Stir Plate Question

Hey Guys,
I made up a starter of London Ale (WLP005, I think) earlier in the week with the thought of brewing this weekend. Everything with the starter went as planned. However, when I put it on the stir plate, I never saw any activity, which has never happened before. I’ve had the starter in the fridge for about 12 hours now and it’s dropped pretty clear and there’s a pretty normal amount of yeast that has dropped.

Now, the thing that makes me worried is that this was a 14 month old harvested container of yeast. It’s been stored under beer at about 40F for those 14 months.

I also put 1 drop of Fermcap in when boiling the starter…but I’ve always seen bubble activity on the stir plate even when I add this.

I’m going to check the gravity of the starter tomorrow.

What do you think, safe to use or send it down the drain?

Well, considering @ 14months of age your slurry was proabably close to only 1.5% viability. The viability drop is definitely something that you are going to have to account for.

When I make a starter using an old harvest, I do not put on a stir plate right away. Knowing it will take a day or two to start and start slowly, I shake periodically until I see activity, then put on plate. If harvest was as old as yours, I would have stepped up too.

Yeah, these responses and paranoia won out. Starter was tossed and I started a new one from a fresh vial today.

You should have been fine with the older slurry, you just needed a smaller starter and stepped it up a time or two. I still use a stir plate even with the first step when building a starter from older slurry. But, I start out with a small starter and step from there.