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Is my starter ruined?

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  • Jorge Henriquez
    So last night I made a starter in order to up the pitch rate for tomorrow s brew. 1 quart of water plus 1 cup (4oz.) of DME in a 1 gallon carboy all sanitized
    Message 1 of 14 , Oct 1, 2010
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      So last night I made a starter in order to up the pitch rate for tomorrow's brew. 1 quart of water plus 1 cup (4oz.) of DME in a 1 gallon carboy all sanitized with iodophor. I then plugged it loosely with a non-bored 6.5 stopper and put it down in the cellar. This morning I went to check on it and discovered that the stopper was on the other side of the room. Apparently the CO2 blew it off. No telling when it happened. The starter wort was not very active today and I noticed a few small yellow-ish blobs floating on the surface. I plugged the little jug back up and will keep my fingers crossed. 

      Opinions?

      Worst case scenario, I'll run to Cornell's tomorrow morning and pick up a package of activator. This sucks, this was my second starter attempt in two days. First yeast package was dead. 

      Sent from my iPhone

      On Sep 27, 2010, at 10:25 PM, Matthew Friefeld <mfriefeld@...> wrote:

       

      Hey Jorge,
      Before you shlepp all the way to Bklyn,  you should either stop at Cornell's in Eastchester, or stop by Captain Lawrence and ask them for the yeast they use for their porter.  Maltose Express in CT is probably the same distance and an easier drive with as good or better selection if you're set on a Wyeast strain.

      On Sep 27, 2010 8:29 PM, "Jorge Henriquez" <jdhf76@...> wrote:
      > Thanks for the replies. Yeah, it's going to be around 5 gallons. Thing is, and I realize I'm sweating a lot of the technical stuff here, the pitch rate calculator on the Wyeast website tells me I need a rate of about 12 million cells / ml for the OG I'm shooting for. In any case, comes out to approx. a 3 quart starter. There's a shop in Brooklyn that has them, I'll shlep it out there and get one tomorrow. Thanks again.
      >
      > Sent from my iPhone
      >
      > On Sep 27, 2010, at 6:59 PM, Lee Jacobson <lee.jacobson@...> wrote:
      >
      >> for an ale. if it's a lager, not a great first brew.
      >>
      >>
      >> On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 6:27 PM, Matthew Friefeld <mfriefeld@...> wrote:
      >>
      >> How big is your first brew gonna be? If it's 5 gallons, then one growler would be more than enough starter volume.
      >>
      >>

    • Lee Jacobson
      if it was still actively fermenting, i d say not to worry, the CO2 upcurrent minimizes stuff falling into it. the whole idea with an open fermentation. but
      Message 2 of 14 , Oct 1, 2010
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        if it was still actively fermenting, i'd say not to worry, the CO2 upcurrent minimizes stuff falling into it.  the whole idea with an open fermentation.  but it's not active.  i'd say yes, there's a high chance it's contaminated

        On Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 7:20 AM, Jorge Henriquez <jdhf76@...> wrote:
         

        So last night I made a starter in order to up the pitch rate for tomorrow's brew. 1 quart of water plus 1 cup (4oz.) of DME in a 1 gallon carboy all sanitized with iodophor. I then plugged it loosely with a non-bored 6.5 stopper and put it down in the cellar. This morning I went to check on it and discovered that the stopper was on the other side of the room. Apparently the CO2 blew it off. No telling when it happened. The starter wort was not very active today and I noticed a few small yellow-ish blobs floating on the surface. I plugged the little jug back up and will keep my fingers crossed. 

        Opinions?

        Worst case scenario, I'll run to Cornell's tomorrow morning and pick up a package of activator. This sucks, this was my second starter attempt in two days. First yeast package was dead. 

        Sent from my iPhone

        On Sep 27, 2010, at 10:25 PM, Matthew Friefeld <mfriefeld@...> wrote:

         

        Hey Jorge,
        Before you shlepp all the way to Bklyn,  you should either stop at Cornell's in Eastchester, or stop by Captain Lawrence and ask them for the yeast they use for their porter.  Maltose Express in CT is probably the same distance and an easier drive with as good or better selection if you're set on a Wyeast strain.

