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I am trying to make skeeter pee without the slurry from a previous batch. so I wanted to make a starter to make sure my yeast were happy guys.

I took 3 pints of water to 1 teaspoon of yeast nutrients and about 6 teaspoons sugar. and a packet of ec-1118 yeast. I let that go for about 8-10 hours and it was happily bubbling the airlock. When I started the starter I had also put together the primary. The starter had an SG of about 1.09 and about 22% sugar. not too far off the 1.07 he recommends on the site. So that had been sitting for the same 8-10 hours. Before I went to bed, I degassed the primary for a few seconds, and then I added about a pint of primary to the starter and waited, within an hour it had bubbled up again through the airlock. and the yeast was churning and swimming around and doing its yeasty thing.

Now, this morning I woke up and in my excitement ran to see how my starter was doing. To my dismay, there was no activity in the bottle. Is this a stuck fermentation? I cant imagine the yeast ate all the sugar in there already. Not sure what my next step should be. Add more sugar and yeast energizer? Or wait another little bit? Is there anything I did wrong?

All help is greatly appreciated!

This is the recipe I'm using: http://skeeterpee.com/?page_id=17 He says use the slurry from a previous batch of wine, I dont have this so it was recommended elsewhere to make a solid starter.

The main issue is the acidity can make it hard for the yeast to get going.

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Can you add a link to the recipe? –  mdma Mar 3 '13 at 16:12

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The starter may well have finished in the 18 or so hours you gave it, or it could be stuck. The way to find out is to take a gravity reading and see if it's close to your expected FG.

EDIT: A gravity reading of 1.015 from 1.090 is 84% attenuation, which is good. I'd say you're done or close to done. There may be some small amount of sugars remaining, but remember the point of a starter isn't to ferment out, but to propagate yeast. Most of the propagation happens in the early stages - leaving it in for longer will not give significantly more yeast and viability will start decreasing.

You can use the starter now - it's ready.

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Just tested SG of starter out to 1.015. This seems a little close to FG, but still means theres some sugar in there right? –  mr odus Mar 3 '13 at 16:21
    
Alright, I added a bit of yeast nutrient(1tsp) and vigourrously shook, 20 min later it was bubbling again so I poured it into my primary. Fingers crossed! –  mr odus Mar 3 '13 at 16:59
    
2 days later... Seems like everybody's happy. yeast is bubbling along and we have progress! all is going to plan. –  mr odus Mar 5 '13 at 21:00
    
Great to hear that! Best of luck with the rest of the brew. –  mdma Mar 5 '13 at 22:34

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