.

Where did you come up with doing a starter the day before you brew is a good idea? 5 days is the minimum I would do with fresh yeast. 3 to ferment completely and two days of cold crash.

If you aren’t decanting 24 hr is plenty. You pitch at high krausen. I have much better results this way.

I used 24 hours as that is what I always did for my ales and it works fine. Maybe it didn’t get big enough, but it took off within 6 hours and seems to be working pretty good, nice large krausen and plenty of activity, and it’s at the lower end of its range.

Is there a calculator that show what kind of yeast counts you are pitching after 24 hours? You would be pitching less yeast than any of the calculators that I know of. If all you are trying to do is bump the counts a bit and get a quick take off then this is perfect.

I would never do this with a big starter as I would think it would impact the flavor of the beer I am brewing.

While the same does not hold true for the larger volumes needed for lagers, with nutrients, and a good stir plate, a good population of healthy yeast will have the bulk of its reproduction completed in 12-18hrs in an average sized starter. With most yeast strains and pitching fresh yeast, I commonly ferment out 2L starters on my stir plate in 24-28hrs @ 68F. I decant all of my starters so I always allow time for cold crashing.

I find that it generally takes 36 to 48 hours to properly cold crash a starter. Granted, I generally give it a good shake to make sure it is done, just before putting it in the fridge.

I couldn’t agree more. I allow for at least 48hrs of cold crash time.

This may not be the appropriate place for this and I know it is in a book, but I’m at work and don’t have resources handy. What’s your general process for a lager starter then? Looking at a 2 day cold crash, does it take a week? When I pulled mine off the stir plate and let it sit for 30 minutes, the yeast settled right out, dumped out the majority of the used wort, swirlled and tossed into my carboy. Fermentation started quickly.

Also, if you’re talking about a 2L starter, assuming I have a 2L flask, how much of that is filled with yeast vs. wort?

Any thoughts are appreciated. Not sure if I’ll do another lager, my room is getting too cold (having a hard time keeping it above 40 without buying a wrap). But I’d like the knowledge either way. I plan on doing better starters now for my ales as well.

I usually give myself at least 5 days for a starter, generally 7. For a lager, I would go 7 days because I will generally step the starter up after a few days. I think with most lagers, you need a bigger starter than 2L anyway.

When you say the yeast settles right out, I have never seen this in 2 years of brewing and making starters. Yes, you always have a layer of yeast on the bottom shortly after taking off the stir plate, but there is a LOT of yeast in the cloudy beer above it.