        On Sep 27, 2010 8:29 PM, "Jorge Henriquez" <jdhf76@...> wrote:
        > Thanks for the replies. Yeah, it's going to be around 5 gallons. Thing is, and I realize I'm sweating a lot of the technical stuff here, the pitch rate calculator on the Wyeast website tells me I need a rate of about 12 million cells / ml for the OG I'm shooting for. In any case, comes out to approx. a 3 quart starter. There's a shop in Brooklyn that has them, I'll shlep it out there and get one tomorrow. Thanks again.
        >
        > Sent from my iPhone
        >
        > On Sep 27, 2010, at 6:59 PM, Lee Jacobson <lee.jacobson@...> wrote:
        >
        >> for an ale. if it's a lager, not a great first brew.
        >>
        >>
        >> On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 6:27 PM, Matthew Friefeld <mfriefeld@...> wrote:
        >>
        >> How big is your first brew gonna be? If it's 5 gallons, then one growler would be more than enough starter volume.
        >>
        >>


      • Alex Smoller
        For my yeast starters, I use tinfoil loosely crushed around the top of an erlenmeyer flask. Loosely so that there can be an intake of oxygen, but secure enough
        Message 3 of 14 , Oct 1, 2010
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          For my yeast starters, I use tinfoil loosely crushed around the top of
          an erlenmeyer flask. Loosely so that there can be an intake of oxygen,
          but secure enough so that no wild yeasts or bacteria can drop into the
          vessel. I picked up this tip from one of the Brew Strong podcasts:
          http://thebrewingnetwork.com/shows/Brew-Strong/Brew-Strong-12-22-08-Yeast-Starters

          I'm also using a stir plate which helps with the oxygen intake, but
          it's not necessary. Swirling it every hour or so works fine.

          Using a loose-ish seal on the starter vessel has not been a problem. I
          have never had an infected starter (or beer, for that matter) and I
          reuse my yeast up to 12 times.


          Jorge, since your starter sat uncovered for a while, you might run the
          risk of infection. It's not certain, but it a definite possibility.
          I'd put the starter in the fridge overnight to settle the yeast.
          Decant the starter wort in the morning and make a fresh starter with
          the accumulated yeast. If at the end of your brew day the yeast smells
          funky, don't use it. If it smells yeasty and doughy, like fresh bread
          dough, go ahead and use it. It will be highly active and ready to mow
          through the maltose. You may want to have a backup on hand, just in
          case.

          Good luck!

          alex


          - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

          Alex Smoller
          Web Design + Development

          http://www.smoller.com

          (212) 343-1440
          alex@...






          On Oct 1, 2010, at 7:20 AM, Jorge Henriquez wrote:

