Originally Posted by PT Ray
Method 1: Never tried it, don't plan to. Too worried that the extra time needed cool to lager temps before pitching might allow something else to take over.
Yes cooling to lager temps takes longer, but can be achieved with the use of ice water in a counterflow or immersion chiller. But at lager temps, nothing will be growing fast enough to take over before the yeast does as long as you pitched enough yeast.
As you pointed out, the home brew (and even the pro brewing) community is divided over this subject. There are many knowledgeable brewers who pitch warm and there and many who pitch cold. Even the German brewing community goes back and forth over this. As far as I know the Weihenstephan school of brewing is now teaching cold pitching. But there has been a time when they taught warm pitching was the way to go. (source: The Brewing Network interview with White Lab's Chris White)
I believe that more growth will lead to more esters. And if growth is limited, the production of esters will be limited. Is there enough difference for the home brewer to worry about. Probably not, and the fermentation will be more reliable if you pitch warm. That's why I suggest to start with warm pitching and more to cold pitching if the brewer sees a need for this and feels comfortable with it.