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Yeast Starter for Imperial Stout - Question

Hey Everyone!

Here’s the deal: Last Thursday (27 Sept), I received all the ingredients for an Imperial Stout that I’m starting. I ordered only one activator pack of 1084 Irish Ale Yeast, with the intentions of doing a starter. Here’s where the fun begins. With an O.G. for the stout of about 1.103-104, I determined that I want about 400 billion cells (did my own calculations, then backed up with MrMalty, etc.). Therefore, I proceeded to brew up a massive starter. Started with 1L, then waited 36ish hours and pitched that into a 4L starter to hit the 400 billion mark. Here’s my question:

I took crazy good care to sanitize everything involved in the transfer process to new containers, etc., but I’m afraid I may have made a mistake. When I added more wort to make the 4L starter, some of the wort ran down the outside of the pot that I was using before it got in the funnel, and, although I had sanitized the lip of the pot, the outside was exposed to ice water in the sink that I used to cool the wort. All in all, I woke up the next morning and the yeast was very active, and it smelled like yeast normally does, but I basically want to know if there’s a chance I introduced some beer enemies to the starter. With the yeast as active as they were, I have a feeling the environment was probably hostile enough to intruders, but I’ve attached two pictures just for some additional expert insight. Picture #1 is just the starter from the side, and Picture #2 is the bottom with the hops sediment that seems to always be there when I do starters (I’m hoping that you guys can confirm that it’s just the normal hops residue, but I’m seeing some weird looking “white swirls” in there too). How would I know if the starter is spoiled?

I know it’s a long read, but you guys are the pros I count on in these trying times! :slight_smile:

There could be a chance that you introduced other things to the party, but I doubt you have much to worry about.
What was the intial viability of your yeast? If you viability was around 80% and you pitched into a 1L simple starter, then stepped to a 4L simple starter you would be closer to 320B cells. If you used intermittent shaking you should be well over 400B.

I was using relatively fresh yeast from a Wyeast pack, so I estimated >80% viability (and I stirred almost every time I passed by). Also, I did have some blowoff occur when I moved to the 4L container, since I failed to provide enough room for expansion in the container I originally tried to use for that bigger size. Therefore, I figured, in order to ensure that I’m near the 390-400 billion point, I bought another Wyeast pack that will arrive shortly. That additional 100 billion cells should give me the pitch rate I’m looking for.

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