          >
          > So last night I made a starter in order to up the pitch rate for
          > tomorrow's brew. 1 quart of water plus 1 cup (4oz.) of DME in a 1
          > gallon carboy all sanitized with iodophor. I then plugged it loosely
          > with a non-bored 6.5 stopper and put it down in the cellar. This
          > morning I went to check on it and discovered that the stopper was on
          > the other side of the room. Apparently the CO2 blew it off. No
          > telling when it happened. The starter wort was not very active today
          > and I noticed a few small yellow-ish blobs floating on the surface.
          > I plugged the little jug back up and will keep my fingers crossed.
          >
          > Opinions?
          >
          > Worst case scenario, I'll run to Cornell's tomorrow morning and pick
          > up a package of activator. This sucks, this was my second starter
          > attempt in two days. First yeast package was dead.
          >
          > Sent from my iPhone
          >
          > On Sep 27, 2010, at 10:25 PM, Matthew Friefeld <mfriefeld@...>
          > wrote:
          >
          >>
          >>
          >> Hey Jorge,
          >> Before you shlepp all the way to Bklyn, you should either stop at
          >> Cornell's in Eastchester, or stop by Captain Lawrence and ask them
          >> for the yeast they use for their porter. Maltose Express in CT is
          >> probably the same distance and an easier drive with as good or
          >> better selection if you're set on a Wyeast strain.
          >>
          >> On Sep 27, 2010 8:29 PM, "Jorge Henriquez" <jdhf76@...> wrote:
          >> > Thanks for the replies. Yeah, it's going to be around 5 gallons.
          >> Thing is, and I realize I'm sweating a lot of the technical stuff
          >> here, the pitch rate calculator on the Wyeast website tells me I
          >> need a rate of about 12 million cells / ml for the OG I'm shooting
          >> for. In any case, comes out to approx. a 3 quart starter. There's a
          >> shop in Brooklyn that has them, I'll shlep it out there and get one
          >> tomorrow. Thanks again.
          >> >
          >> > Sent from my iPhone
          >> >
          >> > On Sep 27, 2010, at 6:59 PM, Lee Jacobson
          >> <lee.jacobson@...> wrote:
          >> >
          >> >> for an ale. if it's a lager, not a great first brew.
          >> >>
          >> >>
          >> >> On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 6:27 PM, Matthew Friefeld <mfriefeld@...
          >> > wrote:
          >> >>
          >> >> How big is your first brew gonna be? If it's 5 gallons, then one
          >> growler would be more than enough starter volume.
          >> >>
          >> >>
          >>
          >>
          >
          >
        • Noah Pearce
          Jorge, A yeast stater is a mini batch of beer and it s fermentation is going to produce co2 that need to get somehow. At this point you might want to pick up a
          Message 4 of 14 , Oct 1, 2010
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            Jorge, A yeast stater is a mini batch of beer and it's fermentation is going to produce co2 that need to get somehow.
            At this point you might want to pick up a pack of dry yeast for you beer and rehydrate it as described here:
             
            read on and it also has a step x step on a starter, I don't use a airlock or plastic wrap i use aluminum foil and swirl it as much as possible to drive off the co2 re-suspend the yeast.
             
            the thought is foil lets more o2 in which will promote yeast growth.
            -N
             
             

             
            On Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 7:20 AM, Jorge Henriquez <jdhf76@...> wrote:
             

            So last night I made a starter in order to up the pitch rate for tomorrow's brew. 1 quart of water plus 1 cup (4oz.) of DME in a 1 gallon carboy all sanitized with iodophor. I then plugged it loosely with a non-bored 6.5 stopper and put it down in the cellar. This morning I went to check on it and discovered that the stopper was on the other side of the room. Apparently the CO2 blew it off. No telling when it happened. The starter wort was not very active today and I noticed a few small yellow-ish blobs floating on the surface. I plugged the little jug back up and will keep my fingers crossed. 

            Opinions?

            Worst case scenario, I'll run to Cornell's tomorrow morning and pick up a package of activator. This sucks, this was my second starter attempt in two days. First yeast package was dead. 

            Sent from my iPhone

            On Sep 27, 2010, at 10:25 PM, Matthew Friefeld <mfriefeld@...> wrote:

             

            Hey Jorge,
            Before you shlepp all the way to Bklyn,  you should either stop at Cornell's in Eastchester, or stop by Captain Lawrence and ask them for the yeast they use for their porter.  Maltose Express in CT is probably the same distance and an easier drive with as good or better selection if you're set on a Wyeast strain.

            On Sep 27, 2010 8:29 PM, "Jorge Henriquez" <jdhf76@...> wrote:
            > Thanks for the replies. Yeah, it's going to be around 5 gallons. Thing is, and I realize I'm sweating a lot of the technical stuff here, the pitch rate calculator on the Wyeast website tells me I need a rate of about 12 million cells / ml for the OG I'm shooting for. In any case, comes out to approx. a 3 quart starter. There's a shop in Brooklyn that has them, I'll shlep it out there and get one tomorrow. Thanks again.
            >
            > Sent from my iPhone
            >
            > On Sep 27, 2010, at 6:59 PM, Lee Jacobson <lee.jacobson@...> wrote:
            >
            >> for an ale. if it's a lager, not a great first brew.
            >>
            >>
            >> On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 6:27 PM, Matthew Friefeld <mfriefeld@...> wrote:
            >>
            >> How big is your first brew gonna be? If it's 5 gallons, then one growler would be more than enough starter volume.
            >>
            >>


