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Brews & Views Bulletin Board Service * Brews and Views Archive 2004 * Archive through October 28, 2004 * Questionable Starter < Previous Next >

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George Schmidt
Member
Username: Gschmidt

Post Number: 174
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 04:08 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Recently I've been making starters in a quart jar with a sterilized cloth over the top instead of the erlenmyer and airlock. I made a starter last night from about 4 oz of refridgerated slurry of Wy1056. I added the slurry to two pints of canned wort and aerated as I normally do. Fermentaion was quite vigorous and I woke this morning to find basically a blowoff - the krausen oozing out of the cloth. I guess two pints of head space wan't enough with that much yeast pitched. Obviously, the outside of the cloth isn't sterilized. I'm wondering what you all think about whether it's safe to use or contaminated. I have another jar of fridged 1056 that I can use if the concensus is to dump this one. Only problem is that I'm out of canned starter wort and can't get to any DME before the weekend. (Anybody ever mash a single pound of pale before :-) ) Your advice is appreciated.
Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ~~Robert A. Heinlein: The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
 

Connie
Member
Username: Connie

Post Number: 220
Registered: 10-2000
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 04:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

George,
You can use apple juice in your starter. I've never done it, but read about it here on the board. Also, the Malto drink at grocery stores can be used, but it's dark..I have used malto goyo, no problem.
 

George Schmidt
Member
Username: Gschmidt

Post Number: 175
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 08:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

So do you guys think this one is contaminated?
Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ~~Robert A. Heinlein: The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
 

Craig Johnson
Intermediate Member
Username: Californiacraig

Post Number: 268
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 09:06 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I wouldn't use it unless I needed it at this exact moment.
 

J. Steinhauer
Intermediate Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 257
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 09:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would use it, but I'm not everyone else.
 

Connie
Member
Username: Connie

Post Number: 221
Registered: 10-2000
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 09:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I think I'd pull out the nottingham dry yeast or break out the other saved yeast slurry.I would not use the suspect 1056. YMMV
 

Chumley
Senior Member
Username: Chumley

Post Number: 2367
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 09:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

How do you sterilize a cloth? Why wouldn't you just use saran wrap and a rubberband?
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 829
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 09:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Taste the liquid from the starter. It should be raw and yeasty but not noticeably sour. If it tastes all right it very likely *is* all right.
 

J. Steinhauer
Intermediate Member
Username: Jstein6870

Post Number: 258
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2004 - 09:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I use sanitized cloth and paper towels frequently. Soak in iodophor or Star-San. Use them to cover things for short periods of time, when a piece of aluminum foil would be too small or too crispy. I've heard of towels being used to cover fermenters when open fermentation is the practice.

You know, there seems to be a certain law of brewing, anyway. I have had a few infected batches in my brief career, but none of them occurred when expected. The blown starters and fermenters during vigorous fermentation, the chilled worts that I had to bail from the kettle to the fermenter with a non-sanitary saucepot, etc. always turned out fine. The only infections were wild yeasts and were complete mysteries.
 

George Schmidt
Member
Username: Gschmidt

Post Number: 176
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, October 15, 2004 - 02:02 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I read a lot of stuff about open starters being more vigorous than airlocked ones because they have continued access to O2. So I tried in the the quart jar and have had great results until now. I've been soaking a couple layers of old tee shirt in idophor and screwing them on with the ring. Then I hit it with vodka from the spray bottle once it's in place. I've never had it go this crazy before, but they've always been from the Wyeast packs in the past. I pitched drastically more yeast into the starter this time. I'll taste the starter wort tomorrow and decide what to do.

Anybody ever use a sugar wash with nutrients for a starter?
Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ~~Robert A. Heinlein: The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
 

Vance Barnes
Senior Member
Username: Vancebarnes

Post Number: 1110
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, October 15, 2004 - 01:38 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Anybody ever use a sugar wash with nutrients for a starter?

Fredrik?
 

David Woods
Intermediate Member
Username: Beericon

Post Number: 417
Registered: 02-2003
Posted on Friday, October 15, 2004 - 01:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

"...starters being more vigorous than airlocked ones because they have continued access to O2."

I thought the CO2 would push out the O2 of any vessel (closed or open) since it is heavier. Am I wrong? How would the air get down to the yeast if not forced?

David
Onslo: "Get me a beer!"
Daisy: "We're out of beer."
Onslo: "I can't believe it! I'm completely surrounded by NO BEER!"
 

Bill Pierce
Moderator
Username: Billpierce

Post Number: 832
Registered: 01-2002
Posted on Friday, October 15, 2004 - 02:10 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

It's true there may be *slightly* more oxygen in the head space of an open fermenter, for a starter or otherwise, but very little of that oxygen will be dissolved in the liquid unless it is continuously agitated. The effect of an open versus closed vessel is negligible.
 

Beerboy AKA The Jolly Brewer
Advanced Member
Username: Matfink

Post Number: 501
Registered: 03-2003
Posted on Friday, October 15, 2004 - 02:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I would say the oppostie was true with a full batch of fermenting wort. I used to ferment in closed plastic fermenters with an airlock and frequently had the krausen coming upto the airlock, and sometime through it. (there was plenty of headspace.) But when I took the lid of the krausen fell back a bit, if I put the lid back on it rose again.

I now ferment in a converted keg with a loose fitting saucepan lid on top and I get a good krausen but no 'boil' overs. No infections either, but that's another story.....bloody plastic!
Real Ale Crusader and all round Hophead
 

George Schmidt
Member
Username: Gschmidt

Post Number: 179
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Friday, October 15, 2004 - 07:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thanks for the advice, guys, but this has become a moot point. So much yeast blew out through the cloth covering that the 'starter' actually now has less yeast slurry than I originally pitched. I'm definately not going to risk using it now.

Guess I'll have to use my reserve 1056 after all. I was saving it for next weekend, but I guess I can just use it for two starter - one for Sunday and one for next weekend.

Quick calculations (wild-ased guesses) say I should be able to mash 3/4# of pale with 3 qts of water and get 2 qts of 40-point wort. Thirty minutes each conversion and boil on the stove should be fun. My wife will certainly love the smell.
Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors -- and miss. ~~Robert A. Heinlein: The Notebooks of Lazarus Long
 

William B Roberts
New Member
Username: Bill_r

Post Number: 18
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Saturday, October 16, 2004 - 06:38 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

George, if all it did was expell out then Go,. I think we have discussed 1056 before, I like to use a larger starter jar. I use a 2.5 gal carboy, for a 1 gallon starter, lots of headspace, just wrap the neck with a double layer of tinfoil, add a big tough rubber band to tighten it all up & your good to go.

Also, all the stuff about open starters? Open anything that has to do with beer invites very small flies, where I live we call then nats, & nats can smell beer a mile away & they will be in your brew the first chance they get. I use a blow off tube to a seperate jar that has the airlock, once in a while I find a couple critters trapped in the airlock desperate to get into the main wort. Airlocks & sump jars do work.
 

Michael
Advanced Member
Username: Hoppop

Post Number: 540
Registered: 03-2002
Posted on Sunday, October 17, 2004 - 12:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post View Post/Check IP    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

I wouldn't use it. Hey, if I'm gonna' spend 5+ hours making beer, why take a chance? My time is worth more than a $6 smack pack. But, that is just me...do what you want.