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Yeast starter help!

It appears I have made a huge mistake when I made my second starter yesterday. I have a stir plate. I boiled four cups of water and mixed in a cup of DME. After adding to my flask and cooling, I pitched in two vials of White Labs 001 and put on the stir plate. When I woke up this morning I had a huge mess on the counter.

I know realize that my mistake was only using a 1000ml flask. The first starter I had ever made didn’t foam up any.

  1. Is the foaming normal?

  2. How long will it take to stop? Can I cold crash and decant some of the wort and put it back on the plate even though its only been 24 hours?

  3. Will the yeast still be viable or has it been contaminated?

Thanks for any info.

I wouldn’t worry about contamination if it is actively producing CO2. You can add FermCap-S to reduce foaming, or transfer to a larger, sanitized vessel. How much did you lose? Some? Half" Most?

You sir are a genius, lol. In all my panicking, I never thought about using fermcap. Put a drop in and it worked beautifully.

I only lost about 100 ml total out of the flask. Showing about 900 ml still in it. But looking at the stuff that came out, looks like a decent amount of yeast. Will let it go for a day or so back on the stir plate and then cold crash and hope for the best.

Someone else gave me advice here that it is best to ensure fermentation is done before cold crashing (about 48 hours). Don’t want to stop any active yeast from working/reproducing.

I have read the same, that starters sometimes don’t foam or anything. I can tell you my 1L starter didn’t foam much at all, but when I stepped it up to a 2L it foamed A LOT. Interesting stuff!

You can always do a step up if you feel like you lost some viable yeast.

As an aside, I first purchased a 1L erlenmeyer, got it home, realized that it was not nearly big enough to do ale (much less lager) starters for 5G batches, and my lovely LHBS allowed me to return it (immaculately cleaned) and upgrade to a 2L.

Just curious, what are you brewing that you need two vials and a starter?

Thanks for all the replies.

It is the Chocolate Covered Beavr Nuts kit from Midwest a friend bought for me to make. Has an OG of 1.093. Figured it would be fine with just the two vials, but wanted to make sure it was well off for the job.

Here you go, for future calculations: … alculator/

On a beer with that high of a gravity, even doing a starter with two vials, you may want to do a step up. Although that seems way higher than what that recipe says the OG should be.

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