          • Jorge Henriquez
            Thanks guys. Sounds like I should dump this to be on the safe side. With that in mind, my last question (so not to wear out my welcome) is, if I make another
            Message 5 of 14 , Oct 1, 2010
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              Thanks guys. Sounds like I should dump this to be on the safe side. With that in mind, my last question (so not to wear out my welcome) is, if I make another starter tonight (say around 8 pm or so) with the other packet of Propagator I have in the fridge (I can call the nanny and have her take it out of the fridge around 4 pm....and I already smacked it this morning just in case), will it be somewhat ready for pitching by tomorrow at, say, 11am or 12pm? Or should I just resign to reality and simply buy another Propagator pack & pitch 2 in?

              --- In wchomebrew@yahoogroups.com, Noah Pearce <noah.m.pearce@...> wrote:
              >
              > Jorge, A yeast stater is a mini batch of beer and it's fermentation is going
              > to produce co2 that need to get somehow.
              > At this point you might want to pick up a pack of dry yeast for you beer and
              > rehydrate it as described here:
              > http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter6-5.html
              >
              > read on and it also has a step x step on a starter, I don't use a airlock or
              > plastic wrap i use aluminum foil and swirl it as much as possible to drive
              > off the co2 re-suspend the yeast.
              >
              > the thought is foil lets more o2 in which will promote yeast growth.
              > -N
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > On Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 7:20 AM, Jorge Henriquez <jdhf76@...> wrote:
              >
              > >
              > >
              > > So last night I made a starter in order to up the pitch rate for tomorrow's
              > > brew. 1 quart of water plus 1 cup (4oz.) of DME in a 1 gallon carboy all
              > > sanitized with iodophor. I then plugged it loosely with a non-bored 6.5
              > > stopper and put it down in the cellar. This morning I went to check on it
              > > and discovered that the stopper was on the other side of the room.
              > > Apparently the CO2 blew it off. No telling when it happened. The starter
              > > wort was not very active today and I noticed a few small yellow-ish blobs
              > > floating on the surface. I plugged the little jug back up and will keep my
              > > fingers crossed.
              > >
              > > Opinions?
              > >
              > > Worst case scenario, I'll run to Cornell's tomorrow morning and pick up a
              > > package of activator. This sucks, this was my second starter attempt in two
              > > days. First yeast package was dead.
              > >
              > > Sent from my iPhone
              > >
              > > On Sep 27, 2010, at 10:25 PM, Matthew Friefeld <mfriefeld@...>
              > > wrote:
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Hey Jorge,
              > > Before you shlepp all the way to Bklyn, you should either stop at
              > > Cornell's in Eastchester, or stop by Captain Lawrence and ask them for the
              > > yeast they use for their porter. Maltose Express in CT is probably the same
              > > distance and an easier drive with as good or better selection if you're set
              > > on a Wyeast strain.
              > >
              > > On Sep 27, 2010 8:29 PM, "Jorge Henriquez" <jdhf76@...> wrote:
              > > > Thanks for the replies. Yeah, it's going to be around 5 gallons. Thing
              > > is, and I realize I'm sweating a lot of the technical stuff here, the pitch
              > > rate calculator on the Wyeast website tells me I need a rate of about 12
              > > million cells / ml for the OG I'm shooting for. In any case, comes out to
              > > approx. a 3 quart starter. There's a shop in Brooklyn that has them, I'll
              > > shlep it out there and get one tomorrow. Thanks again.
              > > >
              > > > Sent from my iPhone
              > > >
              > > > On Sep 27, 2010, at 6:59 PM, Lee Jacobson <lee.jacobson@...>
              > > wrote:
              > > >
              > > >> for an ale. if it's a lager, not a great first brew.
              > > >>
              > > >>
              > > >> On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 6:27 PM, Matthew Friefeld <mfriefeld@...>
              > > wrote:
              > > >>
              > > >> How big is your first brew gonna be? If it's 5 gallons, then one growler
              > > would be more than enough starter volume.
              > > >>
              > > >>
              > >
              > >
              > >
              >
            • Lee Jacobson
              Jamil says 12-18 hours. I try to tend towards 18 to be safe, plus it s almost always actively fermenting by that point. So yeah you should be fine. If you re
              Message 6 of 14 , Oct 1, 2010
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                Jamil says 12-18 hours.  I try to tend towards 18 to be safe, plus it's almost always actively fermenting by that point.  So yeah you should be fine.

