Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com

Starter not working?

I made a belgian ipa, og 1.059. Im using wyeast abbey ale slappack. I made a starter for the first time in my 1000ml flask on a stir plate. I only did 1/2 cup of dme to one pint of water because my flask wont hold that much. it came out to about 500ml. i did the starter of tuesday and pitched on saturday. it was on and off the stir plate because my stir plate was making it get a little warm and i didnt want to kill the yeast. it looked like it was working fine, i didnt decant it, just pitched the whole thing because ive read it is ok to do that. now on sunday my primary isnt doing anything (67 degrees). should i wait longer to see if it starts, or did something go wrong with my starter?

If it’s only been 24 hours, just relax and wait. You made and pitched a very small starter. Not only did you not get much cell growth, you could have depleted the yeast’s nutrient reserves by making such a small starter. Give it some time.

thanks. hopefully it kicks in soon. how long should i give it before buying another yeast pack? dont know if it matters, but i added yeast nutrient to the starter when i boiled it and in my wort boil. i figured i should have made a bigger starter, would 900ml be large enough or should i just not use stir plate until i get a bigger flask?

For 1.059 mrmalty suggests a 1 liter starter using a stirplate or a 1.37 liter starter using intermittent shaking. I would make the largest you can do in your flask. Remember that there is usually no krausen with a stirplate so you can fill it pretty full. Then get a bigger flask on order.

Another route might be to make a starter decant it and pour the yeast in a sanitized container and makes some more wort then add the “started” yeast.

You should have no problems with what you have pitched and should wait about 72 hours before deciding that you have a problem. Even then take a gravity reading to be sure nothing is happening before pitching more yeast.

I have not quite wrapped my head around this, but it “seems” that now that I make starters, my batches do not “take off” right away. Exactly the opposite of what I would expect. I have rarely seen activity within 24 hours. I did start making starters and begin careful fermentation temps at the same time, so perhaps that explains it.

Using MrMalty’s numbers, 900 mL would be about right for a 1.057 ale, assuming you can start with a fresh pack/vial. Do you have a gallon jug, or half gallon growler? That would be a cheaper option than getting a larger flask.

Keep an eye on your starter gravity too. You want to shoot for an SG of 1.030-1.040. That’s 100 g DME (about 1/2 cup) per liter of wort. You could be seeing a longer than usual lag this time because of the high-gravity starter.

thanks for all the input. i did finally see my wort start to ferment after 48 hours. Ill just use a clear growler i have next time, shouldnt have a problem with the stir bar inside it.

Back to Shopping at NorthernBrewer.com