What was I thinking??

Last Saturday, when I was making my Belgian dubbel, I had the bright idea to use some of the low gravity wort (from the end of the runoff) to make a yeast starter. Sounds good in theory. I opened a bottle of Unibroue’s La Fin du Monde, one of my favourite Belgian style ales, and poured the yeast sediment into some wort with an OG of about 1.020 or so. It sat on top of the beer fridge for 2 days before I saw any activity. It started frothing up like most starters do, so I just left it alone to do it’s thing. I checked it today and saw a green scummy ring around the top of the starter bottle, looking almost like hop residue. And the yeast was stringy and not floculated on the bottom like most starters. So I opened it up to take a whiff. I almost gagged. It was disgusting, just like the time I left the grain in the mash tun overnight. If anyone has ever smelled rotting malted grain, you’ll know what I mean. Definitely not something you’d want to pitch into your precious sweet wort!! So I started wondering what went wrong … and then it came to me. I had taken the wort straight out of the mash lauter tun, before it had gone into the kettle and been boiled. All grain comes with high levels of wild yeasts and other horrible nasties. You have to boil it!! Like the title of this post says, what was I thinking?

About Mike

I'm the head brewmaster at Shepody Brewery. I'm the one who chooses the recipes, orders supplies, does all the grunt work, and drinks most of the product.
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