                If you're a little under that limit, dont' sweat it.  If your sanitation was good all throughout, you can wait a couple hours to pitch the yeast.

                A lot of lager brewers will wait until they are able to chill the beer down to temp before they pitch the yeast.

                On Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 9:49 AM, Jorge Henriquez <jdhf76@...> wrote:
                 

                Thanks guys. Sounds like I should dump this to be on the safe side. With that in mind, my last question (so not to wear out my welcome) is, if I make another starter tonight (say around 8 pm or so) with the other packet of Propagator I have in the fridge (I can call the nanny and have her take it out of the fridge around 4 pm....and I already smacked it this morning just in case), will it be somewhat ready for pitching by tomorrow at, say, 11am or 12pm? Or should I just resign to reality and simply buy another Propagator pack & pitch 2 in?



                --- In wchomebrew@yahoogroups.com, Noah Pearce <noah.m.pearce@...> wrote:
                >
                > Jorge, A yeast stater is a mini batch of beer and it's fermentation is going
                > to produce co2 that need to get somehow.
                > At this point you might want to pick up a pack of dry yeast for you beer and
                > rehydrate it as described here:
                > http://www.howtobrew.com/section1/chapter6-5.html
                >
                > read on and it also has a step x step on a starter, I don't use a airlock or
                > plastic wrap i use aluminum foil and swirl it as much as possible to drive
                > off the co2 re-suspend the yeast.
                >
                > the thought is foil lets more o2 in which will promote yeast growth.
                > -N
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > On Fri, Oct 1, 2010 at 7:20 AM, Jorge Henriquez <jdhf76@...> wrote:
                >
                > >
                > >
                > > So last night I made a starter in order to up the pitch rate for tomorrow's
                > > brew. 1 quart of water plus 1 cup (4oz.) of DME in a 1 gallon carboy all
                > > sanitized with iodophor. I then plugged it loosely with a non-bored 6.5
                > > stopper and put it down in the cellar. This morning I went to check on it
                > > and discovered that the stopper was on the other side of the room.
                > > Apparently the CO2 blew it off. No telling when it happened. The starter
                > > wort was not very active today and I noticed a few small yellow-ish blobs
                > > floating on the surface. I plugged the little jug back up and will keep my
                > > fingers crossed.
                > >
                > > Opinions?
                > >
                > > Worst case scenario, I'll run to Cornell's tomorrow morning and pick up a
                > > package of activator. This sucks, this was my second starter attempt in two
                > > days. First yeast package was dead.
                > >
                > > Sent from my iPhone
                > >
                > > On Sep 27, 2010, at 10:25 PM, Matthew Friefeld <mfriefeld@...>

                > > wrote:
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > > Hey Jorge,
                > > Before you shlepp all the way to Bklyn, you should either stop at
                > > Cornell's in Eastchester, or stop by Captain Lawrence and ask them for the
                > > yeast they use for their porter. Maltose Express in CT is probably the same
                > > distance and an easier drive with as good or better selection if you're set
                > > on a Wyeast strain.
                > >
                > > On Sep 27, 2010 8:29 PM, "Jorge Henriquez" <jdhf76@...> wrote:
                > > > Thanks for the replies. Yeah, it's going to be around 5 gallons. Thing
                > > is, and I realize I'm sweating a lot of the technical stuff here, the pitch
                > > rate calculator on the Wyeast website tells me I need a rate of about 12
                > > million cells / ml for the OG I'm shooting for. In any case, comes out to
                > > approx. a 3 quart starter. There's a shop in Brooklyn that has them, I'll
                > > shlep it out there and get one tomorrow. Thanks again.
                > > >
                > > > Sent from my iPhone
                > > >
                > > > On Sep 27, 2010, at 6:59 PM, Lee Jacobson <lee.jacobson@...>

                > > wrote:
                > > >
                > > >> for an ale. if it's a lager, not a great first brew.
                > > >>
                > > >>
                > > >> On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 6:27 PM, Matthew Friefeld <mfriefeld@...>

