Originally Posted by HokieBrewer
No offense, but it seems kind of crazy to be basically winging it with such a huge (expensive) batch. Under pitching, buckets, undersized ic...
Cross your fingers.
None taken. I dont believe I am underpitching.
Originally Posted by Cold_Steel
Now that is a thought! My kettle is 55 gallons so I was going to do 2 brews. If i stager the brew session say a week apart or maybe 3 days I could get away with a 7 gallon starter. Right?
Would that cause problems with head space or contamination when I add the next batch?
Don't need to be 3 days apart; you only need enough time for high krausen, 12-24 hours, at which point the yeast will achieve a saturation concentration in the wort. So adding the fresh wort will cause one more generation of yeast which will take only about 2 hours to occur.
I would pitch 5 gallon starter into 40 gallons. That is <10x which is fine. Pitching 2 2L starters into 5 gal mitigates sanitation there so assuming you build from two packs, and sanitiation is good your yeast will be VERY pure.
Hopefully you have some inline oxygenation system so the fresh wort will be oxygenated. This will also help.
From a sanitation standpoint the step method is superior to a single fermentation because you only have half the wort in the fermenter during the lag phase as opposed to all of it, so the resulting yeast can be re-pitched into subsequent batches with confidence.
the bucket, yeah i would like to have a pump but i dont. I dont thinks its a big deal. I worry about little bugs the most