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Yeast starter semi-fail

I’m brewing a helles tomorrow and made a starter yesterday for it. I generally use Mr. Malty for pitching rate guidelines, and I pitched 2 vials of WL lager yeast into a 2 quart starter to be used on a stir plate.

Unfortunately, as I realized after I pitched the yeast, my stir plate was not working. It was also past midnight and I was not quite in the mood to search for the best solution, so I just shook up the starter a good amount to aerate it. The starter then sat all night, and I shook it up again this morning before going to work.

So now without a stir plate, and without the opportunity to constantly shake it, I am left with a starter that will likely not have the necessary yeast count I was originally shooting for. So I’m guessing my options are either a)Shake it when I get home until tomorrow and use it anyways hoping the yeast count is somewhat reasonable, b)Try to step up the starter tonight, although I don’t really have any idea what the current yeast count is so it would be a shot in the dark and I’m not sure it would complete in time, or c)say screw it and buy new yeast.

For reference, the lager will be around 1.050 and the yeast it from April, which Mr Malty says is around 50% viability. Not really sure what my best option is here.

You’ll be fine. I think mr malty over estimates the dropoff in yeast viability over time, and their lager pitching rate in general is very high. Shake it as much as you can and call it good.

I’m not a scientist, nor have I slept at the Holiday Inn for a lone time…

I can not see where 2 vials/packs of yeast in a 2qt starter would have any chance to create enough yeast for a 5g lager. Even with a stir plate.

I would never make less than a ~1g starter for a lager. At this point, RDWHAHB. Your east will be work just fine on this beer.

You could step up your starter, but you’d obviously have to postpone your brew session. Personally, this is what I would do. Given the amount of time required for fermentation and lagering, what’s another few days or week?

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