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Yeast Starter Not Responding As Usual

I prepared a yeast starter using Fast Pitch and Belgian Ale W OYL-028 (MFD 10/30/18) yeast slurry, plan is to let it sit on stir plate for about 48 hrs. I’m 18 hrs in and the starter is not looking the same as my previous starters, it actually doesn’t look any different then after the first couple hours. There is no foam or sludge on the bottom of flask. In my experience, I’d be seeing lots of foam and sludge. Do I have a problem?

Could be the yeast expired. A older yeast. I would. Take it of the plate. Shake and stir. Few min and put it back on the stir plate see what happens

Thanks, I’ll give that a try. At this point this starter looks as though I just put it together.

I don’t use a stir plate but I didn’t think you really see foam like you do with a shaken starter? Still you know what they look like and this one looks different so I’d follow your gut.

Based upon mfg date that yeast should be at least 70% viable. I’d expect it to take right off if it’s been treated right.

Any chance it got frozen or really hot during transit or storage?

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Purchased last week from NB, 21 hrs now on stir plate and nothing. The lack of any sludge building on bottom of flask is my biggest concern.


Never used Omega yeast. Two months isn’t that old.

If you’re concerned I’d contact NB and tell them what’s going on. Ask them to replace it.

Any odor from the flask? It’s possible the yeast could have been frozen in shipment…that’s about all I can think of…

What size starter? Is this your first time using Fast Pitch and Omega Yeast? With Omega’s higher cell count, combined with the yeast rocket fuel that is Fast Pitch, I wouldn’t be surprised if it ripped through it in less than 12 hours.

Contacted NB and they will replace. It never crossed my mind, until you mentioned odor, that I did notice an odor when I opened the yeast packet-it was a strong odor, one I wasn’t familiar with, and not really pleasant. Sort of passed it off as a yeast strain I wasn’t familiar with, but you may be on to something there. Also saw small dark brown bits at the end of the packet pour-again, something I haven’t seen before so unsure whether that’s a sign of a problem yeast.

Starter itself doesn’t have any significant unpleasant odor.

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1000ml starter. But shouldn’t I see a nice layer on the bottom of flask? It’s the cloudy brown look when initially prepared, also seeing no yeast suspended in flask. I’m entirely going off what I’ve seen in previous starters, although I haven’t worked with this particular yeast. NB recommended starter size and 48 hr stir time.

You should see yeast settle out if it isn’t spinning, as well as some stratification with some suspended yeast, and clear beer above that.

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Got a replacement yeast, Wyeast Trappist Style, through NB and 3 hrs on stir plate is already showing activity. Feeling very confident that this issue was due to the lack of viability of the original yeast. I appreciate the experience and comments from this forum, as well as great customer service from NB. When all is said and done, just a slight delay for my brew day. Thank you.

I never see much happening when my starters are spinning on the stir plate. I put them on the stirplate for maybe 16-24 hours then off the plate for similar time period. Then i see the yeast settle to they bottom. I was told that is one of the advantages using the stir plate is that it will prevent the over activity (and mess) , most of the time. But it sounds like you had a big difference just changing the yeast out.

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