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Keeping a starter going.

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WineYooper

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Some questions on starters I have not found in my readings. I made up a starter and fed a 1/4 cup of must four times and went to bed after the last one. At the time it was foaming vigorously. When I got up this A.M. it was flat and I don't know what this meant. Was it out of food and just lying dormant or what the heck was going on? Hence the question; At what point do you add to the must? Do you have to keep adding more must to this to keep it going? What does non activity mean? What do you have to do to keep a starter going for a long period of time?
All that I have read has been on getting one going but I have not seen anything on the when, or how to take care of this child for a long period. Can someone please educate me on this or direct me to where I can find this info
 

Tom

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It is out of food. If you checked the gravity you will se it ate most of the sugars.
Most starters only need 1 "hit" of fermentable sugars. Once you see that its working I would pitch it.
Adding what you did the yeast may have or could have reached its limit for alcohol. Be careful you dont exhaust the yeast.
 

robie

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Tom is right. Some suggest letting a starter go for 24 hours, but if you do, you have to keep feeding it. If you do go that long, in your case, your last feeding before bedtime should have been about a cup of must.

Really, you only need to feed it a quarter cup once or if you want, twice. After feeding must, when it starts foaming really well, give it 15 more minutes, then lightly stir it into the fermentor of must. Don't just pitch it on top. In many cases you will have active fermentation within 4 to 8 hours in your bucket.

Make sure the starter and must are within a few degrees temp of each other. Some say within 10 degrees F, some say 2 degrees F. Play it safe and go with 2 degrees F.
 

robie

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I will add that you need to check your bucket in a few hours and see if it has taken off. Some of the yeast should have survived. Keep the temp of the must up to the mid to upper 70's while it is trying to start. Colder temps will make it take longer.
 

WineYooper

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Thanks for the feed back. When I got up and it was flat I still added to the must. Since, it has started to ferment and is foaming nicely. I'm pushing the cap down and stirring three times. This is the cranberry I was having trouble getting going. I am in the process of letting boiled water cool down to add to the under watered must I started, I picked up a 10 gal primary and will add to it soon. Looking at what I have going it looks to be about 4.5 gal and I am going to dilute it down due to the high sg. from too little water and continue to watch.
 

namratasnv

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I will add that you need to check your bucket in a few hours and see if it has taken off. Some of the yeast should have survived. Keep the temp of the must up to the mid to upper 70's while it is trying to start. Colder temps will make it take longer.
Hi,

This will be better to get through this as, it is important to check this as there should be a proper temp for this so that to keep it proper.

Thanks
 

arcticsid

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I made a starter the other day and it too wasn't foaming like normal.

In fact even when I rehydrated the yeast(cotes de blanc) it didn't seem all that vigurous either.

I usually feed mine 1/2 cup or so every two hours for 12 hours or more.

I use a 2L soda bottle for my starter container. Each time I give it a shot of must I cap it and turn it up side down real quick, not shake the heck out of it. So even though the starter seemed flat, that quick tip over proved it was indeed alive and well.
 

arcticsid

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Unfortunately, I pitched the yeast on Friday at 12 am and I am down to 1.025, still maintaining 70F, started at 1.090. I hope it isn't too fast this is some elder/raspberry and I see good things with this. But yeah no foam, but a good strong ferment. it was recommended to use Pasteur Red, and I suggested this to my LHBS. She ordered every red Star yeast out there EXCEPT the PR. I hope this cotes de blanc will work okay.
 

WineYooper

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Just a follow up on my cranberry batch. After pitching my starter of 1118, which I thought was stopped, into the must it took about 8 hours and it was going great guns. Have since found ferment down to 1.014 and transfered to secondary and ended with a 6 gal, 1 gal and about a quart of sediment/lees in another bottle. All three are still bubbling along and have considerable lees on bottom of all. I am still learning otherwise I would have tried to make some skeeter pee. I plan to start another batch of blackberry next week so will plan on skeeter from that and see how it goes.
 

Tom

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Unfortunately, I pitched the yeast on Friday at 12 am and I am down to 1.025, still maintaining 70F, started at 1.090. I hope it isn't too fast this is some elder/raspberry and I see good things with this. But yeah no foam, but a good strong ferment. it was recommended to use Pasteur Red, and I suggested this to my LHBS. She ordered every red Star yeast out there EXCEPT the PR. I hope this cotes de blanc will work okay.
U will be fine Troy. CDB is all I use on fruit wines.
 

arcticsid

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Good thing you used a starter. Cranberry can be real hard to get to ferment. It has something in there called Benzoate, and it really can mess with you. I had a batch of cranberry that I just couldn't get going. Luckily the gang in here talked me through it and got me to make a starter and it worked out.

So now I am a huge fan of starters and use them on each batch.

I forget what, but there is something else out there that has that natural benzoate in it also, and that too, they say, will give you hell.
 

Julie

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Just a follow up on my cranberry batch. After pitching my starter of 1118, which I thought was stopped, into the must it took about 8 hours and it was going great guns. Have since found ferment down to 1.014 and transfered to secondary and ended with a 6 gal, 1 gal and about a quart of sediment/lees in another bottle. All three are still bubbling along and have considerable lees on bottom of all. I am still learning otherwise I would have tried to make some skeeter pee. I plan to start another batch of blackberry next week so will plan on skeeter from that and see how it goes.
Elsababe, you can put the quart jar of sediment in the frig for later. My last SP was with a slurry that sat in the frig for 6 months and it worked great!
 

arcticsid

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Psycic Julie? I was actually going to ask that same question on saving the slurry when I got back on the forum. So what do you do when it is time to use it. Bring it up to room temp or does it need to be up to 100F or so like when you rehydrate dry yeast?
Troy
 

Julie

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Psycic Julie? I was actually going to ask that same question on saving the slurry when I got back on the forum. So what do you do when it is time to use it. Bring it up to room temp or does it need to be up to 100F or so like when you rehydrate dry yeast?
Troy
Holy Cow, I'm starting to think like Troy :slp

I take it out of the frig at least 12 hours before I need it but usually it is more like 24 to 48 hours, sometimes I just don't start when I plan. The last one sat on my island for two days before I used it.
 

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