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Old 10-18-2012, 02:17 PM   #1
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Default Is a 4 day starter okay?

So I plan to brew 4 days from today but I won't be home inbetween to do anything so I was considering making a starter tonight, leave on stir plate over night, take off stir plate and leave at room temp for the next three days, decant and pitch. I'm using a beaker with a foam "stopper" in the top. Since a starter is just a mini beer I assume it will be okay for the 4 days total.

So the actual question: Will the live yeast in the 4 day starter be better to pitch then a room temp vial of WLP001?

All of the searching I have done only talks about 48 hours or less. How about 96?

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Old 10-18-2012, 02:24 PM   #2
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you'll be good to go. Four days isn't too long

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Old 10-18-2012, 02:47 PM   #3
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No worries with a 4 day starter. You'll get a little less yeast growth with the stir plate off, but nothing drastic. Any chance you have a timer and can shut the stir plate off after 48 hours?

Dave

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Old 10-18-2012, 02:54 PM   #4
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I would put it into a fridge once it finished to cold crash and concentrate the yeast better. I do that with ALL of my starters, including each step for stepped starters. You decant the spent starter and make a yeast slurry from what's on the bottom (leave a little spent starter in the flask to do that). How old the yeast is will impact how fast the starter will get going. So, IMO, a timer is a bad idea.

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Old 10-18-2012, 03:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golddiggie View Post
I would put it into a fridge once it finished to cold crash and concentrate the yeast better. I do that with ALL of my starters, including each step for stepped starters. You decant the spent starter and make a yeast slurry from what's on the bottom (leave a little spent starter in the flask to do that). How old the yeast is will impact how fast the starter will get going. So, IMO, a timer is a bad idea.
Unless I read it wrong, he was going to be away for 4 days. The starter will not finish overnight and he was wondering if he could leave it out for 4 days to finish out and not get infected.

Best practice is what you have above. I would also put the starter in the fridge when I got home unless I was brewing that day. But having a timer set for the second day would maximize the growth, give 2 days to settle out and be ready for brewing upon return.

Sounded good....

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Old 10-18-2012, 03:15 PM   #6
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The yeast will hit maximum growth in 18-24 hours. If it goes that long then I would put in the refrigerator until you get back. If not leaving it out for four days should be no problem.

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Old 10-18-2012, 03:26 PM   #7
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IME, with fairly fresh liquid yeast (under 2 months old) the starter will be finished within 18-24 hours from when you make it (and pitch the yeast) with a stirplate. Make the starter ASAP so that it's done before you leave for those days. Then just put it into the fridge and remove a few hours (depending on temperatures where you are) to let it get closer to the temperature that the wort will be chilled to.

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Old 10-18-2012, 04:10 PM   #8
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I could start the starter up to 11pm tonight and the earliest I would make it back to put it in the fridge would be 11am 4 days later making the difference 84 hours. No timer on the stir-plate so over the first night would be all that I could do with it. I plan on brewing later on the 4th day so pitching will probably be around 7pm. Not enough time to do a starter from 11am to 7pm. I'll give it a go with sitting out for four days. The yeast won't be at their best but still more of them then just pitching a vial. Unless anyone has any contrary information that hasn't been posted?

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Old 10-18-2012, 04:21 PM   #9
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Why not make the starter earlier (today)??

Personally, I wouldn't do it. I would push back your brew day until the following day, after you return, (or one after that), so you can do the starter up right.

Depending on the freshness of the yeast you're starting with, the starter COULD be done in as little as 12 hours. IMO, at best nothing BAD will happen with the starter. At worst, it will be nasty and you'll have to dump it and start all over again.

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Old 10-18-2012, 04:31 PM   #10
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The earliest I could start it today would be 5pm. That is assuming work and traffic agree with me. In which case I could do the starter and then drop it in the fridge before I walk out of the door at 6am tomorrow allowing for 13 hours all on the stir plate. The fridge for the (then) 3 days and leave it out to warm the brew morning. That actually sounds like a better plan. Thanks Golddiggie, I think I will go with that now. Still open for discussion for the next 2 1/2 hours though

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