                > > wrote:
                > > >>
                > > >> How big is your first brew gonna be? If it's 5 gallons, then one growler
                > > would be more than enough starter volume.
                > > >>
                > > >>
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >


              • Matthew Friefeld
                Hi Jorge, The starter will probably be OK, provided you cleaned the stopper again. Sniff it and make sure there no off smells.. .You should feed it another
                Message 7 of 14 , Oct 1, 2010
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                  Hi Jorge,
                  The starter will probably be OK, provided you cleaned the stopper again.  Sniff it and make sure there no off smells..  .You should feed it another quart of the dme mix.  Try covering the top with loose fitting plastic wrap if you don't have a stopper/airlock that fits. 

                  On Oct 1, 2010 7:20 AM, "Jorge Henriquez" <jdhf76@...> wrote:

                   

                  So last night I made a starter in order to up the pitch rate for tomorrow's brew. 1 quart of water plus 1 cup (4oz.) of DME in a 1 gallon carboy all sanitized with iodophor. I then plugged it loosely with a non-bored 6.5 stopper and put it down in the cellar. This morning I went to check on it and discovered that the stopper was on the other side of the room. Apparently the CO2 blew it off. No telling when it happened. The starter wort was not very active today and I noticed a few small yellow-ish blobs floating on the surface. I plugged the little jug back up and will keep my fingers crossed. 

                  Opinions?

                  Worst case scenario, I'll run to Cornell's tomorrow morning and pick up a package of activator. This sucks, this was my second starter attempt in two days. First yeast package was dead. 

                  Sent from my iPhone

                  On Sep 27, 2010, at 10:25 PM, Matthew Friefeld <mfriefeld@...> wrote:

                   

                  Hey Jorge,
                  Before you shlepp all the way to Bklyn,  you should either stop at Cornell's in Eastchester, or stop by Captain Lawrence and ask them for the yeast they use for their porter.  Maltose Express in CT is probably the same distance and an easier drive with as good or better selection if you're set on a Wyeast strain.

                  On Sep 27, 2010 8:29 PM, "Jorge Henriquez" <jdhf76@...> wrote:
                  > Thanks for the replies. Yeah, it's going to be around 5 gallons. Thing is, and I realize I'm sweating a lot of the technical stuff here, the pitch rate calculator on the Wyeast website tells me I need a rate of about 12 million cells / ml for the OG I'm shooting for. In any case, comes out to approx. a 3 quart starter. There's a shop in Brooklyn that has them, I'll shlep it out there and get one tomorrow. Thanks again.
                  >
                  > Sent from my iPhone
                  >
                  > On Sep 27, 2010, at 6:59 PM, Lee Jacobson <lee.jacobson@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >> for an ale. if it's a lager, not a great first brew.
                  >>
                  >>
                  >> On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 6:27 PM, Matthew Friefeld <mfriefeld@...> wrote:
                  >>
                  >> How big is your first brew gonna be? If it's 5 gallons, then one growler would be more than enough starter volume.
                  >>
                  >>

                • vlad.kowalyk
                  ... If you can swing the extra couple of bucks for a second yeast pack, that would be my vote. Lately I haven t had the time to make a proper starter prior to
                  Message 8 of 14 , Oct 1, 2010
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                    --- In wchomebrew@yahoogroups.com, "Jorge Henriquez" <jdhf76@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Thanks guys. Sounds like I should dump this to be on the safe side. With that in mind, my last question (so not to wear out my welcome) is, if I make another starter tonight (say around 8 pm or so) with the other packet of Propagator I have in the fridge (I can call the nanny and have her take it out of the fridge around 4 pm....and I already smacked it this morning just in case), will it be somewhat ready for pitching by tomorrow at, say, 11am or 12pm? Or should I just resign to reality and simply buy another Propagator pack & pitch 2 in?
                    >

                    If you can swing the extra couple of bucks for a second yeast pack, that would be my vote. Lately I haven't had the time to make a proper starter prior to brewing (overnight is not enough time in my opinion) and I've been pitching two or three packs/vials of yeast depending on the O.G.
                    -Vlad
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